Maurice F. Strong (1981)
Award Presented at the Metropolitan Club, New York City
Maurice F. Strong guided the funding of developing nations as head of the Canadian International Development Agency and stood guard over the environment as Under Secretary General of the United Nations for the Environment. In 1975, he left the United Nations to head Petro Canada, a federal corporation working to develop new supplies of oil and gas for Canada. In Strong's own words, this move was not away from environmental issues, but "right into the middle of a tough, decision-making process that must reconcile economic, social and environmental factors." His resignation from the United Nations prompted a New York Times editorial headlining Strong as "Custodian of the Planet."