Lou visiting MAG's operations in Laos in 2009.
After more than 20 years with MAG, Lou McGrath has decided to step down from the role of Chief Executive.
As a co-founder of MAG and its Chief Executive since 1996, Lou has made an outstanding contribution to the organisation being what it is today.
From the first day that Lou and his brother Rae founded MAG in 1989, Lou’s commitment to the people all over the world who are helped by MAG’s work has been a driving force in the development of the organisation.
Lou talks with residents of Tahen village in Cambodia, including a landmine accident survivor.
The organisation initially served as an advisory group, publishing reports about the problems in Afghanistan and Cambodia based on their assessments between 1989 and 1991. Subsequent reports included Iraq, Somaliland and Angola.
In 1992, MAG, along with other non-governmental organisations, formed the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). It was Lou’s work with ICBL and others that led to MAG being co-laureate of the 1997 Nobel Peace prize.
It was at this time that Lou was asked to take on the post as Chief Executive of MAG. At this time the organisation was much smaller than it is today, but under his leadership MAG has grown from strength to strength and has now worked in nearly 40 conflict affected countries and regions.
During this time, the team Lou brought in developed new methods and approaches to mine action, introducing concepts that are now common and replicated by other organisations, such as the multi-skilled Mine Action Teams, a Community Liaison approach to working with those people directly affected by conflict, and Mine Risk Education.
It can now be argued that MAG is a market leader in clearing landmines and other weapons, and reducing the devastating impact these explosive remnants of conflict have on the lives and livelihoods of people.
Wherever he went on his constant travels – whether taking part in fundraising bike rides across France, discussing funding with high-level US State Department officials, or visiting the rural offices of one of MAG’s national partner NGOs in the Congo or Sudan – Lou’s warmth and humanity, and his genuine dedication to MAG, all his staff and the lifesaving impact their work has all over the world could not fail to be noticed by anyone.
All at MAG wish Lou every success in the future. He will forever remain an intrinsic element of the MAG family as all wish him well.
Statement from the Board
After more than 20 years with MAG, Lou has decided to resign from the role of Chief Executive. The Board have accepted Lou’s resignation which took effect from 31st March.
As a co-founder of MAG and its Chief Executive since 1996, Lou has made an outstanding contribution to the organisation being what it is today. We are most grateful to Lou for all that he has done and look forward to continuing to work with him to promote MAG’s interests. We wish him all the best for a successful future.
In the meantime, Rob White has accepted the Board’s invitation to act as Chief Executive until a new appointment can be made.
Professor M.H. Taylor
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Statement from Lou
After more than 20 years at MAG, the last 15 of which I have served as the Chief Executive, I have taken the decision to move on. In doing so, I feel comforted by the fact that the organisation is in good health and fully able to take on the challenges that it will face in the future.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of those colleagues, both past and present, who have worked with me to make MAG the successful organisation it is today. I would like to pass on a special thanks to all those in the field programmes, both national and international staff, who through their work, sometimes in the most difficult conditions, have afforded MAG the professional reputation it enjoys today.
A special thanks also to all our partner organisations with whom we have been involved in Mine Action over many years.
Last but not least, I would also like to thank all MAG’s donors and supporters, without whom our work and success would not have been possible. I wish all of you, and MAG, the very best of luck for the future.
With kind regards,
Lou McGrath OBE
Lou visiting MAG's operations in Cambodia in 2008.
20 April 2011