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New President Elected at CAP’s 2020 Business Meeting

02 December 2020

The 2020 Business Meeting of CAP was held from 23rd – 25th November and the first order of business was to announce the result of the election of the new President of CAP.

The new President, elected by the CAP membership is Eleanor Mohammed of Canada. Eleanor is well known to many in CAP, having served for six years until the summer of 2020 as President of the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP/ICU). She has worked alongside the serving President, Dyan Currie at Habitat III and two World Urban Forums (in 2016, 2018 and 2020), as well as at numerous international events, and on the Global Planners Network. Eleanor is CAP’s first Canadian President. Congratulations to Eleanor!​

The Business Meeting, like the election, was conducted online this year, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions.  Chaired by the serving President, Dyan Currie, the meeting was held over two sessions totalling 5½ hours and included representatives from New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Malta, the United Kingdom, Ghana, Barbados and Canada.

The business covered a wide range of topics, reviewing activities over the two years since the previous meeting in South Africa and setting the course for the Association over the coming two years.  The meeting heard reports from the President, Secretary-General (Clive Harridge), its Patron (Trudi Elliott), the Young Planners Network (Olafiyin Taiwo), and the Women in Planning Network (Kristin Agnello).  Reports were also received from the New Zealand Planning Institute, the Malaysian Institute of Planners, the Planning Institute of Australia, the Institute of Town Planners Sri Lanka, the Institute of Town Planners, India, the Malta Chamber of Planners, the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Barbados Town Planning Society and the Canadian Institute of Planners.​Several important areas of work were necessarily delegated to the Executive Committee under the leadership of the new President, including finalising the budget for the coming years, updating the CAP Strategy and reviewing the subscription rates for 2022.  In the meantime, a draft budget was approved for guidance purposes and it was agreed to hold subscriptions unchanged for 2021.​Clive Harridge notified the meeting of his intention to step down as Secretary-General after being in post for 10 years but was happy to continue in role until a replacement is appointed by the Executive Committee.   Clive will then continue involvement in CAP in a variety of ways going forward.​

The meeting took time to celebrate Dyan’s Presidency since 2014, acknowledging the range and scale of achievements under her leadership.  She was presented with (real) flowers from CAP – via her husband, Kevin – and a booklet (virtually – hard copy to be posted on) with greetings and celebratory comments from friends and colleagues around the world.  Secretary-General, Clive Harridge, read out a few of the many wonderful comments, including from the RTPI President, Sue Manns, and UN Habitat Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General Ms Maimunah Modh. Mohammed, amongst others.​Dyan herself presented a number of photographs recalling the people she has met in her time in office around the globe (in places like Fiji, Malaysia, India, Malta, the UK, Africa and North and South America) and her notable introductions to Her Majesty The Queen, HRH Prince Charles and many dignitaries across the Commonwealth.​As ever with Dyan, the meeting was hard-working but filled with laughter and, at the end, a few tears.  She will be missed as President – but will continue as a special envoy leading work on the Sustainable Cities Initiative (into the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda in 2021) and was unanimously appointed as an Honorary Vice President for CAP.​And so CAP moves into a new era under the leadership of our new President, Eleanor Mohammed.  Welcome Eleanor!

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