We Are Remarkable – You and I: Plan Canada


Sometimes you can’t see your real potential despite its burgeoning presence. You are too close to yourself and too bound by your circumstance, past hesitancies, or minor missteps.

Rosemary McCarney, the president of Plan Canada, whose team of staff, volunteers and donors has raised over 140 million dollars toward the cause of advancing women makes a powerful case for why Canada has spawned a society of remarkable people with remarkable potential and you and I are the beneficiaries.

This is not bragging, it is being grateful and realizing all we have here. It is also about how we harness and inspire ourselves and our organization’s potential to achieve the remarkable.

Rosemary McCarney considers being born Canadian or migrating to Canada and winning a Canadian passport to be the equivalent of winning one of the world’s life lotteries – in the biggest possible way.

Rosemary is a remarkable woman and one of Canada’s top women of influence. She believes Canada’s combination of; human and natural resources, combined with the bedrock values established by our families and the families around us, and the school and support systems we have, such as our legal and health systems have meant we have won the lottery.

All we need to do is make the effort to gather these resources and put them to use, building a great team of support around us. She also speaks about how we need to parent to pass these same opportunities to our children.

Rosemary McCarney and Plan Canada have not sat back smugly satisfied with this bounty of opportunity. They have devoted themselves to making sure; every girl they can, in the most needy and dangerous parts of the world, get the hand up they need.

To hear her now, in her own words how we and our children are so fortunate click here.

Have you the potential to accomplish as much as Rosemary has? She believes you do. She believes we are truly blessed even if you have not had all her advantages. She believes we each have the cauldron of great success in our reach.

Success is our own doing, leveraging what we have and building more with it. We all have access to coaches, mentors, and the resources to advance our greatest skills and achieve our greatest passions. Think of how hard it is for others versus us. Think of the poor girl that is denied education, true freedom and opportunity.

We need only to build a support team and reach out and ask for help to achieve it. If we have, or can find our passion, we only need to build a support team and process to help us put in place our ladder to success. This ladder can have the rest stations we need where we can ask for wise counsel or specific skills and learn from others.

Knowing ourselves with all our strengths and blemishes, and knowing what we don’t yet know is our great opportunity to move forward, and put these needed resources, in place so we can do great things.

If you want more insight into the tools available to you in networking, team building, financial analysis or any missing skill and you are ready to jump in and grab them now click here. 

If you want more inspiration first click here and watch two of her videos in her own words:

Why We Are Who We Are
Building for Success

Rosemary McCarney, President & CEO Plan Canada

As president and CEO of Plan Canada, Rosemary works to improve the lives of children and their communities in almost 50 countries across the globe. McCarney has over twenty years of international development experience, an MBA, and a law degree. Combining her passions for international development, law, and business, McCarney has been the source of major developments within Plan Canada, increasing its contribution on a global scale. Her accomplishments include backstopping the organization’s sector-leading growth in revenues, Plan’s expansion into Darfur, and the Because I am a Girl initiative. Join Rosemary to hear her experiences spanning from Wall Street to West Africa.

To continue to view the speech, click the arrow to the right of the video screen.


  • You have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone, take risks, and have a high tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity.
  • Package what you want to do together and find out how to make a living from it. If the job you want doesn’t exist, create it.
  • Listen to your body. A year off gave my body time to rest and my mind time to wander. That’s when I decided I wanted to be an organizational woman.
  • Don’t let people pigeonhole you – and don’t pigeonhole yourself.
  • Change is powerful and two-sided; that’s why you expect the unexpected. Whether the world changes on you or you change the world, it’s all possible.


    Rosemary McCarney is President and CEO of Plan International Canada Inc. (Plan Canada), an international, humanitarian, child-centred development organization. Founded in 1937 as Foster Parents Plan, Plan now works in more than 45 developing countries helping children, their families and communities to achieve lasting improvements in their lives.Rosemary has had an extensive international career in law, business and the not-for-profit sector. She has worked in over 50 countries and is frequently asked to address public policy concerns on radio and television. Prior to joining Plan Canada she was the Executive Director of Street Kids International.

    Rosemary received her law degree from the University of Western Ontario and her MBA from Case Western Reserve University. She has taught both international and constitutional law. Rosemary has worked in international economic development with the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, USAID and CIDA, as well as other governments and UN bodies focused on institution building, gender issues, and micro finance.

    Rosemary has been a member of the Board of Directors of numerous private sector, not-for-profit and community organizations. She is currently a Board member of the Canadian Institute for Work and Health, and the Advisory Board of the Canada US Law Institute.