Room 2224, River Building, Carleton University,
1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Howard Adelman is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at York University. One of the founders of Rochdale College, as well as the founder and director for many years of York's Centre for Refugee Studies, he played a leading role in Canada’s welcoming thousands of Indochinese refugees in the late 70s and early 80s. He has received several honorary university and governmental appointments in Canada and abroad. The recipient of numerous awards and grants, he presented the inaugural lecture in a series named in his honor at York University.
Fariborz Birjandian has served on many local, national and international committees, boards and task forces related to immigration, refugees, diversity, equal rights and the cultural arts. As the CEO of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society for 20 years, he led the agency from 50 to over 200 staff, 1,600 volunteers, overseeing 70 programs from 12 locations in Southern Alberta. He has received numerous awards for his commitment to diversity and equal rights and for improving immigration and refugee settlement, policies and practices in Alberta, including, among others, the Government of Canada’s Citation for Citizenship, the Queen’s Jubilee Commemorative Medal and the Alberta Centennial Medal.
Geoffrey Cameron is a PhD Candidate and Trudeau Scholar in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. His dissertation focuses on the role of religious and voluntary groups in refugee resettlement admissions to Canada, the US and UK. Geoffrey is also Principal Researcher with the Baha’i Community of Canada, and he has previously worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs. He co-authored the “Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future” (Princeton, 2011) and has written about the Baha’i refugee program for the Literary Review of Canada and the Canadian International Council.
Since 2011, Mark Davidson is the Director General of International and Intergovernmental Relations at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), coordinating CIC’s international policy relations, interactions with Provincial and Territorial governments, and stakeholder relationship development. 2008-11, he was the Director General Biometrics Project Office CIC - responsible for initiating Canada’s Temporary Resident Biometrics Program, and Acting Director General Immigration Policy Branch, responsible for policy development in areas of permanent and temporary immigration. 1998-2010, he held Director level responsibilities in policy development including drafting and implementing the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and leading amendments to the Citizenship Act. He earlier served as a visa officer in the Canadian missions in Pakistan, Syria, Bangladesh, China and South Africa.
Michel de Salaberry, former Canadian Ambassador to Iran, has also served in the Canadian foreign service, 1975-2005, in Algeria, Israel and Palestine, Jordan, and Egypt, returning to service in Iran in 2005 and 2009, and Afghanistan in 2007. He is active in the Arche communities of persons with an intellectual handicap in Bethlehem and Gatineau; the NoRouz Foundation for Iran-Canada cultural exchanges; the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations; Paroisse du Sacré-Coeur, Ottawa, and is in the process of “collecting countries”, 133 visited by the end of this year.
Neda Faregh, Ph.D., is a health psychologist working in multicultural mental health and clinical psychology. A former refugee and ward of the UNHCR, she currently is a visiting scholar at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, and the Coordinator of the Multicultural Mental Health Resource Center, McGill University. Founder of the first psychology clinic in Chad using Tele-health to provide psychological services and training, she helped develop Chad’s Ministry of Health’s national mental health curriculum for nurses, midwives, and social workers. Her research in Chadian refugee camps addresses the mental health care capacity of health-care workers. She works to implement WHO’s Organization's mental health training program in Nigeria on a project aiming to improve maternal and infant health in that country.
Gerald Filson, Director of Public Affairs, Bahá'í Community of Canada, has degrees in mathematics, educational technology, and philosophy of education (Ph.D.) He served as the Chair of the Canadian Network on International Human Rights, 1999-2002, Co-Chair of the Mosaic Management Group of VisionTV in the 1990s, Chair of the Couchiching Annual Conference, 2007-2008 and served on the Board of the Couchiching Institute, 2008-14. He currently chairs the Canadian Interfaith Conversation.
Janet Grinsted received a degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of British Columbia and a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. Originally from B.C., she has lived in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories with her husband and two children for over 23 years, working in various positions in the Government of the Northwest Territories. She is currently serving as Deputy Director at the NWT Human Rights Commission. From 1984 to 1987, Janet worked in the Office of Legal Affairs at the Baha’i National Centre, where she assisted in the work of the International Baha’i Refugee Office.
Afsoon Houshidari was a child when she and her family fled Iran and were resettled to Canada as government-assisted refugees. She has worked and volunteered extensively in Canada and globally in the field of human rights, multiculturalism and integration, with organisations ranging from grass-roots community groups to UNICEF. Since 2008, she has been working as a lawyer for the Canadian Department of Justice, primarily in the areas of refugee and immigration law, human rights law, and public administrative law.
Laura Madokoro is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University. In broad terms, her research looks at the history of race, migration and humanitarianism. Specifically, she has worked extensively on the history of refugees in Asia during the cold war.
Dominique Marshall, History Department Chair, Carleton University, teaches Canadian and Quebec history of poverty and welfare, families and childhood, state formation, as well as the transnational history of humanitarian aid, and political economy. She has written about the history of the Canadian welfare state, the history of children’s rights, and the Child Welfare Committee of the League of Nations. Her current research is about the Conference on the African Child of 1931, and the early history of OXFAM in Canada. She has been Supervisor of Graduate Studies of her department for four years, and the French Editor of the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association for 20 years. She was trained at the Université de Montréal, Boston University, the London School of Economics, and SOAS. Her book, Aux origines sociales de l’État providence (1998) (in English, The Social Origins of the Welfare State (2006)) received the Jean-Charles Falardeau Price from the HSSFC.
James Douglas Martin trained as a historian (Western,McMaster,Wilfred Laurier), abandoning an academic career to serve full time in the administration of the Bahai Faith. He was elected to the Canadian National Assembly in 1960, and served as its Secretary General from 1965 to 1985. In 1985 he was appointed by the House of Justice, the international governing institution of the Bahai Faith, to create a system of offices of public information which he administered as Director General. In 1993 Mr Martin was elected to the House of Justice, twice re-elected until his retirement in 2005.
Daniel McNeil is an Associate Professor of History at Carleton University, where he is also affiliated with the Institute of African Studies and the Migration and Diaspora Studies Initiative. Prior to joining Carleton, he held the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Professorship in African and Black Diaspora Studies at DePaul University and taught media and cultural studies in the United Kingdom. His publications include Sex and Race in the Black Atlantic: Mulatto Devils and Multiracial Messiahs (2010) and A Tale of Two Critics: Structures of Feeling in the Black Atlantic (forthcoming).
Anthony P. Michel is a writer with a doctorate in Canadian history. His research interests include regional cultural histories, Canadian national identities, labour history, pluralism and recognition. During his history MA, he conducted qualitative research collecting oral histories of Ottawa-area Iranian Baha'i refugees, exploring the intersections and negotiations of their ethnic, linguistic, gender and religious identities through their experiences of migration, settlement and community integration. He presently works as a senior policy analyst at the Department of Canadian Heritage.
James Milner is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Carleton University and a Research Associate at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. He has published widely on issues relating to the global refugee regime, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the politics of asylum in Africa and the relationship between refugees and peacebuilding. He has worked as a consultant with the UNHCR in South Asia, West Africa and its Geneva Headquarters.
Mona Mojgani came to Canada from Iran in 1977 with her husband and three children. Working at the Baha'i National Centre in Markham, Ontario, she was asked in 1982 to work on the settlement of Baha'i Refugees, and in 1984 to be the Coordinator of the International Baha’i Refugee Office, established in Canada by the international Baha’i governing council, the Universal House of Justice. She worked with refugees in India, Turkey and Pakistan, and with Canadian Immigration and UNHCR Officials to ensure the smooth processing of Baha'i refugee cases. She was responsible for the resettlement of 10,000 Baha’i refugees in 19 countries, primarily Iranian refugees, but also some Vietnamese and Lebanese refugees. Mona is retired and lives with her husband in Richmond Hill Ontario.
Michael Molloy is an adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa and president of the Canadian Immigration Historical Society. Much of his 35 year career in the Foreign Service focused on refugee policy and operations. He coordinated the Indochinese Refuge movement 1979-80 and was Ambassador to Jordan 1996-2000.
James Opp is the Co-Director of the Centre for Public History and an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Carleton University. He is a social and cultural historian of Canada, with particular interests in memory, place, the archive, and visuality. Recently he co-edited (with John C. Walsh), Placing Memory and Remembering Place in Canada (UBC Press, 2010), and has published articles on photography, advertising, and historical consciousness.
Mina Sanaee is former Iranian Baha’i refugee, who arrived in Canada in 1983. She worked as an interpreter/translator for the UN High Commission for Refugees in Iran and Pakistan and served as an assistant in the International Baha’i Refugee Office for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada, later accepting a position as translator with the Canadian government.
Dennis Scown, after receiving his MA in Political Science from the University of Calgary joined the Foreign Service in 1973 and served in London 1974-78 and Vienna 1978-80. He spent most of a 35 year career overseas, serving as Immigration Program Manager in Islamabad from 1983-86, followed by Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, and retired from his last posting in Damascus in 2008. All postings following London had a significant refugee component.
Deborah van den Hoonaard is Professor in the Gerontology Department and Canada Research Chair in Qualitative Research and Analysis at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, NB. She is author of several books including: The Widowed Self: The Older Woman’s Journey through Widowhood and Qualitative Research in Action: A Canadian Primer. She was a member of the local administrative body of the Baha’is of Fredericton during the Refugee Resettlement Program and, with her husband, conducted an interview study with recipients of that program who have remained in the Maritime Provinces
Dr. Gerry Van Kessel is a retired civil servant who spent his career working in Immigration. Among his positions were Director General, Refugees with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Coordinator, Intergovernmental Consultations on Asylum, Refugee and Migration Policies in Europe, North America and Australia in Geneva.