Thomas S. Axworthy
Thomas S. Axworthy has had a distinguished career in government, academia, and philanthropy. Early in his career, he served as Senior Policy Advisor and Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, before leaving politics to teach. In 1984, Dr. Axworthy went to Harvard University as a Fellow of the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government. He was subsequently appointed visiting Mackenzie King Chair of Canadian Studies. In 1999, Dr. Axworthy helped to create the Historica Foundation to improve teaching and learning of Canadian history, becoming its Executive Director until 2005. To recognize his achievements in heritage education (he initiated the Heritage Minutes), civics, and citizenship, Dr. Axworthy was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada (2002). In 2003, he became Chair of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, pursuing the themes of expanded human rights and responsibilities, democratic reform, Canadian-American relations, and modern liberalism that characterized his research, teaching and advocacy career. He is a distinguished senior fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and a senior fellow at Massey College. Dr. Axworthy was recently appointed Secretary General of the InterAction Council of Former Heads of State and Government.
Dr. Axworthy has had a long association with the Gordon family and The Gordon Foundation prior to becoming its CEO in 2009. He began his career as a Research Assistant to Walter L. Gordon, then President of the Privy Council Office in the government of Lester Pearson. In the 1980s, Dr. Axworthy helped the second generation of the Gordon family define their interests, which included, for the first time, Canada’s North. In 1976 he helped organize the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, held in Vancouver, which initiated his interest in water and sanitation issues, a priority in his current work with the Gordon Foundation.
Dr. Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at The Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at the University of Toronto, and Professor Emerita of International Relations and former Chair of the Department of Political Science at Western University.
Whitney Lackenbauer is a Canadian historian and frequent commentator on contemporary circumpolar affairs. Born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, he completed his undergraduate studies at the St. Jerome’s University and was honoured to return back to him alma mater as a faculty member soon after completing his doctorate. Although actively engaged in various research programmes related to Canadian defence, foreign policy, and Arctic issues, he is passionate about undergraduate teaching – an outlet for his passion and enthusiasm for all aspects of Canadian history.
Whitney was a Fulbright Fellow at Johns Hopkins University in 2010 and a Canadian International Council Research Fellow in 2008-09. He has travelled extensively with the Canadian Rangers from coast to coast to coast over the last decade, and he was made Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group in 2014.
His current research includes Arctic sovereignty and security issues since the Second World War; the Canada-United States Joint Arctic Weather Station (JAWS) program, which operated in the High Arctic from 1947-72; the history of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line; and the evolution of Canada’s Northern strategies.
Dr. Shadian has spent the past 13 years living and working throughout the European and North American Arctic. Her research and publications concentrate on the intersection between Arctic and indigenous governance and law with a focus on resource and infrastructure development and SAR. Shadian is currently working in a project, in collaboration with the Aleut International Association (AIA), regarding the role of local communities in Arctic Search and Rescue. As a partner at the Arctic Advocacy Group (AAG), a distinguished Senior Fellow at the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary History, University of Toronto and the current Nansen Professor, University of Akureyri, Dr. Shadian’s knowledge is regularly solicited by Arctic interested media outlets, policy makers, and institutions ranging from the Arctic Council to think tanks throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States. Her most recent 2014 book entitled: The Politics of Arctic Sovereignty: Oil, Ice, and Inuit Governance (Routledge) is the first in depth history of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) and Inuit sovereignty in global politics reaching back to pre-European discovery. Beyond her academic work, Dr. Shadian has long standing experience and expertise in facilitating relationships between governments, regulators, policy makers, private industry, and local communities. As a co-creator and organizer of the Arctic Dialogue series she brought together major players concerned with Arctic offshore oil and gas development including state and local political leaders, oil and gas and other industry leaders, local communities, and academia to create and increase information sharing about Arctic resource development. She is also a co-founder and coordinator of the Pan-Arctic PhD programme in Arctic Extractive Industries under the University of the Arctic. Dr. Shadian holds a Ph.D. in Global Governance from the University of Delaware (2006). She spent 2004-2005 at the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI), University of Cambridge, UK on an NSF award where she completed her dissertation before receiving a postdoctoral fellowship at the Barents Institute located on the Norwegian Arctic border with Russia. Shadian then went on to become a Senior Researcher at the High North Center for Business and Governance, Nord University, Bodø, Norway before being awarded an Associate Professor and AIAS Marie Curie COFUND Fellowship at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), Aarhus University Denmark. Dr. Shadian has also been a visiting researcher at the Arctic Centre in Rovaniemi, Finland; KTH in Stockholm, Sweden, IDDRI, Science Po, Paris France; and CIERA, Laval University, Quebec, Canada.
Richard O’Hagan attended Saint Mary’s University and Fordham University, before becoming a reporter with the Toronto Telegram. He then worked in the field of public relations before becomingSpecial Assistant to Lester Pearson in 1961, when Pearson was Leader of the Opposition. From 1963 to 1966, he was Special Assistant and Press Secretary to Pearson, who was then Prime Minister. From 1966 to 1976, he ran the information division of Canada’s Embassy in Washington. In 1976, he became Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s Special Advisor on Communications, and ran the Prime Minister’s Press Office and shared responsibility for speechwriting. He joined the Bank of Montreal as Vice President, Public Affairs, in 1976 and in 1984 became a Senior Vice President.
Julie Gilmour is a historian of International Relations based at Trinity College, the University of Toronto. Her work investigates the connections between ideology, race, policy, and lived experience. In the 1990s she did research in the newly opened archives of the former Soviet Union on questions of citizenship, gender, sport and diplomacy. Subsequently she investigated the movement of Displaced Persons from Europe to Canada in the years 1947-1953 and questions of ethnicity and immigration during the tenure of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. Following from this she published Trouble on Main Street: W.L. Mackenzie King, Race, Reason and the 1907 Vancouver Riots, which followed the younger W.L. Mackenzie King in the years when he was known primarily as Canada’s expert on Asian immigration and opium control.
Daniel Livermore holds a Ph.D. from Queen’s University and was a foreign service officer in Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for more than 30 years, prior to his retirement in 2007. He served abroad at the Canadian Mission to the United Nations in New York, at the Canadian embassies in Santiago, Chile, and Washington, D.C., and as Ambassador to Guatemala and El Salvador from 1996 to 1999. In Ottawa he served in the Policy Planning Staff and headed divisions responsible for both human rights and regional security. He was Canada’s ambassador for the international landmine campaign from 1999 to 2002, and from 2002 to his retirement he was director general for security and intelligence. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, and he serves as a senior mentor in the National Security Program at the Canadian Forces College, Toronto.
Danielle is a Canadian business journalist with Bloomberg News in Toronto. Before joining Bloomberg she worked as a national television and radio host for CBC News, hosted her own daily business program on Canada's Business News Network, and spent seven years with Reuters in Chicago, Tokyo and London where she covered a number of global business stories including the Asian Economic Crisis and the launch of the euro. She majored in International Relations and English Literature at Trinity College and studied Journalism at Ryerson University. She also teaches a broadcast performance course through the Munk School's Fellowship in Global Journalism program.
Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the University's Department of History and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Professor Suri is the author and editor of seven books on contemporary politics and foreign policy. Professor Suri's research and teaching have received numerous prizes. In 2007 Smithsonian Magazine named him one of America's "Top Young Innovators" in the Arts and Sciences. His writings appear widely in blogs and print media. Professor Suri is also a frequent public lecturer and guest on radio and television.
Antony Anderson is the author of The Diplomat: Lester Pearson and the Suez Crisis, reviewed in Canada’s History, “A penetrating character analysis of Mike Pearson but also a clear-headed analysis of the evolution of Canadian foreign policy”; The Dorchester Review, “Someone should suggest to Justin Trudeau that he read this book…This is not a work of Canadian (or Liberal) hagiography or a paean to peacekeeping”; The Literary Review of Canada, “Anderson does a brilliant job of isolating nuggets of political and diplomatic life…that breathe energy into the daily grind of crisis management.” Anderson produced television programmes for The Dominion Institute (since merged with Historica Canada) including Foreign Fields (2003) which examined Canada’s fading role on the world stage. He has also produced documentaries about defence procurement, the CF in Afghanistan and the role of parliamentary committees as well as video segments for the Munk Debates. He has written op-ed pieces about Pearson and Canadian foreign policy for numerous Canadian newspapers. He attended Queen’s University.
Tom Nichols is a Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. He is also an adjunct professor at the Harvard Extension School, and in the U.S. Air Force School of Strategic Force Studies.
Before coming to Newport, he taught international relations and Soviet/Russian affairs at Dartmouth College and Georgetown University. In Washington, Dr. Nichols was personal staff for defense and security affairs in the United States Senate to the late Sen. John Heinz of Pennsylvania, and was a Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.
He is currently a Senior Associate of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York City, and a Senior Fellow of the Graham Center for Contemporary International History at the University of Toronto. He was also a Fellow in the International Security Program at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University.
He is the author of several books and articles, including Eve of Destruction: The Coming of Age of Preventive War (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), and No Use: Nuclear Weapons and U.S. National Security (University of Pennsylvania, 2014). His newest book, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters, was released by Oxford in March 2017, and became a best-seller, with translations into eleven foreign languages underway.
In 2017, he was named one of the POLITICO 50 by POLITICO magazine, an annual list of “the key thinkers, doers and visionaries who are reshaping American politics and policy,” for his work “defending experts in an anti-factual age.” He has written commentary for a number of media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today, where is a member of the Board of Contributors.
Dr. Nichols holds a PhD from Georgetown, an MA from Columbia University, the Certificate of the Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union at Columbia, and a BA from Boston University.
He is also a five-time undefeated Jeopardy! champion, and was noted in the Jeopardy! Hall of Fame after his 1994 appearances as one of the all-time best players of the game.
Mokhtar Lamani is a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa and had a long and distinguished diplomatic career. He was the Head of the Office of the UN-League of Arab States Joint Special Representative for Syria, in Damascus, from September 2012 to May 2014. Prior to this appointment, he was Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).
Previously, he served as Special Representative of the Arab League in Iraq, appointed by the Arab Summit in 2006. On behalf of the Arab League, he worked to reconcile fractious parties and sectarian groups in Iraq, while building peaceful relations between Iraq and neighbouring countries. He served as Ambassador of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to the United Nations in New York from 1998 to 2004. His distinguished career in international diplomacy includes a number of positions with the General Secretariat of the Arab League, including Deputy Permanent Observer, Officer in Charge of the Iraq-Kuwait dispute, and Coordinator of Secretariat Reform.
Matthew Fisher - Visitor
Matthew Fisher spent 35 years as a foreign correspondent for the National Post, the Globe and Mail and other Canadian news organizations with a particular interest in security and military issues and sports. He has lived in Germany, Belgium, Britain, Hong Kong, the Middle East and, more recently, Afghanistan. His assignments have taken him to 171 countries. He has also been to all US states and Canadian provinces and territories.
During his travels Fisher has been an eyewitness to 20 wars and conflicts in eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
As well as embedding with the Canadian army, he has been to war with British, American and Australian forces and was one of the very few foreign eyewitnesses to the Rwandan genocide. He speaks French and German and some Russian and Spanish.
The personal highlight of his career as a roaming correspondent was when he attended Nelson Mandela's inauguration in Pretoria.
Fisher was raised in northwestern Ontario and Ottawa. His hobbies are hockey, fishing and any kind of travel, especially train travel.
As well as winning the Conference of Defence Associations' Ross Munro Award in 2007 and being awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his contribution to public understanding in Canada of security and defence issues, he has received two national newspaper award nominations and has written books on alpine ski racing and the failure of the Alberta-based Principal Group financial empire.
He is at present the first Bill Graham Centre/ Massey College Resident Visiting Scholar in foreign and defence policy.
Daniel Macfarlane is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at Western Michigan University where he teaches classes on environmental history, political ecology, and water/environmental policy and governance. His research focuses on the history of Canadian-American environmental relations and diplomacy, particularly transborder water issues in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Ottawa, and was formerly a Banting Fellow and a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair.
Daniel is the author or co-editor of four books: Negotiating a River: Canada, the US, and the Creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway (2014); Border Flows: A Century of the Canadian-American Water Relationship (2016); The First Century of the International Joint Commission (2019); and Fixing Niagara Falls: Energy, Environment, and Engineers at a Border Waterscape(forthcoming). Current book projects include a survey history of Canadian-American environmental relations as well as a transborder environmental history of Lake Ontario (with Colin Duncan). His work has also appeared in publications such as The Washington Post, Slate, Toronto Star, National Post, The Globe and Mail, and the Ottawa Citizen.
David Mulroney is President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St. Michael’s College, the Catholic federated university within the University of Toronto.
He came to St. Michael’s after more than 30 years in Canada’s Public Service. A career Foreign Service Officer, Mr. Mulroney was Canada’s ambassador to the People's Republic of China from 2009 to 2012.
Prior to his appointment to Beijing, Mr. Mulroney was assigned to the Privy Council Office in Ottawa as the Deputy Minister responsible for the Afghanistan Task Force, overseeing coordination of all aspects of Canada's engagement in Afghanistan. He also served as Secretary to the Independent Panel on Canada's Future Role in Afghanistan. Mr. Mulroney's other assignments included serving as Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and, concurrently, as the Prime Minister's Personal Representative to the G8 Summit.
Mr. Mulroney is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs, a Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, and an Honorary Fellow of the University of St. Michael's College. Like his mother, his sister and his daughter, he is a graduate of St. Michael’s.
Mr. Mulroney is a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, the University of Toronto's Arbor Award and in June 2015 received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Western University. His book Middle Power, Middle Kingdom was awarded the J.W. Dafoe Prize for 2015.
Asa McKercher is an international historian who completed his PhD in History at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. His writing on Canadian international history, Canada-United States relations, and US foreign policy has appeared in a variety of journals including Diplomatic History, International History Review, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, and Canadian Historical Review and his book Camelot and Canada: Canadian-American Relations in the Kennedy Era was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. His current research examines the Canadian-Cuban relationship. He is L.R. Wilson Assistant Professor of History at McMaster University.
Francis J. Gavin
Francis J. Gavin is the Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the inaugural director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at SAIS-Johns Hopkins University. In 2013, Gavin was appointed the first Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy Studies and Professor of Political Science at MIT. Before joining MIT, he was the Tom Slick Professor of International Affairs and the Director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas. From 2005 until 2010, he directed The American Assembly’s multiyear, national initiative, The Next Generation Project: U.S. Global Policy and the Future of International Institutions. Gavin’s writings include Gold, Dollars, and Power: The Politics of International Monetary Relations, 1958-1971 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004) and Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age (Cornell University Press, 2012).
Craig Damian Smith – Visitor
Craig Damian Smith is the Associate Director of the Global Migration Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs. He earned his PhD from the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on migration, displacement, European foreign policy, and refugee integration. His doctoral thesis "Malignant Europeanization: Schengen, Irregular Migration Governance, and Insecurity on Europe's Peripheries" examines the effects of European migration governance on transit states. He has conducted several years of fieldwork throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Western Balkans, and Europe. His current SSHRC-funded research looks at the effects of social networks on refugee integration. In addition to his scholarly work he has provided media commentary on migration and refugee issues to outlets including the BBC, CBC, and NBC.
John M. Dirks – Visitor
A historian of post 1945 Canadian and American external relations and foreign policy, John M. Dirks completed his PhD at the University of Toronto in 2014. His dissertation focused on how Canada and the United States managed their differences regarding revolutionary Cuba during the Cold War, and John is currently revising it for publication as a book. Along with teaching in the International Relations program at Trinity College, his ongoing research interests center mostly on Canadian-American relations, particularly concerning the western hemisphere, and trade embargoes. He has two previous degrees from Queen’s and another from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information, and for 18 years was archivist and policy analyst at the Archives of Ontario. At the Graham Centre, he has a leading role in creating a digital repository and online resource promoting access to documents pertaining to Canadian external relations, national security and related topics. He has published in Archivaria and contributed a chapter on Canada and Latin America in the forthcoming UBC press compilation Mike’s World, on the foreign policy of Lester B Pearson.
Tim Sayle is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Southern Methodist University’s Center for Presidential History. He received his BA (Hons) and MA from the University of Toronto and an MPA from the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University. His doctoral dissertation, defended at Temple University, focused on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and transatlantic relations during the Cold War. He was previously a Doctoral Fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Thomas J. Davis Fellow in Diplomacy and Foreign Relations at Temple University’s Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy. His research has appeared in the International Journal, Cold War History,Canadian Military History, Intelligence & National Security, and in edited collections. He has held awards from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Department of National Defence, and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.
Drew Fagan is a professor at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. He teaches a course on policy implementation in the school’s graduate program and is involved in numerous other university initiatives.
Mr. Fagan also is a public policy advisor as principal of Greenbrook Consulting Inc. Recent clients include departments, ministries, agencies and boards at all three levels of government.
Mr. Fagan is a senior fellow at the Public Policy Forum, where he has overseen recent research reports, as well as the C.D. Howe Institute and a number of university institutes. He also is senior counsel to the firm at National Public Relations Inc., where he provides strategic advice internally and to public and private sector clients.
Mr. Fagan previously spent 12 years in leadership positions with the governments of Ontario and Canada.
Mr. Fagan was Deputy Minister responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games and Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport at Queen’s Park. He also spent four years as Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, with responsibility for the province’s first long-term infrastructure plan.
Mr. Fagan joined the Ontario Public Service in 2009 from Ottawa, where he was Assistant Deputy Minister for strategic policy and planning at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He served as the Prime Minister’s personal representative to the Asia-Pacific (APEC) summit process.
Before becoming a public servant and diplomat in 2004, Mr. Fagan worked at The Globe and Mail, including as parliamentary bureau chief, editorial page editor and columnist, foreign editor, associate editor of Report on Business and Washington correspondent.
Mr. Fagan is a board member of the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall and other organizations, including the Art Gallery of Ontario’s government affairs committee. He serves on the Ontario Government corporate audit committee. He is a former board member of the Canadian Tourism Commission and was interim editor of the Literary Review of Canada. He served on the United Way of Toronto’s campaign cabinet in 2013 and 2014, when he led the Ontario Government campaign. He was a member of the advisory board of the Munk School of Global Affairs from 2009 to 2017.
Mr. Fagan holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario. He received his ICD.D designation in 2017 from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and he was honoured to be a convocation speaker at the University of Toronto’s 2016 graduation ceremonies.
Cindy Ewing is the Assistant Professor of Contemporary International History in the Department of History and the International Relations Program at Trinity College. Cindy's research and teaching focus on the international history of decolonization and its connections to the Cold War in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. She is working on a book manuscript entitled, The Asian Unity Project: Human Rights and the International Solidarities of the Third World, 1945-1965. At the University of Toronto, Cindy will be teaching courses in the global history of international relations, contemporary military history and foreign relations, and human rights.
Greg Donaghy is Head of the Historical Section, Global Affairs Canada.
He was Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Kwansei Gakuin University in Nishinomiya (Japan) during the Fall Term, 2015-16.
He received his BA from the University of Toronto (1986), his MA from Carleton University (1989), and his PhD from the University of Waterloo (1998).
Greg Donaghy is General Editor of Documents on Canadian External Relations, as well as editor of six volumes in this distinguished and long-running series.
He has written over fifty scholarly articles and reviews on the history of Canadian foreign policy, and edited or co-edited another eleven collections of scholarly essays on Canadian history, diplomacy, and foreign policy. These include, Canada and the Challenges of Globalization, 1968-2017, a special edition of Canadian Foreign Policy Journal (with Stéphane Roussel, forthcoming, fall 2018), From Kinshasa to Kandahar: Canada and Fragile States in Historical Perspective (with Michael Carroll, 2016) and, Mission Paris: Les ambassadeurs du Canada en France et le triangle Ottawa – Québec – Paris (with Stéphane Roussel, 2012).
He is co-author (with John Hilliker and Mary Halloran) of Innovation and Adaption: Canada’s Department of External Affairs, 1968-84 (2017). He is also the author of the monograph, Tolerant Allies: Canada and the United States, 1963-1968 (2003, 2008) and of the biography, Grit: The Life and Politics of Paul Martin Sr. (2015), a finalist for the 2015 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.
Leah Sarson – Visitor
Leah Sarson is an assistant professor at Dalhousie University, where her work explores Indigenous global politics in the extractive resource sector. Her broader research interests focus on Canadian foreign policy, International Relations, gender, and the Arctic. Prior to joining Dalhousie, she was a Fulbright researcher and SSHRC post-doctoral fellow at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she remains a fellow at the Dickey Center for International Understanding and a visiting Arctic fellow at the Institute of Arctic Studies. She completed her PhD in Political Studies in December 2016 at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where she is also a fellow at the Centre for International and Defence Policy. Dr. Sarson holds additional positions at the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at the University of Toronto and the Canadian International Council. She is a member of the board of directors of Women in International Security-Canada and has held professional positions at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and Global Affairs Canada, among others.
Brian Stewart was for over three decades a senior reporter and foreign correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC), known for his coverage of many crisis zones and for his award-winning political and historical documentaries. He was also studio host of current events shows such as CBC:Our World. Now retired, he still appears regularly on CBC and is currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.
Mark Sanagan is a historian of the modern Middle East and the Special Projects Editor at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. He completed his PhD at McGill University in 2016, and an MA at McGill’s Institute of Islamic Studies in 2006. His dissertation, “Lightning through the clouds: Islam, community, and anti-colonial rebellion in the life and death of ‘Izz al-Din al-Qassam, 1883-1935,” tells the little-known backstory of a legendary anti-colonial rebel. He has travelled extensively and conducted research throughout the Middle East and Europe. In addition to this research, he has taught undergraduate courses on the Arab-Israeli Conflict and the wider Middle East at McGill and McMaster University, and has delivered a number of talks throughout North America on issues ranging from historical methods, Islamism, and the Oslo Accords.
Ben Rowswell was appointed President and Research Director of the Canadian International Council on November 19, 2018.
Ben has 25 years of experience as a practitioner of international relations. He earned his expertise in international security serving with the United Nations in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993, as Canada’s first diplomatic envoy to Baghdad, Iraq, after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and as the head of the NATO Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar at the height of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan.
Ben has advised top levels of government on international strategy in the Privy Council Office during the tenures of Jean Chrétien and Stephen Harper, and at the Washington DC Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2003 to 2004.
But his abiding passion is the defence of human rights and democracy. He established the Democracy Unit of Global Affairs Canada, worked closely with human rights movements as a political officer in the Canadian Embassy to Egypt, and most recently as Canada’s Ambassador to Venezuela from 2014 to 2017.
Throughout his career, Ben has sought to engage citizens in the practice of international relations. After a fellowship at Stanford University that introduced him to the powerful role that individuals can play in global affairs, he pioneered the practice of digital diplomacy at Global Affairs Canada. This same passion led him to join Farhaan Ladhani in founding software startup called Betterplace, which tailors opportunities for citizens to engage in civic action through a mobile app.
You can follow Ben on Twitter at @benrowswell as well as @thecic, and the CIC’s blog, The Signal Board.
Stephen J. Randall – Visitor
Stephen J. Randall, FRSC, (PhD Toronto 1972), is Professor Emeritus and Faculty Professor at the University of Calgary. He served as Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences (1994-2006) at the University of Calgary. He served as director of the Institute for United States Policy Research in the School of Public Policy (2006-2009) and of the Latin American Research Centre (2010-14) He held previous appointments at McGill University (1974-1989) and the University of Toronto (1971-1974). He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Senior Fellow in the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. He was a Senior Fellow with the Canadian International Council for 2009-2010 working on Canada and the Americas. Randall is a Fulbright scholar (2007). He was a member of the editorial board of the Latin American Research Review (2004-2009), and was co-editor of International Journal of the Canadian Institute for International Affairs.
A specialist in United States foreign policy and Latin American international relations and politics, he holds the National Order of Merit, Grand Cross, and the Order of San Carlos from the Foreign Ministry of Colombia. In 2012 he received the Lifetime Public Service Award from the Canadian Council for the Americas. Randall has served with the United Nations, Organization of American States and Carter Center in international election supervision in the Caribbean, Latin America and Southeast Asia. He has published extensively in the areas of American foreign oil policy, Canada-US relations, and inter-American relations.
Isabel Campbell - VisitorIsabel Campbell is a historian at the Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa. She was educated at Memorial, Western, Carleton, and Laval universities. The author of Unlikely Diplomats. The Canadian Brigade in Germany, 1951-1964, she is a co-author on volumes three and four of the official histories of the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force respectively.
She is passionate about innovations in access and archives and an advocate for the whole life oral history methodology which she is utilizing to study Canadian Cold War military families. Current projects involve the analysis of gender roles and perceptions about cultural, racial, and linguistic “othering”, the contributions of Inuit guides in Canada’s north, and early Cold War allied intelligence relating to Canada’s defence planning.