Distinguished Senior Fellow
Ahmed Malhoof is a democracy and human rights champion living in the Maldives. He has served as a Maldivian Member of Parliament since 2007 and Official Spokesperson for the Joint Opposition. Since 2010 he has been arrested and put in jail over 25 times for his action in peaceful protests, serving eleven months in June 2016 for “obstructing police duty” as a protester. Later declared arbitrary detention by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, his arrest sparked international pleas for his immediate release.
Most recently, upon his return from exile to the Maldives in January 2018 he was arrested another four times, facing seven police investigations on six different charges. He was then formally arrested on February 22nd during a peaceful protest inside the Maldivian Democratic Party’s headquarters. Since April 2018 he has spent 46 days in jail and was officially placed under house arrest until the end of the trial. The democratic opposition leader may soon unjustly be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
Fearing for his safety and in response to the possibility of an arbitrary 20-year sentence, Amnesty International released a statement declaring him as a Prisoner of Conscience in May 2018. Parliamentarians for Global Action has since awarded him the 2018 Defender of Democracy Award, an award designated in the past for individuals such as Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner of Human Rights.
You can follow and support him on Twitter @AhmedMahloof
Éloge C. Butera
Éloge C. Butera is an Associate Fellow with the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism at McGill's Faculty of law and with MIGS. He is a human rights activist with an active involvement in Canadian public life, with a strong focus on human security and transitional justice issues.
Éloge has worked in the Canadian Parliament as a research and legislative assistant to Senator L.Gen. Roméo Dallaire (Ret’d) and as an articling student to Professor Irwin Cotler P.C., O.C., Member of Parliament (Mount Royal) and former Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada.
In 2013, Éloge was inducted as an Honorary Witness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, where he bears witness to the harm inflicted by Canada’s residential school system on generations of aboriginal Canadians.
A survivor of the 1994 genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda, Éloge has spoken to dozens of audiences across Canada about his experience during the genocide and the role that an informed citizenry can play in preventing future mass atrocities and genocides.
Éloge can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marty Castro is the President and CEO of Castro Synergies, LLC, which provides strategic consulting services to corporations, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations that seek to collaborate with and have a positive social impact on diverse communities.
Mr. Castro was appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in January of 2011. In March 2011, President Obama elevated Mr. Castro to the position of Chairperson of the USCCR, making him the agency's eighth Chair since the formation of the Commission, and the first Latino Chairperson in the over half-century history of the USCCR.
In December 2009, Mr. Castro was appointed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to Chair the Illinois Human Rights Commission. The Human Rights Commission is the State public body that arbitrates complaints of civil rights violations in housing, employment, public accommodations and financial credit.
Mr. Castro is on the board of directors of the National Museum of Mexican Art; the only accredited Latino Museum in the United States. He also serves on the board of the Chicago Community Trust. Mr. Castro is also chair and co-founder of New Futuro, LLC. Mr. Castro is a former national board member of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and former chair of the Hispanic National Bar Association's U.S. Supreme Court Committee. Mr. Castro is also the former chair of the Judicial Nominations Commission for the Northern District of Illinois, by appointment of U.S. Senator Richard Durbin.
For his leadership and accomplishments, Mr. Castro has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the National Medical Fellowships' Humanitarian Award; the Hispanic National Bar Association's Cesar Chavez Humanitarian Award; the Edwin A. Rothschild Civil Liberties Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois; and the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Corporate Counsel, Chicago Chapter. Mr. Castro is the proud product of Head Start and affirmative action in higher education. He received his B.A. in political science in 1985 from DePaul University and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1988. Mr. Castro was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Roosevelt University in December 2011 for his work in the area of social justice.
Naomi Kikoler is the deputy director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. For six years she developed and implemented the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect’s work on populations at risk and efforts to advance R2P globally and led the Centre’s advocacy, including targeting the UN Security Council. An adjunct professor at the New School University, she is the author of numerous publications, including the 2013 Nexus Fund series on the emerging powers and mass atrocity prevention and the 2011 report Risk Factors and Legal Norms Associated with Genocide Prevention for the United Nations Office on the Prevention of Genocide and the Jacob Blaustein Institute. Prior to joining the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect in 2008, she worked on national security and refugee law and policy for Amnesty International Canada. She has also worked in the Office of the Prosecutor at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement at the Brookings Institution, and she worked as an election monitor in Kenya with the Carter Center. She holds common law and civil law degrees from McGill University, an MSc in forced migration from Oxford University, where her thesis was on the Rwandan genocide, and a BA from the University of Toronto in international relations and peace and conflict studies. She is a board member of the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, a senior fellow at the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and was called to the Bar of Upper Canada.
Fannie Lafontaine [LL.B. (Laval University); LL.M. (University of Cambridge); Ph.D. (National University of Ireland Galway)] is a lawyer, full professor at the Faculty of Law at Université Laval and holder of the Canada Research Chair on International Criminal Justice and Human Rights. She is the Project Director of the SSHRC-funded Canadian Partnership for International Justice and founder and co-director of the International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic, recipient of the "Tribute to social innovations" prize at Laval University. She is the author of the book Prosecuting Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes in Canadian Courts (Toronto: Carswell, 2012) and of many other publications in Canadian and international law and relations. She is the recipient of the 2016 Laval University Prize for Excellence in Teaching and has joined the 2017 cohort of the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada. Before joining Laval University, she worked at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, at the Supreme Court of Canada and in NGOs and a law firm. She continues to act as expert for human rights organizations and since 2015, she acts as independent civilian auditor of a criminal investigation into criminal acts alleged to have been committed by members of different police forces against members of First Nations in Quebec.
Journalist, author and non-resident fellow at MIGS.
Michael Petrou is a two-time National Magazine Award-winning journalist and author who has reported from across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. His latest book, Is This Your First War? Travels Through the Post-9/11 Islamic World, won the Ottawa Book Award for non-fiction. Petrou has a DPhil in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He is also a non-resident fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies. Michael Petrou write for OpenCanada.
Andrei Serbin Pont
Andrei Serbin Pont is an international analyst focused on foreign policy, human rights, conflict prevention, mass atrocity prevention, defense, security, and regional integration. He is a PhD student at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Madrid, Spain) where he is researching Latin-American normative contributions to the design of policies and mechanisms for the prevention of mass human rights violations. He holds a Master´s in International Relations with specialization in Peace, Defense and International Security from the San Tiago Dantas Program (Sao Paulo, Brazil), a Bachelor´s in Liberal Arts with orientation in Public Policy from UNSAM (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and graduated from the National Defense School (Buenos Aires, Argentina). He has experience working with civil society organizations and is currently holding positions as Research Director for a regional thinktank (CRIES - Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales) and as Expert Consultant at the Secretariat of Strategic Affairs (Cabinet of Ministers of the Presidency of Argentina). He is also an advisor to the Nexus Fund, ICRtoP Steering Committee member, columnist for Perfil and contributor at DEF, Forbes and Clarín.
International advisor and Consultant, 18 years of public administration and international experience covering the UN, NATO, World Bank, Canadian diplomacy and private sector ventures. Diego has worked on institutional/social reconstruction, civil-military coordination and humanitarian issues in Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jordan, Timor Leste, Colombia Pakistan, Indonesia (Banda Aceh), Liberia and Iraq. He also served as Senior Peacekeeping Officer at DFAIT. Associate Fellow of the Raoul-Dandurand Chair in Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at Université de Quebec a Montreal, the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies and Lecturer in Humanitarian Action, Reconciliation/Mediation, Post-Conflict recovery and urban conflict in universities in Canada and abroad
Education: 2009 MC/MPA Harvard KSG; 2001 U.Bern/Fribourg/Neuchatel. Master in Trade Law and Economics; 1996, McGill University, BA Political Science/History.