Renee Black is Founder and Executive Director of PeaceGeeks a non-profit, volunteer organization that supports grassroots non-profit organizations promoting peace, accountability and human rights in obtaining the technology and tools they need to have the greatest possible impact in their communities. An alumnus of uOttawa, her graduate studies focused on evaluating UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in both Sierra Leone and East Timor.
Daryl Copeland is an analyst, author, educator and former diplomat specializing in the relationship between science, technology, diplomacy, and international policy. His latest book is Guerrilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations. He is presently a Senior Fellow at the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.
Senator Mobina Jaffer
Senator Mobina Jaffer represents the province of British Columbia in the Senate of Canada, where she chairs the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, and sits as a member of the Senate’s Anti-terrorism and Legal and Constitutional Affairs committees. Senator Jaffer served as Canada’s Special Envoy for Peace in Sudan from 2002 to 2006. From 2002 to 2005, she chaired the Canadian Committee on Women, Peace, and Security. An accomplished lawyer who speaks six languages, Senator Jaffer was named among the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2003, 2004, and 2005 by the Women’s Executive Network.
Mercedes Stephenson is the Parliamentary Reporter for CTV News Channel and Friday Host of CTV’s daily marquee political program Power Play. Stephenson joined CTV’s Parliamentary Bureau in 2011. Embedding with the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR), Stephenson traveled to Niger in 2014 to cover CSOR training African militaries to fight terrorist threats. Her exclusive story “Secret Warriors” aired on CTV’s W5.
Mandeep Gill has been a diplomat for 15 years, with an expertise in complex multilateral negotiations. She has had assignments at Canada’s Permanent Missions to the United Nations in New York and in Geneva, leading international negotiations for Canada on numerous human rights and legal resolutions. Mandeep has represented Canada at the UN Human Rights Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the WTO. She has served as Canada’s Head of Delegation to the Istanbul Process for religious freedom, and has led on the establishment of Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom; the foreign policy priority of Child, Early and Forced Marriage; and the development of the International Criminal Court. She has also had diplomatic assignments in Paris and Hong Kong.
Prior to joining the foreign service, Mandeep practiced human rights law in Vancouver for eight years, where she also taught this subject, advised provincial governments and Universities, and was on the Board of Directors of the B.C. Human Rights Coalition.
Born in Saskatchewan, after finishing law school at the U of S, she continued advanced studies in International Law at the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Mandeep speaks English, French, Punjabi, Hindi, and Cantonese.