Senator Mobina Jaffer represents the province of British Columbia in the Senate of Canada, where she chairs the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights. Appointed to the Senate on June 13, 2001 by Prime Minister Jean Chr


During his 38 year Public Service career, Bob Fowler was the Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Ministers Trudeau, Turner and Mulroney, Deputy Minister of National Defence, Canada


Nigel Fisher, O.C., O.Ont., M.S.C., LL.D (Hon) has worked for over three decades with the United Nations in 15 countries: with UNICEF for over two decades in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with which he specialized in the protection of children affected by armed conflict; with the UN Department of Peacekeeping at the rank of Assistant Secretary-General and was responsible for humanitarian recovery operations, both in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban and most recently in Haiti, following the January 2010 earthquake; as Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services; and currently with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria crisis. He is also a former President and CEO of UNICEF Canada, was an adviser to a past Foreign Minister of Canada on children and armed conflict and was Deputy Executive Secretary of the first World Conference on Education for All.

Dr. Fisher


A former child soldier, Michel Chikwanine has already endured and overcome unimaginable pain and struggles. His passion and belief in the possibility for change makes him a truly remarkable individual and humanitarian.

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Michel grew up amid the terror of the Great War of Africa. He witnessed the torture of his father, who was singled out for his political beliefs, the rape of his mother and endured torture of his own. Much of Michel


Major General (ret) Patrick Cammaert has a distinguished military career in both The Netherlands with the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps and the United Nations, where he served as Sector Commander in Cambodia (UNTAC), as Assistant Chief of Staff in Bosnia/Herzegovina (UNPROFOR), as Force Commander in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), as Military Advisor to the Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO), and as General Officer Commanding the Eastern Division in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC).

Since his retirement from the military in 2007, he has been an effective expert advocate with regard to issues such as leadership in crisis circumstances, international peace and security, civil-military cooperation in peace support operations, peacekeeping, and security sector reform. Major General Cammaert has advised the senior management of UN Department for Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO), UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN WOMEN on strategic planning issues such as Integrated Training Development, the protection of civilians under immediate threat of physical violence and sexual violence in armed conflict. He was the lead consultant for the drafting and implementation of scenario based training on sexual violence in armed conflict and was a member of the Advisory Board of the DPKO/OCHA Protection of Civilians Study. His responsibilities have included carrying out fact finding/assessment and evaluation missions to several UN Missions such as in DRC, Libanon, Sudan, Haiti, Liberia and Chad and as Special Envoy to Sri Lanka for the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children in Armed Conflict. He is a regular senior mentor at UN Senior Leadership Courses organized by GPOI and by ITS UN DPKO, at GPOI/CCMR Contingent Commanders Courses and at Intensive Orientation Courses for UN Force Commanders. He is a regular speaker on issues as the use of force in UN peacekeeping operations, mandates, ROEs and sexual violence.

In 2008, Major General Cammaert was awarded the Carnegie-Wateler Peace Prize in the Peace Palace in The Hague. He serves as a member of the advisory board of the Mukomeze Foundation, which helps women and girls who survived rape and other forms of sexual violence in Rwanda.


Ishmael Beah was born in Sierra Leone in 1980. During the civil war in Sierra Leone he was a child soldier. His best selling book,


Maurice Baril enlisted in the Canadian Officer Training Corps, while studying at the University of Ottawa, became an officer in 1963, and was assigned to the Royal 22nd Regiment in 1964. Among his numerous appointments were those with the Canadian Airborne Regiment (1968-1971) and the


Francisca is a Rwandan statistician specializing in Social Protection Financing.  She completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Statistics at National University of Rwanda, Butare.  In 2012, she also completed a Master of Science in Social Protection Financing at the University of Mauritius, Mauritius International Business School, Reduit, Mauritius.  In her previous work, she served as a Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor for the Human and Institutional Capacity Development Project (HICD/R) a USAID funded project in Rwanda prior to joining the International Labor Office in Kigali working as their Programme officer. Besides her permanent job experience recorded, she has worked on several consulting assignments focusing on research methods and design for national level and corporate impact assessments to inform policy change and organizational performance improvement. She has a master’s degree in social protection financing from the University of Mauritius, a diploma in the same academic background from the International training center for ILO in Turin, Italy, and a bachelor in Applied Statistics from the University of Rwanda. She has over 8 years of experience in development sector in Research work and monitoring and evaluation. At this stage in her career, she aspires to become a child protection activist by putting her research skills and experience to advocate for the rights of children in developing countries especially those in countries at war. Francisca is a gender activist and takes personal interest on gender dimension in development projects. She promote Imihigo model, a unique performance approach introduced and adopted by public institutions in Rwanda to monitor and report on desired performance results. She contributes to the body of Imihigo literature through a blog known as ImihigoYacu. Francisca is a co-founder and director of research at the Institute of Social Policy in Africa (ISPA) and volunteered for four years as a research convener for Graduate women international (GWI), local chapter for Rwanda. She is also a member of the executive committee for the International Association of Young Statisticians in Africa (IYAS) and a member of the African Group of Statisticians (AGROST). 


Laura joined the Dallaire Initiative in January 2019 as a research officer following the completion of her MPhil in International Peace Studies at Trinity College Dublin. While in Ireland, her research focused on conflict transformation and understanding how human rights norms progress at both a global and national level. During this time, she also interned for an Irish Senator whose portfolio concentrated on Brexit and the affairs of the European Union. 

Prior to her Master’s, Laura worked for three years as an analyst for the federal government on Indigenous consultation policy in Ottawa, Vancouver and Whitehorse. Over the years, she also worked with a number of non-governmental organizations at home and abroad, including L’Espace Associatif in Rabat, Morocco, the Korean Sharing Movement in Seoul, South Korea, and the Canada Africa Community Health Alliance in Ottawa. 

Born in Brighton, Ontario, Laura enjoys hiking, baking and traveling. She has visited 50 countries to date and looks forward to continuing exploring new areas of the globe. 


Leigh joined the Dallaire Initiative after working in both post secondary and private industry in IT for over 2 decades.  She graduated from Dalhousie University with a degree in Marine Biology. 

Bluenoser for life, in her off hours, she enjoys biking, hiking and swimming, as well as trying her best to fix anything.  A past volunteer with Scouts Canada and a current volunteer with Feed Nova Scotia, she wants all kids to be kids, and not have to grow up too soon.