Victoria is the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at the Dallaire Initiative. She has over a decade of experience in international development, social research, and project management; more recently focusing on Monitoring and Evaluation as the key to successful implementation and continuity of programs. Her previous work focused on vulnerable children and youth, largely in the East African context, having worked in the region for numerous NGOs since 2007. Concurrently, she has worked alongside academics, NGOs, and consulting firms in Canada on local community development projects and programs for vulnerable and at-risk children and youth. She has an honors BA from the University of Fraser Valley and a Graduate Certificate in Evaluation from the University of Victoria. She is currently pursuing her Credentialed Evaluator (CE) status with the Canadian Evaluation Society.
Victoria Bryce - Monitoring and Evaluation SpecialistMonitoring and Evaluation Specialist
Dustin Johnson - Senior Research OfficerProgram Officer - Research
Dustin joined the Dallaire Initiative after completing his graduate studies in resource and environmental management at Dalhousie University. He has a diverse background including a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, experience as a research assistant at a local environmental NGO in Mongolia, and at Dalhousie and MIT, and volunteer leadership positions at the Canadian Fair Trade Network. His research focuses on the Dallaire Initiative’s core mission of preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers, along with the prevention of mass atrocities and former child soldiers as immigrants.
Pethrona Russell - Personnel & Operations OfficerTraining Coordinator
Pethrona Russell a native of Freeport Grand Bahama, moved to Halifax, NS in August 2016 in pursuit of her dreams. In January 2018, she will be graduating from Saint Mary’s University where she completed the Master of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation degree. Prior to her relocation, Pethrona worked within the Human Resources Department at The College of The Bahamas from March 20, 2023 to August 26, 2016. During her 10-year tenure at The College, she worked fervently in the capacity of a Human Resources Assistant II within the Training & Development and Benefits Units. She was also a part-time Assistant at Anthony Thompson & Co. Law Firm for a one-year stint, 2015-2016. In 2005, she completed session 488 of the BahamaHost certification programme, finished ahead of the bunch and was awarded an accolade for her academic achievements. Subsequently, that same year Pethrona completed more intense preparation during the sitting of the Train the Trainer programme and became a certified BahamaHost Trainer.
In 2004, she completed a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Tourism Management at The College of The Bahamas where she finished at the top of the class and again was awarded three accolades of academic excellence in recognition of the same. Additionally, in 2001 Pethrona completed an Associate of Arts degree in Marketing and was afforded the opportunity to complete internships at the Ministry of Tourism and Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort. On another note, she along with her sister were the proprietors of “Dutty Fashions” a lady’s boutique with trendy fashion and fragrances located in Grand Bahama, Bahamas. Furthermore, she has volunteered at the Bahamas Red Cross and the Bahamas Human Society among others, and is the holder of a Gold, Silver and Bronze Award from the Governor’s Youth Award Scheme Formerly Duke of Edinburgh, an organization where more than 8,000 young Bahamians engage in community service, physical recreation, the apprenticeship of a new skill, and attend adventurous journeys to achieve the awards. Finally, Pethrona is passionate about her Christian faith, sports, as well as health and fitness so she enjoys working out at the gym, a healthy diet, and travel. Her favorite Bible scripture is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Qaiser Haroon - Project OfficerEducation Program Manager
Qaiser brings a unique skill set to the Dallaire Initiative - he is a Business Administration graduate with several years of experience in financial services and international development. Previously, he worked on multiple USAID programs countering violent extremism in Pakistan, handling various responsibilities including grant writing and program development and delivery.
Leigh Smith - IT Officer
Leigh joined the Dallaire Initiative after working in both post secondary and private industry in IT for over 2 decades. She graduated from Dalhousie University with a degree in Marine Biology.
A Bluenoser for life, in her off hours, she enjoys biking, hiking and swimming, as well as trying her best to fix anything. A past volunteer with Scouts Canada and a current volunteer with Feed Nova Scotia, she wants all kids to be kids, and not have to grow up too soon.
Laura Cleave - Research Officer
Laura joined the Dallaire Initiative in January 2019 as a research officer following the completion of her MPhil in International Peace Studies at Trinity College Dublin. While in Ireland, her research focused on conflict transformation and understanding how human rights norms progress at both a global and national level. During this time, she also interned for an Irish Senator whose portfolio concentrated on Brexit and the affairs of the European Union.
Prior to her Master’s, Laura worked for three years as an analyst for the federal government on Indigenous consultation policy in Ottawa, Vancouver and Whitehorse. Over the years, she also worked with a number of non-governmental organizations at home and abroad, including L’Espace Associatif in Rabat, Morocco, the Korean Sharing Movement in Seoul, South Korea, and the Canada Africa Community Health Alliance in Ottawa.
Born in Brighton, Ontario, Laura enjoys hiking, baking and traveling. She has visited 50 countries to date and looks forward to continue exploring new areas of the globe.
Francisca Mujawase - Research Officer
Francisca Mujawase is a Rwandan statistician specializing in Social Protection Financing. In her previous work, she served as a Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor for the Human and Institutional Capacity Development Project (HICD/R) a USAID funded project in Rwanda prior to joining the International Labor Office in Kigali working as their Programme officer. Besides her permanent job experience recorded, she has worked on several consulting assignments focusing on research methods and design for national level and corporate impact assessments to inform policy change and organizational performance improvement. She has a master’s degree in social protection financing from the University of Mauritius, a diploma in the same academic background from the International training center for ILO in Turin, Italy, and a bachelor in Applied Statistics from the University of Rwanda. She has over 8 years of experience in development sector in Research work and monitoring and evaluation. At this stage in her career, she aspires to become a child protection activist by putting her research skills and experience to advocate for the rights of children in developing countries especially those in countries at war. Francisca is a gender activist and takes personal interest on gender dimension in development projects. She promote Imihigo model, a unique performance approach introduced and adopted by public institutions in Rwanda to monitor and report on desired performance results. She contributes to the body of Imihigo literature through a blog known as ImihigoYacu. Francisca is a co-founder and director of research at the Institute of Social Policy in Africa (ISPA) and volunteered for four years as a research convener for Graduate women international (GWI), local chapter for Rwanda. She is also a member of the executive committee for the International Association of Young Statisticians in Africa (IYAS) and a member of the African Group of Statisticians (AGROST).
Paige Black - Administrative Coordinator
Paige Black originally joined the Initiative as the interim VTECS Program Coordinator for the 2018 program and has returned as an Administrative Coordinator.
After receiving the 2011 Young Humanitarian Award for Nova Scotia presented by the Canadian Red Cross (CRC), Paige continued to be involved with the CRC in multiple ways including through the annual International Humanitarian Law Conferences at Dalhousie and delivering educational programming on issues of weapons of war, women and war and children and war.
She brings to this position event planning and public speaking experience as well as experience coordinating community health and safety programming. She has worked in the past at the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation, the Nova Scotia Legislature, the Canadian Red Cross and Dalhousie University’s Accessibility Department.
Paige has traveled to Rwanda and Kenya and in her spare time hikes, reads, volunteers with the United Way, and goes home to spend time with her family in Oxford, Nova Scotia.
Paige graduated from Dalhousie University with her Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies.
LGen Maurice Baril (ret’d)
Maurice Baril enlisted in the Canadian Officer Training Corps, while studying at the University of Ottawa, became an officer in 1963, and was assigned to the Royal 22nd Regiment in 1964. Among his numerous appointments were those with the Canadian Airborne Regiment (1968-1971) and the École supérieure de guerre in Paris (1977-78). Promoted to lieutenant colonel, he commanded the 2nd Battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment (1980-82). He became a colonel in 1984, and was assistant commander of the Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College, in 1985, then in 1989, brigadier-general and commander of the Combat Training Centre in GAGETOWN CFB. In June 1992, Maurice Baril was named military advisor to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the Headquarters of the United Nations, where in 1993 he attained the rank of major general. In July 1995, he took up the position of Chief of Land Forces Québec Sector in Montréal, and the following September, with the rank of lieutenant general, he led Canada’s ground forces. In September 1994, he was named Chief of Defence Staff. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada. He retired from the military in 2001.
Ishmael Beah was born in Sierra Leone in 1980. During the civil war in Sierra Leone he was a child soldier. His best selling book, “A Long Way Gone” details this experience. He moved to the United States in 1998 and finished his last two years of high school at the United Nations International School in New York. In 2004 he graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in political science. He is a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Advisory Committee and has spoken before the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (CETO) at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, and many other NGO panels on children affected by the war. He currently works with UNICEF as an Advocate for Youth Affected by War and is about to release his second book in January 2014.