Peter Dalglish

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Peter Dalglish
Peter Dalglish.png
Dalglish in January 2012
Born (1957-05-20) May 20, 1957 (age 60)
London, Ontario
Alma mater Stanford University , Dalhousie University
Occupation Senior Urban Advisor to the World Health Organization Liberia, Africa
Founder of Street Kids International
Employer World Health Organization
Notable work The Courage of Children: My Life with the World's Poorest Kids

Peter Dalglish CM (born 20 May 1957), is a Canadian humanitarian and founder of the Street Kids International charity and the Trails Youth Initiative program. He is currently the Country Representative for UN-Habitat in Afghanistan.


Dalglish was born in London, Ontario and attended Upper Canada College in Toronto from the age of 11 through 18. He graduated from Stanford University and then from Dalhousie Law School in 1983. Dalglish was called to the Bar in 1985.[1]


Dalglish is a leading authority on working children, street children, and war-affected children. After graduating from Dalhousie Law School, Peter Dalglish organized an airlift of food and medical supplies from Canada to Ethiopia. His encounter with emaciated and destitute refugees seared him for life.

Dalglish returned to Canada from Ethiopia and informed the senior partners of his law firm that he was giving up the profession to pursue a career alongside some of the world's poorest children.

In an isolated desert region along the Sudan’s border with Chad, Dalglish organized humanitarian relief for women and children displaced by severe drought and famine. In Khartoum in 1986, Dalglish began the Sudan's first vocational training school for street children, funded by Bob Geldof of Band Aid. Pickpockets, petty thieves and housebreakers were transformed into carpenters, welders and electricians; the graduates were hired by local businesses.

In May 1986, Dalglish set up a bicycle courier service run entirely by street children in Khartoum. The kids delivered mail and newspapers to offices that they once had broken into; along the way they learned the importance of discipline and hard work. In recognition of his efforts on behalf of destitute African children, in 1988 Dalglish was selected by Junior Chamber International as one of the ten outstanding young people of the world.

Inspired by the tenacity and ingenuity of kids society had written off, Dalglish returned to Canada in 1987 to found Street Kids International, an agency that has become a global leader in designing creative self-help projects for poor, urban children.

Between 1988 and 1990 Street Kids International in cooperation with the National Film Board of Canada developed Karate Kids, an animated film about HIV prevention; today the cartoon is in distribution in 25 languages and in over 100 countries, making it one of the largest initiatives for street children anywhere in the world. On account of the success of Karate Kids, in 1994 Street Kids International received the Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-Profit Innovation.

In 1994, Dalglish was appointed as the first director of Youth Service Canada, the Government of Canada’s civilian volunteer youth corps. In 2002 Dalglish was appointed as the chief technical adviser for the UN’s child labour program in Nepal. Between 2006 and 2010 Dalglish served as the executive director of the South Asia Children’s Fund, which promotes quality education for profoundly disadvantaged children in the region.

Dalglish served as Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Party for UN-Habitat in Kabul, Afghanistan October 2010-December 2014. As of December 2014 he became Chief of Party until the end of his mission in July 2015.

Following his Afghanistan mission, Dalglish joined the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response in Liberia from January 2015-January 2016. Since 2016 Dalglish has held the position of Senior Urban Advisor to the World Health Organization to coordinate global efforts to stop the spread of the Ebola epidemic.

Dalglish serves on the Board of Directors of the United World College of Thailand. He is Chairperson of the International Board of Directors of Skateistan


He is a founding member of the board of directors of Ashoka Canada, and is the recipient of three honorary doctorate degrees.

Dalglish is the recipient of a Vanier Award, Fellowship of Man Award, and the Dalhousie Law School Weldon Award for Unselfish Public Service. He was selected by Junior Chamber International in 1988 as "one of the 10 outstanding young people of the world."

In December 2016, Dalglish was named a Member of the Order of Canada.[2]