The Speaker Bureau is a group of dedicated volunteers from across Canada that promotes discussion and learning on global issues and inspires Canadians to get involved in international development. Learn more.
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The daughter of two teachers, Hilary is passionate about education and lifelong learning. Her introduction to international development took place in a primary school classroom in Kenya, and her international development career began with an Aga Khan Foundation Canada Fellowship to Bangladesh, supporting preschool education in some of Bangladesh’s most disadvantaged communities.
Hilary’s university days saw her attend five universities on three continents in two languages, including earning a Master’s degree in African Studies from Oxford University. A lifelong Girl Guide, Hilary is always prepared with a smile (and a box of cookies to sell!).
Growing up with parents who worked in the airline industry, Tracey spent her childhood boarding planes, exploring new places and growing increasingly curious about the world beyond her own borders. This curiosity led her to work in West and Southern Africa on HIV/AIDS projects and complete an AKFC fellowship working in Bangladesh on economic development projects. In Bangladesh, she faced the healthcare barriers people encounter globally every day when she herself felt ill and no longer had access to Canada’s healthcare system.
Tracey is a graduate from the University of Ottawa’s school of International Development and holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy. Tracey is now a Program Officer at AKFC.
Jennifer truly enjoys engaging with Canadians about international development. Her interest in international development stems from her childhood living in Kenya, Thailand and Jamaica and experience working and volunteering with international development organizations. Her professional career has allowed her to spark ‘global conversations’ while recruiting consultants and volunteers for international placements for over 20 years. Her recent trip to Mozambique and Tanzania, visiting AKFC-sponsored projects, has inspired Jennifer to share the role Canadians can play in giving the people globally a hand- up. An experienced speaker and facilitator, Jennifer will leave you with ideas for what you can do.
Jennifer appreciates the opportunity to share her stories with schools in particular.
With the right resources, people can transform their lives and communities through the power of good food. Growing up in an agricultural community and connecting with farmers in Ghana and Kenya has ignited a passion in Erin for food security and equal access to resources. She has learned valuable lessons from community leaders and women farmers, and she believes in a community-driven approach to global issues.
Erin holds a Masters degree in the Political Economy of International Development from the University of Toronto. She is pursuing a Graduate certificate in Food Security while advocating for improved global health, nutrition, and education outcomes as RESULTS Canada’s Advocacy Officer.
Margaret Huber (National Capital Region)
A former career diplomat, Margaret served as Ambassador in Europe, Asia and the Middle East and was the former Chief of Protocol of Canada (2010-13). In 2014, she was a Harvard Advanced Leadership Fellow. Currently she is active on a variety of boards (including the Harvard University Club of Ottawa) and supports a number of organizations including a non-partisan organization promoting stronger voter and community engagement. She is a graduate of McGill University (BA), the University of Ottawa (MA), and the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.
Meg is currently a student at the McGill Faculty of Law. She is also a legal researcher at an immigration law practice, where she works primarily in the area of refugee law. She is keenly interested in international development, and has previously worked in Tanzania supporting a women’s rights organization that trains communities on human rights, advocates for constitutional and social reform, and provides free legal services to women.
Tazim is an Ottawa-based interior design professional, and the owner of a social enterprise. Her passion extends to being a vehicle to build upon the skills of those less fortunate, through volunteering and enterprise. Tazim works with Aga Khan Foundation Canada on various initiatives, and through osmosis has learned how development empowers and is a solution to many of the world’s struggles.
Kari is a staunch campaigner for citizen participation in the building of a strong and inclusive society. With degrees in History, Geography, and Political Science, as well as professional experience in Central American migration, she supports the development of responsive and collaborative policies to build safer communities through local councils and grassroots political engagement. Kari is a country risk analyst with a London-based foresight company.
Mario is an assistant professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carleton University and a board member with an international council for monuments and sites (ICOMOS). He has actively contributed and coordinated international development projects in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Jordan, Palestinian Authority, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Syria, Peru, Tunisia, Sudan, and the Sultanate of Oman. His main focus is the role of documentation in conservation of cultural heritage places. He has worked with a number of international cultural organizations and institutions including UNESCO, The Getty Conservation Institute, and the UNDP.
Nawida Sidiqi (National Capital Region)
Everyone grows up hearing fairy-tales. For Nawida, these stories told by her father painted a picture of her beautiful home country. These stories gradually replaced her own early childhood memories. It wasn’t until Nawida’s return to her home country that she was awakened to how the impact of war had tarnished the country she’d heard about her whole life. This experience shaped Nawida’s understanding of why her parents had moved the family to Canada and the importance of quality education.
Nawida holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Sociology from the University of Ottawa. She currently works at Aga Khan Foundation Canada.
This program is made possible with the support from Global Affairs Canada.