Analyst and researcher with experience as a Program Director with the NATO Association of Canada, a United Nations consultant in Rwanda, and National Security reporter with iPolitics.ca.

Panel 1

About Claire

A60A3230

I’m an analyst and researcher with national and international experience. I’ve worked in Rwanda with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Office, contributing to research, policy briefing and communications. In 2018-2019 I was a Program Director for the NATO Association of Canada, which took me across Canada and to NATO allied countries via conferences and academic opportunities. In both roles I focused on gender equality, women in peace and security, and international institutions, with my academic and editorial writing reflecting this.

My work with the United Nations was brief but rewarding, as my first full time role abroad. I’m grateful to have contributed to advocacy and policy papers on access to abortion, limitations on contraceptives for teenagers, the barriers faced by teen mothers, and the impacts of high fertility on low income populations. I filled a gap in the Communications department given my history in journalism during a long hiring period, reassessing their unit’s assets and protocols for improvements. As one of the few English first language staff in the country office, I was a valuable addition to projects across every unit and gained invaluable experience from being included and relied on in more meaningful ways than no context translation.

With the NATO Association of Canada, I was tasked to explore the Alliance at 70 years. Programming went beyond the same tired topics and usual suspects to address gender security, climate change, refugees and migration, civilian-military relationships and much more. As the Association’s primary contact in Ottawa, the larger part of my role was to build and sustain relationships with diplomats and ambassadors, politicians and bureaucrats including those at the Department of National Defence and Global Affairs, and civil society counterparts. I travelled often, including to Berlin, Paris, Montreal and Toronto in this capacity, working to grow our association as well as our youth counterpart and partners as leaders in our respective networks.

As a parliamentary reporter, I focused heavily on National Security as well as contributing to the newsoom’s broad political coverage. I’ve had bylines in Open Canada, the National Post, the Telegraph Journal, the Chronicle Herald, and Vice, among others. I’ve done hits for tv and radio, for CTV and CBC – you learn to tell stories on every medium in this modern day journalism.

I’ve had academic essays shared and presented at several conferences around the world and have hosted and spoken at events, workshops and seminars. My career has been a practicum in international relations and diplomacy and I am very grateful to have met so many generous and kind people throughout.

I graduated from the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University with double honours in Journalism and Political Science, respectively. I had been accepted to study my master’s in 2020-2021 with King’s College London but deferred as a precaution during the pandemic.

I’m a proud member, supporter and sometimes volunteer in several organizations: the Women Peace and Security Network; Women in International Security – Canada; the Canadian International Council; Oxfam Canada, and TSAS, the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (to name a few).

I am English native with French (intermediate) and German (not even novice yet).

Panel 2

The Year in Pandemic

What you won’t see on the resume

Lockdown has meant a lot of things to a lot of people, almost all of it bad. Lives have been entirely uprooted and that’s if you’re lucky. I have my health and a home to be safe in but my graduate school plans have been deferred. I get contract work here or there but it’s not consistent enough to warrant a line in the resume. Adapting has been hard and planning for a future admist this global downtime is double difficult with so many of the traditional ‘gap year’ options out of the picture.

So what’s missing from the resume? I’ve been volunteering more with one of my favorite organizations the Women, Peace and Security Network – Canada while simultaneously working to design a similarly structured organization focused more specifically on Canada’s feminist foreign policy and the young women who will be expected to make it a reality now at the whitepaper stage and going forward as it becomes a reality – more on this soon, I hope.

I’ve been working with small businesses, individuals and NGO’s with small budgets to get foundational research underway as they are adapting to this new reality we all face. I won’t be listing them on my resume out of respect to their needs for discretion but I knew that going in.

I’m clearly not thinking straight since despite not absolutely needing it I am considering doing the LSAT. My master’s program has a heavy component on international law and I chose that for a reason – whether it’s to improve my advocacy, legislative drafting or come what may, this is an area of policy I am keen to explore more.

Lastly has been my language learning. My French held up while I was working in Rwanda but it needs more TLC in a professional setting to be considered fluent again and yet I’m trying now anyways. My struggle has been with the ever elusive third language and that’s entirely my own fault – I start one and then change to another when I become fascinated with it, so I now have the beginnings of German and Italian slowly accumulating in the back of my mind (Spanish has been trying to break in too but I’ve been holding strong).

Panel 3

Contact

jens-kreuter-57188

 

You can always email me at clairem.wahlen@gmail.com.

I’m very active on Twitter at @Claire_Wahlen.

Also on Instagram.

And LinkedIn.

Do you still use a phone as a phone? Me too! Happy to give my number to anyone looking for it.

None of that work for you? Maybe use the contact field below.

 

Panel 4 Placeholder