International Development

International development is Betsy's passion reflected in assignments with the United Nations, Canada's IDRC and CIDA, the Commonwealth Secretariat, APEC, and as President of the World Women's Veterinary Association.



Betsy has experience with a broad range of organizations involved in international development including Foundations, the United Nations, Canada's IDRC and CIDA, the Commonwealth Secretariat, APEC, NGOs like Heifer International and in her capacity as Founding President of the World Women's Veterinary Association.

Spanning a career that began with the Food and Agricultural Organization in Asia and Europe, and including the founding of a global network of professional women veterinarians coupled with service on three Women’s Leadership Boards in APEC, at Harvard and with Heifer International, Betsy McGregor has been deeply committed to making a difference in international policy forums and at the grass-roots globally through projects focused on women and children.

As a Gender Advisor to the Inter-American institute on Agriculture (IICA), Betsy worked on policy and projects throughout the Americas. Betsy is equally at ease working on grass-roots projects, crafting policy with UN Agencies or interacting with multinational companies. She would welcome the opportunity to work with colleagues in Foundations, Brettonwoods institutions, the Davos Economic Forum development agencies or consultant firms. Her skills and experience fit those projects addressing poverty, agriculture, indigenous knowledge systems, economic growth and the pivotal role of women in environmental sustainability.

Three themes dominate and define Betsy’s experience:

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will not happen in the absence of the full participation of women in that vision. It is estimated that some 80% of agriculture in Africa is done by women. Women are often the primary holders of community indigenous knowledge systems. Especially important is the role of Grandmother-headed households in struggling to achieve sustainable family strategies for survival. Betsy would welcome the opportunity to contribute to your vision towards achieving the Milennium Goals.


"Betsy is a dynamic leader of women. She has been pivotal in founding three global women's networks and has served on several Boards of organizations dedicated to breaking barriers for girls and women in agriculture, business, science and politics. Accomplished and committed, she is a strong promoter of diversity and fearless advocate of equity. I shared many a moment with Betsy in Beijing at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Development. She is a well respected leader of women's rights locally, nationally and globally." - The Hon. Flora MacDonald: First Female Secretary of State for External Affairs, Canada

"The UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development was established in 1993. At its first meeting it was decided that one of its main work themes should be Gender, Science and Development. A working group of eight women and eight men was established and I was elected its Chair. Betsy was appointed Director of Studies. We worked closely over the next two years to prepare a report which was endorsed by ECOSOC and presented to the Beijing Women's Conference. Betsy was responsible for reviewing all the previous literature on the subject and for convening several international workshops on the topic. The final report proposed "Seven Transformative Actions" for governments to implement which would help to achieve gender equity when science was applied to development goals. Betsy's contribution to this important study was very substantial." - Professor Geoffrey Oldham: CBE, MA, PhD, LLD(Hon)

"In 1987, Betsy founded the "World Women's Veterinary Association" and mobilized women veterinarians around the world to alleviate rural poverty. With UN Agencies and the World Council of Indigenous Peoples, WWVA sponsored grassroots projects and published five guidebooks on women's role in agriculture, food production, microenterprise and indigenous knowledge systems. Lives were changed, and many in our network went on to positions of significant leadership because of Betsy's relentless devotion to poverty reduction, social justice and the empowerment of women's leadership in agriculture." - Dr. Kelly Butler: Former WHO Western Pacific Staff, Founding Board WWVA