Council Members


Lloyd Axworthy


The Honourable Lloyd Axworthy is the chair of the World Refugee Council and one of Canada’s leading voices on global migration and refugee protection. After a 27-year political career, where he served as Canada’s minister of Foreign Affairs and minister of Employment and Immigration, among other postings, Mr. Axworthy has continued to work extensively on human security, refugee protection and human rights in Canada and abroad. He was presented with the Pearson Peace Medal by the Governor General of Canada in May 2017. In his term as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg, Mr. Axworthy initiated innovative programs for migrant and aboriginal youth communities, and has also done a great deal of work on refugee reform as a Richard von Weizsäcker fellow at Germany's Robert Bosch Academy.

Paul Heinbecker

Deputy Chair

Paul Heinbecker is a retired career diplomat and a former Canadian ambassador to Germany and permanent representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York City. Paul was the first director of the Centre for Global Relations of Wilfrid Laurier University. He is a distinguished fellow in international relations at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and also affiliated with the Balsillie School of International Affairs. He is author of Getting Back in the Game: A Foreign Policy Playbook for Canada. His opinions are published frequently in The Globe and Mail and he also comments regularly on radio and television. He has advised three successive Canadian governments on foreign policy.

Hina Jilani


Hina Jilani is an internationally respected activist on human rights and democracy. She led the establishment of the first Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and has served as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights Defenders. She currently serves as a lawyer and advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Jakaya Kikwete


His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, former President of Tanzania, is a regional leader on migration and refugee policy. As Tanzania’s President, he led the naturalization of 162,156 refugees from Burundi. To this day this is considered the highest number of refugees to be naturalized at once, and one of the most powerful precedents of state-driven generosity towards refugees in the region.

Fen Osler Hampson

Executive Director

Fen currently serves as chancellor’s professor at Carleton University and continues to provide leading research and insight to policy makers in the areas of Canadian foreign policy and international and regional security. He also served as director of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and as co-director of the Global Commission on Internet Governance.

Rita Süssmuth


Rita Süssmuth is a German politician and scholar. She has served as president of the German Federal Parliament (1988–1998) and as federal minister for Family Affairs, Women, Youth and Health (1985–1988). Before that, she was professor at different universities. Her main topics are HIV, education, woman and society. An expert on migration, she has chaired several advisory councils, such as the Independent Commission on Migration in 2000, and was a member of the UN-Global Commission on International Migration (2003–2005). At present, she is a member of the Transatlantic Council on Migration at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, DC.


Pamela Aall

Pamela Aall is a senior fellow with CIGI's Global Security & Politics program. She is currently leading a project that examines Africa's regional conflict management capacity.

Pamela is also a senior adviser for conflict prevention and management at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), where she was founding provost of USIP’s Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding. Pamela’s research interests include conflict management, mediation, reconciliation, capacity-building, and education. In addition to her research and management work, she has directed conflict transformation and capacity-building programs for Sudan, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Bosnia.

Shaima Al Zarooni

Her Excellency Shaima Al Zarooni is the founder and president of Camp01, a US-based public benefit corporation, which enables partners and clients to plan and manage humanitarian and development projects worldwide for vulnerable populations. She is also the vice-president and a board member of the August Medical Foundation, which provides services and grants in health care and education. She also serves on the board of trustees of the UK Start Network, comprised of 42 aid agencies, whose aim is to enable members to deliver aid in crises. Previously, she was the director of Special Initiatives for HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein and the chief executive officer of the International Humanitarian City, the largest worldwide logistics hub of humanitarian aid and emergency response.

Alexander Betts

Alexander Betts is professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs, and director of the Refugee Studies Centre, at the University of Oxford. His research focuses mainly on the political economy of refugee assistance, and he has also written on migration and humanitarianism. He has given TED talks on refugees and Brexit, with combined views in excess of three million. In 2016, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the world's top 100 global thinkers, and honoured as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He has written for The New York Times, The Guardian and Foreign Affairs. He is the author of 10 books, including, with Paul Collier, Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System. He previously worked for the UNHCR and is the founder of the Humanitarian Innovation Project. He is a former European Universities Debating Champion and has run the London Marathon in 2:38.

Aya Chebbi

Aya Chebbi, an award-winning Pan-African feminist. She is the first African Union Youth Envoy and the youngest diplomat at the African Union Commission Chairperson’s Cabinet. She is the founder of multiple platforms such as Youth Programme of Holistic Empowerment Mentoring (YPHEM) coaching the next generation to be positive change agents, Afrika Youth Movement (AYM), one of Africa’s largest Pan-African youth-led movements and Afresista youth leadership program and multimedia platform documenting youth work in Africa. She served on the Board of Directors of CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation and Oxfam Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct. She appeared on 2018 Apolitical List of 100 Most Influential Young People in Government and 2016 list of 100 Under 40 Most Influential Africans in the World. As Mo Ibrahim Foundation Scholar, Aya holds her master's degree in African politics from SOAS, University of London.

Sarah Cliffe

Sarah Cliffe is the director of New York University’s Center on International Cooperation (CIC). Prior to this, she was the special representative for the World Bank’s World Development Report: Conflict, Security and Development, and the special adviser and assistant secretary-general of civilian capacities to the United Nations. Sarah has worked for the last 20 years in countries emerging from conflict and political transition. For the past two years, CIC has been supporting new ways of working in humanitarian crises, publishing two UN interagency think pieces, entitled Addressing Protracted Displacement: A Framework for Development-Humanitarian Cooperation and After the World Humanitarian Summit: Better Humanitarian-Development Cooperation for Sustainable Results on the Ground.

Jérôme Elie

Jérôme Elie is the senior policy officer forced displacement for the ICVA International Council of Voluntary Agencies. He is the lead on topics and issues related to forced displacement and also manages ICVA's work promoting civil society engagement in the development of a "Refugee Compact."

Jonathan Fanton

Jonathan Fanton currently serves as the president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Previously, he served as the president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the New School for Social Research. He has served as board chair for several organizations, including Human Rights Watch, the Security Council Report and the New York State Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities. He currently serves on the boards of Scholars at Risk, the Asian Cultural Council and the Benjamin Franklin House, and chairs the advisory board of the Newman’s Own Foundation.

Leymah Gbowee

Leymah Gbowee is a recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. A long-time Liberian peace activist, social worker and women's rights advocate, Leymah is the founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, based in Monrovia. Leymah is best known for leading a nonviolent movement that brought together Christian and Muslim women to play a pivotal role in ending Liberia's devastating, 14-year civil war in 2003. This historic achievement paved the way for the election of Africa’s first female head of state, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. It also marked the vanguard of a new wave of women emerging worldwide as essential and uniquely effective participants in brokering lasting peace and security.

Per Heggenes

Per Heggenes is the CEO of the IKEA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of IKEA, the home furnishing company. For years, he has led IKEA’s philanthropic work in areas such as migration and humanitarian relief, as well as in development work focused on helping children and youth in poor communities to better opportunities in life. Prior to joining the foundation, he held various international leadership roles in private sector organizations such as Burson-Marsteller and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics.

Susan Martin

Susan Martin is the Donald G. Herzberg Professor Emerita of International Migration at Georgetown University. She was the founder of the Institute for the Study of International Migration in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and currently serves as chair of the Thematic Working Group on Environmental Change and Migration in the Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development at the World Bank. Previously, Susan served as the executive director of the US Commission on Immigration Reform, established by legislation to advise Congress and the US president on immigration and refugee policy.

Marwan Muasher

Marwan Muasher is a vice president for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he oversees research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East. He served as foreign minister (2002–2004) and deputy prime minister (2004–2005) of Jordan, and his career has spanned the areas of diplomacy, development, civil society and communications.

Devota Nuwe

Devota Nuwe is a lawyer who currently works with HIAS Refugee Trust of Kenya (Uganda office). In this position, Devota manages the operations and acts as the focal person for HIAS in Uganda. She has also worked with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on forced migration issues. Devota received a Bachelor of Law degree from Makerere University, Uganda, and a master's degree in criminal justice from the University of Kent, England.

Ratna Omidvar

Senator Ratna Omidvar is an internationally recognized voice on migration, diversity and inclusion. In April 2016, she was appointed to the Senate of Canada as an independent senator representing Ontario, and she also serves as co-chair of the Global Future Council on migration hosted by the World Economic Forum. Senator Omidvar is a Member of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Cross of the Order of Merit from Germany. She continues to work on issues of inequality and immigration in Canada.

George Papandreou

George A. Papandreou is a former prime minister of Greece (2009–2011). First elected as a member of Parliament in 1981, he has served at many governmental posts. As the minister of education (1988-89), he founded the Open University in Greece and promoted multicultural programs. As the minister of foreign affairs (1999–2004), he promoted peace building and European integration in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans and managed a breakthrough in Greek-Turkish relations. In 2015, he founded, with Ipek Cem, the Cem-Papandreou Peace Award. He is the leader of the Movement of Democratic Socialists, one of the members of the Democratic Alignment, a coalition of Greek progressive parties. He is the president of the Socialist International, which brings together 150 political parties and groups from all continents.

Nirupama Menon Rao

Nirupama Menon Rao is a retired Indian diplomat, foreign secretary and ambassador. She was educated in India and joined India’s foreign service in 1973. She was the first woman in India to be a spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, as well as the first woman to serve as high commissioner to Sri Lanka and to represent India as ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. She served as India’s foreign secretary from 2009 to 2011. At the end of that term, she was appointed India’s ambassador to the United States, where she served from 2011 to 2013.

Güven Sak

Güven Sak is the executive director of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), and a professor of public economics at the TOBB University of Economics and Technology. Previously, he worked as a senior researcher at the Capital Markets Board of Turkey, taught in the Department of Public Finance at the Faculty of Political Sciences, Ankara University, and was as an external founding member of the Monetary Policy Council of the Central Bank of Turkey.

In 2004, Güven became the founding managing director of TEPAV, the first and only economic policy think tank in Turkey. The Area Studies Program of TEPAV, which he directed, has been active in entrepreneurship and private sector development projects in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Güven co-chaired the Forced Migration Task Force of the Think 20 (T20) during the German presidency of the Group of Twenty in 2016­–2017.  

Eduardo Stein

Eduardo Stein is a regional leader on peace building and conflict management. Eduardo has served as the vice president of Guatemala from 2004 to 2008 and as the foreign minister of Guatemala from 1996 to 2000, and has since taken on a leadership role in coordinating the Central American network of think tanks. Best known for his role in the Guatemalan peace process, Eduardo continues to work on issues of peace building, governance and migration. In September 2018, Eduardo was appointed as Joint Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants by the UN Refugee Agency and the UN Migration Agency.

Jessie Thomson

Jessie Thomson has been working on issues related to international development and humanitarian assistance, including international refugee protection, for more than 15 years. She has a Masters in International Development Studies from the London School of Economics, with a focus on conflict, humanitarian action and forced migration. With a career spanning multiple sectors, including the Canadian public service, the United Nations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and now CARE Canada, Jessie brings a unique perspective on the critical operational and policy questions facing international development and humanitarian action. Jessie joined CARE Canada in 2011, focused on Humanitarian Assistance and Emergency Response, and now serves as Vice-President of its Partnerships for Global Change team. She is a respected thought-leader and partnership builder, and a passionate feminist and gender equality advocate.


Elizabeth Ferris

Special Adviser

Elizabeth Ferris is a research professor with the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She also serves as a non-resident senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. From January to September 2016, she also served as senior adviser to the UN General Assembly’s Summit for Refugees and Migrants in New York. She is an expert in the areas of migration, refugee protection and humanitarian assistance, and continues to conduct research and lead projects in these areas.

David Goldfield

Special Adviser, Innovative Financing Solutions

David Goldfield has over 35 years of international business experience in both public and private sector organizations. He worked in senior business development and financing roles for Babcock & Wilcox International and Raytheon International, where he was involved in large capital and infrastructure projects around the globe. From 1998 to 2007, David served as the Latin American regional director for Export Development Canada. He later became a founding partner with Southern Bridge Capital, a private equity investment management firm specializing in developing affordable housing solutions in Latin America, from 2007 to 2017. Currently, he is consulting on a variety of international financing projects, including his work on innovative financing solutions for the World Refugee Council. 

Gary Kleiman

Special Adviser, Innovative Financing Solutions

Gary Kleiman is a widely recognized expert and commentator on global emerging economies and financial markets. He co-founded Kleiman International Consultants, the first consulting firm offering advice and analysis on economies worldwide to banks, fund managers, and government agencies. A strong advocate for refugee and migration issues, Gary is a member of both the advisory board for Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of International Migration and the Tent Partnership for Refugees, and previously served as a refugee officer in Asia. He is also a frequent contributor to the Financial Times on the topic of mobilizing capital and credit markets for refugee-hosting countries. He was educated at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, the London School of Economics, and Sciences Po (Paris).

James Milner

Research Director

James Milner is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University. His research and publications over the past 20 years have examined the politics of the global refugee regime, the history of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), protracted refugee situations and the politics of asylum in the Global South. James has worked as a consultant for the UNHCR in India, Cameroon and Guinea and at its Geneva headquarters.

Allan Rock

Special Adviser

Allan Rock is the president emeritus and a professor of law at the University of Ottawa. A former trial lawyer, he entered politics in 1993 and spent 10 years as a federal cabinet minister in the Justice, Health, Industry and Infrastructure portfolios. Allan was Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations between 2003 and 2006 and the president of the University of Ottawa from 2008 to 2016.

Andrew S. Thompson

Special Adviser

Andrew S. Thompson is a CIGI senior fellow, and adjunct assistant professor of political science at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on international human rights, civil society movements and fragile states. Along with numerous journal articles and book chapters, he has written two books, and co-edited three others. He has testified before the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, and the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights. From 2011 to 2017, he served on the board of Amnesty International’s Canadian Section. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Waterloo.