President and Executive Director
Lili-Anna Pereša, C.Q.
Lili-Anna Pereša is an engineer by training and a graduate of the École Polytechnique de Montréal (1987). She is President and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal since 2013. Through its annual fundraising campaign, Centraide supports a network of more than 350 agencies and projects that in turn help 1 out 7 people in Greater Montreal every year. Centraide’s work depends on the commitment of nearly 80,000 volunteers.
From 2009 to 2012, Ms. Pereša served as Executive Director of ONE DROP. Prior to that she directed several community and humanitarian organizations, including Les petits frères des Pauvres, the YWCA of Montreal and Amnesty International France.
She had her first experience as a volunteer aid worker at the age of 25 when she accepted an assignment from World University Service of Canada to teach in Malawi. This was followed by an assignment from Oxfam-Québec to act as management consultant to Burkina Secours in Burkina Faso. In 1994, Ms. Pereša joined CARE Austria and packed her bags again to head for Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, where an armed conflict was under way.
Ms. Pereša’s involvement in humanitarian aid has earned her numerous distinctions, including the Mercure Leadership Germaine-Gibara Award at the 2016 Mercuriades, the Meritorious Service Award for Community Service from the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, an honorary doctorate from the Université de Montréal and an Engineers Canada Fellowship. She was also appointed Knight of the Ordre national du Québec in 2018.
In addition to her degree in electrical engineering, Ms. Pereša holds a graduate degree in management from McGill University and a master’s degree in political science—with specialization in international cooperation and humanitarian aid—from the Sorbonne in Paris.
She is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, of the International Women’s Forum and of Les Amies d’affaires.
In August 2016, Ms. Peresa was appointed member of the Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments. She was a member of the Advisory Committee for the 2017 Summit of the Mallet Institute and of the National Executive Committee of the 2012 and 2017 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. She is a board member of the Domaine Forget and of the Mobile Giving Foundation Canada. She was also involved on the board of several organizations, including École Polytechnique de Montréal.