Meet the WIIS-Canada Team
Dr. Cassandra Steer
Dr. Cassandra Steer is our Executive Director. Her main research interest is space security and military uses of outer space. She is the former Executive Director of the McGill Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, and prior to coming to Canada in 2015, Cassandra was a Junior Professor at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands for 8 years. She holds a B.A. (Philosophy) from the University of New South Wales, degrees in Dutch Law and International Law from the University of Amsterdam, and a PhD in International Criminal Law. She has interned at the International Criminal Court under Judge Navi Pillay in 2004, and has been a Visiting Researcher at universities in Argentina, Canada, Germany and the USA, where she was also a Fulbright Scholar. She recently published a book called “Translating Guilt: Identifying Leadership Liability for Mass Atrocity Crimes” (Springer, 2017).
Currently she is the member for Canada on the International Law Association Space Law Committee, an Associate Expert on the Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Activities in Outer Space, and a member of the International Institute of Space Law, Women in Aerospace, the NATO Association of Canada, and the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War.
Cassandra can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Stéfanie von Hlatky
Stéfanie von Hlatky is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University and Director of the Centre for International and Defence Policy. Prior to her appointment at Queen’s, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College and a Senior Researcher at ETH Zurich’s Center for Security Studies. She recently published a book called American Allies in Times of War: The Great Asymmetry (Oxford University Press, 2013). She lives in Kingston with her husband and two children.
Stefanie is the founder of WIIS-Canada and Chair of the Board of Directors for WIIS-Canada and can be reached at email@example.com
Viviana Fernandez is the Assistant Director at the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa (uOttawa). She joined the Boards at Women in International Security Canada in 2015 and the Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory on the Rights of the Child in 2014. She represents the University of Ottawa in the Steering Committee of the Scholars at Risk (SAR) Network - Canada Section and in the SAR’s International Advisory Committee.
Prior to taking up her position at the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, Viviana joined uOttawa in 2004 as the Head of the Research Office at the Telfer School of Management. Due to work and/or studies, she has lived in Chile, France, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Viviana’s contributions will include corporate strategy, the organization of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign for Canada and the expansion of WIIS Canada across Francophone markets. Viviana currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario.
Caroline Leprince has significant experience in providing strategic advice and analysis in the areas of national security, defence and public safety. She is a senior policy analyst at Public Safety Canada and an associate fellow with the Raoul-Dandurand Chair of Strategic and Diplomatic Studies. She was previously a contractual research assistant with Defence Research and Development Canada and also served as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces’ Reserve, during which time she deployed with the Psychological Operations unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Caroline was also involved in building women capacities in a local NGO in Cambodia, a project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to help document crimes against women.
Caroline also brings experience in project management, business development and strategic planning (Master’s degree in Project Management, École des sciences de la gestion (ESG)). She worked as a project manager for the Raoul-Dandurand Chair during which time she was responsible for grant applications and fundraising activities. She also holds a Master’s in Political Science from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) and a Bachelor in International Relations and International Law from the same university.
Gaëlle Rivard Piché
Gaëlle Rivard Piché is a strategic analyst for Defence Research and Development Canada in Ottawa where she currently works with the Royal Canadian Navy’s Staff. She recently completed her Ph.D. in International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (Carleton University), for which she conducted extensive field research in Haiti and El Salvador between 2012 and 2015. Her academic research focuses on security sector reform, capacity building, and the broader consequences of international interventions in fragile states. In 2014-2015, she was a Fulbright research fellow in the International Security Program at the Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. In parallel to her academic experience, she has worked for the United Nations’ Department of Peace Keeping Operations in New York. She is a consultant for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on security sector reform and peace operations. Gaëlle is a founding member of WIIS Canada who has benefited from the network as a student and now a young professional. Through the last 10 years, she has contributed to the organization of several annual workshops. As a woman who has conducted research and worked in male-dominated environments, she considers it crucial to get involved in such networks in order to support and exchange with other women in the field.
Leah Sarson is 2017–19 SSHRC post-doctoral fellow at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she is a post-doctoral fellow at the Dickey Center for International Understanding, a visiting Arctic fellow at the Institute of Arctic Studies, and a former Fulbright researcher. Dr. Sarson is based at the University of Toronto, where she is an adjunct professor at the International Relations Program of Trinity College, a visiting fellow at the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at the Munk School of Global Affairs, and a senior fellow at the Canadian International Council.
An active member of Women in International Security-Canada (WIIS-C), Dr. Sarson coordinated the 2015 workshop in Kingston, Ontario and organized a panel on feminist research methods at the 2017 event. She is also interim president of the new Toronto branch of WIIS-C, which she co-founded with Dr. Aisha Ahmad. Her publications include a forthcoming article in Études internationales on gendered perceptions of expertise in International Relations and a chapter under review with University of New England Press based on her research as a fellow with the Gender Research Institute of Dartmouth. Dr. Sarson’s work has also appeared in International Journal and the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, among others.
Dr. Sarson received her PhD in political studies from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where she is also a fellow at the Centre for International and Defence Policy. Her current research explores Indigenous global politics in the extractive resource sector, while her broader research interests focus on Canadian foreign policy, International Relations, gender, and the Arctic. Dr. Sarson has also held professional positions at Simon Fraser University, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, and Global Affairs Canada, among others.
Meaghan Shoemaker is a Doctoral student in Political Studies at Queen's University, Kingston. Meaghan's research interests include international security studies, gender in NATO militaries, and conflict and conflict resolution.
As the Program Assistant for WIIS-Canada, Meaghan aims to further the mandate of WIIS-Canada through increased member engagement and stakeholder outreach. She firmly believes in supporting leadership roles of women, especially in non-traditional roles.
Meaghan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
National Chapter Coordinator
Lindsay Coombs is a PhD student in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University and a Graduate Research Fellow at the Centre for International and Defence Policy. Lindsay completed a Master of Arts in Political Studies, also from Queen’s University, where she specialized in International Relations. Her Master’s thesis focused on innovation in Canadian military doctrine, training, and education on the topic of war-affected children. Lindsay also holds a Bachelor with Honours in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from the University of Ottawa, where she graduated with distinction.
Lindsay is committed to actively supporting women’s leadership in international security. As the National Chapter Coordinator for WIIS-Canada, Lindsay coordinates the activities of university and community Chapters across Canada. Lindsay is also the President and Founder of WIIS at Queen’s University.
For all Chapter related inquiries, Lindsay can be contacted at email@example.com