This seminar draws on the personal experience of involvement in international response to about thirty major humanitarian crises on five continents. The reflections that come from this experience lead to a singular conclusion – if we lose sight of the people we seek to serve and not re-orient our system to the crisis affected people, we will not be able to live up to our humanitarian mission. The seminar will explore how this re-orientation can be accomplished.
About the Speaker
Dr Catherine Bragg is currently Visiting Senior Fellow in the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Programme, NTS Centre, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Adjunct Full Professor in the Centre for Humanitarian Action, University College Dublin, and a Governor of the University of Toronto. Dr Bragg is a former Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator in the United Nations (2008-2013). As the ASG, she was the deputy head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Prior to her secondment to the UN, she has spent 24 years in the federal public service of Canada. During this time, her portfolios included criminal and Aboriginal justice, Northern devolution and the voluntary sector, among others. She served in seven federal departments, including the Canadian International Development Agency, where she was Director General responsible for Canada’s International Humanitarian Assistance Program from 2004-2008.
In 2005, she was appointed by the UN Secretary-General, and served two terms, as a member of the Advisory Group of the UN Central Emergency Response Fund. She also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre and represented Canada on the Executive Committee and Executive Board of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the World Food Program. In total, she has visited over 100 countries and been involved in response to close to 30 humanitarian crises and situations. Dr Bragg received her degrees from University of Toronto (B.Sc. Psychology), University of Cambridge (M.Phil. Criminology) and the State University of New York at Albany (Ph.D. Criminal Justice).