International Policy Ideas Challenge 2019 - Challenge winners

Aishwarya Babu

Aishwarya Babu is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto with a Master’s in Sustainability Management, and is currently working as a Policy Analyst at Natural Resources Canada. Being ethically conscientious, she focuses on environmentalism through her lifestyle. After working in Environmental Design for more than 4 years, it became apparent to Aishwarya that participatory solutions are imperative for building strong and stable communities. Her previous involvement leading design charrettes on accessibility, occupant health and disaster resilience led her to serve the sustainable infrastructure movement. Her recent thesis identifies technical and functional characteristics that influence the reuse potential of building components. As an advocate of sustainable and progressive climate policies, her long-term vision is to play a larger intermediary role in climate finance, and further federal policy work in resource efficiency.

Aishwarya’s IPIC project will explore financial instruments for climate adaptation in the face of flooding


Grace Jaramillo

Grace Jaramillo is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of British Columbia, Department of Political Science, and pro-tempore program manager of Trade, Investment and Innovation at the Asia Pacific Foundation. After earning her PhD from Queen’s University, she won a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship to study institutional spillovers of Free Trade Agreements in the Americas spending the first year at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at University of Waterloo, and then moving to Vancouver to complete her research studying the CP-TPP negotiations. Her doctoral dissertation versed around the political economy of industrial policy, studying the institutional transition from traditional industrial policy to horizontal ones centered around cluster development and global value-chains. Before moving to Canada, she was an accomplished international relations scholar, nominated twice to the annual list of “20 most prominent young thinkers in Latin America” by the Development Bank of Latin America, CAF.

Grace’s IPIC project will explore a supercluster-focused trade diversification strategy.


Marie-Dominik Langlois

Marie-Dominik Langlois, a PhD student in sociology at the University of Ottawa, worked as a coordinator in various human rights organizations for Latin America and on extractive issues from 2005 to 2013. Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Research Group on territories of extractivism (GRITE) since 2017, she has collaborated on various research projects on mining issues and Latin America and translated academic texts of Latin American feminists from Spanish to French. Her research focuses on the identity reaffirmation of the Xinka people, their resistance to mining, and their defense of the right to consultation in southeastern Guatemala.

Marie-Dominik’s IPIC project will explore Indigenous peoples’ rights in the context of natural resource

Marion Laurence

Marion recently completed her doctorate in political science at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and global security governance. She is a past recipient of SSHRC and OGS graduate scholarships, and her dissertation looks at how the norm of impartiality is interpreted on a day-to-day basis in United Nations peace operations. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, and New York, the project explains the UN’s move toward controversial practices – like de facto counter-insurgency operations – and contributes to debates about contestation and norm change in international organizations. Before starting her doctorate, Marion worked in the Senate of Canada for LGen the Honourable Roméo Dallaire. She is also an alumna of the Parliamentary Internship Programme. In 2019-2020 Marion will be a Research Fellow with the Centre for International Policy Studies and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa.

Marion’s IPIC project will explore data-driven peacekeeping.


Deanna Matthews – Lead Researcher

Deanna Matthews is currently a first year PhD candidate (fast-tracked) in the Critical Policy, Equity, and Leadership Studies program at the University of Western Ontario. Her research in education and international development focuses on education financing, equity, and non-state private actor contributions towards Sustainable Development Goal 4. She is a research assistant on a SSHRC Insight Grant-funded research program on non-state private actors and the right to education (Principal Investigator, Dr. Prachi Srivastava). She has worked as a Policy Analyst in the Privy Council Office, and in Health Canada’s Environmental Public Health Division and the Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program. As Anihshininiihkwe, her passion for equitable education stems from her work with Mikinakoos (Little Turtle) Children’s Fund, a First Nations charity serving Indigenous children living in remote communities in northern Ontario. She has also served as a Student Ambassador with Teach For Canada, and as a Leadership Mentor with First Nations and Métis youth in Alberta.

Deanna’s IPIC project, working with her collaborator, Dr. Prachi Srivastava, will explore mapping private sector involvement in education and how Canada can maximize its impact.

Dr. Prachi Srivastava – Collaborator

Prachi Srivastava is Associate Professor in the area of education and international development and Chair, Critical Policy, Equity and Leadership Studies Academic Research Cluster, University of Western Ontario. She is also Visiting Senior Fellow, Centre for International Education, University of Sussex, Adjunct Professor, School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa, and Adjunct Professor, Centre for Global Studies, Huron College. She has published widely on global education policy and privatization and non-state private actors in education in the Global South. She is amongst the earliest scholars of ‘low-fee private schooling’, coining the term. Her works have been cited in various EFA Global Monitoring Reports and Global Education Monitoring Reports, and in the World Bank 2018 World Development Report. Dr. Srivastava has provided expertise to donors and agencies (e.g., DFID, European Commission, JICA, UNESCO, World Bank), and presented evidence at Westminster to the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Education for All. She has attracted over $550K in research funding as Principal Investigator. She has headed a major international collaborative research program funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant on the right to education and non-state private actors. She has held visiting appointments at Columbia University, National University of Singapore, and the University of Oxford. She holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford.


Daniel Ribi

Daniel Ribi is a graduate student and teaching assistant at Carleton University, where he is completing a Master of Public Policy and Administration. He holds a BA (Honours History and International Relations) from the University of British Columbia. His research explores the use of tax policy as a tool for addressing contemporary income inequality and the challenges of capital flight and offshore finance. Daniel has worked in the International and Trade Policy Branch at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and will be joining the Office of the Chief Information Officer at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat in the fall.

Daniel’s IPIC project will explore anonymous asset ownership.


Rachel Schmidt

Rachel Schmidt is a PhD Candidate at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (Carleton University). Her research focuses on women's roles in extremist and insurgent groups, and her doctoral dissertation compares men and women combatants’ decisions to abandon armed groups, using over 100 fieldwork interviews with ex-combatants from guerrilla and paramilitary groups in Colombia. Rachel is also a Junior Research Fellow at the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security, and Society (TSAS) and a senior editor for OpenGlobalRights. She has conducted fieldwork on insurgencies, extremism, and gang violence in Colombia, Ecuador, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

Rachel’s IPIC project will explore the impact of gender stereotypes on counter-terrorism policies.


Marco Zenone

Marco Antonio Zenone is an MSc Candidate in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, where he also completed a BA Honours. His research focuses on the intersection between corporations, politics, and public health. Marco has led numerous research projects, concentrating on issues in medical crowdfunding and investigating political strategies transnational food and beverage industries use to influence global public policy. Marco works for BC Children’s Hospital and is a lead member of the Vancouver-based social enterprise, Bridge for Health. He has been recognized with numerous awards for community activism, including as a recipient of the Surrey Top 25 Under 25 and as a Canadian National Cooperative Champion.

Marco’s IPIC project will explore reducing the influence of private corporations on international dietary guidelines.


Ghazaleh Jerban

Ghazaleh Jerban is a PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa and a member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society at UOttawa. Her research is focused on gender aspects of intellectual property law. Her thesis examines the issue of international protection of traditional knowledge from a gender perspective. She has completed a number of prestigious internships and fellowships, including the one at the World Intellectual Property Organization’s liaison office to the United Nations. She has been the recipient of several scholarships and currently holds the Centre for International Governance Innovation’s (CIGI) Doctoral Scholarship. In 2018, she earned the inaugural Ingenium-University of Ottawa Fellowship in Gender, Science and Technology.

Ghazaleh’s IPIC project will explore traditional knowledge protection in the context of intellectual property.


Jonathan Kandelshein – Lead Researcher

Jonathan Kandelshein is a MA student at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University where he focuses on security and defense policy. Apart from his research on the application of artificial intelligence to strategic issues, he has also conducted research on foreign disinformation campaigns. A graduate of Yale Law School, prior to attending NPSIA Jonathan practiced law in New York City and Dallas, Texas for 6 years. He completed his BA at Yeshiva University, graduating summa cum laude in classics and economics. During the spring of 2019, he completed an internship with the Department of National Defense’s policy group, where he assisted on Latin American and Caribbean issues. He is currently a summer co-op student at Public Safety Canada

Jonathan’s IPIC project, working with his collaborator, Sydney Reis, will explore countering threats to democracy through AI development.

Sydney Reis – Collaborator

Sydney Reis is a Master’s student at the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs, specializing in intelligence and international affairs. Her research interests include the intersection of artificial intelligence and ethics, and the role of the internet in terrorism and foreign interference. Sydney is currently a Student Policy Analyst at Public Safety Canada (National Security Operations). She holds a BA in Political Science from Western University, and has previously worked in various support roles for Ontario Cabinet Ministers. 

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