Linkedin Discussion Group

International Young Leaders

Jamal Alkirnawi

Jamal Al-Kirnawi is the Counselor for Arab Students at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva, Israel.  His research examines the use of storytelling as a method for sparking dialogue between Mizrachi Jewish immigrants living in a marginalized area of Beer Sheva and Israeli Arab Bedouin from the nearby Bedouin city of Rahat.  He participates in an international seminar in Hamburg, Germany, with Professor Dan Bar-On of Ben Gurion University entitled "From Silence to Dialogue: Developing Skills in Practice and Research Across Ethnic, Religious and Cultural Dividing Lines."  Additionally, he has worked as an organizer with Community Advocacy, an Israeli non-profit organization working to raise awareness of the social and economic rights of residents of Israel.  During his time with Community Advocacy, Jamal organized "storefront community centers" in the Bedouin community, which inform, educate, and advocate for the rights of Bedouin citizens of Israel.  He has also done similar human rights work with Bedouin youth and special needs children through "Shatil," a training center for social change in Israel.  Jamal holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from McGill University through the Peace Building and Civil Society program, which brings together Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian students for training in human rights advocacy.  He holds a B.A. in Health Systems Management from Ben Gurion University.

Ilaria Allegrozzi

Ilaria Allegrozzi was born in Rome in 1979. She obtained her degree in Humanities at La Sapienza University inRome. She has published a book entitled Canzoniere Ermaphrodito, a collection of poems and tales on the ambiguity of human nature. In 2003 she worked as a journalist for the Italian National Newspaper Il Tempo. In 2004 she moved to Gabon where she spent more than a year working for a project financed by the European Commission that dealt with the trafficking of children. She then moved to Brussels to work for Youthxchange, a UNEP-UNESCO initiative on sustainable consumption. In September 2006, Ilaria came to Belfast to continue her postgraduate studies and is now pursuing an LLM in Human Rights Law at Queen’s University. Her research focuses on the question of reservations to the Convention against Genocide and how they may jeopardise the raison d’être of the treaty. Her work concentrates in particular on two countries: Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Jobb Arnold

Jobb Arnold completed a BA at Lakehead University in psychology and political science where he was involved with the international student community, the university’s social justice centers as well as several not-for-profit agencies.  After graduating, Jobb received a grant from the Canadian International Development Agency to embark on a life changing experience in Rwanda where he took part in a collaborative project with the National University of Rwanda’s Center for Conflict Management and also served as an intern at the United Nations Development Project in the area of good governance and reconciliation. Jobb is currently a graduate student in Social Psychology at the University of British Columbia where he is studying personal transformation in Rwanda and factors involved in vengeance and forgiveness. He is also involved with the Vancouver based NGO Building Bridges with Rwanda as well as the Action, Research and Experience initiative through Simon Fraser University’s public interest research group.

Tamara Barbakadze

Tamara Barbakadze is from Yerevan in Armenia. She is a journalist by education and has written articles about student life, health problems and, most recently, human rights issues in Armenia. Currently she is a student at the American University of Armenia School of Law where, in November 2007, she will receive her Masters in Comparative Legal Studies. Tamara is especially interested in human rights law, humanitarian law and international law. She has volunteered in international organizations and NGOs like the Armenian Red Cross, the Armenian UN Association, the UNDP and the UNHCR. Currently she is working in World Vision International's Armenian branch, as Program Assistant for their HIV/AIDS project.

Jennifer Nellie Beckley
Sierra Leone

Jennifer Nellie Beckley is a legal practitioner and human rights advocate in Sierra Leone. She was born in 1980 in Freetown and completed 12 years of primary and secondary school education there. When Jennifer was 17, she and her brother escaped the civil war in Sierra Leone and left for The Gambia, where they lived as refugees for three months. Later, they joined their aunt in Pakistan, an international civil servant for the UN. By virtue of her aunt’s job, she traveled frequently and feels fortunate to have visited many countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle-East and Africa. After completing her LLB, she returned to Freetown. She was called to the Sierra Leone Bar in 2003, and worked as a State Counsel at the Law Officers’ Department in Freetown for three years and later as a Junior Attorney at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. In December 2006, she received an LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa from the University of Pretoria with a thesis on ‘Juvenile Justice and the Right of Child Offenders to a fair Hearing in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone.’  She speaks Krio, English and French.

Audrey Boctor

Audrey Boctor is an Associate-in-Law at Columbia Law School, where she is a SSHRC Fellow and Recipient of the Delta Upsilon Memorial scholarship, and teaches the Legal Practice Workshop to first-year law students.  Her graduate research focuses on the role of criminal law in forming community identity.  In 2005-2006 she clerked for Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin at the Supreme Court of Canada.  Prior to clerking, she worked as an intern in Chambers at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, as a research assistant to the Law Commission of Canada and as a student at Crown Law Office – Criminal in Toronto.  Audrey received her LL.B. and B.C.L. degrees from McGill in 2005, and her B.A. from the University of Western Ontario in 2001, where she won the Gold Medal for Honours in Political Science and French.

Matt Bowlby

A native of Minneapolis, Matt earned a B.A. with honors in International Affairs and Spanish-Portuguese Studies from the University of Minnesota.  While a student in Minnesota, he co-founded a fair trade student organization and worked with the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition and AFL-CIO on labor and trade rights in the Americas.  Matt studied abroad on three continents, founding a German GmbH in Berlin and conducting research on democracy and civil society in Brazil and Cuba. He is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow and David Boren National Security Scholar.  After graduation Matt moved to Syria where he learned Arabic and founded a human rights organization with Syrian youth.  He has worked for the US Department of State and UN Development Program.  Currently a Civil Affairs Officer for the UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan, he is facilitating national reconciliation and conflict resolution while monitoring the Darfur crisis.  He is also a researcher for International Justice Sector Development, an NGO that supports justice systems in transition and post-conflict reconstruction.  He is now assisting the Rwandan government to transfer cases from the UN Criminal Tribunal to the Rwandan national justice system.  He is fluent in Arabic, German, Portuguese and Spanish.

Anton Burkov

Anton Burkov holds a law degree (Urals State Law Academy), a kandidat iuridicheskikh nauk (Tiumen’ State University), an LL.M. (University of Essex, Chevening Scholar), and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in law (University of Cambridge, TNK-BP Kapitza Scholar). In 2001-2002, he completed the PILI/COLPI Public Interest Law Fellows Programme at Columbia University School of Law.  Since 1998 he has been practicing and teaching human rights law. During his nine years of practice as a human rights lawyer with the Urals Centre of Constitutional and International Human Rights Protection of the NGO Sutyajnik (, Anton litigated cases in district and regional courts, the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. At the moment he serves as a legal representative in a number of cases before the European Court of Human Rights. Anton taught at the Urals State Law Academy and the Urals Institute of Economy, Management and Law, participated in many workshops as a trainer, presented papers at conferences, and published five books and more then 20 papers in major Russian law journals and in English-language law journals. In 2000 Anton was awarded a city-wide legal prize: the “Profi-Yekaterinburg” in the area of “Jurisprudence.” In 2001 he was awarded the highest legal prize in Russia, the “FEMIDA” award, “for contributions toward the creation of a democratic society and the development of state legal institutions.” In 2002 he set up a human rights news agency, Sutyajnik-Press.

Megan Carroll

Megan Carroll is the Program Coordinator for the University Committee on Human Rights Studies at Harvard University. As part of her role, she coordinates the Scholars at Risk program which provides fellowships for academics whose lives and work are threatened in their home countries.  Megan graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 2002. As an undergraduate, she spent a year studying international relations and human rights at the London School of Economics.   She has visited 29 countries, including South Africa as a Rotary International exchange student, Japan as a participant in the JET program, Guyana as an intern at the US Department of State, and the Netherlands as a law clerk for the Milosevic prosecution at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Last year, Megan spent two months in Sierra Leone and Liberia with the International Rescue Committee.  Currently, she serves as a Senior Fellow of Humanity in Action and as a Resident Tutor in Public Service for Harvard undergraduates. 

Phebe Mavungu Clément
Democratic Republic of Congo

Born in Mbanza-Ngungu in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1978, Phebe Mavungu Clément started his primary education in 1984 and completed his high school in 1997 in literature and philosophy. Inspired by his father’s work as a customary judge, he enrolled in the University of Kinshasa’s Law Faculty in 1998. His outstanding academic performance was the basis for his selection as his faculty’s representative to the 2003 Human Rights Moot Court competition held in Yaoundé by the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria. After completing his law degree with distinction, he was selected as a Teaching Assistant in his faculty. He also worked as a Legal Advisor in ADIMAG, a local NGO, and as a Technical Controller and Electoral Trainer in the Independent Electoral Commission. In 2006, he successfully completed his Masters in Human Rights and Democratisation at the University of Pretoria, during which he participated in a field trip organized to the Special Court of Sierra Leone. While in the American University in Cairo as an exchange student, he undertook an internship with EIPR, an Egyptian Human Rights NGO. He is currently enrolled as a PhD student in The Witwatersrand University School of Law. His main areas of interest include human rights, transitional justice, international criminal justice, international peace and security law and private military security.

Holly Dranginis

Holly Dranginis completed her BA at Connecticut College in International Relations and History with an emphasis in Human Rights. As an undergraduate, she conducted fieldwork with the Paraguayan Truth and Justice Commission and investigated the effects of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the National Coordinator for Human Rights in Lima. In 2005, she traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to participate in an IIMCR Symposium on mediation and conflict resolution and carry out research for her Honors Thesis, which compared the post-truth commission experiences of Peru and South Africa. Upon graduating, Holly received a Humanity in Action fellowship to study genocide prevention and conduct field research in Denmark. She then interned with the Institute for Justice Sector Development in The Hague during the organization's formative stages. Holly is currently a Fulbright Scholar working in affiliation with the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights on transitional justice initiatives in Guatemala. Specifically, she is working on the Guatemalan Genocide Case currently pending in the Spanish National Court, as well as draft legislation for the National Reparations Commission. She has also become involved in supporting legal action against femicide in Guatemala.

Hovig Etyemezian

Hovig Hetyemezian holds a Masters degree in Gender and Peace-building from the Costa Rica-based United Nations-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE), and a Bachelors in Political Science from Haigazian University in Beirut.  His Masters thesis was entitled “An analysis of Armenian women’s empowerment, status and contribution to the creation of a post-genocide diasporan society in Lebanon,” and involved field research on the nature of reconstruction of a society in a post-genocide Diaspora. He has served as a researcher within various organizations such as Jinishian Memorial Program (JMP), Saint Joseph University, UPEACE and Oxford University.  He is a member of the Foundation for Human and Humanitarian Rights, Lebanon (FHHRL) in which he conducts periodical training sessions for university students and lawyers, monitor elections, co-teach university courses and contribute to annual reports. He is also a member of the Young Leaders’ Peace Council, a group formed by the Global Peace Initiative of women (GPIW).  Hovig also serves as a volunteer trainer for SOLIYA, an NGO promoting conflict resolution and prevention, facilitating sessions of dialogue between students from the Unites States and the MENA region. He is currently Senior Administrative Clerk at the UNHCR Regional office in Beirut.  As an individual of Armenian descent who was born and raised in Lebanon, he has received academic training in English, French, Arabic, Armenian, and Spanish.

Rebecca Hamilton

Rebecca Hamilton graduated from Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government this year. She is a Representative of the Genocide Intervention Network through which she is working to build a permanent political constituency against genocide and mass atrocity. She co-founded the Harvard Darfur Action Group, a cross-campus organization which was involved in Harvard's precedent-setting decision to divest from companies supporting the Sudanese government. As a Chayes International Public Service Fellow, Rebecca spent the summer of 2005 working as a legal clerk to the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Before starting law school she worked in Sudan, where she executed a plan to help Sudan's internally displaced population. Rebecca is currently researching the impact of Darfur advocacy on the decision-making of the Executive branch of the US Government, and recently co-authored, "Not On Our Watch" - about the formation of the US civil society movement for Darfur, published in War In Darfur and the Search for Peace (Harvard University Press, 2007). Rebecca has written op-eds in the International Herald Tribune: Sudan After Garang: Saving the Peace, and Boston Globe: Who Says Student Activism is Dead? and has also authored an article on R2P for the Harvard Human Rights Journal, " The Responsibility to Protect: From Document to Doctrine-But What of Implementation?"

Bonney Hartley

Bonney Hartley is working towards a career in international advocacy for indigenous peoples. From Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians in Wisconsin, USA, Bonney initially focused her studies on Native Americans, writing an undergraduate thesis on the changing ethnic identities of elders in the Mohican community. As a Masters student in International Relations at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, she broadened her research to focus on international issues dealing with indigenous peoples, and wrote a thesis on the government policy of Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa towards their San indigenous communities. In 2006 she completed an internship with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples in New York, an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council. There, she monitored the discussions in the human rights and culture committee on the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Bonney is currently a research assistant with the NGO Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC) in Cape Town and works to promote understanding of the African context of indigenous peoples’ issues. For IPACC, she helped develop and then served as a trainer for a human rights advocacy training workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for regional indigenous leaders.

Saleh Hijazi

Saleh Hijazi was born in 1983 in Jerusalem and raised in Ramallah, Palestine. He graduated from the Friends Schools in Ramallah in 2001 and went to the U.S to pursue higher education. He studied philosophy, politics and conflict resolution at Lawrence University in Wisconsin under an International Student Scholarship, earning his B.A in 2005. His Senior Honours Thesis was entitled "Yasser Arafat: A Palestinian Prophet in the Formation of Palestinian National Identity." During the second half of 2005 he worked as a Public Relations Officer for the Office of the Ministry of Planning in Ramallah, Palestine. Since 2006 he has been studying for a Masters in the Theory and Practice of Human Rights at University of Essex in England, where he is President of the University of Essex Palestinian Society. His research, supported by an Open Society Institute Chevening/British Council Scholarship, engages with the issue of the cultural genocide of small peoples throughout the world, focusing in part on an indigenous group in North America. Saleh's broader academic interest is in issues of activism and resistance, and he intends to build a career in the areas of media and education.

Jesper Houborg

Jesper Houborg is a graduate student in International Development Studies and Philosophy at Roskilde University, Denmark. He has also studied at the University of Madrid, and more recently at the University of Buenos Aires, with an academic focus on human rights and conflicts in Latin America.  As a graduate student his main academic focus has been the examination of the root causes of the genocide in Rwanda, linked to the present reconciliation process in the country, and the role of the international society from before the genocide in 1994 and until today.  With support from the Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA) in 2006, Jesper conducted field research, and an educational film production in Rwanda. The documentary Ingando – When Enemies Return (2007) is about the ongoing reconciliation process and prevention of a possible new conflict in Rwanda. It focuses on the so-called re-educational camps in Rwanda, called Ingando – a subject which is much unknown for many genocide scholars. Working at Danish Institute for International Studies, Department of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Jesper assisted on research assignments on the present situation in Darfur, by examining how the major international actors label and react to the conflict in Darfur, and writing an article for the Department’s educational website about the reconciliation 12 years after the genocide in Rwanda.

Dan Juma

Dan Juma is currently a Programme Officer at the Kenya Human Rights Commission, the premier human rights watchdog in Kenya. A lawyer by profession, Dan holds an LL.B. from the University of Nairobi (Kenya), and a Master of Arts from the Université pour la Paix (San José, Costa Rica), an institution established by the United Nations in 1980 to foster peace and human rights through education. He has also undertaken specialized courses in the School of Human Research (The Hague, Netherlands and Leuven, Belgium), the School of International Training (Vermont, USA), the United Nations (Geneva, Switzerland) and the International Center for Transitional Justice (Kampala, Uganda). Previously, he worked as a Research Assistant to the Secretary and Chief Executive of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission, the body mandated to draft Kenya’s new Constitution and the Electoral Commission of Kenya. He speaks Swahili, Luo, English, German and basic Spanish.

Rosebell Kagumire

Rosebell Kagumire is a human rights journalist with experience in print, radio and television media. She graduated from Makerere University (Uganda) in 2005 with a degree in Mass Communications, concentrating on print journalism. Rosebell has always demonstrated a commitment to journalism, dating back to when, as a student, she began writing for Uganda’s Daily Monitor, an independent daily newspaper. After graduating from university, she worked for the Uganda Radio Network, an agency of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) ( in London, where she developed an interest in broadcast journalism. She is most proud of the stories she contributed to IWPR during the February 2006 presidential election campaigns in Uganda. In October 2006, she joined Nation TV Uganda (NTV), which is an arm of East Africa's Nation Media Group, where she continues to specialize in reporting on the judicial system and human rights issues. Rosebell has also completed the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network's Africa Justice training program, where she studied the role of media in criminal justice, specifically with respect to the International Criminal Court and other war crimes trials. Most recently, she reported on the International Conference on Gender, Nation Building and the Role of Parliament in Kigali, Rwanda, where she interviewed Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of Liberia, on her role in promoting reconciliation and post-conflict reconstruction after Liberia’s 14-year civil war.

Daniela Korbas-Magal

Daniela Korbas-Magal is currently a PhD student in the Communications Department of Ben-Gurion University, Israel. Her research interests include virtual citizen political participation and empowerment, citizen-government relations in contemporary democracies and new political tools. Daniela recently finished her military service as an Officer of the Israeli Defense Forces Spokesperson's Unit. Her booklet, "Normative Aspects in the Influence of Information Technology on Civil Participation and Quality of Governance: Towards a Model of Technological Democracy,” based on her M.A dissertation, has recently been published in Hebrew. Daniela is also interested in biology, history, the philosophy of science, political philosophy, literature, sociology, communications studies and many other fields. She is mainly concerned with questions of power and justice, and believes these should be studied from various perspectives and disciplines. Daniela was born in Israel in 1983 to immigrant parents from Latvia. She is Fluent in Hebrew, English, Russian and Yiddish.

Kris Kotarski

Kris Kotarski grew up in Warsaw, Poland before immigrating to Canada in 1991.  He is currently a Masters candidate at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. His thesis focuses on cooperative threat reduction (CTR) programs in the Former Soviet Union and their effect on the illicit nuclear materials market.  He also works as a journalist for the CanWest News chain in Canada, primarily for the Calgary Herald. He has been a contributor to the Calgary Herald’s feature pages since May 2003, and has written a regular column on national affairs and culture since September 2003. He helped to create and has edited and coordinated the online youth opinion section for the Herald, and his work has appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, the Edmonton Journal, the Vancouver Sun, the Montreal Gazette, the National Post and The Province (Vancouver).  In 2006 Kris completed a Research Fellowship at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research in Geneva, Switzerland (UNIDIR). During his time at UNIDIR, he contributed to two projects—one focusing on legislation and norm creation when dealing with arms brokerage, and the other on the effectiveness of the ECOWAS moratorium on small arms trade in West Africa.

Muhamed Mesic

Muhamed Mesic was born in 1984 in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina. After growing up during the war in Bosnia and finishing school, he went on to study law at the University of Vienna. There he specialized in international law and human rights, and took courses in East Asian and Jewish studies. He now works as a Research Fellow for the Institute for Research of Crimes Against Humanity and International Law of the University of Sarajevo, coordinating international projects and researching the genocide in Bosnia as well as the Holocaust. Muhamed has also closely worked on human rights-related projects with various institutions throughout Africa, Europe and North America. He works with the British Council in London on projects related to the creative industries, having served on the Tuzla City Council from 2004 to 2006. His work within the city administration involved managing and improving the city's international relations and youth policy. Muhamed co-founded the "Youth of Tuzla" association in 2004, using theatre as a tool to empower disadvantaged youth in the city. Muhamed is also a special advisor to Brainswork, a Vienna/Louisville-based sustainable development network. He spends his free time learning and teaching languages from Aramaic to Yiddish and Inuktitut.

Sarah Meyer

Sarah Meyer has a BA (Hons) in History and Politics from Monash University, Australia, and an MPhil in Development Studies with Distinction from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.  Her passion for refugee issues emerges from community-based work in Melbourne, Australia with asylum detainees and Afghani temporary protection visa holders. Her research has focused on protracted refugee situations, particularly of Sudanese refugees in Uganda, and she conducted research at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Geneva [UNHCR] in Kampala and in two refugee settlements in Uganda for her thesis in 2005, which was published as a UNHCR New Issues Working Paper. She taught at the 2006 Refugee Studies Centre Summer School at the University of Oxford, and attended UNHCR Executive Committee Meetings as a delegate for the Refugee Studies Centre. As a 2006-2007 Sauvé Scholar at McGill University, Sarah is conducting research on rights-based approaches to refugee aid and development and international responses to internal displacement. She has recently undertaken a research project for a refugee lobby group, A Just Australia, on complementary protection and off-shore processing of refugees in Australia. Having studied conflict, crisis and intervention, she is currently involved in strategy and planning for research projects through the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies and Senator Romeo Dallaire.

Mekdes Mezgebu

Mekdes Mezgebu was born in 1983 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is the fifth child in a family of six children. When Mekdes was 3 years old, her father, who always believed in the power of education, enrolled her in a kindergarten school. Subsequently, she attended elementary and high school at The Nazareth School, a Catholic Missionary school in Addis Ababa. She feels that it was during this period that she acquired some of the core principles and values that guide her now. In 2000, she passed the Ethiopian School Leaving Examination, receiving academic honors and successfully enrolling in the oldest university in Ethiopia, the Addis Ababa University. After finishing her freshman year, she was one of the few female students to be accepted into the Addis Ababa University Law School without the benefit of using an affirmative action program available for women. She graduated in 2006 with a degree in law. She is most interested in studying human rights norms and values, political and religious persecutions, and historical massacres such as the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide.

Jina Moore

Jina Moore is a second-year at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, where she's studying conflict analysis as a U.S. Truman Scholar and a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar.  Previously, she studied Holocaust history at Boston University, graduating summa cum laude, and was a founding member of board of the West Virginia Holocaust Education Foundation.  She has done field research on youth in Rwanda and on the generational transmission of trauma in Dresden.  As a journalist, she's keenly interested in the possibilities for storytelling in all its forms—artistic, journalistic, historical—to serve as a path to peace.  The focus of her recent work, guided by the International Center for Conciliation, has been on the role of disputed versions of history in fueling ethnic conflict and genocide. She is a co-founder and current chair of the Women's Humanitarian Network, based at Columbia University.

Cyprien Ntahomvukiye

Cyprien Ntahomvukiye is a young human rights activist from Burundi. Cyprien has worked for seven years with international organizations, in particular with CARE International in Burundi as a Coordinator for Partnership, Civil Society and Human Rights Education and as a Capacity Building Officer. He is the Executive Director and founder of Youth Strategy for Disaster Reduction (YSDR), an active network of young people working to reduce disaster risk. Cyprien participated in the United Nations International Leadership Institute program on non violent approaches to conflict resolution, peace building and reconciliation in Amman, Jordan. He is also participating in the launch of the International and Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Discourse on the Rwandan Genocide. He attended the Face to Face Course in Freetown, Sierra Leone, a program of the United Network of Young Peacebuilders on “Youth Transforming Conflicts.” He is particularly ready and eager to share his experiences from local communities in Burundi, where he believes the foundation for tolerance must be built.

Will Paterson

Will Paterson holds a combined LLB/BCL from McGill University, an MSc in Government from London School of Economics, as well as a BA in International Studies and Economics from Glendon College of York University in Toronto.   He was valedictorian of the Class of 2006 at the Faculty of Law, McGill University.  His thesis at the London School of Economics was ‘Organizing Murder: The Role of the Rwandan Civil Service in the Genocide.’  He is currently articling at McCarthy Tetrault LLP in Toronto and will begin working as an Associate at an international law firm in London, England in September 2007.  Will has worked with the McGill Clinic for the Special Court for Sierra Leone and clerked in 2004 for Rt Hon Judge Sir Dennis Byron at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania.  Will is co-founder and a member of the Board of Directors of Never Again International, a not-for-profit organization devoted to educating and connecting young people around the world with an aim to preventing genocide.

Nicole Powell

Nicole Powell received a B.A from the University of New Hampshire in 2004 and an M.A in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire in 2006.  Her research focuses on genocide, humanitarian crises, and conflict resolution.  Her thesis examined the precursory events of the Armenian and Rwandan genocides while advancing a preliminary model depicting precursory events that seemingly lead political elites to adopt a policy of genocide.  Her most current research endeavors focus on the humanitarian crisis occurring in Darfur, Sudan and the prevention of future atrocities.  Nicole has presented academic papers on genocide and humanitarian crises at International Studies Association and New England Political Science Association conferences.   She has volunteered with organisations like Project Sunshine, INH Chapter and the Seacoast Big Brother Big Sister Program.  She is currently teaching world history and United States history to middle and high school students at the Waterville Valley Academy.

Rajat Rana

Rajat Rana graduated from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, in June 2006. During law school, he was engaged with the Law and Society Committee through which he tried to generate interdisciplinary scholarship in law school, by founding ‘Socio-Legal’ Review Journal and by organizing the first South Asia Roundtable Conference on ‘Law and Social Movements’.  He has received many scholarships and grants to undertake internships with various organizations around the world and to attend seminar courses. After law school, he spent several months assisting the Judges at the Trial Chamber II on Military II case at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, as a legal intern.  Rajat have published several papers in leading national and international journals and currently authoring a book on “Indigenous People as Subalterns in International Law’. He is currently a practicing lawyer in the High Court of State of Punjab and Haryana as well as the Supreme Court of India and will commence a Masters in Law at Stanford University in fall 2007.

Gaston Segakiga

Gaston Segakiga was born to a family of eight children in Rwanda. When he was 15 years old, genocide struck his country. His parents, brothers and sisters all perished. As a genocide survivor, Segakiga concentrated on his studies, finding it the only way to regain hope in his life. He attended Kigali Independent University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in law. Soon after graduating, he worked in the Eastern Province of Rwanda, where he was in charge of politics and good governance. In 2004, he was appointed as a judge in the Provincial Court of Byumba (today the Higher Instance Court of Gicumbi), where he spent one and a half years. In January 2006, he was nominated by presidential decree as an executive secretary of the Muko sector, a local government entity in the Gicumbi district, Northern Province. Apart from his duties as a civil servant, he is a founding member of two genocide survivors' associations, namely AERG (Association des Etudiants Rescapés du Génocide) and GAERG (Groupe des anciens de l'AERG). His also a member of NDIHO REVIVO (Redonner l'Espoir de Vivre aux Veuves et Orphelins), through which he helps genocide survivors regain hope and educates the Rwandan community on the causes and impacts of genocide.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui is a first generation Pakistani born to Indian immigrants in Karachi, Pakistan.  She has an MSc. in International Development from the University of Bath and an MA in Women’s Studies from the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Studies at the University of Karachi. At present, Saima is working as a Gender Specialist at the Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC) in Karachi where she focuses on conflict, human rights, faith and development issues related to gender and governance in Pakistan. She has published a women workers manual, “Aao Ghulami apni Chodain” (“Let’s break away from our slavery”). While at the University of Bath, she co-organised a seminar called “Are we all Xenophobic?” concerning race issues in Britain and set up a weekly video forum screening political and human rights documentaries for the Institute for International Policy and Analysis (IFIPA). After completing her studies, Saima volunteered for the Welsh Refugee Council activities, in Cardiff, UK. She has completed certified human rights and social justice courses in London and Karachi, and co-supervised two research studies concerning gender and human rights issues. Saima was given the Best Performance Shield from the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) and has received various academic scholarships.

Sjoerd Sjoerdsma
The Netherlands

Sjoerd Wiemer Sjoerdsma is a senior policy advisor at the Sudan unit of the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs. As the political and military desk officer, he is amongst others responsible for the substantial Dutch support to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur. Having regularly visited both Darfur and South Sudan, he has had first hand experience in dealing with both victims and perpetrators of mass violence. Prior to this, Sjoerd was selected to take part in the high potential programme of the Dutch government, during which he worked a year and a half at the international affairs department of the ministry of Transport. To complete his term he took up the post of personal assistent to the Ambassador at the OSCE during the Dutch presidency of the European Union. Having completed a Bachelor’s degree at the University College Utrecht, he went on to specialise in Anglo-American relations during his MSc in International Relations at the London School of Economics. Sjoerd hopes to use his experience at the Sudan unit to engage students and lecture about the complexities of the Darfur conflict and the ‘responsibility to protect’ concept.

Gulazat Tursun

Gulazat Tursun completed her postgraduate studies in International Relations at Xinjiang University, China, in 2000. She worked as a teacher at Xinjiang Administrative School from 2000 to 2004, where she taught Criminal Law, Economic Law, International Relations, and Labour Law. In 2004, she was invited to teach at the Science and Technology School of Xinjiang University. She is now a teacher at Xinjiang University. In 2006 she completed her Master’s degree in the Human Rights Program at Peking University and created a Human Rights and Business course at Xinjiang University. She has published various articles in academic journals, addressing such topics as Xinjiang’s economic development, administrative management, minority education, women’s issues, drug crime, cross border crime, bribery, corporate social responsibility, and migrant workers’ rights. In March 2006, she was sent to the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Sweden. Gulazat enjoys volunteer work and often organizes her students to contribute to grassroots efforts. She has also worked for Aizhixing, an NGO in China that works for the rights of those with AIDS, as well as the Association of Disabled Persons. She hopes to continue to contribute to the development of human rights in Xinjiang and to establish a local NGO dealing with labour rights.

Julia Turvey

Julia Turvey recently completed an MSc in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and is now a BCL/LLB candidate at McGill’s Faculty of Law. While at LSE she interned with a barrister specializing in refugee law and helped prepare and attended a conference on human trafficking. Her coursework focused on Refugee Law, the Law of Armed Conflict and Human Rights Law. She wrote her dissertation on the Rwandan Gacaca Court process and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). As a part of her research she traveled to Kigali to do field work. This summer she will be working for the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICTR as an intern with the McGill Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. Julia has previously worked with Mines Action Canada as a Youth Ambassador, where her training included a study tour in Bosnia and Croatia as well as training with the Canadian Red Cross.  She also worked on a research project in Malawi in 2002 and an outreach project on HIV/Aids in Mahdia, Guyana in 2000. Julia currently works with the Journal for Sustainable Development Law and Policy and is a Coordinator of McGill’s Human Rights Working Group.

Denyse Umutoni

Denyse Umutoni was born in 1976 in Kibirizi, now in the Southern Province of Rwanda. She attended the National University of Rwanda where she received a bachelor’s degree in Education. In the 1994 genocide, she lost almost her entire family. That inspired her not to seek revenge, but rather to promote human rights and peace. Since 2001, she has been involved in various human rights organizations, like CESTRAR, a workers union in Rwanda. Denyse is also the President of AMP (Messengers of Peace Association) which, with the help of the German government, created human rights clubs in all secondary schools in Rwanda. This year they plan to do the same with primary schools. Since 2004, she has been the national coordinator of CINEDUC (Youth Education Through Cinema), a project funded by DED and UNICEF that has been succesful in sensitizing the young and people in rural areas to issues such as conflict management, children’s rights, and racial discrimination. Denyse is married and has a daughter.

Ugur Ümit Üngör
The Netherlands

Uğur Ümit Üngör (1980) studied Sociology and History at the Universities of Groningen, Utrecht, Toronto, and Amsterdam. In 2005 he was the first student to graduate (summa cum laude) from the latter’s Masters program in ‘Holocaust and Genocide Studies.’ His main area of interest is the historical sociology of mass violence and nationalism. Fluent in several languages, he has conducted archival and field research in Europe and in the Middle East. He has published on genocide in general and on the Rwandan and Armenian genocides in particular. At present he is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of History of the University of Amsterdam and an academic staff member of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam.

Dalia Zatara

Dalia Zatara’s interest in working in the human rights field strengthened after working as a field assistant with an international NGO in Ruwaished refugee camp on the Iraqi-Jordanian border in 2003. In 2004, she was introduced by the Jordan Red Crescent Society to the McGill Middle East Programme for Peace Building and Civil Society and was nominated to join their Social Work Matters Program. During her year in Montreal she engaged in various dialogues and peace building activities with her Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli colleagues, and with the Montreal community at large. She was also able to gain practical experience at the Y de Femmes in Montreal in the Women's Empowerment department. Dalia is currently working with the Jordan Red Crescent Society and assisting its partner organization, Sweileh Community Development Center, one of the six grassroots organizations established by the McGill Middle East Programme, on empowering the disadvantaged residents of low-income neighborhoods of Sweileh and promoting civil society. She is involved with a network of Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli researchers to examine the relationship between peace building and the right-based approach practiced by their grassroots organizations network. Dalia is currently completing a diploma in the international human rights of women at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute.

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