Peace Dividend Trust | Founder and Executive Director | Ottawa ON Canada
I am a social entrepreneur, working to rethink and change the way aid and peacekeeping is delivered. As an example, our Peace Dividend Marketplace projects in Afghanistan have changed the way donors procure goods and services, redirecting over $500m of new spending into the Afghan money and creating thousands of badly needed jobs.
My first overseas posting took me to Timor Leste. I've worked there as a diplomat, a UN peacekeeper, and now an aid worker and I've seen Timor go from a province of Indonesia to a vibrant independent nation. There is no place on earth I enjoy visiting more.
Only a small fraction of all foreign aid is actually spent in the nations being helped. This can be changed by helping local entrepreneurs compete for international contracts. Providing new forms of SME finance is a key element in solving this.
I am the founder and Executive Director of Peace Dividend Trust (PDT) a non-profit organization that finds, tests, and promotes new ideas for improving peace and humanitarian operations. Among its successes, PDT has assisted the United Nations to improve and standardize its procedures for launching new peacekeeping missions. Through its “Buy Local” efforts, PDT has helped expand the economic impact of international aid and investment in Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, Timor Leste, and Africa.
Prior to starting PDT, I was a Canadian diplomat who had served in Indonesia and Timor Leste. In 2001 I worked for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in East Timor (UNTAET), responsible for the helping the new government to develop stable security institutions and establish a national economic security policy.
Before joining the Foreign Service, I was the Executive Director of Mountain Parks Health Services, a private medical services firm. I studied International Commerce at the University of Alberta and earned a M.Sc. at the London School of Economics. In 2009, I was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 and in 2010 PDT won the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.