Svetlana Sotiroff MacDonald
Svetlana (Sotiroff) MacDonald, B.A. M.A., Ph.D., L.L.B. (October 9, 1943 in Geneva - ) is a London, Ontario-area lawyer, Rotarian. She is a former French language school board trustee, past chair of the London Public Library Board, past Clerk of the Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC - Quakers)and has sat on the board for Carrefour des Femmes du Sud-Ouest de l'Ontario (CFSOO). She is on the Council for the Ontario Bar Association.
Born in Switzerland during the Second World War, she moved to New York City as a child and then to Kitchener, Canada when the political situation in the United States became undesirable, as her family was educated and of eastern European origin. Despite her Slavic given name and Gaelic surname, her mother tongue is French, and she is thus considered to linguistically be a Franco-Ontarian.
She played a role in the founding of French language education in London, Ontario, particularly as President of the (now-defunct) French language section of the London Board of Education. MacDonald was instrumental in the establishment of La Ribambelle French language day care, the development of École secondaire Gabriel-Dumont, the Centre Desloges and French language education in general in the London area. At times she has been the only lawyer to offer French Language services in the London area.
As Clerk for Canadian Friends Service Committee, she was a spokesperson for the Religious Society of Friends in favor of extending the definition of marriage to same sex couples.
MacDonald holds a Ph.D. in French literature as well as her law degree from the University of Western Ontario. She joined the Religious Society of Friends in 2001. Although her mother was one of the founding members of the Kitchener area Monthly meeting, Svetlana is not a birthright Quaker. Since becoming a member of the Religious Society of Friends, she has become active on peace and social justice issues.
MacDonald is the daughter of George D. Sotiroff born in Sofia, Bulgaria and Irene Sotiroff née Torday born in Budapest, Hungary. She and her husband Ross, have four sons, Gregory, Anthony, Stephen and Philip. She has one brother, George C. Sotiroff who worked as a civil servant and musician in New York City.