George Forrester Davidson

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George Forrester Davidson
Born(1909-04-18)April 18, 1909
DiedJuly 22, 1995(1995-07-22) (aged 86)
Alma materUniversity of British Columbia
Harvard University
TitlePresident of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
PredecessorAlphonse Ouimet
SuccessorLaurent Picard
AwardsOrder of Canada

George Forrester Davidson, CC (April 18, 1909 – July 22, 1995) was a Canadian civil servant and president of the CBC.

Born in Bass River, Nova Scotia, he graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1928 and earned a Ph.D. in classical studies from Harvard University in 1932. He was appointed Superintendent of Welfare in British Columbia and became Director of Welfare in 1939. Despite his lack of training, Davidson learned on the job from B.C.'s first professional social worker, Laura Holland, and Dr. Harry Cassidy. He took over from Cassidy as B.C.'s Director of Welfare in 1939 and soon thereafter became director of the Canadian Welfare Council. He served as Deputy Minister for National Health and Welfare from 1944 to 1960, helping to administer the new Family Allowance program, then later worked in Citizenship and Immigration, as Secretary to the Treasury Board. He was president of the CBC from 1968 until 1972. In 1972 he held the most senior post ever by a Canadian in the United Nations when Kurt Waldheim appointed him Under-Secretary General for Administration and Management, a position which he held for seven years.

In 1972 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.

He died in Victoria, British Columbia in 1995.


  • Richard B. Splane (2003). George Davidson: Social Policy and Public Policy Exemplar. Canadian Council on Social Development. ISBN 0-88810-522-3.
  • "George Davidson Former CBC president and UN official". The Globe and Mail. July 27, 1995.
  • Splane, Richard. "George Davidson". Retrieved 2007-11-03.
Government offices
Preceded by
Alphonse Ouimet
President of the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Succeeded by
Laurent Picard