CJFE's Board of Directors draws from the media, legal and business communities.
Alice Klein, CJFE President
Alice Klein is the co-founder, editor and CEO of Toronto's NOW Magazine, a free alternative news and entertainment weekly. As a writer, Alice's current focus is on the economy and the environment. Her first documentary film, Call of the Hummingbird (2007), was an official selection at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin and Toronto's Hot Docs International Film Festival. She is also on the Boards of the Toronto Arts Council, Centre for Social Innovation and Green Enterprise Toronto. Alice was elected President of the CJFE Board in 2015.
Morteza Abdolalian is an Iranian journalist, poet, translator and advocate whose reprting primarily covers politics and human rights violations in Iran. He left Iran during the 1970s Revolution to study in the Philippines, where his reporting on campus resulted in him being blacklisted and cautioned by security for expulsion from the country. When he returned to Iran, he was arrested at the airport and detained in Evin prison. After he was repeatedly persecuted and re-arrested, he fled the country for the Philippines. When it again became unsafe for him there, he moved first to Japan, then settled in Canada in 1989. He is a member of PEN Canada's Writers in Exile program. Morteza's blog Iran Watch Canada monitors daily human rights violations in Iran. He joined the CJFE Board in 2002. Having been blindfolded at gun point, imprisoned and kidnapped from the street, he uses his position to help journalists in distress around the world.
Arnold Amber is a former executive producer at CBC and Director of CWA/SCA Canada, the parent body of the Canadian Media Guild and 26 other media unions that represent employees in the communications industry. Arnold joined the Board at the request of the organization's founder, Nick Fillmore, in 1993, and served as President until 2015. During Arnold's time on the Board, CJFE has grown from a handful of journalists and advocates to a rapidly expanding organization taking its place alongside international partners. CJFE was a founder of IFEX, a global network of free expression organizations; the ongoing close ties between the two organizations strengthens CJFE's international effectiveness.
Mohamed Fahmy is a Canadian-Egyptian award-winning journalist and author. He has reported extensively on the Middle East and North Africa. In 2013, he was appointed Al Jazzeera English's Egypt bureau chief. In 2012, he was part of the CNN team honoured with a Peabody Award for their coverage of the Arab Spring. Mohamed won the Tom Renner Investigative Reporting Award for producing the CNN Freedom Project documentary series Death in the Desert, which exposed the trafficking of Sub-Saharan Africans to Israel through Sinai-Egypt. He is a recipient of the Canadian Commission World Press Freedom Award, among other journalism and press freedom awards around the world. Mohamed also worked as an International Committee of the Red Cross delegate, protecting the rights of political prisoners and refugees in Lebanon. In 2015, he founded the Fahmy Foundation to provide financial assistance and advocate on behalf of imprisoned journalists and prisoners of conscience worldwide. He is an adjunt professor at the University of British Columbia, and author of Baghdad Bound, covering his Iraq War reporting, and The Marriott Cell, documenting his wrongful imprisonment in Egypt.
Peter Jacobsen is a founding partner of Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP. Peter practices mainly in the areas of defamation law, media law, administrative law and constitutional law. He is a seasoned litigator with significant experience in trials, appeals and judicial reviews at all levels of court and before numerous administrative tribunals. Peter is rated as one of the best lawyers in Canada in the specialty of defamation and media law. He has participated in several pivotal cases involving libel and slander issues, press freedom rights, access to courts, publication bans, sealing orders and subpoenas to journalists and editors. He provides regular pre-publication advice and defends defamation actions for major media outlets and their insurers, publishers, authors and editors, and also maintains a vigorous plaintiff's practice. Peter has worked with many organizations including the International Bar Association, Ad IDEM/Canadian Media Lawyers Association, Ontario News Watch, Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council Foundation, and the Writers' Trust of Canada. He has also served as an Ontario Chief Negotiator in many mediations.
Caroline Locher is the Executive Director of the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec (FPJQ), Canada's largest association of journalists. The FPJQ defends press freedom and the public's access to information in Quebec, offers training and support to journalists and issues professional press cards. Caroline previously spent 10 years working as an international news broadcaster and editor in the UK, France and Canada. She worked for the BBC World Service in London on award-winning programmes such as Newshour and Europe Today and was responsible for planning the station's major interviews. She was stationed at the European Commission in Brussels as the multi-platform producer during a European Union Summit. Caroline moved briefly to Paris for the launch of France24, a 24-hour international news network, as a bilingual reporter before returning to the BBC. After six years in Europe, she returned to Montreal and worked as a reporter at Radio-Canada and produced a breakfast radio show at CBC. Caroline has a graduate diploma in journalism from Concordia University and a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University. Before becoming a journalist, she worked in business management. She is a recipient of CBC's Joan Donaldson scholarship.
Patrick McGuire is a journalist, documentary producer and VICE Canada's Head of Content. As VICE prepares to launch a Canadian TV network, Patrick is overseeing original television production alongside the youth-targeted digital and print journalism the brand is known for, which spans a network of ten online channels and a monthly print magazine.
Frank Switzer is the former Vice-President of Corporate Communications at Sun Life Financial, where he oversaw the enterprise-wide internal and external communications and media relations, and was a member of Sun Life’s International Marketing Centre. Frank has over 40 years experience in communications and media relations in government, corporate and financial services. He served as a communications advisor to an Ontario cabinet minister and as Press Secretary for the Official Opposition in the Ontario Legislature, and was previously Director of Public Affairs for Scotiabank. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University and worked as a broadcast journalist for a number of Canadian news outlets. As a former journalist and officer at Canadian-based multinational corporations, Frank joined the CJFE Board to promote press freedom. "It's a cause that contributes to stronger, more stable local institutions, and helps to create and maintain an environment for economic growth and social justice in countries where Canadian firms do business."
Philip Tunley is a partner at Stockwoods LLP who specializes in civil litigation. His practive includes media law, defamation law, high technology litigation and intellectual property. He has appeared as lead counsel before all levels of the Ontario and Federal courts and the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as a variety of administrative tribunals and ADR procedures. His public law practice is grounded in four years as counsel with the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario. Philip was appointed by the Federal Minister of Justice as a member of the Metro Toronto Committee of the prestigious Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee, which improves the process of recommending candidates for judicial appointment in the Superior and Federal courts. He joined the CJFE Board in 2005, and served as Vice-President from 2007 to 2009. His expertise has provided guidance and recommendations on the most effective strategies to battle free expression issues within the legal framework.
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