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avatar for Mary Rowe

Mary Rowe

Canadian Urban Institute
President, CEO
Pan Canada
Mary is President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute (www.canurb.org). An
impassioned civic leader with diverse experience in the business, government, not-for-profit
and philanthropy sectors in Canada and the US for over 30 years, Mary has been a steady
advocate and champion for place-based approaches to building livable and resilient cities,
and community-driven local economies. She has led campaigns, organizations, initiatives,
and companies spanning a few months to several years. Mary was deeply engaged in the
self-organizing initiatives that emerged in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast following
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, providing support to two dozen initiatives that focused on
various forms of resilience. She also supported, in her role at MAS NYC, community
engagement efforts during the recovery from Superstorm Sandy, and Rebuild by Design.
Subsequently, Mary has led local, national and international urban initiatives from Toronto
and New York City, including the initial development of Re-Imagining the Civic Commons,
an initiative to strengthen elements of the urban fabric that create social cohesion and
community resilience, including libraries, community centres, parks and other ‘third places’.
Following her return to live in Toronto, in addition to her role leading CUI, Mary is a Senior
Fellow with Evergreen (http://www.evergreen.ca) and Future Cities Canada
(www.futurecitiescanada.ca), Lead Facilitator for the National Urban Project
(http://www.theurbanproject.ca) and serves on the Advisory and Governing Boards of the
New Cities Foundation (www.newcities.org) and The Bentway respectively
(www.thebentway.ca) . Mary is also Senior Fellow with Shorefast (http://www.shorefast.org),
a charity and social enterprise focused on building place-based economic development
strategies that strengthen local communities and foster their resilience.
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