Exchange Matters / July 11, 2018

Announcement on Cleveland Council on World Affairs

We are deeply saddened by the recent passing of Maura O’Donnell-McCarthy, CEO of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs (CCWA), a member of the Global Ties Network. This news is especially unexpected given the success of CCWA hosting the Diplomacy Begins Here Regional Summit and Learning Lab in Cleveland just two weeks ago.

Maura led CCWA for six years. Her role included leading the International Visitor Leadership Program, Community Connections Ukraine Program, Kosovo Youth Exchange Program, and the Summer ESL Immersion Program. As Heather Hodges, President and Ambassador-in-Residence of CCWA, noted, “Maura’s deep commitment to citizen diplomacy was an inspiration to us all. Her leadership of CCWA was exceptional and her vision drove the organization forward.”

Jacqueline Shipe, Chair of the Global Ties U.S. Board of Directors, praised Maura’s leadership: “Maura epitomized excellence in leadership and collaboration. I especially admired Maura’s commitment as a youth advocate which resulted in engaged socially responsible young adults globally. She once emailed me and said ‘I felt that I was being carried through the ordeal on the wings of so many.’ I will miss my sister and I am honored our paths crossed.”

“It was so evident that Maura cared deeply about the Network and her team, which she was very proud of,” said Katherine Brown, President and CEO of Global Ties U.S. “Our deepest condolences go to Maura’s family, friends, and the CCWA team.”

Please see the statement from CCWA and the full obituary on