Resume of Ambassador Mr. Henry Mac Donald
AMBASSADOR Dr. (Hon.) HENRY LEONARD MAC DONALD LL.M & LL.M.
Ambassador Mac Donald was born in Suriname and received his legal education at the Law Faculty of the Anton de Kom University in Paramaribo, (1994) and at the American University in Washington DC, where he obtained an additional Master of Laws in “Law and Government” at the Washington College of Law (2003, Suma Cum Laude). He acquired Post-Doctoral honors from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Universities of Utrecht and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.
Dr. Henry Mac Donald received an Honorary Degree in Doctorate for Philosophy in Humanities and the Golden Rule International Award from the College of Christian Education Department, for his international work on gender equality and women’s empowerment at the United Nations, in the R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is also a “Romulo Gallegos Scholar” of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights at the Organization of American States.
Before Ambassador Mac Donald joined the Foreign Service of the Republic of Suriname in 1998, firstly as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Permanent Mission of his country to the Organization of American States and thereafter as the Charge d’ Affairs a.i. at the Embassy in Washington DC, he served at the Ministry of Justice and Police as coordinator of the Unit for Iinternational Relations and Human Rights.
Ambassador Mac Donald has been a visiting Professor at various Universities and Colleges in the United States of America and still publishes frequently exclusively in English in the Surinamese Law Journal. He was a member of the authoritative Surinamese Delegation before UNCLOS, at the maritime boundary dispute settlement procedure between Suriname and Guyana and was instrumental in submitting the claim of Suriname to secure its 200-mile economic maritime zone
He worked briefly as a senior lecturer at the University of Suriname (1996 – 1998) and participated widely in academic seminars at various universities and law schools in the United States of America, the Caribbean and Europe. He was the initiator of “the Moot Court Competition on the Inter American Human Rights Protection System” at the Anton de Komi University of Suriname (1998).
Mac Donald served his country in the capacity as Coordinator to the Summit of the Americas Implementation Process (SIRG) and represented Suriname in this regard as its Chief Negotiator from 2002 until 2007.
He was the Representative and Advisor of his country to the Inter American Defense Board (IADB) in Washington DC and represented Suriname for longer than 8 years, as its Alternate Representative to the Inter American Commission of Women (CIM).
Ambassador Mac Donald is a senior legal and political advisor on oil, gas, and energy matters, as well as sustainability, environmental, tourism development and human rights topics. He is a principal speech writer for his Government on development, legal and diplomatic matters.
Ambassador Mac Donald has represented Suriname at the Conference of States Parties meetings (COP), since Cop 15 in Copenhagen until COP 23 in Bonn, Germany, consecutively. He studied Oil and Gas, as well as Energy Law at the Washington College of Laws, American University.
He represented Suriname as its Principal Expert before all Human Rights Treaty Bodies at the United Nations (e.g. the Universal Periodic Review (2011); the UN Committee Regarding the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (2009 and 2015); the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (2007); the UN Committee against the Discrimination of Women (2002), and at the Organization of American States such as at the Moiwana hearings before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (2003) and the Inter American Court of Justice in 2004.
After his first arrival at the United Nations 14 years ago, he served on several occasions as Chairperson of the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors to the United Nations and as Chair of the GRULAC Regional Grouping. He was a Vice President of the 65th General Assembly, in which capacity he served on numerous occasions as Acting President. He was very instrumental in having the two Surinamese Human Rights Experts being elected for the first time in respectively the Human Rights Committee (2010 & 2014) and the ECOSOC Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2012). He was the Chairperson of the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee, generally referred to as the Third Committee for the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
On November, 2012, he orchestrated a unique combined Second and Third Committee Event on Communication for Development at the United Nations. He is passionately advocating for the eradication of all forms of violence against women and girls and used the platform at the United Nations and other national, regional and international institutions, by calling for the direct involvement of males in the global fight against this menace.
He has been Suriname’s National Coordinator for UNASUR and serves as Honorary Adviser to the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development, as well as to the NGO CSW/NY. On July, 2014, he launched in close cooperation with the Permanent Representative of Island and UN WOMEN the UN Friends Group to Promote the Beijing Declaration and Action Plan.
Ambassador Mac Donald was the HEforSHE Spokesperson at the United Nations and spoke as well as lectured about this matter all over the world. He was the driving force behind the Barbershop Conferences at the United Nations in January 2015 and 2017. These gatherings were organized by Suriname and Iceland to invite Men in joining Women in their struggle to STOP Violence against Women and Girls all over the world. Dr. Mac Donald did a lecture on the Urgency for Women's Participation and Safety at TEDx Paramaribo Women on June 30, 2015.
He departed the Permanent Mission of Suriname to the United Nations in December 2015, to take up the position of Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paramaribo, Suriname. After helping with the reorganization of the Ministry he returned in August 2016 once again as Suriname’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
In October 2017, Mac Donald decided to join the World Development Foundation as its President (a USA based Section 501C3 Not-for-Profit Tax-Exempt Organization), in order to synchronize his passion, theoretical, as well practical knowledge about the implementation of the Sustainable Development by concentrating strongly on SGD -17. The Mission Statement of the World Development Foundation is: “To be able to bring a definite end to poverty in the world we must find a way to implement PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS in the best way possible”.
The World Development Foundation WDF, brings together and supports Governments, the United Nations, Civil Society, Corporations, Media, Academics and ordinary people all over the world, in order to be educated and informed about clean, transparent and corruption free Public Private Partnerships and the global sustainable development efforts.
By doing so WDF focuses on the ultimate achievement of all SDGs, within the time frame set by the UN Member States, by aiming strongly on SGD 17 (Partnerships), 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), 13 (Climate Action), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 5 (Gender Equality) and 4 (Quality Education).
In 2017 he was the initiator of the UN-PPP Conference in New York, where he introduced the Guianas (Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana) as a brand-new nature, culture and community-based tourism destination to an audience of 800 persons in room 4 of the UN Secretariat Building.
Henry Mac Donald currently works as an Advisor to the President of Suriname and is a member of the senior ministerial policy team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Business and International Cooperation, BIBIS. He was a member of the Presidential Task Force to solve the land rights issue in Suriname and has recently decided to join the Anton de Kom University of Suriname, as a Scholar on oil, gas, energy, humanitarian, environmental and sustainability matters. I this sense he has just finished a 246 pages Syllabus on the Introduction to Oil and Gas.
Henry Mac Donald was a Board Member of the Suriname Olympic Committee. He is a Member of Lions Club Paramaribo and serves on the Appeals Board of the Surinamese Football League. In July 2022 he officially entered the Attorney’s training course offered by CDR (“Centrum voor Democratie en Rechtspleging”) in Suriname.