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Delivering Canada's Feminist Aid Policy: Inclusive Governance, Innovation and Empowerment


Gender Equality, Inclusive Governance and the Law: Aligned for a Better World

2018 Annual Conference, January 22-23, 2018 

125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON


Monday January 22, 2017 - 10:45am - Panel 1


Panel: Delivering Canada's Feminist Aid Policy: Inclusive Governance, Innovation and Empowerment


Chair:  Elissar Sarrouh, Expert Consulting on Governance Inc.


Kimberly Inksater, Executive Director, Just Governance Group

Rohinton Medhora, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)

Jean-Paul Ruszkowski, Parliamentary Centre 

Stephen Baranyi, Professor, University of Ottawa 


Speakers from Canadian and international organizations provide a spectrum of insights on the new policy.



Elissar Sarrouh is Founder and CEO of Expert Consulting on Governance Inc, and a Professor of Practice at the Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID) at McGill University since September 2015.  Elissar enjoyed a thriving and successful career as a United Nations Diplomat and senior international development professional, in Canada, the USA, Belgium, MENA and the Arab Gulf states. Elissar's UN diplomatic career included representation and leadership in a number of countries including Egypt, Belgium and the United Arab Emirates.  Upon joining the UNDP in 2002, she held several senior technical and advisory positions in governance and institutional building, change management, administration of funds and programs, and led strategic planning for developing the UN Development Frameworks, country national development plans and managed donor relations.

Prior to joining the United Nations Development Programme, Elissar worked at the Parliamentary Center in Ottawa as Director for Middle East Programs, and a senior international development consultant with CIDA and a number of Canadian and International organizations. Elissar serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of International Development Professionals (CAIDP) and co-chairs CAIDP conference on Gender Equality, Inclusive Governance and the Law: An Alignment for a Better World, that will be held in Ottawa in January 2018. Elissar serves on the Executive Board of the Women's Business Network in Ottawa, and the Canadian Federation of University Women Governance Steering Committee and is a CFUW Delegate to the 2018 UN CSW62 session taking place in New York in 2018.

Elissar is a former Director of the Parliamentary Center Board of Directors and the National Council on Canada Arab Relations.

Rohinton P. Medhora (@RohintonMedhora) is President of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (, a non-partisan think tank located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.  CIGI's research programs focus on the global economy; global security and politics; and international law.  Previously he was Vice President, Programs at Canada’s International Development Research Centre, a research funder.  He received his doctorate in economics in 1988 from the University of Toronto, where he also subsequently taught for a number of years.  His fields of expertise are monetary and trade policy, international economic relations, and development economics.  His recent publications include co-edited books on development thought and practice, Canada’s relations with Africa, and Canada’s role in the international financial system.  Rohinton was recently named as a member of the Commission on Global Economic Transformation co-Chaired by Nobel economics Laureates Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz.  He serves on the Boards of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (, the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research ( and the Balsillie School of International Affairs ( and on the Advisory Board of the McLuhan Centre at the University of Toronto ( and the WTO Chairs Program.

Jean-Paul Ruszkowski has been the President and CEO of the Parliamentary Centre since October 2010. Since November 2011, he has been the Secretary of the Canadian group of the Trilateral Commission founded by David Rockefeller. Jean-Paul has more than 35 years of work experience in both the public and private sectors, specifically in building alliances between Canadian and international organizations. Prior to joining the Parliamentary Centre, he was an international business consultant. He has occupied several senior positions; most notably, Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to Ministers in the federal government. He also served the Government of Quebec. Jean-Paul worked in France for several years as Vice-President, International Business Development with Canam-Manac Inc. In the mid-eighties he was the Trade and Investments Director at the Quebec Delegation in Paris. He started his professional career in Quebec City and Montreal as a systems analyst, and he later moved to Ottawa to work for the Canadian International Development Agency as Country Program Manager (Central America), Departmental Assistant to the Secretary of State for External Affairs, and Director of Industrial Cooperation (Africa and the Middle East). He was educated in Lima, Peru and in Madison, Wisconsin, USA where he completed his BSc in Agriculture Economics

Stephen Baranyi is a professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of International Development, where he teaches and does research at the intersection of security and development, particularly on issues such as gender (in)equality, security sector reform and Canada’s engagement in fragile and conflict-affected societies such as Haiti. Before moving to uO in 2008, he was a practitioner with various non-governmental and governmental agencies and think tanks in Canada, Europe and Central America.



Kimberly Inksater is a founder and currently the executive director of the Just Governance Group. Her consultancy work involves research, advice and evaluation related to human rights, rule of law (access to justice, legal and judicial reform) and gender-based violence in developing, transitional and conflict-affected countries. Ms. Inksater holds two bachelor degrees in Social Sciences and Laws, a Master of Laws, and certificates in conflict analysis and mediation. Her academic papers have focused on legal pluralism and human rights, with emphasis on transitional justice, women's rights and Latin American indigenous peoples' rights. She is the Project Director for the National Legislative Development project in Vietnam, monitor on the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) project in Jamaica, and was recently Team Leader for a global exploratory study on constitutional jurisprudence related to gender equality commissioned by International IDEA and UN Women