Lori Ward

Director of Development, Dalhousie University

I started fundraising as a teenager that wanted to address an injustice that I was audacious enough to think I could help change, and just never stopped. Sometimes it wasn't an injustice that inspired me, but an opportunity to build something great or create new possibilities for an individual or group that inspired me. It helps that I love to talk and meet people. Along the way I have found myself in situations I could never have imagined growing up on a farm in Quebec; such as traveling with Mongolian throat singers; attending a meeting at the Pentagon; taking part in a military training exercise in Rwanda or touring the House of Lords. My career has provided me with the chance to see people at their best; acting on their desire to affect positive change.


What are you most proud of professionally? And who or why?

It is never the dollars raised, and always the impact of the gifts. Sometimes this has been buildings that will serve for generations; other times it is a single scholarship that provided an opportunity that an individual had thought was out of reach

What’s your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?

I see so much potential in Atlantic Canada; we have a built-in supply of well-educated young people coming out of our universities, smart research, a culture of hospitality and cities and towns that people can afford to live in. I think that we need to promote these strengths and the potential to invest in the incredible research and development that is happening here. We are also known for our arts and culture, which we must not take for granted and in fact need to build on to attract and retain people in our region.

What was your greatest stage of growth? What made it a shift for you?

My move to Nova Scotia was a leap of faith. I knew very few people in the Maritimes, but believed in the work I was moving for and believed in myself that I was the right person to help the organization achieve their goals. I left Banff, AB where I had lived for 13 years and headed East; I have no regrets.

Who’s inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?

I have been fortunate to work with exceptional leaders throughout my career, however two people stand out as deeply influential: Senator Mary Coyle and General Romeo Dallaire. I've had the pleasure of working closely with both of these leaders and being inspired by their passion and vision. Senator Coyle was the reason I moved to Nova Scotia. Her belief in people, the power of education, as well as her endless optimism provided an example I continue to aspire to. General Dallaire is inspiring on too many fronts to detail, his vision and commitment to preventing the use of child soldiers world-wide is audacious and essential, and I am proud of the small part I am playing in helping with this work.

What are the principles you live by?

I only work for causes that personally inspire me and that are proposing solutions that I believe add real value. There are endless good causes, but not all of them resonate with me or are creating an important change. I want to know that everyday my work is meaningful and making some incremental change towards the positive. I also feel strongly in the duty to help others. We are all the beneficiaries of the work and generousity of others, and we are all responsible for taking care of each other.


Fundraiser, hiker, volunteer

Lori Ward