(No. 65 - March 10, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced the appointment of Prof. Aurel Braun as chair of the Board of Directors of the Montreal-based International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Rights & Democracy).
"Rights & Democracy will undoubtedly benefit from Professor Braun's extensive academic and research background as well as his deep commitment to human rights and democracy," said Minister Cannon. "The solid leadership skills he has gained on numerous boards of directors will add significantly to the continued accomplishments of the organization."
Rights & Democracy is a non-partisan organization with an international mandate. It was created by Parliament in 1988 to encourage and support the universal values of human rights and to promote democratic institutions and practices around the world.
For more information, consult its website Rights & Democracy.
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A biographical note on the appointee follows.
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Aurel Braun (BA, MA, University of Toronto; PhD [International Relations], London School of Economics) is a professor of international relations and political science at the University of Toronto. He is also a research associate of the University's Centre for Russian and East European Studies and of its Centre for International Studies. He is the winner of a student award for teaching excellence at the University. Professor Braun spent parts of 1981 and 1983 as a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Toronto Faculty Association and is a senator of the University's Trinity College. He has also served in senior positions on the boards of directors of B'nai Brith and Canadian Professors for Peace in the Middle East.
Professor Braun has published extensively on communist affairs and strategic studies with a special focus on the problems of the transformation of the socialist systems in the former Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe. He has written, edited or contributed to several books. These include The Soviet-East European Relationship in the Gorbachev Era: The Prospects for Adaptation, The Middle East in Global Strategy; Small State Security in the Balkans, Ceausescu: The Problems of Power; Romanian Foreign Policy Since 1965: The Political and Military Limits of Autonomy and The Warsaw Pact: The End of an Era. Professor Braun has also written more than 50 scholarly articles and has contributed to numerous collections of scholarly works.
During the past two decades, Professor Braun has lectured widely in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Austria and Norway. He organized major international conferences at the University of Toronto in 1985, 1987, 1996, and another in 2005 in Ottawa.
A frequent contributor to national newspapers, television and radio, he has also been asked to testify several times before parliamentary committees in Ottawa. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, the Canadian Political Science Association and several other professional organizations.