Aaron T. Francis

PhD in Global Governance

Aaron is s a PhD Candidate in the Global Governance program at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, who is pursuing a specialization in global political economy.

Aaron’s research examines the political economy of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the Caribbean with specific reference to extractive industry development in the aluminum and oil sectors of Jamaica and Guyana, respectively.

Prior to joining the Balsillie School, Aaron spent several years directing political relations at the University of Waterloo as the stakeholder relations manager for the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association. As a founder and curator, Aaron has exhibited works from his Vintage Black Canada initiative at the BAND Gallery Toronto, the Gladstone Hotel, and the Contact Photography Festival as well at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). Most recently in June, Aaron co-organized and marshaled the KW Solidarity March for Black Lives that saw an estimated 30,000 attendees.


  • Exceptional Doctoral Student Scholarship, 2020
  • Global Governance Fellowship, 2020
  • Political Science Graduate Scholarship, 2013
  • Graduate Senate Scholarship, 2013


  • Master of Arts, Political Science, University of Waterloo, 2014
  • Honours Bachelor of Arts, University of Guelph, 2013
  • Visiting Student, Chinese Studies, East China Normal University, 2011
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