Alice Klein | 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.
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.
Carolyn Jarvis has spent more than a decade reporting across the country for Global News. After several postings with the network from Vancouver to Ottawa, she moved to Toronto to work with the current affairs division as 16X9′s Chief Correspondent. Carolyn and 16x9’s investigative and feature reporting has won numerous awards and acclaim, including a Bronze World Medal at the New York Festivals, Canadian Screen Award for Best News or Information Series, and RTDNA Dan McArthur Award for Investigative Reporting. In 2014, she took part as the only Canadian among international journalists in a prestigious Investigative Journalism fellowship at Columbia University.
Suzanne Legault is the former Information Commissioner of Canada. She is recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of information rights. During her tenure, Suzanne oversaw the completion of over 15,000 investigations under the Access to Information Act and provided the strategic direction on multiple precedent-setting litigation, dealing for instance, with the control of records in Ministers' offices and the exclusion from disclosure of records held by the CBC. She tabled several Special Reports to Parliament, including a comprehensive road map to modernize the Access to Information Act. She was at the vanguard of the Open Government movement in Canada. Suzanne has worked tirelessly to assist countries worldwide to promote and protect information rights as a fundamental human right and a key pillar of democracy, in collaboration with the Organization of American States, the World Bank, the Carter Center and Global Affairs Canada. In recognition of her contribution, she was awarded the Spencer Moore Lifetime Achievement Award and the Canadian Open Data and Social Justice Award. Suzanne is a lawyer whose prior work was in competition law and criminal law. At the Competition Bureau she was the Deputy Commissioner responsible for legislative and parliamentary affairs. She is a frequent speaker at conferences in Canada and abroad and has appeared numerous times before parliamentary committees. Suzanne is a seasoned senior executive with a proven record of good governance dealing with labour relations, financial administration and audit and evaluation.
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.
Karyn Pugliese is the Executive Director of APTN News and Current Affairs. Prior to joining APTN, Pugliese hosted ichannel’s political show #FAQMP, produced documentaries for Vision TV’s current affairs show 360Vision and worked for CBC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Native American Journalism Awards, the Canadian Screen Awards and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. Karyn has worked with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), leading communications projects such as the World Indigenous Stop TB Conference, and was the key media advisor to the AFN Women’s Council. She is a champion for Journalists for Human Rights and sits on the Canadian Association of Journalist’s Ethics Committee. Pugliese a proud member of the Algonquin First Nation of Pikwàkanagàn.
Kiumars (Kiu) Rezvanifar is the President of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA). He is the founder of KVC Communications Group in Toronto, specializing in communications and broadcasting, Iran Zameen on CBC-affiliate CHEX, the first weekly Farsi-language television program, and Persian Tribune Magazine, an English-language monthly publication. Kiumars’s second documentary feature, Unveiled Dreams, showcasing successful Iranian-Canadian women, was broadcast on Omni Television. He consults advertising and marketing agencies about Canada’s growing ethnic market and has served on various provincial and federal committees and boards, including the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC). For his contributions to Canada, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Medals by the Canadian government.
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 St. Lawrence Barristers 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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