Provost and Vice-President: Academic
Wilfrid Laurier University
(519) 884-0710 | Ext. 3601
Dr. Robert Gordon, a leading authority on environmental issues in Canada, joined Laurier as vice-president: research in November 2015, and joined the BSIA Board in February 2017, with an appointment to the Chair position in September 2017. He was appointed as Laurier’s provost and vice-president: academic on July 1, 2018. In this role, Dr. Gordon is responsible for implementing the priorities outlined in Laurier’s Strategic Academic Plan, including advancing academic excellence, expanding experiential learning and enhancing diversity. He will serve as senior lead in implementing the academic plan for Laurier’s Milton campus. Dr. Gordon works closely with the president and vice-chancellor on university-wide strategic planning and executing the university’s Strategic Mandate Agreement with the province. He also holds a faculty appointment in Laurier’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.
Prior to joining Laurier, Dr. Gordon was dean of the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph, the largest agriculture and food faculty in Canada. He previously held a prestigious Canada Research Chair in Environmental Resource Management at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (now Dalhousie University).
Dr. Gordon earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in engineering from McGill University and a PhD in land resource science from the University of Guelph. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Nova Scotia Premier’s Award of Excellence.
Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations
Centre for International Governance Innovation
(519) 885-2444 | Ext. 7288
As the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)’s chief financial officer and director of operations, Shelley Boettger provides corporate leadership and strategic guidance on all financial aspects of the organization. Shelley is responsible for the management of CIGI’s financial systems and investment portfolios, as well as for managing operations and providing financial advice to senior leadership. An expert communicator and driver of effective change management, Shelley brings to the organization a unique perspective as a corporate leader, with a focus on managing high-performing teams.
Prior to her arrival at CIGI, Shelley was the director of finance for the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP). During her eight years at OTIP, Shelley played a pivotal role in the development and implementation of critical financial policies that are helping to ensure the ongoing success of the business. Shelley also led a variety of corporate projects, maintaining a focus on strategic priorities and making valuable contributions to the organization at each step of the process. During her career Shelley has also held financial leadership positions with the City of Kitchener and Melitron Corporation, each centred on building integrated financial systems, effective processes and key strategic planning.
Shelley received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University. She also holds designations as a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified Management Accountant and Certified Employee Benefit Specialist.
- Vice-President Academic & Provost
University of Waterloo
Dr. D. George Dixon (BSc, Sir George Williams University, 1972; MSc, Concordia University, 1975; PhD, University of Guelph, 1980) is Vice-President Academic and Provost, and Professor of Biology at the University of Waterloo. He served as Dean of Science from 2001-2007. Dr. Dixon has received both the Award for Excellence in Research and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University. He has over 30 years experience in aquatic toxicology and environmental risk assessment and management, principally but not exclusively, with respect to the environmental impacts associated with metals and mining activity. At various times during his career he has served as an advisor on metal contamination issues to Environment Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Department of Justice (Canada), the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U. S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Justice (U. S.) and the World Health Organization, among others.
Dr. Dixon maintains an active research program, which at present is focused on development of methods for environmental effects monitoring, methods of assessing the environmental risks associated with exposure of aquatic organisms to metal mixtures, and on the aquatic environmental effects of oil sands extraction in northern Alberta. He has supervised the research of over 70 MSc and PhD students and has authored or co-authored over 250 refereed journal articles. He has also developed and taught numerous courses in environmental toxicology and risk assessment.
Associate Dean, SIPG
Wilfrid Laurier University
Dr. Alistair D. Edgar is Executive Director of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), Faculty Associate and Advisory Board member at the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, Associate Dean at the School of International Policy and Governance, and is Associate Professor of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Outside of the University, Dr. Edgar is president of the New Delhi, India-based International Jurist Organization; sits on the Board of the Canadian Land Mine Foundation; and is a former National Board member of the United Nations Association in Canada. He is active on the editorial boards of the Center for Governance and Sustainability (University of Massachusetts Boston) Issue Briefs series, and the Journal of International Peacekeeping.
Dr. Edgar’s research focuses on transitional justice in war-to-peace transitions and post-conflict peace building. He has conducted fieldwork in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Kosovo, and northern Uganda.
Dr. Edgar holds a PhD in Political Science from Queen’s University (1993). He was the John M. Olin Doctoral Fellow in Economics and National Security at Harvard University (1992-93), and was awarded a certificate in Russian Studies at Moscow State University (1995).
University of Waterloo
Dr. Suzan Ilcan is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Her research covers themes at the interface of global governance, humanitarian and development aid, and migration studies, including: humanitarian aid and refugees, citizenship rights and social justice, and the politics of poverty and development.
She is the author of Longing in Belonging: The Cultural Politics of Settlement (Praeger, 2002) and co-author of Governing the Poor: Exercises of Poverty Reduction, Practices of Global Aid (with Anita Lacey, MQUP, 2011) and Issues in Social Justice: Citizenship and Transnational Struggles (with Tanya Basok, OUP, 2013). She is editor of Mobilities, Knowledge, and Social Justice (MQUP, 2013).
Dr. Ilcan’s most recent SSHRC-funded project (2015-2019) is on “Humanitarian Aid, Citizenship Politics, and the Governance of Syrian Refugees in Turkey”. The project examines aid and emergency responses to forced migrant populations, with a focus on precarity, differential inclusion, and citizenship politics involving Syrian refugees in Turkey and other European countries. With project investigators, Feyzi Baban (Trent University) and Kim Rygiel (BSIA, Wilfrid Laurier University), she is co-authoring a book on this research.
Dr. Ilcan is co-editor of the journal Studies in Social Justice and serves as an editorial board member of the Journal of Namibian Studies and the journal Globalizations, and a consulting editor of the Canadian Review of Sociology. She joined the BSIA Board in April 2018.
Managing Director and General Counsel
Centre for International Governance Innovation
(519) 885-2444 | Ext. 7478
Aaron Shull is CIGI’s managing director and general counsel. Prior to that he was CIGI’s counsel and corporate secretary and was also a research fellow beginning in 2013. He continues to act as corporate secretary.
As General Counsel, he responds to legal inquiries from Senior Management that relate to corporate, contractual, employment, occupational health and safety, intellectual property, dispute resolution, and compliance related matters. As Chief of Staff, he operates as an effective liaison and conduit across all departments, providing guidance and advice on all matters of strategic and operational importance.
Prior to joining CIGI, Aaron practised law for a number of organizations, focusing on international, regulatory and environmental law. He has taught courses at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, and the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and was previously a staff editor for the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law.
Aaron graduated from the University of Waterloo, placing first in his class as a departmental scholar, with a B.A. (honours) in history and political science. His keen interest in international affairs and political history led him to pursue a Master of Arts in international affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, where he graduated with distinction. He concurrently pursued his LL.B. from the University of Ottawa, where he graduated cum laude with first class honours. Aaron attained his LL.M. from Columbia Law School, where he graduated as a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar.