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Wilfrid Laurier University Office of Research Services
December 3, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Advisory Board

October 2013 - October 2015

The Advisory Board for the period 2013 to 2015 is comprised of a variety of members from different parts of Canada and also from Africa.  

Below is a brief background of each member:

Ian Spears, Ph.D. (University of Guelph)

Ian Spears, Ph.D. (McGill), Associate Professor, Political Science, University of Guelph. Dr. Spears teaches courses in international relations and the politics of developing areas (specifically Africa) at the University of Guelph. His primary research interests have focused on conflict and civil war in various regions of Africa.  He has published a number of articles and book chapters on problems of sharing power as a form of conflict resolution.  His most recent publication, Civil Wars in African States: The Search for Security(Lynne Rienner/First Forum, 2010), is a book length examination of the strategies of disputants to advance their security in conflicts in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Angola.  This volume enabled him to explore the contexts in which disputants would embrace strategies of secession, integration, or domination.  A second strand of research has focused on the relationship between political development and conflict.  With his colleague Paul Kingston, Dr. Spears published an edited volume entitled States Within States: Incipient Political Entities in the Post Cold War Era, which examined political formations which have many of the features of statehood but do not, as yet, have political recognition. Dr. Spears is currently working on a book length examination of the broader problems of conflict resolution.  Under the working title Why Conflict Resolution Fails, this volume seeks to challenge students to think about the reasons why so many conflicts persist.  Dr. Spears has also been involved in generating discussions on the issue of peace-building, recently serving as a workshop organizer examining the role of Peace-Building 20 years after the publication of Boutros Boutros Ghali’s landmark Agenda for Peace.

Dr. James Orbinski (Balsillie School of International Affairs)

Dr. James Orbinski
, was the International president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) 1998 to 2001 and accepted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to MSF; he is currently the Research Chair in Global Health at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Director of the Africa Initiative at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and now a member of the Tshepo advisory board. He is a globally recognized humanitarian practitioner and advocate, as well as a leading scholar in global health.

Dr. Rhoda Howard-Hassman (Balsillie School of International Affairs)

Dr. Rhoda Howard-Hassman is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights, Professor in the Department of Global Studies & the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University

Dr. Anisa Mnyusiwalla (St. Mary’s Hospital)

Dr. Anisa Mnyusiwalla is medical doctor at St. Mary’s Hospital, Kitchener, Ontario, and the Stratford General Hospital, Stratford, Ontario

Bryan Burton (Former Diplomat)

Bryan Burton is a former High Commissioner in Uganda and Jamaica, and has been an electoral observer in Ethiopia, Northern Transvaal and South Africa

Ali Abdi, Ph.D (McGill University)

Ali Abdi, Ph.D. (McGill), Professor, University of Alberta. Dr. Ali Abdi’s industrious scholarship has garnered him a meteoric rise in his career. He is Professor of Education Policy Studies and also Founding Co-Director of the Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research (CGCER), University of Alberta. Professor Abdi’s areas of research expertise include comparative and international education; global citizenship and human rights education; policy studies in education; social and cultural foundations of education; multi-centric philosophies and methodologies of education and postcolonial studies in education. He is the author/co-editor/co-author of numerous scholarly work including The Dialectics of African Education and Western Discourses; Decolonizing Philosophies of Education; Citizenship Education and Social Development in Zambia; African Education and Globalization; and Issues in Africa Education. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Council of Canadians of African and Caribbean Heritage (CCACH), is a member of the International Association of Universities (IAU) Panel of Experts, and has served as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Northern Alberta Alliance of Race Relations (NAAR) from 2007-2008. Professor Abdi is Founding Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Issues in Education and Founding Co-editor of Cultural and Pedagogical Inquiry. His international work encompasses Brazil, South Africa, Zambia, Somalia, and Senegal. Some major awards/distinctions conferred on Professor Abdi include appointment as Adjunct Professor, Catholic University of Brasilia (2010); Adjunct Professor, University of Malta (2010); McCalla Professorship (Uganda Teaching Project) (2008-2009), and Graduate Teaching Award (2006).

Barrister Stephen Schmidt

Stephen Schmidt, LL.B. (Toronto), BA Economics (Waterloo). Barrister Schmidt carries a busy law practice in the Kitchener, Ontario, with focus on all aspects of Canadian immigration law since 1989. His practice also encompasses commercial litigation, wills and estates, and family law. He takes a keen interest in political history, current events, human rights issues and foreign policies as they relate to the countries of origin of his clientele. Barrister Schmidt’s practice also serves as an advocate for the immigration needs and access to justice of a wide range of members in African-Canadian communities.

The Tshepo Institute is pleased that have such distinguished members of the global community sit on its Advisory Board – spanning a cross-section of age, gender, and demography in addition to their areas of expertise as concern Africa.