THIRD ICAO SECRETARY GENERAL
TERM OF OFFICE: 1959-1964
Ronald MacAlister Macdonnell was born in Vernon, British Columbia on 11 May 1909. He was educated at the University of Manitoba (1925-1930) and Oxford University (1930-1932).
Mr. Macdonnell was Third Secretary of the Department of External Affairs from 1934 to 1947. He attended the Conference on International Civil Aviation in Chicago in 1944 and assisted in the establishment in Montreal of the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization the following year. In 1947 was appointed Chargé d'Affaires in Czechoslovakia and opened the first Canadian Legation in that country. From 1950 to 1952, he was a Minister in the Canadian Embassy in Paris. He served as Assistant Under Secretary of State for External Affairs, Canada from 1952 to 1955 and then as Deputy Under Secretary of State for External Affairs from 1955 to 1957. In 1956, he attended the Tenth Session of the ICAO Assembly in Caracas, serving as Head of the Canadian Delegation for most of the session. Mr. Macdonnell was concurrently the Canadian Ambassador to Egypt and Minister to Lebanon from 1957 to 1958. He was appointed Deputy Under Secretary of State for External Affairs, Canada in 1958.
Mr. Macdonnell was appointed Secretary General of ICAO on 1 August 1959 for a term of five years. He left the Organization on 31 July 1964 when he was appointed Canadian Ambassador to Indonesia.
Mr. Ronald MacAlister Macdonnell died of heart failure at the age of 64 on 19 May 1973 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. At the time of his death, he was the Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.