Our Leadership

The CJPME Board

Among other key policy responsibilities, CJPME’s board appoints the president, and oversees the responsible use of CJPME finances. The current CJPME board members – with date of induction to the Board – are introduced below.

nadia.png  NADIA ABU-ZAHRA - June 2017

Dr. Abu-Zahra speaks five languages and has worked in multiple spaces of colonial and neocolonial conflict. She has collaborated on two books and over 30 other publications on freedom of movement, community mobilisation, systematic oppression, and resistance. She holds the Joint Chair in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and is an Associate Professor of International Development and Global Studies. She is co-facilitator of the Community Mobilization in Crisis project, a contributor to the work of the Feminist Foreign Policy Working Group, and a recipient of a uOttawa Award for Activities in the Media and the Community. Dr. Abu-Zahra earned her doctorate from the University of Oxford and was previously a SSHRC Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellow, and a Research Fellow at the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre.

king2.png  NASSER ABUKHDEIR - December 2022

Nasser is an academic, chemical engineering, and long-time CJPME supporter. He has over a decade of experience in student organizations focused on human rights and social justice during his undergraduate and graduate studies. He is currently involved in supporting scientific research and teaching in Palestine, along with supporting academic freedom at Canadian universities.  He also serves on the University of Waterloo’s Board of Governors.

king2.png  NADA ALDAHLEH - December 2022

Nada has a Computers B.Eng from McGill University. She is a Director of Engineering at a tech company. Prior to that, she was a startup entrepreneur. Nada is a Palestinian Canadian. Her family comes from Yafa and Akka. Her ancestors fled their homes during the Nakba in 1948, found refuge in Tulkarem, and then were forced to flee again in 1967. Like all Palestinian refugees they do not have the right of return. Nada feels strongly about advocating for Palestinian human rights, and that Canada can do a lot more to contribute to the achievement of justice in Palestine and ending the Apartheid, as well as to counter Anti-Palestinian Racism within Canada.

Jeffrey.jpg JEFFREY AYOUB - April 2008

Jeffrey has been a CJPME leader in the Ottawa area since 2006. He has also been a CJPME Board member since 2008. Professionally, Jeff has worked in Human Resources management for the federal government for 25 years. He has worked for several departments, managing and implementing projects, programs and services to support Canada's public servants in the delivery of services to Canadians. His many years of experience in the human resources field has enabled him to gain a strong understanding of what it takes to implement complex projects in the public sector in a people-centric approach, and build the strong relationships needed to make implementation a success. Jeff feels strongly that Canada must be more principled here and abroad to contribute to the achievement of this long-sought justice, peace and development.

king2.png  AMAL CHAUDRY - December 2022

Amal has a B.A. Honours in Criminology and Political Science and a Juris Doctorate. She has worked as a lawyer in the public sector for over a decade. In addition, she has experience on various non-profit boards that focus on advocacy work. Outside of her professional obligations, Amal spends her time with her young kids and husband outdoors, baking and reading.

king2.png  LIBBY DAVIES - July 2020

Libby served as Member of Parliament for Vancouver East from 1997 to 2015, and as the Deputy Leader of the Federal NDP from 2007 to 2015. Before her time in federal politics, Libby was a community organizer in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and elected to Vancouver City Council for 5 consecutive terms. She has written a political memoir called “Outside In” about her political experiences. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2016. Libby has always been an outspoken advocate for Palestinian human rights, and she brought a principled and courageous perspective to the issue while on Parliament Hill. She was a member of the Canada Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Association, and helped plan events on the Hill to foster awareness of Palestine. After Israel’s war on Gaza in 2009 resulted in the deaths of 1400 Palestinians, she was part of a small group of two Canadian MPs who visited the territory. Following her visit, she introduced a statement and report to Parliament calling on Canada to support the Goldstone Report and its conclusions, which found evidence of Israeli war crimes.

king2.png  LENA EL-MALAK - December 2022

Lena is a commercial tech consultant and privacy professional with experience working in multinationals in Dubai and Toronto. She has also completed a doctoral thesis on "The Right to Reparations of Palestinian Refugees under International Law" and has worked as an international development consultant for NGOs and UN Agencies based in Jordan and the UK, such as UNRWA, the UNHCR, the ILO and Minority Rights Group. She has authored several articles on Palestinian refugee rights and used to co-teach a course on ‘Palestinian refugees in International Law’ for Oxford University's Refugee Studies Center. She has a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Common Law from McGill University, and a Masters of Law (LLM) as well as a PhD in International Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

king2.png  GORDON KING - September 2014

Gordon has a background in New Testament studies and international development, and holds a B.A. in Education and a Ph.D in theology. He has taught in Bolivia, has worked for Save the Children, has served in the refugee determination process in Canada, has worked for World Vision Canada, and has directed The Sharing Way (the international development program of Canadian Baptist Ministries). He has served on a board member of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and El Centro de Estudios Teologicos Interdisciplinarios. More recently, and for over 10 years, he has worked with Canadian Baptist Ministries. 

king2.png  MONIA MAZIGH - June 2019

Monia is an academic, award-winning Canadian author and human rights activist. She writes in French and English and has so far authored a memoir and three novels. Her latest novel, Farida won the Ottawa Book Award for French fiction. Monia Mazigh is an Adjunct and research Professor at Carleton University at the Department of English and Literature. Her new memoir, “My personal journey with a “Scar…f”, an essay/memoir about gendered islamophobia, will be published in 2023. Monia is a columnist with rabble.ca, ONFr+, and Islamic Horizons. She has published several articles with the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and other newspapers. She also sits on several boards of non-profit and charitable organizations.

king2.png  CHRIS ZABANEH - December 2022

Chris has a rich mix of talents and skills, and has worked professionally as a consultant, coach, facilitator, and engineer. He often works with leaders to help them engage effectively with different types of audiences.  Chris also trains individuals and organization on how to create workplaces that enable equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging.  He has also been actively involved in the Green Party of Canada for many years.  Chris is pursuing a Masters of Science in Communication, Behaviour, and Credibility Analysis with a focus on deception detection and leadership. In his spare time, Chris enjoys photography, studying performance psychology and linguistics, and trying new traditional and modern Palestinian recipes.

The CJPME Executive Team

The CJPME Executive is charged with carrying out the operations of the organization. The President is appointed by the Board, and the President and the executive work to implement CJPME’s strategic plan at both the national and local level. Some members of the CJPME executive are paid staff, while others are volunteers.

Bueckert_profile_photo.png MICHAEL BUECKERT - VICE PRESIDENT - June 2020

Dr. Michael Bueckert has a PhD in Sociology with a specialization in Political Economy from Carleton University. His dissertation explored the opposition to BDS, and this research involved travel to Palestine and South Africa. He has published in Radical History Review and Studies in Political Economy, and has written for publications including Africa Is A CountryJacobin, and Briarpatch. His research has been cited by the Washington Post, Buzzfeed News, CBC Ottawa, the South African Broadcast Corporation, the Electronic Intifada, +972 Magazine, and Mondoweiss. He has held several positions in the student movement, including as the President of the Carleton University Graduate Students’ Association. He is co-editor of Advocating for Palestine in Canada (Fernwood Publishing, 2022). He joined CJPME as Vice President in June 2020.

Tom.jpg THOMAS WOODLEY - PRESIDENT - August 2010

Thomas Woodley has been CJPME’s president since early 2008, and the organization has seen dramatic expansion and growth under his leadership. In terms of academic background, Tom has a BS EE from Carnegie-Mellon University and an MS EE from Stevens Institute of Technology. Tom also has an MPA from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, with a focus on Public Policy and Public Finance. Tom has a strong professional background in the public sector, having worked in Federal government for several years. He is also experienced in project management and organizational development. Tom also has long experience working in the NGO and volunteer sector, having volunteered for several international NGO’s in Africa and the Middle East. Tom has been involved with CJPME since it’s founding in 2004.

LYNN NAJI – OFFICE MANAGER – June 2023

Lynn is a fourth-year student at Concordia University pursuing a double major in economics and political science with a minor in human rights. Lynn moved to Montreal from Lebanon with her family in 2020 in search of better opportunities, as the situation in Lebanon was very unstable. Given the challenges Lynn has faced in Lebanon and as an immigrant to Canada, she is passionate about understanding international law, and engaging in activism to reform the systems that perpetuate injustice.

JASON TONEY– DIRECTOR OF MEDIA ADVOCACY– February 2023

Jason Toney has a degree in Philosophy from Bard College in New York, and has extensive experience as a book publisher, editor, and researcher. He is the Editor of Take the City (Black Rose Books, 2022) and has published essays in multiple anthologies on topics including municipalism, Hannah Arendt, and Murray Bookchin. He was a member of the Bard Palestinian Youth Initiative and a co-founder of Palestine’s first university level Model United Nations conference, PaliMUN (2015), at Al-Quds University. He was previously a publishing consultant with Daraja Press, a research assistant for the economist Kari Polanyi Levitt, a Trustee Leader Scholar at Bard College, and served as the Chief of External Relations for the International Model United Nations Association. As an activist in Montreal, he has been an organizer with Prenons la ville!, À nous les quartiers, and Symbiosis.

ALEX PATERSON– SENIOR DIRECTOR OF PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS– September 2023

Alex Paterson is a proud girl-dad committed to social and environmental justice. He was introduced to the Palestinian cause by attending Israeli apartheid week at university. Alex has a Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance from the University of Winnipeg and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science focused on international relations theory. Alex’s Master’s research focused on traditional Anishinaabeg practices of treaties, diplomacy, and international relations. He co-founded Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition (MEJC) in 2014, working as a regional campaigner on the successful campaign to stop the Energy East Pipeline and reform Canada’s environmental assessment laws. Alex has also worked for Upstream: Institute for a Healthy Society and the non-profit ONE’s campaign to replenish the Global Fund for AIDS, TB, and Malaria that pushed the government to pledge $1.2 Billion to this effort. Alex draws on his experience of adoption and neurodiversity to drive his advocacy.

FATIMA HAIDAR– MEDIA ANALYST – September 2023

Fatima holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies and a master’s degree in international and public affairs from the Université de Montréal. She was born and raised in Montréal and is of Lebanese background. Her passion for the Middle East and human rights came naturally, as it was an integral part of her politicized upbringing. She worked as a community life agent at a feminist regional table before joining CJPME. Fatima can speak Arabic, French, and English and is adamant about reforming systems from a post-colonial feminist perspective.