For Keith Bezanson it was the zeitgeist of the 1960s with its new focus on international development that drove him to join CUSO and to travel to Nigeria as a teacher.
“The driving force for me was to join in this movement to give back and contribute to international development,” says Bezanson.
Once in Nigeria, he got the bug.
“I had a million questions,” he continues. “How could you bring about development? What were the factors that were needed? What roles could be played by international institutions to bring change about?”
These were the questions that led him to obtain a PhD in international development from Stanford and guided his illustrious career in international development.
Dr. Bezanson’s career has included a number of development and diplomatic roles, such as President and CEO of the International Development Research Centre, Ambassador of Canada to Peru, Vice-President of the Canadian International Development Agency and Vice-President of the Inter-American Development Bank.
Though he formally retired in 2004, Dr. Bezanson has continued to contribute to international development by chairing a number of Boards, authoring corporate strategies, and serving as advisor to the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and the Global Fund for the Fight Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He is also a consultant/advisor to the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dr. Bezanson resides in Ottawa.