Amara Bangura is a Sierra Leonean journalist based in Halifax with more than 10 years reporting and producing programmes for international media organizations such as the BBC and Journalists for Human Rights. He also has extensive experience working on development communication projects, including training journalists, in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He holds an MA in Media and International Development from the University of East Anglia, UK and is also a recipient of the prestigious Gordon Fisher Journalism Fellowship at Massey College, U of T.
Lori has been the Director of Fund Development with the Dallaire Institute since 2013, where she has significantly grown the funding support for their work. Prior to joining Dalhousie, Lori served for nearly five years as Fund Development and Communications Manager for the Coady International Institute, helping secure major project funding and significantly grow the Institute’s work. She held development positions at The Banff Centre, including Research and Proposal Writer and then Development Officer, Campaign during their successful campaign, which raised $123 million towards capital and programming initiatives. From 2003-2008, Lori served as a Director of the Banff Community Foundation, including two terms as Secretary of the Board. Lori holds a BA (Hons.) form Trent University in Environmental Studies and Comparative Development Studies, and a National Certificate in Fundraising Management from Mount Royal College.
Anthony Di Carlo joined the Dallaire Institute in 2019 as the Director of Policy. Amongst his various responsibilities, he is the Dallaire Institute’s Project Lead for the Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security located within the Canadian Defence Academy. The Dallaire Centre of Excellence was named after Lieutenant-General (Retired) Roméo Dallaire; founder of the Dallaire Initiative. The Dallaire Centre of Excellence’s initial focus will be to support the Canadian Armed Forces’ implementation of the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers.
Prior to joining the Dallaire Initiative, Anthony worked the past 3 years in the Office of the Minister of National Defence of Canada. During this time, he advised the Office on numerous files notably on the new Canadian Defence Policy, peace operations, Defence infrastructure, Defence Energy and Environment strategy, and the Vancouver Principles.
Over the course of the past 11 years, Anthony has been an active member of the Canadian Armed Forces. An Infantry Officer by trade, he occupied various positions at the regimental level and at division headquarters where he expanded his capabilities to include Information Operations and Human Security. In 2013, he deployed to the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) as a CIMIC Officer with the Canadian contingent whom were fully integrated with the Brazilian Battalion (BRABATT 18).
Anthony is born in Montreal, Canada from a Venezuelan mother and an Italian father. He has dual Canadian and Italian citizenship and speaks 5 languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese. He is a father of 2 young boys: Michael (4) and Ismael (3). He and his partner Isabel now live in Ottawa, Canada.
Dr. Catherine Baillie Abidi joined the Institute in March 2018 as the Director of Training. Catherine has extensive experience researching, publishing and teaching in the areas of peace and conflict, international humanitarian law, forced migration, and adult education. Her recent book, Pedagogies for Building Cultures of Peace: Challenging the Constructions of an Enemy, explores how critical pedagogies and participatory methodologies can challenge and transform violence.
Prior to an academic career teaching at Mount Saint Vincent University, Athabasca University and Saint Mary’s University, Catherine spent fifteen years working with the Canadian Red Cross where she developed multiple educational resources focused on the rules of war and the experiences of children in armed conflict. Catherine has led hundreds of security sector and community-based trainings oriented toward enhancing the protection of children in armed conflict. She received the Queen Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Governor General of Canada for this work.
Catherine is also a mother of two and lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Dr. Shelly Whitman took up the post of Executive Director of the Dallaire Institute in January 2010. In the years since, she has spearheaded the establishment and growth of the organization, signed MOUs with four countries, and today leads an international team based in Canada, Rwanda, and South Sudan.
Shelly has been instrumental in creating a number of key, international agreements and policies on the protection of children:
- Created the Implementing Guidelines for the Safe Schools Declaration and successfully lobbied the Canadian government to sign on to the agreement;
- Spearheaded global roundtables with young people affected by armed conflict to inform the new Policy on Children by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC);
- Provided the necessary briefs and background documentation that led to the creation of the Canadian Armed Forces Joint Doctrine Note (JDN) 2017-01 Child Soldiers.
- Supported the creation of NATO’s Standard Operating Procedure on Children in Armed Conflict;
- Helped to write two UN Security Council Resolutions in 2014: UNSC RES 2143 on Children and Armed Conflict and 2151 on International Peace and Security and Security Sector Reform;
- Co-authored the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers with the Government of Canada, which gained a record of 59 signatories before the start of the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in November 2017.
As the Intact Insurance Senior Fellow and a recognized subject matter expert, Shelly is regularly called upon to speak to global forums and provide media commentary on the issue of child soldiers. She has been a member of the Paris Principles Steering Group since 2016, and a member of the National Expert Committee on Countering Radicalization to Violence since it was founded in early 2019. She was also called upon by the Government of Canada to assist in the drafting of the Implementation Guidance of the Vancouver Principles.
Prior to her work with the Dallaire Initiative, Shelly worked as Head of Research on the inter-Congolese dialogue from 2000-2002, under the direction of Former Botswana President, Sir Ketumile Masire. Previous to this post, she was a Research Consultant at UNICEF in New York and worked under the direction of Ambassador Stephen Lewis on the OAU Rwanda Genocide Report.
Shelly has also enjoyed an academic career teaching in International Development Studies and Political Science at Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University and the University of Botswana. In 2009, Shelly introduced a course on Children and Armed Conflict at Dalhousie University and is now working towards the introduction of a Certificate Programme on Children and Armed Conflict. She has also created and implemented a new e-learning course at Dalhousie’s College of Continuing Education on Children and Youth at Risk.
In 2014, she was awarded the Canadian Progress Club Women of Excellence Award for her work with the Dallaire Institute, and in 2017, the organization was the recipient of the Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice Award.
General Roméo Dallaire is the founder of the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace, and Security, a global partnership with the mission to end the recruitment and use of children in war. A celebrated advocate for human rights, General Dallaire is also a respected author, government and UN advisor, and former Canadian Senator. Throughout his distinguished military career, General Dallaire served most notably as Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. He continues to work tirelessly to bring national and international attention to situations too-often ignored, whether the prevention of mass atrocities, the struggle that he and many other military veterans face with post-traumatic stress disorder, or the recruitment and use of children as weapons of war.