The Refugee Hub is able to have the impact it does because of the time, commitment, expertise, and energy of the people who connect with our work. Volunteers are at the heart of what we do, and we must first and foremost acknowledge the contributions of our volunteer students, lawyers, academics and community members, who are all part of the Refugee Hub team!
PROFESSOR / MANAGING DIRECTOR
Jennifer Bond founded the University of Ottawa’s Refugee Hub in 2012, after joining the uOttawa Law Faculty in 2010. She holds degrees in law, literature, and business. She completed her graduate work at the Yale Law School as a John Peters Humphrey Fellow in International Human Rights Law. Recognized for her expertise in the field, Jennifer served as Special Advisor to Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship on Canada’s Syrian Refugee Initiative in 2015-2016. She has also provided strategic advice to Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR); managed a grass-roots non-profit organization; worked as a strategic analyst at a leading consulting agency; practiced law at a major Canadian firm; served with the UNHCR in Damascus, Syria; and sat on the founding national executive of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL). Most recently, as the Chair of the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI), Jennifer has pioneered exporting Canada’s private refugee sponsorship program to countries interested in implementing their own community-based sponsorship schemes. Jennifer loves working with alongside her talented and ambitious team to further justice and rights for refugees locally and globally.
Amy Bartlett co-leads the Refugee Hub with Professor Jennifer Bond, serving as Director to provide strong strategic, programmatic and operational leadership for the activities of the Hub. A lawyer by trade and a Maritimer by birth, Amy brings to the team almost 15 years of expertise in the international development sector, with a passion for social justice, organization building, accountability and governance, civil society strengthening, mobilization and multi-stakeholder partnerships. Previous roles include Executive Director of RESULTS Canada; Global Coordinator of the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness in Brussels, Belgium; Manager of the Civil Society Index programme at CIVICUS in Johannesburg, South Africa; and Community Facilitator with CUSO in Huancavelica, Peru. Amy is thrilled to be collaborating with such a dedicated team at the Refugee Hub, and to be working closely with this vibrant community of lawyers, academics, students, CSO partners, front-line workers, community leaders and other stakeholders—all of whom are passionately committed to making the world a better place for refugees.
SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER
Ania Kwadrans is a Senior Legal Officer at the Refugee Hub. She joined the Hub to help establish and run the national Refugee Sponsorship Support Program (SSP). While continuing to provide strategic and technical support to the SSP, Ania’s work has expanded to sharing Canada’s refugee sponsorship model internationally through the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative and conducting legal and policy research related to a variety of Hub initiatives. Before joining the Hub, Ania worked with Amnesty International, engaging in strategic litigation on human rights cases before courts of all levels, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and advocacy before Canadian Parliamentary Committees as well as the United Nations. Ania holds a J.D. degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and is called to the Ontario bar. She is delighted work with an organization that connects high-level, timely research to cutting-edge programming with real impact on expanding refugee protection around the world.
Anne-Marie Bélanger McMurdo works as the National Coordinator for the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program (SSP). She has a deep background in refugee resettlement in both the Canadian and international contexts, having previously worked to support the settlement of Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) in Canada, and working overseas in resettlement processing with UNHCR in Malaysia and across Sub-Saharan Africa for the US Refugee Admissions Program’s (USRAP). In addition, Anne-Marie completed a Master’s Degree in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. Anne-Marie enjoys working in the Hub’s supportive and innovative space as well as being involved in supporting sponsorship at both the national level across Canada and locally in Ottawa.
Emilie Coyle is the Director of the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program with the Refugee Hub. She has over 15 years of leadership and management experience in the non-profit sector, primarily in immigrant and refugee-serving organizations. She worked as a Research Coordinator, Community Developer and Project Manager before becoming a lawyer. Her experience in the settlement sector has taken her from Canada’s west (Edmonton) to the east (Halifax) and most recently to Ottawa, where she worked as the Senior Director of Newcomer Services at the YMCA-YWCA. After her call to the bar, Emilie practiced family law, criminal law and immigration and refugee law at a boutique law firm in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She holds a J.D. from Dalhousie, an M.Ed. in Adult Education from Mount Saint Vincent University, and a bilingual undergraduate honours degree in International Studies. She has been a private refugee sponsor since 2009, with three different sponsoring groups, was co-founder and chair of the CARL student chapter at Dalhousie, and has worked as volunteer counsel for refugee claimants. The Hub allows Emilie to utilize her legal background in the service of the world’s most vulnerable people.
SENIOR LEGAL ADVISOR
Jessica Walsh is a Senior Legal Officer with the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative. Her work involves supporting other countries to establish community sponsorship of refugees programs. Jessica joined the Hub following a placement as a visiting lawyer with the Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme of Lawyers for Human Rights in Johannesburg, South Africa. She articled with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer in Toronto, where she represented children in family court matters and worked on a variety of legal issues concerning children. She has also worked as a researcher and analyst in public health, social policy and international human rights law. Jessica holds BCL and LLB degrees from McGill University and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. She additionally received an MA in Public Policy and Ageing from King’s College London (UK) and an Honours BSocSc in International Studies and Modern Languages from the University of Ottawa.
Kailee Brennan works on the Hub Operations team as the Outreach Officer. Her portfolio includes both Communications and Fundraising. Joining the Refugee Hub after frontline work in refugee shelter management, she brings a unique, hands-on perspective to the team. Kailee holds a Master’s degree in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration from the University of London. She has a passion for working on refugee and newcomer issues in her community through volunteer work and networking. She enjoys being part of the vibrant Hub team and working alongside the program streams to best amplify and promote their exciting work.
FINANCE AND OPERATIONS
Malaika Njau is responsible for Finance and Operations at the Refugee Hub. Previously a National Coordinator with the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program and holding a degree in Finance from Dalhousie University, Malaika combines her hands on experience in refugee issues with her professional background in Finance to execute operations at the Hub. Malaika has experience working with the Elizabeth Bruyère Research Institute in a number of capacities and has also spent time in Tanzania working with a small NGO to streamline their operations and finances, including advising on different fundraising tactics and initiatives. She brings a unique and fundamental skillset to the overall running of the Refugee Hub. She enjoys working with a great team and supporting the all of the important work of the Hub with her expert administration and an eagerness to help.
LEGAL AND RESEARCH
Nathan Benson is the Legal and Research Director of the Refugee Hub, providing leadership to the Hub’s research, policy and clinical initiatives. Along with Professor Jennifer Bond, he leads the Refugee Law Research Team, the Refugee & Criminal Law Clinic at the uOttawa Faculty of Law, and the Hub’s domestic and international policy work. He joined the Refugee Hub as Director of the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program (SSP) in 2016, having previously clerked at the Federal Court of Canada, practiced law at the federal Department of Justice, and held senior communications and strategic advisor roles prior to attending law school. Nathan holds a law degree from the University of Ottawa and a Masters in Political Science (Carleton), and is a member of the bar in Ontario. He is excited to be pioneering many new and timely research initiatives on behalf of the Hub team and in partnership with many key players in the field of refugee law.
PROGRAM OFFICER GLOBAL REFUGEE SPONSORSHIP INITIATIVE
Rhian Foley works on the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI) team as a Program Officer, as well as provides executive administrative support, contributing to both the Hub GRSI and Operational teams. Rhian joined the Refugee Hub in October 2016. With a background in international affairs and development, she has worked with non-profit organizations engaging in international development, education and global leadership. Rhian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Development Studies from McGill University. She enjoys supporting the important and exciting work happening at the Hub and working with partner organizations on refugee issues globally.