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Dr. Paul Cadario addresses the new graduates at Convocation.

Forty years after graduating from U of T, Paul Cadario (CivE 7T3) came back to receive a second degree. But he never really left his alma mater.

Not only is Dr. Cadario a Distinguished Senior Fellow in Global Innovation at the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and the Munk School for Global Affairs, but he has been involved as a volunteer with U of T almost since the day of his graduation.

He received his Doctorate of Laws, honoris causa, from U of T Chancellor Michael Wilson at the afternoon Convocation ceremony on June 19. His degree was awarded both for his involvement with U of T and for his service at the World Bank, where he worked for almost 40 years, playing a number of roles worldwide (for his full biography, see below).

After receiving his honorary degree, Dr. Cadario addressed the graduating class, telling them to remember that their first job will not be their last job, and to take every aspect of their life, and not just at work, as a way to learn something new. “Learn the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an artist .”

Following the Convocation ceremony, U of T Engineering Dean Cristina Amon recounted some of the many ways in which Dr. Cadario has contributed to the university, including his service on various advisory boards and his leadership by example in financial support to U of T Engineering.

“Over the past seven years, I have frequently relied on Paul’s counsel, as have many of our faculty members, staff and students,” she said, noting in particular that “Paul was instrumental in encouraging us to better integrate design into our undergraduate curriculum, and Paul is bringing his lifetime of experiences and good judgment to bear on our nascent Centre for Global Engineering as it grows into adolescence.”

U of T News has published an interview with Paul Cadario. It can be found at



Paul Cadario

Paul Cadario (CivE 7T3) joined the World Bank in 1975 and played a diverse number of roles worldwide, including nearly two decades with the World Bank’s frontline development programs in Western Africa and China and then with public sector management throughout Asia. Among the challenges he enjoyed were establishing the first World Bank-financed operations in Guinea Bissau and Mongolia and managing the strategy, budget and logistics for the Bank’s work in twenty-two former Soviet and central European states after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1998, he began working on the World Bank’s efforts to modernize and streamline its business for the digital age of transparency and accountability, starting with the renewal of the Bank’s global information systems. Focusing on results, quality assurance and compliance, from 2001 he oversaw the multi-billion dollar portfolio of grants managed and disbursed by the World Bank as a trustee for governments, foundations, non-governmental organizations and private development partners. His work took him from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, from Guinea to Indonesia, and from Bhutan to Burundi.

Cadario’s ties as a volunteer to U of T have been strong for over 40 years. He was a member of the Governing Council twice, as a student in 1972-73 and then as an elected Alumni Governor from 1985 to 1994. He was the first president of the University of Toronto Alumni Association to live outside the GTA. He chairs the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Department of Civil Engineering. He is also a member of the advisory boards for the School of Public Policy and Governance and for the MGA Program of the Munk School of Global Affairs. He serves as a University representative on the Banting Research Foundation board and mentors MBA students at the Rotman School of Management. He supports fundraising on behalf of the University as president of the Associates of the University of Toronto, Inc. and as a member of the Engineering Campaign Cabinet for Boundless.

After his retirement from the World Bank in 2012, Cadario was appointed Distinguished Senior Fellow in Global Innovation at the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and the Munk School for Global Affairs.

Cadario earned his BASc in civil engineering from the University of Toronto in 1973. A Rhodes Scholar, he received a BA and MA in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford. More recently, he earned a master’s degree in organizational development from American University.

As an undergraduate, Cadario worked as a U of T research assistant in the Northwest Territories where he developed a passion for Inuit art that remains to this day.

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