RACHEL KIDDELL-MONROE

OLBIOS CORRESPONDENT CANADA

Rachel Kiddell-Monroe is passionate about social justice and finding ways to show humanity and solidarity for people and our planet, using her background as a lawyer and activist. Most recently, Rachel founded SeeChange Initiative, a non-profit organization based on principles of community empowerment and solidarity. See Change Initiative is working in collaboration with the Government of Nunavut, to develop a community-led task-sharing project in Nunavut (Northern Canada) to tackle the TB epidemic.μRachel’s social justice awakening began in 1989 when she worked indigenous rights and East Timorese independence with grassroots organisations in Indonesia. But her most notable contribution to humanitarianism has been as a result of  her work with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) where she currently serves on the International Board of Directors, formulating policy and vision to safeguard MSF’s medical humanitarian mission.  Over the past 25 years, Rachel has also worked in various capacities at MSF: heading emergency humanitarian assistance in Rwanda before, during and after the genocide as well as in Djibouti and Democratic Republic of Congo (1992-1996), serving as programme director of MSF Canada (1998-1999), advising on Regional Humanitarian Affairs for Latin America based in Costa Rica from (1999-2003), leading the MSF Access Campaign in Canada (2003-2007).

Rachel cares deeply about global health and believes that empowering youth and ensuring intergenerational interactions is the key to future humanitarian action.  In 2006, Rachel was asked by university students to lead Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) and soon after she became President of the Board of Directors from 2007 to 2013.  UAEM has successfully played an important role in driving universities to develop global access licensing to ensure access to publicly funded pharmaceutical research in an effort to allow more people access to medicines.  Rachel currently serves as UAEM’s Special Policy Advisor.  To further empower youth to develop a humanitarian analysis relevant to the 21st century, Rachel teaches a seminar course on the challenges and dilemmas of humanitarian action and International Development in her role as a Professor of Practice at McGill University. Rachel enjoys connecting people and speaks widely throughout North America and Europe on humanitarian action, global health, and access to medicines.  She discusses her vision for addressing global crises facing our societies in a TEDxMontrealWomen talk.

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