A poised and confident communication/reputation risk management Advisor/Director with a global perspective and contextual understanding of international politics—particularly as they relate to fragile and post-conflict environments. I am also an editor, writer and art director with a reputation for producing compelling communications products—particularly those that involve behavioral change. I also possess a particular gift for conducting in-depth needs and situational analyses and communications recommendations that are pragmatic, innovative and cost effective.
- Adept at analyzing risk and providing targeted solutions.
- An instinctive ‘nose for news’ with an uncanny ability to position a company based upon the news cycle.
- Adept at facilitating and building partnerships between stakeholders.
- Record of successful projects in some of the most challenging sociopolitical environments in the world.
- In-depth understanding of how risk can sink an organization/project—with the skills to prevent precisely that.
- Strong mentor with a quick wit, and articulate voice and the ability to inspire, lead and coach.
- Skilled communicator, spokesperson, writer and editor.
- Highly creative behavioral change communications professional.
I am the 360-degree candidate, with a strong track record in strategic and crisis communications, writing, editing, design and video production—especially within the context of conflict, post-conflict and fragile environments. Issue areas include public health, war and armed conflict, security, climate change, gender, infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS and more.
This mosaic of experience allows me to analyze, evaluate and assist clients to come up with high quality communications products specifically tailored to multiple audiences. My learning curve is short and my value kicks in quickly. Curiosity and a commitment to quality keeps me motivated to develop continuously while seeking out opportunities for creative collaboration.
My managers know me for being straight up and open. I say what I am thinking and have the courage of my convictions. While they appreciate that in me, they also see an employee who is loyal—one who will support organizational strategies and confidentiality while at the same time, offering sound advice bases on years of experience. Colleagues describe me as thoughtful, multi-skilled professional who is inclusive and creative. They like how I make the environment fun and wonder how I can be in such a great mood all the time!
- Seasoned strategist who specializes in concise, targeted 360 degree communications plans targeted to specific audiences, stakeholders and donors.
- Talented communications for behavioral change professional—particularly with respect to public health.
- Experienced community mapping specialist—especially with respect to fragile,conflict and post-conflict environments.
- Project analysis, reputation management, crisis communications, advocacy and outreach.
- Branding: selling an organization’s story in a compelling and persuasive manner.
- Crafting editorial and narrative content which is concise, colorful and compelling.
- Editing to ensure that messaging is both succinct and powerful.
- Visuals, that are sophisticated and will present the client in the best possible light.
- Communications strategies, which promote the organizational mission and vision while enhancing reputation.
- Partnership building and fundraising: 20+ years of experience dealing with issues relating to fragile states, armed conflict, security, human rights, gender, health, the extractive industries and the environment.
RECENT CAREER SNAPSHOT
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BC
Victoria, BC, Nov. 2017 to present
Scope: I currently lead a communications team for Emergency Management BC, the Ministry that coordinates provincial preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery with respect to major hazards such as earthquakes, oil and chemical spills, wildfires, floods and other natural and human-caused disasters. This position involves stakeholder engagement, political affairs partnership building, awareness-raising activities, speechwriting, strategy, editorial, and media outreach.
International Communications Advisor/Strategist:
Based in Vancouver, Canada; New York, New York; and Geneva, Switzerland, Nov 2016-Nov 2016
Resumed high-level communications advisory services—but with a greater emphasis on situation analysis, crisis communications and community and security mapping.
Senior External Communications Advisor:
Afghanistan USAID Promote, Women’s Leadership Development Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 2015 to Nov. 2016
Scope: Managed the external communications for the largest gender program in USAID’s 67-year history. Developed all advocacy materials, including videos, the website, all print materials and the communications strategy. Trained staff, developed donor relation and fundraising materials, reported back to USAID.
- Developed and authored four-year communications and outreach strategy targeting donors, the mainstream media, international partners,SAID, the US Congress and all associated stakeholders.
- Developed and implemented country-wide behavioral change communications involving raising awareness about the value of women’s leadership.
- Developed and designed the website and all advocacy materials including videos, printed materials, photo-essays and the website.
- Liaised with donors, multilateral institutions to build the profile of the project and advocate for its mission.
- Built the capacity of local staff, partners and donors.
International Communications Advisor/Strategist:
Based in Vancouver, Canada; New York, New York; and Geneva, Switzerland, Mar 2009-July 2017 (present)
Clients include: Canadian International Resource Development Institute (CIRDI), USAID-funded Development Alternatives Incorporated (Afghanistan) The World Health Organization, The United Nations Population Fund, UNICEF, UNAIDS. Providing for Health (WHO, the World Bank, the ILO, GTZ and the French Government), GTZ, Mondofragilis and a host of other NGOs and UN agencies. Other clients include the International Federation of the Red Cross, World Vision and The UNDP Afghanistan Human Development Report, Doctors of the World, the USAID-funded Agriculture Fast Track (SSG Advisers) and United Nations Volunteers. I also undertake confidential community and security mapping for corporate clients looking to set-up operations in potentially high-risk and dangerous environments.
- Researched and developed a reputation risk management strategy for the Canadian International Resource Development Institute (CIRDI), a private-public sustainability consortium made up of the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and L’Ecole Polytechnique mining faculties and key privatesector companies.
- Developed the branding strategy for The Safe Water Network
- Undertook four community and security mapping projects for a transnational corporation wishing to set up operations in Mexico. This involved extensive community mapping that included tracking the movements of organized crime, the military, human trafficking, chronicling labour unrest, environmental contamination, femicide, forced and extrajudicial executions and disappearances.
- Advised Creative Associates International regarding reporting, branding, crisis and behavioral change communications and outreach for the Community Livelihoods Project (CLP) in Yemen. During that time I built local capacity through media training.
- Advised and managed all aspect of communications, branding and outreach for the USAID-funded Alternative Development Program/South West in Afghanistan,a project designed to replace opium cultivation by building the capacity of farmers to grow other high-value crops instead. This also involved extensive community engagement and C4D communications. This was my second stint in Afghanistan followed by another June and July 2012. The first was with the USAID-funded Local Governance and Community Development Program.
- Work in Iraq with the London-based Institute of for War and Peace Reporting to train several groups of female reporters.
- Consulted for the USAID-funded African and Latin American Resilience Climate Change (ARCC) Programme, a high-level climate change initiative involving vulnerable populations in Africa and Central America.
- Authored a 360-degree communications strategy for Providing for Health, a multilateral organization made up of the governments of Germany, France, the ILO, the World Bank and WHO.
- Developed a communications and outreach strategy for the Africa Development Bank/USAID/Danica/CIDA Agriculture Fast Track, an innovative new funding mechanism designed to assist African agri-businesses.
Faculties of: Journalism and Advertising+Public Relations
Michigan State University: East Lansing, Michigan, USA—Sept 2014 to May 2015
Scope: Taught communications and media studies to graduate and undergraduate students. These included a mix of advertising, communications courses and feature writing courses in addition to a program I created called “Cause and Effect: Communications for Social and Behavioral Change.”
Head, Advocacy and Communications (P-5)
World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, Mar 2008-Feb 2009
Scope: Managed a nine member team of information, web and media officers, support staff and key international consultants engaged in the promotion of access to universal HIV testing, treatment and support. Was the driving conceptual advocacy force behind ‘Test and Treat’, a (then) innovative strategy designed to reduce the transmission of HIV and AIDS in the top nine high-prevalence countries in Africa. This strategy has become the centerpiece of prevention and treatment efforts around the world and the focus for global C4D communications.
- Drafted a global media strategy involving all WHO regions, including governments, donors and other key stakeholders.
- Media includes training, developing communications products in the run up to major conferences; overseeing the production of all communications materials and advising the Director on all communications and media matters.
- Produced and launched and the 2008 Towards Universal Access Report
- Authored the communications strategy with respect to the release of a Lancet report that showed that a combination of annual universal testing and immediate treatment with anti-retroviral therapy would reduce HIV transmission by 90 per cent in 10 years.
- Now known as ‘Test and Treat’ my strategy has now become the centerpiece for the global HIV responses worldwide.
- Developed and implemented the WHO communications plan for the 2008 International AIDS Conference.
- Built and trained an entire team of 12 communications professionals from scratch
Media Advisor / Senior Editor (P-5)
United Nations Population Fund,New York, NY, USA, May 2005-Feb 2008
Scope: Managing Editor of the State of the World Population Report— the UNFPA flagship report launched in 164 countries worldwide. I planned, wrote, edited, art directed three reports and launched them in Ottawa, Canada. I was also the spokesperson and speechwriter for the department and headed several high-profile behavioral change and advocacy campaigns. I also authored the three-year global communications framework and presiding over the production of several key media products—including PSAs, documentaries, traveling photo exhibits etc. My particular area of expertise was HIV and AIDS, maternal health, family planning and reproductive health.
- Authored the three-year communications framework for the entire organization and was HIV/AIDS media focal point. This included promoting our HIV mandate to an audience of policy-makers, media and other partners; organizing press and other events at various high-level meetings—such as the World Summit on HIV/AIDS in April 2006 and the International AIDS Conference.
- Duty travel included trips to Zimbabwe, Russia, Tajikistan and other regions and countries. I was also responsible for the 16 Days of Activism Against Genderbased Violence Campaign and was the conceptual and creative force behind the yearly five-underreported stories. These garnered considerable media attention and were run in major outlets worldwide.
- Completely re-vamped the photo-archive and how UNFPA deals with images—aka. emphasizing high-quality professional photography, photo essays.
- Produced, write, edited and art directed Prevention is for Life: HIV/AIDs Dispatches from the Field and the Campaign for Obstetric Fistula Annual Report.
The Human Security Report, The Liu Centre for Global Issues, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, Nov 2002-Dec 2005
Scope: Editorial Director of the 2005 Human Security Report Managing Editor of the State of the World Population Report, an annual compendium that charts the causes and consequences of state and non-state armed violence worldwide.
- Produced, edited and art directed two editions of the report.
- Was instrumental in persuading our governing board to highlight under-reported stories such as the femicide in Mexico and Guatemala, the impact of sexual violence in conflict and the security impact of high male-to-female sex ratios.
- Forged partnerships with World Bank Group.
- Partnered with MSF Epicenter to consolidate excess mortality figures in the wake of armed conflict into a global database to be featured in a subsequent report
Senior Writer/Editor (P-4)
World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, July 1999-Sept 2002
Scope: Researched, wrote a series of major advocacy/fundraising materials including the Year 2000 Infectious Diseases Report: Overcoming Antimicrobial Resistance, which became the spring board for the inception of the Global Fund for TB, Malaria and HIV. The project required a high degree of analytical and writing skills in addition to advising the client on the most effective means of selling their product to the widest audience possible. This meant incorporating graphics in such a way as to be easily exploited for downstream products such as the WHO website, CD-ROM and PowerPoint presentations, etc. So far, 140,000 copies of the book have been printed. Also produced and wrote the Stop TB Annual Report; the Field Guide for the Management of Buruli Ulcer and the year 2001 Water for Health report. All products were extremely well received.
“The most comprehensive—and perhaps the most alarming—account to date of the rise of resistant microbes ” – The International Herald Tribune
OTHER EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
Writer/Editor: The Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS), Geneva,Switzerland
Design Editor/Editorial Artist: The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC, Canada;
Crime/Court Reporter: The Victoria Times-Colonist, Victoria,
Cityside/Lifestyles/Entertainment Reporter: The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC, Canada
- Masters: Graduate Liberal Studies: Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC Canada:
- Bachelors of Fine Art (BFA): Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, BC,Canada:
- Diploma, Journalism: Langara University, Vancouver, BC, Canada
The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy, Columbia University Press (published in June 2015). Nominated for a National Book, Arthur Ross, Peabody and Pulitzer awards and selected by Kirkus Reviews as among its top 15 non-fiction picks for 2015.
‘I recommend it.’
Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
‘Thoughtful and nuanced.... I highly recommend [The Hillary Doctrine] to anybody interested in elevating women's voices in world affairs, as well as the practicalities of day-to-day U.S. foreign policymaking.’
Micah Zenko, Newsweek
- The UNDP Afghanistan Development Report, 2013, Kabul, Afghanistan
- Tools for Safe Water Stations: The Safe Water Network 2012, New York
- Tools for Safe Water Stations: The Safe Water Network 2012
- CRC and CEDAW: Making the Connection: A Human Rights Toolkit, UNICEF and UNFPA, 2011
- Out of Harm’s Way The International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies Harm Reduction Advocacy Report, 2010
- The Missing Link: Family, community care and the MDGs: World Vision International, 2010
- Engaging Men and boys: a gender awareness toolkit, UNFPA, UNICEF, 2009
- 2008 Campaign to end Fistula Annual Report, UNFPA
- 2008 UNAIDS Annual Report
- Prevention is for Life: HIV/AIDS, dispatches from the field, UNFPA, (2008), NewYork
- The State of World Population 2007: Unleashing the power of urban growth,UNFPA, New York UNFPA,
- The State of World Population 2006: A Passage to Hope: Women and International Migration, UNFPA, New York
- The State of World Population 2005, The Struggle for equality: gender equity and the MDGs, UNFPA, New York
- From Harm to Hope: Immunization improves injection safety in the countries of The Mekong Delta, UNICEF, Bangkok 2005
- The Human Security Report: War in the 21st Century, Oxford University Press,2005
- Armed and Aimless: Guns, Human Security and Non-state Armed groups in the Countries of the ECOWAS, The Small Arms Survey, Oxford University Press, 200
- A World of Knowledge: 2000-2003 Summary Report, The Commonwealth of Learning, 2004
- Promises to Keep: The toll of unintended pregnancies on women's lives in the developing world, The Global Health Council, Tabled in the US Congress in 2002
- Stop TB Annual Report, The World Health Organization, 2001
- Buruli Ulcer Field Guide: volume 1 and 2, The World Health Organization, 2001
- The World Health Organization Year 2000 Infectious Diseases Report: Overcoming Antimicrobial Resistance, The World Health Organization, 2000
Excellent references available on request