Scott Gilmore

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Scott Gilmore
Alma materUniversity of Alberta (B.Com.)
London School of Economics (M.Sc.)
OccupationSocial Entrepreneur, Writer, Diplomat
Known forFounding Building Markets
Spouse(s)Catherine McKenna[1]

Scott Gilmore is a Canadian social entrepreneur, former diplomat, and writer who is known for founding the non-profit Building Markets and as an advocate for capitalist expansion in the international development and charity sectors.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Gilmore was born in northern Manitoba, the son of hockey player Tom Gilmore and Collette Gilmore. He is the brother of actor Patrick Gilmore. The family settled in Edmonton, Alberta when his father played for the World Hockey Association version of the Edmonton Oilers. Gilmore obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Alberta,[3] followed by a master's degree from the London School of Economics.[2]


Gilmore was a Canadian diplomat who began his career in Jakarta. From that post he covered the East Timor conflict and later joined the United Nations peacekeeping mission UNTAET under Sergio de Mello. In that role he became disillusioned with ineffective donor efforts to fight poverty. Based on this experience he quit his job as a diplomat in 2004 to launch the non-profit Building Markets.[4] and focus on capitalism instead of aid as a sustainable poverty solution.[5]

In 2006 Gilmore led a World Bank study to trace spending in peacekeeping missions that revealed only 5% of donor money entered the local economies. Based on those findings Gilmore launched a project in Afghanistan to channel international spending through local small businesses. This approach was successful and expanded to other countries.[2] Building Market's "buy local" policy was officially adopted by NATO, the United States government, and the United Nations.[3][6] In 2013 Gilmore was appointed to by the External Advisory Group overseeing the merger of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade with the Canadian International Development Agency.[7] He had previously been supportive of the merger.[8]

In 2014 Gilmore began writing a weekly column for the Canadian week national newsmagazine Maclean's.[9]

Awards and honours[edit]

Gilmore was named a "Transformational Canadian" by The Globe and Mail[2] and a Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum. In 2009 he was awarded the $765,000 dollar Skoll Prize for Social Entrepreneurship by philanthropist Jeff Skoll.[10] The University of Alberta awarded him a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2013.[3] He received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for professional excellence.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Gilmore is married to Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Liberal MP for Ottawa Centre.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Small NGO, big results". Ottawa Citizen. 7 January 2015. Archived from the original on 24 March 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Rockel, Nick (Dec 14, 2010). "Scott Gilmore makes peace missions more effective". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Pilger, Rick. "Putting Money Where It Matters Most". Retrieved 26 October 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  4. ^ Scott, Graham F. (January 19, 2010). "Interview with Peace Dividend Trust's Scott Gilmore". This Magazine. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  5. ^ Carlyle, Erin (2013-11-17). "Building Markets: Meet The Start-Up Bringing Investors To The Fastest-Growing Economies in the World". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  6. ^ "NATO Afghan First Policy". NATO. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  7. ^ Blanchfield, Mike (October 30, 2013). "Paradis defends mining exec on advisory panel on international aid". Global News. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  8. ^ Berthiaume, Lee (March 23, 2013). "CIDA merger meets with controversy". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Maclean's Magazine". Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Canadian NGO Wins Prestigious Skoll Award and Endorsement from US Leadership in Afghanistan". Newswire. December 15, 2009. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  11. ^ Cohen, Andrew (Oct 31, 2012). "Let's find a better way to honour Canadians". Times Colonist Victoria. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2014.

External links[edit]