In August 2018, NCEE issued a press release announcing that, after 30 years at NCEE’s helm, I would be stepping down as our CEO and Tony Mackay would be taking over. We envisioned a period of transition during which I would serve as Vice-Chair of the Board and continue to play an active role in the organization in areas in which I had a particular interest, but without the burden that falls to the leader of the organization.
My contract with NCEE runs through the end of June 2021. As we approached it, Tony asked me to continue as Vice-Chair, in much the same relationship to the organization as I have had since stepping down as CEO.
After many long conversations with my wife—and, on occasion—my dog, I’ve decided to decline that offer, marking the end of my life as an employee of the organization I founded more than 30 years ago. It is time for us to plant crocus bulbs, feel the sailboat heel as the wind rises and read those books on our shelves that have been waiting so patiently for so long.
I came to this decision with a light heart. Tony was kind enough to ask me to play an active role in selecting and recruiting what amounts to an almost wholly new Board of Trustees. The result is one of the strongest Boards we’ve ever had. It is smart, experienced and very thoughtful— people from a wide variety of backgrounds, a Board that is fully committed to the journey we set out on so many years ago and fully capable of steering a straight course for that star through the days and nights ahead.
Tony and Jason Dougal, our Executive Vice-President, have managed to keep us afloat during one of the biggest pandemics on record in human history. The staff is at least as good as ever, which is saying quite a lot. Our finances are in good shape and our agenda is firmly rooted. The best, as they say, is yet to come. That is a good time to complete the passing of the torch.
I’ll be around ‘til the end of June. After that, Tony, Jason and the Board have been kind enough to offer continuing support to complete the writing of a book I have begun that is intended to describe the possible futures for humans on our planet and the ways in which education might bias the outcome toward the best of those futures and away from the worst.
It has been a great journey for me, no small part of which has been building this very special family of which you—trustees, staff and our many friends all over the world—are a part. Thank you for your commitment, hard work and friendship!