It was with deep sorrow and a profound sense of loss that we learned about the death on Saturday 10 August 2019 of Margaret Beare. Margaret became a member of the Global Initiative Network of Experts in 2013 after participating in the organization’s launch event in New York in September of that year. The Global Initiative had set out to develop new and innovative approaches to addressing international organized crime and she wanted to be part of such an initiative. Margaret had become known for exploring new approaches and breaking with conventional thinking around organized crime and policing. She was a valued and important founder member of the Global Initiative. She came with a standing and expertise that were backed up by sound academic credentials, and a distinguished research, teaching and publishing record.

Margaret Evelyn Beare was born in Markham, Ontario. Among the universities she attended were Guelph, Cambridge and Columbia, where she obtained her PhD in 1987.  She began her career in the Office of the Solicitor General in Canada in 1982, with a focus on transnational police policy and the study of organized crime. This work continued for 11 years until 1993. For two years, she served as director of police policy and research. In 1995, she joined the Sociology Department of York University, where she held the position of professor in sociology and law. She remained a faculty member until her death. From 1996 to 2006, she served as the first and founding director of the Nathanson Centre for the Study of Organized Crime and Corruption, located within Osgoode Hall Law School, York University.

Throughout her career, Margaret combined academic teaching with research and policy development, a combination that inevitably added significant weight to her views and analyses on issues relating to organized crime and policing. She energized debates on organized crime wherever she participated and was constantly exploring new perspectives – precisely what the Global Initiative hoped to promote when it was established. Her forthright approach, driven by a sharp intellect and a thorough understanding of the subject matter she was addressing, sometimes led to controversy. More often than not, however, this resulted in new perspectives being developed in the process. She became a leading authority on money laundering, organized crime, international policing policy, gang violence and social-justice-related issues. The many books and articles that she wrote or co-authored on these subjects became well known and have been studied worldwide.

Professor Margaret Beare will be sorely missed by all members of the Global Initiative Network. She contributed and brought an international perspective to the important body of work on countering organized crime. We mark her passing with the greatest of respect and a real sense of loss. On behalf of all members of the Board, Network and Secretariat of the Global Initiative, we wish to offer our condolences to her family and friends in this difficult time.

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Mark Shaw

Mark is the Director of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

Mark is also a Senior Associate of the LSE International Drug Policy Unit, (LSE US Centre). He previously held the National Research Foundation Professor of Justice and Security at the University of Cape Town, Department of Criminology.

Mark worked for ten years at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), including as Inter-regional Advisor, Chief of the Criminal Justice Reform Unit and with the Global Programme against Transnational Organised Crime, where he lead projects and provided technical assistance to national governments, bilateral donors and international organisations in Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, West Africa, the Sahel and Southern Africa, on security sector and criminal justice reform, and countering transnational threats.

A South African national, before joining the UN, Mark held a number of positions in government and civil society where he worked on issues of public safety and urban violence in the post-apartheid transition.

He holds a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and has published widely on organised crime, security and justice reform issues.

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Peter Gastrow

Peter Gastrow studied economics and law in South Africa and worked in the office of the Attorney General before establishing his own legal practice as an advocate of the Supreme Court. He was a member of the South African parliament, served on the National Peace Committee, and chaired the transitional government structure responsible for providing safety and stability during the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994. After the 1994 elections, he became special adviser to the Minister for Safety and Security to assist with the transformation of South Africa’s police agencies. Between 1998 and 2009 he was the Cape Town director of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), an independent policy research institute. During 1999 and 2000 he served on the South African delegation at the two-year negotiation process in Vienna that led to the adoption of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. In 2009 he joined the International Peace Institute (IPI) in New York as a Senior Fellow and Director of Programs, focusing on transnational organized crime. He has served on a number of UN Expert Groups, on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Organized Crime, and was appointed by the Kenyan government as vice chairman of their National Task Force on Police Reform. While based in New York he was involved in establishing the ‘Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime’, which has become an independent initiative aimed at reshaping thinking, strategies and responses to international organized crime. He is based in Cape Town and has published widely on issues relating to organized crime, peace and conflict, transition, governance, and policing.

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