events & activities

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February 10, 2010

A New Way Forward: Public Forum on Afghanistan

By François-Xavier Tremblay

February 10, 2010
6-8 p.m. 
Day Chancellor Hall, Moot Court (room 100), 3644 Peel Street

(Followed by a reception at the Faculty of Law)

The Sauvé Scholars Program and McGill's Human Rights Working Group are pleased to host a public forum on Afghanistan featuring Dr. Nipa Banerjee, former Canada Head of Aid in Afghanistan, University of Ottawa; Prof. Stephen Saideman, McGill University; Michael Wodzicki, Deputy Director, Rights & Democracy; and Mirwais Nahzat, Sauvé Scholar.

With opening remarks by: Prof. Andrew G. Kirk, Associate Dean, Faculty of Engineering, McGill University.

Moderator: Keith Stanski, Sauvé Scholar, PHD candidate, Oxford University.

A reception will follow the discussion.

The event is being organized in honour of McGill's Dr. Jackie Kirk and other colleagues who lost their lives in Afghanistan.


Dr. Nipa Banerjee
Former Canada's Head of Aid in Afghanistan, University of Ottawa
Nipa Banerjee has served as a practitioner and policy analyst in international development and foreign aid for over 30 years. She worked with CUSO and IDRC and 33 years in CIDA. She represented CIDA in Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and in Afghanistan (2003-2006) heading Canada’s aid program in the four latter countries. She joined the University of Ottawa in July of 2007, teaching international development. She strives to promote debates and dialogue on development and aid, aiming to influence public opinion and public policies. She has to her credit several published policy briefs and a Chapter on Canada’s Role in Afghanistan in a recently published book. Her research interests include reconstruction, development and aid effectiveness, coordination, management and related policies in fragile states, in general and a special focus on Afghanistan, where she travels frequently. She earned Doctorate and Master’s degrees, specializing in development studies, from Toronto, Carleton and McMaster Universities.

Stephen Saideman
Canada Research Chair in International Security and Ethnic Conflict, McGill University
Stephen Saideman is Canada Research Chair in International Security and Ethnic Conflict, based in the Department of Political Science at McGill University.   In addition to his books, The Ties That Divide: Ethnic Politics, Foreign Policy and International Conflict and For Kin or Country: Xenophobia, Nationalism and War (with R. William Ayres), he has co-edited Intra-State Conflict, Governments and Security: Dilemmas of Deterrence and Assurance and published articles on the international relations and comparative politics of ethnic conflict in International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Peace Research, Security Studies and other journals.  He has published opinion pieces in Canadian and American newspapers and is a regular contributor to CTV News in Montreal.  Prof. Saideman spent 2001-2002 on the U.S. Joint Staff working in the Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate in the Central and East European Division as part of a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship. Saideman is now trying to understand the challenges of multilateral warfare and how different countries run their military operations in Afghanistan.
Michael Wodzicki
Deputy Director, Rights & Democracy
Michael Wodzicki is currently Deputy Director responsible for programs in Africa and Asia at Rights & Democracy, an organization created by Canada's parliament with the mandate to promote human rights and democratic development in developing countries. Previously, Michael led a parliamentary outreach program at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Mission in Belgrade, Serbia.  He also worked for three years as a policy advisor to a Canadian cabinet minister. In 2007, Michael was awarded a Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation Global Fellowship to research public perceptions of Canada’s democracy promotion activities abroad.  Michael has published and edited works on democracy, human rights, and development evaluation. He has degrees from McGill University and the University of Edinburgh.
Mirwais Nahzat
Sauvé Scholar
Mirwais Nahzat is a Sauvé Scholar and Founder of the Centre for Afghanistan Progress, a network of Afghan-Canadian professionals. He has worked as a Consultant with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and as a Senior Program Officer with World University Service of Canada. He is a regular contributor to the Canadian national media on Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan, including CBC television and radio. An Afghan-Canadian, he is the recipient of the City of Ottawa’s 2007 ‘Distinguished Award for Humanitarianism’ and Embassy of Afghanistan’s ‘Service Award’. He is a graduate of the University of Ottawa specializing in Public Policy and Governance. 


Keith Stanski
Sauvé Scholar and D.Phil candidate at Oxford University
Keith Stanski is a D.Phil. candidate at Nuffield College and Jeanne Sauvé Scholar. His doctoral research examines the significance of Anglo-American conceptions of ‘warlords’ in colonial and contemporary times. Prior to starting at Oxford, Keith worked with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), overseeing reconstruction projects across the southeast region. Keith holds a M.Phil. in International Relations from Oxford and an A.B. with Honours in International Relations (magna cum laude) from Brown University, where he edited the Brown Journal of World Affairs.




“Leaders must dream of changing the world.

They must have an inspired vision of the changes they want to make and be prepared to consecrate all
their energy to that purpose. A capacity to communicate their objectives is indispensable to sustain
the enthusiasm of their collaborators and their perseverance in action.”
— The Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, Opening Speech to the National Conference for Young Leaders, June 2-8, 1991