A special message from Franca Gucciardi, Outgoing CEO of the McCall MacBain Foundation


I am writing to let you know that after a wonderful six years as the CEO of the McCall MacBain Foundation and the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill, the time has come for me to pass on the baton. Below you will find a note from our Chairs, John McCall MacBain and Marcy McCall MacBain, announcing the exciting plans for the two organizations going forward.

I am grateful to have been given the opportunity by John and Marcy McCall MacBain to serve the Foundation at a time when it was defining and growing its work in education and scholarships, climate change and the environment and youth mental health. John and Marcy’s commitment to philanthropy and their willingness to make bold and lasting gifts, and the creation of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill, have been inspirational. It has been a privilege to be a part of it.

Thank you to all the grantees with whom I have had the pleasure to collaborate. Your work is of such importance. I feel fortunate and grateful to have learned alongside you.

Thank you to all the volunteers, partners, supporters of the scholarships. It is thanks to your good work that we were able to launch and grow this program so quickly, and in the middle of a pandemic no less.

I will be here until the end of the year, and then will be deciding on my next adventure. I know the organizations under their new leaders, and with your support, will continue to have an incredibly positive impact in Canada and around the world.

Franca Gucciardi,
President and CEO,
McCall MacBain Foundation
McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill



Message from our Founders


On behalf of the McCall MacBain Foundation, we are pleased to announce that Alexandra Conliffe will be our next President and CEO of the McCall MacBain Foundation, and Natasha Sawh will be our next President and CEO of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill, both effective January 1, 2024.

As many of you know, Alexandra has been on our team for the last four years and has worked closely with Franca in all aspects of the work of the Foundation from Toronto. Natasha has been with us for the last six years and has been the Dean of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill in Montreal working with Franca from the beginning.

Alexandra is currently our Vice President, Philanthropy & Organizational Learning. She has specialized for more than a decade in building and implementing programs and public policy in the non-profit and public sectors, with a focus on environment and global development. Her contributions have included her role as Canada’s agriculture negotiator at the United Nations Climate Change negotiations. Previously Alexandra held senior roles at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship and Engineers Without Borders Canada. She holds a doctorate in Geography and a MSc in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Alexandra obtained a BEng from McGill University, where she studied as a Loran Scholar.

Natasha is currently the Dean of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. She has worked in higher education, leadership development, and public policy for close to two decades. Prior to joining the Foundation, Natasha ran a national information centre at the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. She has held a senior role at the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation where she managed a leadership program aimed at early-career professionals. Before that, she was director of programs and operations of the Loran Scholars Foundation, Canada’s most comprehensive undergraduate scholarship. Natasha has a BA from McGill University and an MA from McMaster University.

We know that Natasha is looking forward to continuing her work with the McCall MacBain Scholars, and Alex is excited to work with all our grantees to help to support their good work. Please join us in congratulating Natasha and Alex as they embark on this wonderful new chapter of their careers and our evolution as philanthropists.

We would also like to thank sincerely Franca for her dedication to the organizations and her excellent work both in our several start-up projects and in growing the Foundation’s grant-making capacity. When Franca started, we had no operating projects and were solely a grant-making foundation. With Franca’s leadership, we created and launched several operating projects including the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill, the Niagara Falls and Huron County Scholarships and the McCall MacBain International Fellowships. As well, she significantly enhanced our grant-making for scholarships around the world and our commitment to climate change mitigation, especially in Canada. Further, Franca created two other initiatives with us: i) the Global Fellowships Forum, bringing together the leadership of eight top scholarships in the world to share best practices; and ii) our work in youth mental health which started at the beginning of the pandemic.

We wish Franca the very best in her next adventures and we will miss her dearly.


John McCall MacBain,                           
Chair, McCall MacBain Foundation

Marcy McCall MacBain,
Chair, McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill