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JHR is staffed and governed by a group of human rights and media development professionals with expertise in Canada and internationally.


Rachel Pulfer

Executive Director

Rachel Pulfer is the Executive Director of Journalists for Human Rights, Canada’s leading media development organization.

Under her leadership, JHR expanded its scope of operations from one continent to three. This included adapting JHR’s innovative community-led model of media development work overseas to successful programming on Indigenous rights in Canada and moving into the Middle East and North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Working with journalists Michael Cooke, Troy Reeb and Lisa LaFlamme among many many others, Pulfer pioneered an approach to media partnerships that embedded Canadian journalism experts in training programs with JHR across the media landscape. On her watch the organization has more than doubled its budget (growing at a rate of 25% over the past two years) while winning several regional and national awards acknowledging the impact of JHR programs. Such recognition includes the 2018 Bill Hutton Award for Excellence in Journalism from RTDNA Canada, 2018 Ontario Heritage Award and 2013 Canadian Ethnic Media Award for Innovation for the Indigenous Reporters Program, and a 2013 Governor-General's Award for Services to the People of Ghana.

She is a contributing editor to Corporate Knights magazine, a Fellow of the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a member of the Banff Forum.

Prior to running JHR, Rachel was the 2009-2010 Webster-McConnell William Southam Journalism Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. She was a columnist and US correspondent for Canadian Business, as well as a member of the editorial. She continues to work as a journalist, writing op-eds and features for the Walrus, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Azure and many other publications.

Board of Directors

Michael Cooke

Board Chair

Michael Cooke was appointed Editor of the Toronto Star in 2009. Michael was raised near Lancaster in Northern England and began his career at age 17 as an apprentice reporter. He moved on to work in and around London’s Fleet Street, and at Bristol’s Western Daily Press and emigrated in 1974 to Toronto where he became assistant national editor at The Star, Canada's largest newspaper. In 1977, Michael moved to The Gazette in Montreal, where he served as assistant city editor, city editor and co-managing editor. Michael moved to The Edmonton Journal in 1992 as managing editor and became editor in chief of The Vancouver Province in 1995.

During the winter and spring of 1998, Michael was one of a team of founding editors of Canada’s new national newspaper, The National Post. And, for the summer of 1998, Michael served as the last editor of The Financial Post. He supervised the paper’s merger with the new national newspaper. During both periods, Michael continued to edit The Province, commuting between Toronto and Canada’s west coast.

In 2000, Michael was named editor in chief of the Chicago Sun-Times and was appointed editor in chief of the New York Daily News in January of 2005, returning to Chicago as Vice-President of Editorial for the Chicago Sun-Times news Group (100 titles) in 2006. Michael was also re-appointed editor in chief of the Sun-Times in the fall of 2006.

Anthony Wilson-Smith

Vice Chair

For the past seven years, Anthony has held senior executive positions, first at a federal Crown Corporation and, more recently, at one of Canada's largest financial institutions.

During this time, he has also been active on the not-for-profit front, serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and in the community fund-raising and mental health support sectors. Prior to this, he had a distinguished and award-winning career in journalism as a best-selling author, columnist, foreign correspondent, television and radio commentator and as Editor of one of Canada's largest print publications. During his time in journalism, he worked in all of Canada's provinces and territories as well as reporting from more than 35 countries.

A bilingual native Montrealer, he graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Arts (Major in Political Science) and also successfully completed Russian Language studies at The Russian School in Northfield, Vermont.

Farzad Alvi

Board Treasurer

Farzad is a Company Director and a Visiting Research Professor at Schulich School of Business.  He is presently a member of several Boards, with responsibilities including chairing several audit committees, chairing a social impact committee, and membership in a strategy committee.  His research and teaching interests are in the areas of strategy, international entrepreneurship, and the institutional contexts of emerging markets.

Prior to Ph.D studies, Farzad worked in investment banking for 11 years, principally with Deutsche Bank and ABN AMRO Bank, focusing on the restructuring, mergers and equity financing of state-owned banks in emerging markets. Based at various times in Hong Kong, Jakarta, and Amsterdam, he advised governments and banks in Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Farzad has been awarded degrees from the University of Cambridge (Ph.D.), Indiana University (J.D.), University of Toronto (MBA, ICD.D), and University of Chicago (A.B.).

Alethea Au

Board Secretary

Alethea Au practices in the Corporate M&A and Technology & Outsourcing Groups in Stikeman Elliott's Toronto office. Her practice areas include mergers and acquisitions involving both private and public entities, corporate commercial transactions, corporate finance transactions and various securities matters.She advises on a wide range of corporate commercial matters including those related to corporate governance, corporate structures and general commercial engagements.  She also acts for large and mid-sized technology companies in connection with outsourcings, licensing and technology development and has been involved in IT procurement arrangements in a variety of industries including, financial services, retail, insurance, telecommunications and mining.

In addition, Ms. Au is a member of the Knowledge Management Group of Stikeman Elliott. She advises principally in mergers & acquisitions and corporate commercial transactions for a wide range of corporate entities across various industries and is consulted on a variety of corporate practice matters as well as various drafting and transactional issues.

Ms. Au is responsible for developing, managing and delivering legal content and current awareness to ensure that both lawyers and clients have the benefit of the firm's collective legal expertise and the latest in legal and industry developments. She also participates in the training and education of practice group members about legal, regulatory and market developments through formal and informal education initiatives and the creation, assessment and implementation of legal project management and other value-added initiatives for clients.

She also works on a wide range of other firm-wide Knowledge Management initiatives, including internal and external continuing legal education, publications, legal project management and client development initiatives.

Ms. Au is a graduate of McGill University, Osgoode Hall and the Schulich School of Business. She is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association, the Federation of Chinese Canadian Professionals and CATA (Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance) WIT (Women in Technology) Toronto Chapter.

Chad Rogers

Chad Rogers is a founding partner at Crestview Strategy.

Chad helps companies and industry associations make their case to governments and mobilize coalitions that support jobs, growth and investment. He is a frequent commentator on public affairs in print, radio and television and appears as a member of CBC Power & Politics' Power Panel.

He previously led the public opinion research practice at a national public affairs firm, served as a Senior Advisor to Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm, worked on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and has volunteered on campaigns at the municipal, provincial and federal level. Chad was a Country Director with the Washington based National Democratic Institute (led by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright).

Chad has worked with governments and political leaders around the globe, namely in: Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Georgia, Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Pakistan, Serbia, Trinidad & Tobago and Ukraine.

The Hill Times magazine named him of the ‘Top 100 Lobbyists’ in Canada.

Chad is currently a board member and works to fight global malnutrition with Action Against Hunger/ACF Canada, he supports the military and their families through the board of The True Patriot Love Foundation and global transparency through the board of Journalists For Human Rights. He has previously served the boards of the Canadian Club of Toronto, the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy, Save The Children and the Kosova Democratic Institute.

Karen Restoule

Karen is a member of Dokis First Nation (Anishinabek Nation) and a beneficiary of the Robinson-Huron Treaty 1850. She currently serves as the associate chair of the Ontario Parole Board within Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario.

Previously, Karen was director of the Justice Sector at the Chiefs of Ontario, where she coordinated the efforts of First Nations leadership in Ontario to address justice and legal issues. She started her career in restorative justice and later worked in Ontario’s correctional system.

In 2016, Karen co-founded Bold Realities, an organization that aims to promote discourse among Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders on the importance of reconciling the relationship between Indigenous communities and corporate Canada. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa’s common law program (in French), where she was inducted into the Honour Society in 2014 for using her legal education as a foundation for making a significant contribution to her community.

Karen is a fellow with Public Policy Forum and sits on boards for the Banff Forum and Level Justice. She enjoys leisure and commuter cycling, kayaking and spending time at the cottage with friends and family.

Peter Donolo

As one of Canada’s most experienced communications strategists and a veteran adviser to leaders in corporate Canada, and at all three levels of government, Peter brings more than twenty-five years of experience in communications and government relations.

Using his understanding of both the rapidly changing currents of public opinion and the complex decision-making processes of government, Peter is a senior adviser to H+K’s senior management and to its clients – focusing on strategic communications and public engagement.

Peter has in-depth knowledge to provide counsel to clients facing major transformational challenges when it comes to the economy, the way we now engage audiences and how we live together in society. And he appreciates the importance of developing the right strategy and putting together the best team to achieve measurable results.

Peter is a director of (G)irls 20, CIVIX, and a former director of Pathways to Education Canada, the Toronto Board of Trade and the Canadian Journalism Foundation.

Peter was most recently special adviser to the Ontario government on intergovernmental affairs and communications. He is the longest-serving prime ministerial director of communications in Canadian history (to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien), served as a senior executive in the private and public sectors, and also represented Canada abroad as a senior diplomat.

Theresa Ebden

Theresa Ebden is the Canadian Director of Media Relations at Accenture, which together with its design agency Fjord designed and built JHR’s online learning portal, Theresa worked as a journalist with Bloomberg News, The Globe and Mail, BNN and the Toronto Star.
She currently chairs the Industry Advisory Board at the Ryerson School of Journalism, where she graduated with a B.A.A. in Journalism (Print) in 1998. Theresa volunteers with the Girl Guides of Canada and is an avid cross country skier, triathlete and hiker.

Derek Fisher

Derek Fisher has been involved with JHR since 2011. He served for many years as a Director and President of the Alva Foundation, which endowed the Gordon Fisher/JHR Journalism Fellowship at Massey College. He continues to participate in the annual selection process for the Fellowship.

Derek is President of Net Directories Inc, a company he founded in 1995 to help not-for-profits with their communication and fundraising needs. Prior to forming NDI he worked at Southam Inc for 12 years in a variety of positions in the Business Communications division and Head Office.

Derek has an Engineering degree from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Western University.

An avid sailor, Derek has served on the Board, and is a past Commodore, of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. He and his wife Adrienne have three grown children.

Troy Reeb

As head of Global News, Troy Reeb oversees a team of 1,000 journalists and support staff across Canada and in bureaus overseas. In addition to its flagship nightly newscast Global National, which won the 2013 worldwide Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall News Excellence, Global News is a leading producer of local news through its 12 conventional stations and regional all-news channel BC-1.  A former political reporter and Washington Bureau Chief for Global, Reeb was promoted to the network’s top news job in 2008 and assumed oversight of all station operations two years later. Under his leadership, Global has renewed its focus on investigative and political journalism with the launch of the award-winning newsmagazine 16x9and current affairs program The West Block. Reeb has championed a digital shift that has resulted in continuing a three-year run as Canada’s fastest-growing broadcast news website.  Troy is a 1988 Broadcast Journalism graduate of Lethbridge College and recently completed an Executive Management program at Harvard Business School.  He was named Lethbridge’s Distinguished Alumnus in 2003 and personally supports an annual internship program in his name for journalism students.  He is a recipient of the Alberta Centennial Medal, the Provincial Awards Celebrating Excellence and numerous industry honours.  Troy currently serves on several boards including with Journalists for Human Rights.

Ben Peterson

Co-Founder and Board Chair Emeritus

Ben Peterson co-founded Journalists for Human Rights in 2002, and served as its Executive Director until 2011. During that period, JHR grew into Canada's largest international media development organization. Under Ben’s leadership, JHR worked across 15 different countries in sub-Saharan Africa and built one of Canada’s strongest student leadership networks. Ben has a BA in Economics and a BAH in Political Studies from Queen's University, and an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics (LSE).

Ben has received many national and international awards for his work, including Canada's Top 40 under 40 Award, the Action Canada Fellowship and the Queen's University Alumni Humanitarian Award. Ben is a published author and accomplished public speaker.


147 Spadina Avenue, Suite 206 Toronto, ON, M5V 2L7
Journalists for Human Rights is a registered charity #860372853RR0001