Ms. Pereša made the leap from engineering to development and humanitarian aid to become the executive director of ONE DROP where she conducts all of the operations and sees to the strategic development and international outreach of the organization.
After graduating as an electrical engineer from Polytechnique Montréal in 1987, Ms. Pereša’s worked a few years at Bell Canada before accepting a teaching position in Malawi, a small country of East Africa. This was the start of a beautiful adventure in international development that continued in Burkina Faso with Oxfam-Québec and, later on, led her to work in the emergency-response field as head of mission for CARE International during an armed conflict in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
When Lili-Anna returned to Quebec in 1995, she was appointed executive director of Les petits frères des Pauvres, an organization that offers support and comfort to seniors living in isolation. After obtaining a graduate degree in management at McGill University in 1997, she went on to become executive director of the Montreal Women’s Y (YWCA) in 1999. In 2003, Lili-Anna became executive director of Amnesty International France, a human rights non-governmental organization whose national secretariat, located in Paris, coordinates awareness and promotional activities in France. In 2006, she went back to school to obtain, a year later, a master’s degree in political science (international cooperation, humanitarian aid and development policies) from the Sorbonne in Paris.
By 2007, the obvious common thread to her professional commitment had become even clearer: to protect human rights, especially the rights of women and children, and help improve the living conditions of the more vulnerable populations. It is this leitmotif that brought her to UNICEF Québec, which she headed with conviction. Today she works through ONE DROP to ensure everyone has access to safe water.
Organization: ONE DROP