Overview

Established in 2009, Ottawa Dialogue is a university-based organization that brings together research and action in the field of dialogue and mediation. Guided by the needs of the parties in conflict, Ottawa Dialogue develops and carries out quiet and long-term, dialogue-driven initiatives around the world. We create forums where parties can explore difficult issues in an analytical, problem-solving way to develop new paths forward. We then work with our partners to transfer these ideas to places where they can make a difference.

As a complement to its field work, Ottawa Dialogue pursues a rich research agenda focused on conflict analysis, third party dialogue-based interventions, and best practices relating to “Track Two Diplomacy”.

The interplay between our research and insights from the field help us refine our approach to facilitation and dialogue, challenge assumptions, and generate innovative ideas.

Mission & Vision

Mission

To facilitate sustained dialogue aimed at preventing, mitigating and resolving conflicts, and to advance research and best practices in this field.

Vision

Our vision is of a world where people turn to dialogue and other collaborative approaches in order to resolve their differences.

Our History

In April 2009, a small group of experts from India and Pakistan convened a quiet discussion at the University of Ottawa about the state of strategic relations between the countries. From that exploratory discussion, an ambitious agenda emerged pointing to the need for sustained and facilitated dialogue on this critical matter that impacts global security.

The April 2009 talks evolved into the first long term process under the auspices of Ottawa Dialogue. Since then, Ottawa Dialogue has expanded into an institution housing several dialogue initiatives covering a range of issues, including:

  • Military-to-military confidence-building between India and Pakistan, particularly along the Line of Control
  • Iran-US relations
  • Israeli-Palestinian relations, particularly with respect to security arrangements
  • Regional security in the Middle East
  • India-Pakistan intelligence engagement
  • India-Pakistan-Afghanistan relations

Over the years and across these many dialogue-based initiatives, Ottawa Dialogue’s work has bridged the gap between research, practice and policy.

Our Team

Peter Jones, Ph.D.

Peter Jones, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Peter Jones holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from Kings’ College, London, and an MA in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada. Before joining the University of Ottawa, he served as a senior analyst for the Security and Intelligence Secretariat of the Privy Council of Canada for 7 years and also with Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs for 7 years. He also led the Middle East Security and Arms Control Project at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in Sweden in the 1990s. Peter leads problem-solving dialogues around the world and has published what is widely regarded as the standard text in the field, and also publishes regularly in leading journals in the field.

Dr. Jones can be reached at peter.jones/@/uOttawa.ca

Marie-Claude Alarie

Julia Palmiano Federer, Ph.D.

Head of Research

Julia holds a PhD from the University of Basel and an MA from the Graduate Institute, Geneva (IHEID). Julia has published academic articles and policy papers on diverse topics in mediation including norms, gender, counter-terrorism and multi-track diplomacy, as well as on Myanmar politics. She has also lectured and taught in numerous campuses and institutions in Europe, North America and Asia. As a former Program Officer in the mediation team at the Swiss Peace Foundation, she provided support to civil society actors and the negotiating teams involved in Myanmar’s peace processes. Before joining swisspeace in 2013, she started her career with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Human Rights Watch and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.

Dr. Palmiano Federer can be reached at julia.palmianofederer/@/uottawa.ca

Laura O’Connor

Laura O’Connor

Senior Project Officer, Dialogue & Research

Laura O’Connor is a Senior Project Officer at Ottawa Dialogue, working in our dialogue programming and research work. She joined Ottawa Dialogue in 2018. She holds a degree in Political Science and Communication from the University of Ottawa. Laura is involved in a number of local and national non-profits and holds an interest in grassroots peacebuilding and gender equality, working as a freelance writer and speaker on both subjects. Prior to and in addition to Ottawa Dialogue, Laura has worked as a Policy Analyst at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, and as a research assistant at both the Graduate School of International and Public Affairs and the Feminist and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Ottawa.

Laura can be reached at loconnor/@/uottawa.ca

Charlotte Côté

Charlotte Côté

Head of Dialogue Operations | Interim Finance and Operations Manager

Charlotte Côté holds a Hon. BSc. in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from the University of Ottawa, and joined the Ottawa Dialogue team in January 2019. She works in the field of dialogue, Track II and peacebuilding as a Dialogue Operations Manager and a Peacebuilding Policy Advisor for initiatives in the South Asia and Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) regions. Since 2013, she has also participated in a wide range of national dialogues, and is currently producing a podcast encouraging collective introspection on the issues of racial inequalities, colonialism, and white privilege in Canada.

Charlotte can be reached at charlotte.cote/@/uottawa.ca

Laura O’Connor

Feras Rajab

Monitoring and Evaluation Officer

Feras graduated from the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy with an MA in Global Affairs in 2020. Before arriving in Canada in 2018, Feras lived in Turkey and worked in the development and stabilization sector with ARK DMCC Group. He focused on a range of programmatic areas, from strategic communications to counter-violent extremism and humanitarian aid in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Feras also worked at the UN Development Program in Syria before fleeing the civil war in that country in 2011. Feras holds a BA in Management of Information Systems from the Higher Institute of Business Administration in Syria, and he speaks Arabic, Circassian, Kurdish, Russian, and Turkish.

Feras can be reached at frajab/@/uottawa.ca

Laura O’Connor

Aleem Bharwani

Sabbatical Research Fellow

Aleem is a physician (internal medicine) and clinical associate professor at the University of Calgary where he is the Director of Public Policy and Partnerships for the Cumming School of Medicine and O’Brien Institute for Public Health. After completing a Master in Public Policy (Harvard Kennedy School), he has led various strategic initiatives and been recognized nationally and internationally for his medical education and leadership. He has published on leadership, gender equity, and pluralism. He currently chairs the Research, Social Innovation, and Engagement Committee for the UCalgary Pluralism Initiative, and is an active citizen serving on community and corporate boards. During his time with the Ottawa Dialogue he will focus on track II diplomacy in public health.

Dr. Bharwani can be reached at abadmin/@/ucalgary.ca

Laura O’Connor

Jerry Sekuna

Administrative Coordinator

Jerry holds a master’s in Public Administration from Ryerson University, Toronto and a bachelor’s in Accounting from Oxford Brookes University, UK. He has previously worked with the Ontario Public Service as Research Analyst, an alumnus of the African Leaders of Tomorrow (ALT) Scholarship Cohort 2019 of the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE). Jerry is passionate about serving and giving back to his community through humanitarian and charitable works which he carries out in his home country Cameroon. He has led several initiatives in rural and community development in Africa throughout his career.

Jerry can be reached at jsekunap/@/uottawa.ca

Laura O’Connor

Lena Dedyukina

Graduate Research Assistant

Lena Dedyukina holds a Hon. BSocSc. in Sociology and Indigenous Studies from the University of Ottawa. She joined the Ottawa Dialogue team in November 2021 as a Graduate Research Assistant. Lena is completing a Master’s program in Geography in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Geomatics. Her research project investigates the cooking circle program in the Inuvialuit (Inuit) hamlet of Paulatuk, Northwest Territories, with an application of process and outcome evaluation through COVID-adapted community-based participatory research. Since 2018 Lena volunteered with Indigenous organizations in Ottawa, supported work of the Health Effects Monitoring Program under the supervision of Dr. Laurie Chan, and took a role of a Parliamentary Committee Volunteer in the Office of Elizabeth May (Green Party).

Lena can be reached at ldedy044/@/uottawa.ca.

Funding

Funding for our dialogue-based initiatives comes from a range of government and institutional donors. Currently, the three largest donors are the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the US National Defense University, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Global Affairs Canada. Ottawa Dialogue also benefits from in-kind contributions from the University of Ottawa. Previous donors have included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, the United States Institute of Peace, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Financial management of Ottawa Dialogue partnerships at the University of Ottawa is conducted according to the Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, with regular internal audits as well as policies and practices meeting or exceeding the requirements set by provincial and federal legislation for fiscal responsibility and transparency.

Support Us

By getting involved with Ottawa Dialogue, supporters and mission partners can help contribute to preventing, mitigating, and resolving conflicts around the world. Joining us means being a part of industry-leading research and action.

We are always interested in connecting with new partners interested in our work. Use the contact form to reach out for more information about how to support Ottawa Dialogue.