Originally from Niagara Falls, Ontario, John McCall MacBain attended McGill University on scholarship to study Economics, graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980. During his time at McGill, he was deeply involved in student life, including serving as President of the Students Society. In his final year he was named Valedictorian. Mr. McCall MacBain subsequently obtained a law degree from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, followed by an MBA from Harvard Business School, before launching a successful entrepreneurial career as founder and controlling shareholder of Trader Classified Media.

Starting with his purchase of three small publications in Montréal, Canada in 1987 at 29 years old, Mr. McCall MacBain grew the Trader Classified Media, Auto Trader and Buy and Sell businesses worldwide with over 350 print titles and 50 internet sites in 23 countries, including France, Canada, China, Argentina, Russia, Hungary, Mexico, Italy and Spain. In the fall of 2006, he successfully sold Trader Classified Media and with the proceeds of the sale co-founded with his wife Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain the McCall MacBain Foundation and its investment arm, Pamoja Capital SA. Through Pamoja Capital, Mr. McCall MacBain is now the largest investor in student housing management in Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to serving as Chair of the McCall MacBain Foundation, Mr. McCall MacBain has been active in many philanthropic activities, including serving as Chair of the McGill Principal’s International Advisory Board, and as a Trustee of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation in Cape Town. He is a Trustee Emeritus of the Rhodes Trust in Oxford, a Foundation Fellow of Wadham College Oxford and is the Founding Chair of the European Climate Foundation. For his achievements as a business leader and for his contributions to academic institutions as a philanthropist, Mr. McCall MacBain was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2016. He is also the recipient of several honorary degrees including an honorary doctorate from McGill.

Mr. McCall MacBain is fluent in French and English with a working knowledge of Spanish. He is an avid skier, ice hockey player and has completed four marathons. He is also a commercial land and seaplane pilot. Mr. McCall MacBain lives in Geneva, Switzerland with his wife Dr. McCall MacBain.


Born and raised in rural Ontario, Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain holds a Bachelor of Kinesiology (Hons) from McMaster University and a Master of Science in International Health Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as a DPhil in Evidence-Based Health Care from the University of Oxford. Her doctoral research focused on evidence-based medicine databases, looking at how to improve the research methodology of complex interventions such as yoga for improving a patient’s quality of life in adult cancer.

In her current role as an academic, Dr. McCall MacBain supervises students in the MSc of Evidence-based Health Care program and is developing educational tools to encourage the uptake of evidence-based practice through research and teaching initiatives with the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and the Centre of Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford. Her research interests include the prevention and management of chronic diseases, with particular emphasis on the application of mixed methods for complex interventions.

In addition to serving as Vice-Chair of the McCall MacBain Foundation, Dr. McCall MacBain is a member of the Geneva Committee of Human Rights Watch and is a board member of B2Ten, an organization focused on promoting sport excellence in Canadian Olympic athletes and improved physical literacy in youth. She has also been a volunteer healthcare policy and education consultant for the World Health Organization.

Dr. McCall MacBain is a recipient of the Bynum Tudor Fellowship at Kellogg College Oxford and the McMaster Alumni Gallery Award. She holds an honorary doctorate from Monash University in Melbourne.


Since its formation in Geneva, Switzerland in 2007, the McCall MacBain Foundation has committed over $400M in charitable donations to a wide range of initiatives, supporting projects in health, climate change and environment and education and scholarships. John and Marcy McCall MacBain and their Foundation have been longtime supporters of McGill, and deeply influential patrons of higher education around the world. In 2013, they were lead donors to McGill’s History in the Making Campaign, establishing the McCall MacBain Fellowships in the Faculty of Arts. They have also given generously to the Mandela Rhodes Scholarships in South Africa, the Kupe Leadership Scholarships at the University of Auckland and the Loran Scholars Foundation. In 2013, the McCall MacBain Foundation committed £75 million to the Rhodes Trust in Oxford to help fund the Rhodes Scholarships and to aid in the expansion of the scholarship program around the world.

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