Author(s): Andrew MacLeod
As a law student, Andrew MacLeod heard a key speaker talk about "a moral obligation to use our skills to better the lives of others". It changed his life's direction. Andrew chose to work in aid, first as a Red Cross delegate in the former Yugoslavia, then in Rwanda and later the United Nations where he was appointed Chief of Operations in the international response to the 2005 Kashmir earthquake in Pakistan. Part autobiography and part controversial dialogue, A Life Half Lived is the account of Andrew's life, so far, on the ground in the world's disaster and emergency zones. From listening to aid workers' responses to humanitarian crises, Andrew has some tough questions to ask, including can the private sector take up the mantle to better solve the lives of people in extreme circumstances? Covering half a lifetime, Andrew MacLeod takes us on a journey from when he was a 'wet behind the ears' idealist entering the aid world to a pragmatist with a vision of partnerships leading to reducing global poverty. With an understanding of some of the deep failings of foreign aid, and some hope from the unlikeliest of sources - military, mining companies, banks and other private sector players - MacLeod challenges us to rethink perceptions of who are the 'bad guys' and who are the 'white knights' in the developing economies.
Andrew MacLeod, humanitarian, solider, business leader, has passed through half a dozen wars, numerous natural disasters, covering more than half the globe. Having coordinated massive relief campaigns, negotiated with military dictators and terrorists, Andrew is often asked to relate experiences from Bosnia to Kosovo, Rwanda to Pakistan to draw lessons in leadership. The author has served in many difficult roles including International Committee of the Red Cross Delegate in Yugoslavia and Rwanda during the 1990's, and Chief of Operations in the United Nations Emergency Coordination Centre in the International response to the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. The Earthquake Response is recognised as one of the best run natural disaster response operations in history, keeping 3.5 million people alive through a Himalayan winter, in some of the most difficult physical and political terrain. Apart from being an author, Andrew is a keen photographer and speaker. He was a Board Member and Foundation Chair of the Principles for Social Investment and a member of the United Nations Expert Group on 'Responsible Business and Investment in High-Risk Areas'. He remains a senior executive in the resource sector, a patron of Swags for the Homeless, is on the advisory Board to the Big Issue, is an Ambassador for the Victorian Youth Mentoring Alliance and is an Ambassador for 'Welcome to Australia'. Andrew holds several decorations including the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal for work in the Balkans (plus bar for the Great Lakes), the Australian Defence Medal and the Silver Medal for Humanity from the Montenegrin Red Cross.