John McCall MacBain

Directors Members
2012 to 2017

Founder of the McCall MacBain Foundation and Pamoja Capital SA, he is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

John McCall MacBain, a Canadian citizen born in Niagara Falls, Canada, is the founder of the McCall MacBain Foundation and Pamoja Capital SA, its investment arm. Since its formation in Geneva, Switzerland in 2007, the McCall MacBain Foundation has made tens of millions of dollars of grants to fund projects relating to health, education and the environment in Canada, Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa, primarily in the West African country of Liberia.
From 1987 to 2006, Mr. McCall MacBain was the founder, president and CEO of Trader Classified Media, the world's leading classified advertising company.  Starting with his purchase of three small publications in Montreal in 1987 when he was 29 years old, Mr. McCall MacBain grew the Auto Trader and Buy and Sell businesses across Canada and developed classified businesses with over 350 print titles and 50 internet sites in 20 other countries, including Argentina, Australia, China, France, Hungary, Italy, Russia, and Spain. After its initial public offering in 2000, Trader Classified Media was traded on NASDAQ and the Paris Euronext Stock Exchange.  In the fall of 2006, Mr. McCall MacBain sold Trader Classified Media and set up the McCall MacBain Foundation.

Mr. McCall MacBain is a Rhodes Scholar and received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an M.A. in Law from Oxford University, an Honours BA in Economics from McGill University, an LLD from Dalhousie University, and an LLD from Brock University. He was president of the McGill Students' Society and valedictorian at McGill.  While at Oxford, he was co-captain of the Varsity-winning Oxford University ice hockey team.

Mr. McCall MacBain currently devotes a significant amount of his time to philanthropic activities. In addition to his role as a director of the McCall MacBain Foundation, Mr. McCall MacBain is a trustee of the Rhodes Trust (Oxford) which was established in the early 1900s to fund and oversee the Rhodes Scholarships worldwide and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation (Cape Town).  Mr. McCall MacBain is also a founder and the chairman of the European Climate Foundation, a non-profit organization aiming to promote climate and energy policies that greatly reduce Europe's greenhouse gas emissions and help Europe play an even stronger international leadership role in mitigating climate change.  Mr. McCall MacBain is a member of the Yale Advisory Board of the Center for Environmental Law and Policy, a Foundation Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, and a member of the Executive Committee of the McGill Campaign.

Mr. McCall MacBain is fluent in French and English and has a working knowledge of Spanish. He is an avid skier, ice hockey player, and tennis player.  He has completed four marathons and is a commercial land and seaplane pilot.  Mr. McCall MacBain lives in Geneva, Switzerland with his wife, Marcy, and five children, who are in Geneva or are working or studying at universities in Canada, Scotland, and the United States.

John McCall MacBain has been Chair of the Board of Directors of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation since November 2012.

  • June 12, 2018
  • April 18, 2018
    The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is proud to announce the appointment of Professor Pascale Fournier, Ad.E., as President and Chief Executive Officer Montreal, April 18th, 2018 Dear members of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation community,
  • September 9, 2016
    McCall MacBain Foundation makes largest gift in the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation’s history   John H. McCall MacBain, Marcy McCall MacBain, McCall MacBain Foundation and Morris Rosenberg, president and CEO, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation
  • June 30, 2016
    A total of six members of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation were appointed to the Order of Canada among the 113 new appointments announced by the Governor General of Canada on 30 June 2016. This honour recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.
  • May 30, 2014
    John McCall MacBain (Doctor of Laws)Desautels Faculty of Management – Friday, May 30, 2014 at 2 p.m. A graduate of McGill (and former student leader), John McCall MacBain, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, has been a strong supporter of McGill students over the years, through the creation of fellowships, scholarships and student aid initiatives, in particular, the McCall MacBain Fellowships in the Faculty of Arts and the McCall MacBain Prestige Entrance Scholarships.
  • May 7, 2014
    Dear members of the Trudeau Foundation community, On behalf of the board of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, I am proud to announce the appointment of Morris Rosenberg as the Foundation’s new President and Chief Executive Officer as of September 2014. The appointment notice will appear in tomorrow’s Globe and Mail and La Presse.

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