Remembering Geoffrey Pearson, OC (1925 – 2008)

Photo of Geoffrey PearsonWUSC mourns the death of WUSC alumnus Geoffrey Arthur Holland Pearson and we extend sympathy to the Pearson family. Mr. Pearson, who participated in the 1949 International Seminar to Holland, died in Ottawa, Ontario on March 18, 2008. He is survived by his wife, Senator Landon Pearson, and their five children, including National Post journalist Patricia Pearson, Hilary Pearson (WUSC Alumnus 1975) and trustee for the Lewis Perinbam Award, Anne Pearson and Katherine Pearson, an employee at The McConnell Family Foundation. Geoffrey Pearson was the second of three members of his family to serve in Canada’s diplomatic service. His father was Secretary of State for External Affairs and his son Michael Pearson is a Canadian diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Born in Toronto on December 25, 1927, Geoffrey Pearson was the son of former Prime Minister of Canada Lester B. Pearson and Maryon Pearson. He was educated at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario, the University of Toronto and Oxford University. Mr. Pearson joined the department of External Affairs in 1952. He held diplomatic appointments at the Canadian embassies in Paris and Mexico City, and at the high commission in New Delhi. From 1980 to 1983, he served as Canada’s ambassador to the Soviet Union.

In late 1983, Mr. Pearson was appointed as a special representative for arms control to then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and in 1984 he was seconded to the Canadian Institute for International Affairs. In January 1985, he was appointed as the first executive director of the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security, where he served for six years. Pearson was a past president of the United Nations Association in Canada. In 2000, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.