Ahmed Benchemsi, Moroccan Journalist & Visiting Scholar on Arab Reform and Democracy, Stanford University

Ahmed Benchemsi is an award-winning, US-based Moroccan journalist who is currently a visiting scholar at Stanford University in California, researching The Seeds of Secularism in the Post-Spring Arab World. Before joining Stanford, he was the founder, publisher and editor of Morocco’s two best-selling news magazines TelQuel (French) and Nishan (Arabic). Ahmed was awarded twice "Best investigative Journalist in the Arab World" by the European Union (Brussels, Belgium in 2004, and Beirut, Lebanon in 2007). He was also keynote speaker for the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism network (Amman, Jordan in 2009 and 2011) and the Oslo Freedom Forum (Oslo, Norway in 2011 and 2012). In the US, Ahmed has been recognized by fellowships in Newsweek (New York, 2005 and 2008) and the Los Angeles Times (LA, 2005), and was invited twice by the US State Department as an international guest (2000, 2008).

 He has published op-eds in Time magazine, Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, the Journal of Democracy, and other publications and is regularly interviewed or quoted in media outlets such as CNN, PBS, NPR, BBC, Al Jazeera, The New York Times, The Economist, Financial Times, El Pais, and more.

Ahmed has an MPhil in Political Science from Sciences Po (Paris), an MA in Development Economics from the Sorbonne, and a BA in Finance from Paris VIII University.



Lyse Doucet, Chief International Correspondent and Presenter for BBC World TV and World Service Radio

Lyse Doucet is the award winning Chief International Correspondent and Presenter for BBC World TV and World Service Radio who is regularly deployed to anchor special news coverage from the field and interview world leaders. Lyse also reports across the BBC including for BBC Newsnight.  She played a key role in the BBC’s coverage of the "Arab Spring " across the Middle East and North Africa and has covered all the major stories in the region for the past 20 years. She is a regular visitor to Afghanistan and Pakistan from where she has been reporting since 1988.


Her work has also focused on major natural disasters including the Indian Ocean tsunami, and more recently Pakistan floods. Before joining the BBC’s team of presenters in 1999, Lyse spent 15 years as a BBC foreign correspondent with postings in Amman, Jerusalem, Kabul, Islamabad, Tehran, and Abidjan.  She was nominated for two Emmy awards in the United States last year and in 2010 was awarded a Peabody and David Bloom Award for her television films from Afghanistan, and Radio News journalist of the Year at the Sony Radio Academy Awards in the UK.  She was recently awarded an Edward R Murrow award for radio reports from Tunisia. 


Born in eastern Canada, Lyse has four honorary doctorates from leading Canadian Universities as well as from the University of York in Britain. She has a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Toronto and a BA Hons from Queen’s University in Kingston. 


Mohammad Al Abdallah, Journalist and Human Rights Activist, Executive Director, Syria Justice & Accountability Center

Mohammad Al Abdallah is a Syrian human rights and pro-democracy researcher and activist, He received a LL.B (Bachelors of Law) from the  Faculty of Law at the Lebanese University in 2007. Al Abdallah is also a freelance journalist and contributes to several Arabic newspapers. He worked as a research assistant for Human Rights Watch in Beirut from July 2007 to January 2009, where he covered Syria.

Al Abdallah is a former political prisoner who was imprisoned in Syria on two different occasions (facing military trial in both cases) for his work defending human rights and lobbying for political reform. He moved to the United States in February 2009 after he was granted political asylum. 

Raised in a family with a long history of human rights advocacy, Al Abdallah’s father is a prominent political writer who has been jailed on seven occasions. He was released last July after four years in prison - to punish him for calling for political reform in Syria.

Al Abdallah’s younger brother was released last May after spending five years in military prison for blogging. He escaped recently to Jordan after the Syrian security forces suspected him of filming and posting protest videos on YouTube.

Mohammad has been involved in the Syrian revolution from the early weeks in Dara and became one of the revolution's famous media faces outside of Syria. He is currently Executive Director, Syria Justice & Accountability Center (SJAC.)

Among the Syrian delegation that met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in August 2011, he has traveled extensively in the past year trying to put the Syrian revolution on the agenda of the most important political and human rights actors. Last March, he testified at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva about the situation in Syria.


Tyseer Aboulnasr, Egyptian-Canadian Activist and Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of British Columbia

Tyseer Aboulnasr is Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of British Columbia Vancouver and was Dean of Applied Science at the University of British Columbia and of Engineering at the University of  Ottawa.  She is a graduate of Engineering at Cairo University, Egypt and Queen’s University, Canada. Outside of her professional career, she has been very active in Arab-Jewish dialogue groups, in interfaith discussions, in bringing Muslim organizations in Canada to speak with a harmonious voice on national issues, and she has worked with the RCMP on restoring trust with Muslim and Arab Canadians.  She is currently on leave in Cairo, Egypt, working with Nile University, a new niche entrepreneurial research-intensive university, and hoping to contribute to the rebirth of a better Egypt.  

Dr. Aboulnasr received the Ottawa-Carleton YWCA Women of Distinction Award (Education), was elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and was named as one of the 100 most influential people in Ottawa in 2001 and the most 100 influential women in British Columbia in 2010.  She received her highest honour in 2005 when she was named as a 2004 recipient of the Order of Ontario. 

Ali Abunimah, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Electronic Intifada 

Ali Abunimah is a strong believer in the power of social media to effect social change and a close associate of the Tahrir Square bloggers.  He is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Electronic Intifada website, the author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, and a contributor to The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict. He has contributed to several other books and written hundreds of articles on the question of Palestine in a wide array of publications. Abunimah is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago. He lives in Chicago, and has also served as the Vice-President on the Board of Directors of the Arab American Action Network.

Lieutenant-General Charles J.J. Bouchard, OC, CMM, MSC, CD, BA (retired) — Former Deputy Commander Joint Force Command Naples, Italy; Commander Combined Joint Task Force Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR

Lieutenant-General Bouchard retired from the Royal Canadian Air Force on 11 April 2012 following over 37 years of service to Canada. He served as Deputy Commander Joint Force Command Naples, Italy and was subsequently appointed as Commander Combined Joint Task Force Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR, the NATO operation responsible for enforcing the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970 and 1973 in Libya in 2011. He also served with the North American Aerospace Defense Command first as Deputy Commander of the Continental US NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida during the events of 9/11, then as Commander 1 Canadian Air Division, Canadian NORAD Region in 2004, culminating as Deputy Commander North American Aerospace Defense Command from 2007 to 2009.

LtGen Bouchard is a graduate of the Canadian Forces Staff School, the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College, the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College, the National Strategic Studies Course, the Combined Forces Air Component Commander Course, Maxwell Air Force Base, and the Senior Executives’ National and International Security Program at Harvard University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Studies from the University of Manitoba. Lieutenant-General Bouchard was appointed as an officer to the Order of Canada; and later as a Commander to the Order of Military Merit. He is an officer of the United States Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters (three times a recipient of the award) and an "officier de la Légion d’honneur francaise." He was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross for his exceptional service in protecting the people of Libya and is the recipient of the Atlantic Council of Canada 2011 award for Exceptional Contribution to International Peace and Security. He is a member of the RCAF Commander’s Council and is a Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee to the Conference of Defense Associations.

Akiva Eldar, Chief Political Columnist And Editorial Writer, Ha’aretz

Akiva Eldar is currently chief political columnist and editorial writer for the prestigious Israeli national daily Ha’aretz. His columns also appear regularly in the Ha’aretz-Herald Tribune edition. In May 2006 The Financial Times selected him among the most prominent and influential commentators in the world, "whose comments inspire callers from across the political spectrum.” From 1993–96 he was the Ha’aretz US Bureau Chief and Washington correspondent, covering the Peace Process, US-Israel relations, American issues and Israel-Diaspora relations. Before joining Ha’aretz he was a reporter and an editor at the Israeli Public Radio and served as spokesperson for former Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek. His 2005 book (with Prof. Idith Zertal), Lords of the Land, on the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, was in on the bestseller list in Israel and was published in 2007 in English (Nation Books) and German (DVA). In 2007 he received the annual "Search for Common Ground” award for Middle East journalism. Eldar is the chairman of Ramat-Gan College as well as the Amos Ganor Fund, which promotes Israeli-Palestinian Relations and the friendship between Israel and Japan.

Mohammad H. Fadel, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Mohammad H. Fadel is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law,at the University of Toronto which he joined in January 2006. Professor Fadel wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on legal process in medieval Islamic law while at the University of Chicago. He was admitted to the Bar of New York in 2000 and practiced law with the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York, New York, where he worked on a wide variety of corporate finance transactions and securities-related regulatory investigations. Professor Fadel also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and the Honorable Anthony A. Alaimo of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Professor Fadel has published numerous articles in Islamic legal history and Islam and liberalism.  He has spoken frequently on recent events in Egypt, and blogs at www.shanfaraa.com.  His twitter name is shanfaraa.


Doug Gibson, Author & Publisher

Born and raised in Scotland, Douglas Gibson came to Canada in 1967 with degrees from St. Andrews and Yale and soon entered the world of Canadian books. He was the publisher at McClelland & Stewart from 1988 to 2004 and established his own imprint, the first in Canada. His career is described in his memoir, Stories About Storytellers, published in the fall of 2011. He has been a member of the Couchiching Institute board since 2002. Doug met his wife, Jane Brenneman Gibson, at the Couchiching conference in 2001, when she was a board member and he was a visiting speaker. He approves of Couchiching.


Jens Hanssen, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean History at the University of Toronto

Jens Hanssen is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean History at the University of Toronto. His book publications include Fin de Siècle Beirut (Oxford, 2005) and two co-edited volumes: Arab Provincial Capitals in the Late Ottoman Empire, (Beirut, 2002); and History, Space and Social Conflict in Beirut (Beirut, 2005). During his visit to Baghdad in June 2003, he filmed a short documentary (posted on youtube.com) on academic life in Iraq after the U.S. invasion. Recently he has published in The New Cambridge History of Islam (2010), in the International Journal of Middle East Studies (2011), and he has an article on "Kafka and the Arabs” forthcoming in Critical Inquiry. His current research is on the intersection between German-Jewish and Arab intellectual histories. He investigates questions of intellectual history of the Middle East in general and the legacy of the 19th-century Arabic revival and reform movement on contemporary political developments in particular.

Hanssen is a regular commentator on the Arab Spring in the Canadian media and supports the debates around the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign of Palestinian civil society groups. He received his D.Phil. from Oxford University in 2001.


Nader Hashemi, Assistant Professor of Middle East and Islamic Politics, Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver

Nader Hashemi is an Assistant Professor of Middle East and Islamic Politics at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He obtained his doctorate from the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and previously was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the UCLA Global Institute. His intellectual and research interests lie at the intersection of comparative politics and political theory, in particular debates on religion and democracy, secularism and its discontents, Middle East and Islamic politics, democratic and human rights struggles in non-Western societies and Islam-West relations. He is the author of Islam, Secularism and Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies (Oxford University Press, 2009) and co-editor of The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future (Melville House, 2011).


Paul Heinbecker, Director of the Laurier Centre for Global Relations, CIGI Distinguished Fellow and former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations 

Paul Heinbecker has had a long and distinguished career in Canada’s foreign service. After 1979 he served as director of the US division in the External Affairs Department, and head of policy planning, where he wrote foreign policy speeches for Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Secretaries of State Mark MacGuigan and Joe Clark. He was subsequently appointed to the Canadian embassy in Washington where he led work on cross-border issues, notably acid rain, and on international affairs, including NATO, arms control and disarmament.

In 1989, Paul returned to Ottawa to be Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's chief foreign policy adviser and speechwriter, and assistant secretary to cabinet for foreign and defence policy. In 1992, he was named ambassador to Germany, where he focused on NATO’s response to the Bosnian war and promoted Canada’s position on European Union overfishing. In 1996, he returned to Canada as deputy minister for global and security policy, advising Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy on Canada’s human security agenda. He also led the Canadian delegation to the Kyoto climate change negotiations and headed the interdepartmental task force on Kosovo. In the summer of 2000, he was appointed permanent representative of Canada to the UN
. He is the Director of the Laurier Centre for Global Relations, and Distinguished Fellow, International Relations, at the independent research Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and an author of numerous books and articles on international relations.

Hind Kabawat, Syrian Attorney and Research Analyst, Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University

Hind Kabawat is a Syrian attorney who lives in Damascus and Toronto. Currently she is an International Council at Janssen and Associates, Toronto; Foreign Affairs Director for the Syrian Public Relations Association; Senior Research Associate in Public Diplomacy and Director of the Conflict Resolution Program of Syria at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, CRDC, George Mason University.

 Hind has led a variety of public diplomacy efforts in recent years in Syria to promote interfaith tolerance and cooperation, modernization and reform, as well as educational innovations in conflict resolution and diplomacy education. She was awarded in 2007 the Peacemakers in Action Award from the Tanenbaum Centre for Interreligious Understanding in New York, and also the Public Diplomacy Award from CRDC, George Mason University in 2009. 
In 2009, she was appointed as the Ambassador of Conflict Resolution and member of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of the Middle East, World Economic Forum, Davos. Presently she is at the Advisory Board for the World Bank in the Middle Eastern issues and also a member in the Global Agenda Council for war intervention, World Economic Forum.

She has a BA in Economics from Damascus University, a degree in Law from the Arab University, Beirut; a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the University of Toronto; a Certificate in Strategy Leadership from the University of Toronto, and a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Nour El Kadri, Professor of e-Business, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, and Vice-President, Canadian Arab Federation

Nour El Kadri has been a professor at the Telfer School of Management and at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of the University of Ottawa since 2002, teaching eBusiness Strategies, Mobile Commerce Networks and Corporate Governance and Ethics. He teaches MBA classes and has held various elected positions with the university including Vice President for strategic planning of a Union of Professors and negotiator of the bargaining committee representing 1200 professors.

Professor El-Kadri is also an internationally renowned expert on leadership and political organization. He has been selected by the National Democratic Institute for various international assignments on promoting democratic principles and on training in political organization and leadership. His recent work in Egypt over the last four years has benefitted many political parties that are at the heart of the emerging democratic change in Egypt. He is a strong advocate for the involvement of youth, women and minorities in the political process at all levels.

Nour is a member of the Laurier Club, was the Director of National Outreach of the Liberal Party of Canada, and sits on the board of various not-for-profit organizations. Currently, he is the Vice President of the Canadian Arab Federation and is a regular commentator on TV, radio and various media outlets on issues pertaining to the Arab Spring.


Ferry de Kerckhove, Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa; and Former High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan; and Ambassador to Indonesia and Egypt

Ferry de Kerckhove retired from the Foreign Service in September 2011 following his last placement as Canadian Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt and an illustrious career with the Canadian Foreign Service, which began 1973. For over four decades, he served in major diplomatic posts and policy positions including: Third Secretary to the Canadian Embassy in Tehran; Assistant Secretary, Inter-Departmental Committee on External Relations; East European Affairs (Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania) Economic Counsellor at the Canadian Delegation to NATO (1981–85); Director, Economic Relations with Developing Countries Division: Minister and Deputy Head of Mission to Moscow (1992); and Deputy Head of the Policy Branch and Director-General, Federal-Provincial Relations in Foreign Affairs and International Trade (1996). He remained in this position until he was named Canada’s High Commissioner to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (1998–2001). In September 2001, Mr. de Kerckhove presented his credentials as Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia and was also accredited to Timor Leste. Following a return to Ottawa in September 2003 he joined the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa as a Canadian Centre for Management Development Diplomat in Residence. In 2004 he became Director General, International Organizations and in 2006, he became the Personal Representative of the Prime Minister for la Francophonie.

Born in Belgium in 1947, he has a B.Soc. Sc. Honours in Economics and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Ottawa. He pursued Ph.D. Studies at Laval University in Québec City. He has published several papers on international relations as well as on the relationship between the Muslim world and the West in specialized journals. He is currently Senior Fellow in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, Faculty of Social Sciences, at the University of Ottawa.


Rami Khouri, Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut

Rami George Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian and US citizen whose family resides in Beirut and Nazareth. He is the Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, as well as a columnist at the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper. He was the editor-in-chief of the Jordan Times and he also wrote for many years from Amman, Jordan for leading international publications, including the Financial Times, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post. 

An internationally syndicated political columnist and book author, he is also a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Dubai School of Government. He has been a visiting scholar at Stanford, Syracuse, Tufts, Mt. Holyoke and Northeastern universities, and in November 2006 he was the co-recipient of the Pax Christi International Peace Award for his efforts to bring peace and reconciliation to the Middle East.

 Khouri was a Nieman journalism fellow at Harvard University in 2001-02, and recently served for four years on the international advisory board of the International Committee of the Red Cross. He has a BA in political science and an MSc in journalism from Syracuse University.


Sandra L. LeBlanc, WESTDEV International Inc. and Vice Chairman and President of the Canada-Arab Business Council

Sandra LeBlanc has been working in the international energy sector over the past twenty years managing private and public sector projects as a Vice President of International/Government Relations and International Business Development with both upstream and downstream petroleum companies, an integrated energy services company and a senior principal in consulting firms working with Canada’s leading small, medium and large corporations. Her experience and knowledge has been focused on the Middle East, including Iran, North Africa, and The Former Soviet Union with extensive knowledge of Kazakhstan where she spent six and a half years, Latin American primarily Argentina and Colombia.   Sandra has worked on projects in Asia, China, Mexico, Central and Latin America on a limited extent usually one or two projects in certain regions.

Patrick Martin, Middle East Correspondent, The Globe and Mail

Patrick Martin is the Senior Middle East Correspondent for the Globe and Mail. He first visited the Middle East in 1971, motorcycling across Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia and began writing as a freelance journalist in the region in 1982 (Jordan, Israel and Egypt), then for the Globe and Mail in 1985, ’86 and ’88 . He was the Globe and Mail’s first Middle East correspondent (1991–95) and has held various posts there as Foreign Editor (1995–99) and as Comment Editor (1999–2008). He reported for The Globe and Mail from Iraq in 2004, and from Lebanon 2006. His recent coverage of the Middle East includes the Arab uprisings in Egypt and Yemen. Martin was the host of Sunday Morning, the award-winning national program on CBC Radio (1979–81). He is the co-author of Contenders: The Tory Quest for Power (1983). Martin has been awarded as a Thomson Fellow, at the University of Toronto 1989–90 in Modern Arab History & Islamic Studies and was a finalist for National Newspaper Award, 1998, for an article on Israel’s Mid-Life Crisis and in 2011 for Inside Hamas, a multi-media presentation on the Islamic Resistance Group. Patrick Martin obtained a Law degree from University of Western Ontario in 1979 .


Bessma Momani, Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs; Senior Fellow, CIGI

Bessma Momani is Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation in Waterloo, and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Starting in September 2012 she will also be a Fulbright Scholar at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She is the author and editor of six books, including Canada and the Middle East by WLU Press and Targeted Transnationals: Arab-Canadian Immigration and Integration, forthcoming 2013 by UBC Press. She is a current and past recipient of federally funded Social Science and Humanities Research Council awards and a former fellow of the Amman Institute in Jordan. A regular contributor to CBC Radio on the Middle East, she has a bimonthly column in the Huffington Post, has written numerous editorials for the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, the National Post, and Embassy Magazine, and she has conducted dozens of television interviews on CTV, CBC, and Bloomberg television on the global economy and the Arab Spring.


Lillie Paquette, Director, We Are Egypt

Lillie Paquette is a specialist in international affairs with an MA in Global Studies from the Fletcher School of Law at Tufts University where she focused on mass media, public opinion, and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Paquette has followed developments in Middle East-US relations since she was an undergraduate at Northeastern University, when she first visited Egypt in 2002 as part of the Fulbright funded "Dialogue of Civilizations” exchange program with Cairo University. For several years, she worked on Middle East and North Africa programs at the Washington DC-based nonprofit, International Research and Exchanges Board, where she specialized in U.S. State Department-funded media and civil society development programs. During 2010, Paquette worked in Cairo, filming "We are Egypt — The Story Behind the Revolution.” While she was in Egypt she also worked as a news reporter and producer for Reuters Video News where she processed global videos—news reports and video footage for worldwide clients and consumers.  Paquette is an alumna of Docs in Progress  in Silver Spring, MD, where she studied documentary film production and appreciation.


Marvin Romanow, Calgary Oil Executive, former President and CEO Nexen

Marvin Romanow served as President and CEO of Nexen Inc. (TSE:NXY), a $12 Bn global, publicly held, energy company focused on oil sands, shale gas, and conventional offshore exploration and development (Jan 2009 – Jan 2012). Nexen’s international oil and gas assets consist of large acreage positions in select basins, including the UK North Sea, deep-water Gulf of Mexico, Yemen and offshore Nigeria. Prior to serving as CEO, Romanow held the position of CFO of Nexen since 1997. Romanow  has tackled some of the most complex challenges in the oil and gas sector, and has also dealt with numerous foreign governments, Asian and Middle East investors and NOC's. Romanow is an MBA/engineer with over 30 years experience in the oil and gas industry and has held senior positions in engineering, operations, finance and planning with Wascana Energy, Amoco, and Dome Petroleum. In April 2007, he was awarded Canada's "CFO of the Year" award and received the Petroleum Economist award for "Energy Executive of the Year" in the same year.


Nimer Sultany, Human Rights Lawyer & Palestinian Academic

Nimer Sultany
is a Palestinian academic and human rights lawyer. He graduated from Harvard Law School as a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD). He has law degrees from the College of Management (LL.B.), Tel Aviv University (LL.M.), and the University of Virginia (LL.M.). His recent work focuses on progressive constitutional and political theory. Mr. Sultany headed the Political Monitoring Project at Mada al-Carmel – The Arab Center for Applied Social Research. His publications include: "The State of Progressive Constitutional Theory: The Paradox of Constitutional Democracy and the Project of Political Justification" (Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review); Citizens without Citizenship: Israel and the Palestinian Minority (Mada, 2003); 'The Legacy of Justice Aharon Barak: A Critical Review" (Harvard International Law Journal Online); and (with Nadim Rouhana) "Redrawing the Boundaries of Citizenship: Israel’s New Hegemony" (Journal of Palestine Studies). His op-eds have also been published in The Guardian, the Miami Herald, the Boston Globe, Ha'aretz, Arabs48, and al-Quds al-Arabi.


H.E. Yaşar Yakiş, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Turkey and Advisory Board Member, Institute of Cultural Diplomacy

Yasar Yakis joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in 1962. Since then he has served in various posts including: the Turkish Consulate General in Belgium; the Turkish Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria; NATO Defence College in Rome; Counsellor with the Turkish Delegation to NATO and the Turkish Embassy in Damascus. In 1988, he became the Turkish Ambassador to Riyadh; Deputy Under-Secretary to the Ministry in 1992; and in 1995, became the Ambassador of Turkey to Cairo. From 1998 to 2000 he served as the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations Office and other international organizations based in Vienna. In 2000-2001 he lectured at Bilkent University and at Hacettepe University in Ankara on Turkish Foreign Policy and on Water Policy.

 In 2001, Yakis became the founding member of the Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) and its Vice Chairman in charge of International Relations. He was first elected as Member of Parliament in 2002 and became Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2002-2003, where he contributed to the work of the European Convention to draft the Constitution for Europe and was also credited with easing tensions with Cyprus. He was re-elected as Member of Parliament in 2007. From 2003 to 2011, he was the Chairman of the EU Committee in the Turkish Parliament and co-Chairman of the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission as well as the Chairman of the Friendship Group with France in the Turkish Parliament from 2007 to 2011. He has been the recipient of multiple awards including: First Degree Order of King Abdulaziz for his promotion of Turkish Saudi relations; the “Ordine della Stella Italiana – Commendatore – 2007” awarded by the President of the Republic of Italy; and the Legion d'Honneur (Officier) by the French Republic in 2009.



2016 Summer Conference

The Canada Project

Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World

August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON

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Couchiching Connects
April 2017
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