Header image credit: The Independent
Gerald Pillay, originally from Natal, South Africa and a citizen of New Zealand, was unanimously appointed by the Global Assembly of the International Association on 13 September as the incoming President for IofC International.
Current role and distinctions
Pillay currently serves as the Vice-Chancellor & Rector of Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom, and is responsible for the organization, direction and management of the University and staff. This year he appeared in the Queens’s Birthday Honours list when he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for ‘services to Higher Education’, accepting the Honor ‘on behalf of the entire Hope community who have been so supportive’.
Statement on society and service
When making his statement to this year’s Global Assembly, he drew a striking parallel between the post WWII society, of which IofC was born, and the post-pandemic society we find ourselves in today:
‘For over a year and a half now we have been avoiding each other lest we pass on the contagion. The task before us now is how to rebuild our societies and communities with patience and resourcefulness. As we saw at the end of the Second World War, it is not going to be done quickly or easily.’
‘What would the pioneers of this movement say if they were here today? I suspect that they would urge us to do something; to be the vanguard of changemakers; to help with the healing of history and continue the work of reconciliation; to be the honest brokers in addressing the predicament in which we find ourselves.’
Transition of leadership
Pillay’s courage and personal dedication give us confidence that with his leadership, Initiatives of Change can take up the challenge of rebuilding society with compassion and courage. He will commence his three-year term in January 2022. We are grateful to outgoing President Suresh Vazirani for his leadership during his three years and look forward to a seamless transition.
The International Council