An analyst and researcher with experience in several industries and across the world: as Program Director with the NATO Association of Canada, traveling to partner nations including Germany and France; to working as an international consultant with the United Nations in Rwanda; to national security reporter on Canada’s Parliament Hill; to writing and researching on nuclear politics and diplomacy as several career highlights.

Pursuing a master’s in International Peace and Security through the War Studies program with King’s College London, UK, over the 2022/23 academic year. 

I’m ever present on Twitter, @Claire_Wahlen. Please feel free to connect with me.

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Current Affairs

I’m doing my master’s in International Peace and Security as part of the War Studies program with King’s College London, UK, with an eye towards nuclear arms, diplomacy and the role international law has and will play in their continued existence.

My focuses are on nuclear deterrence, politics and diplomacy, arms control treaties and the role of international organizations, and so I’ve worked on and studied from the following conferences and organizations, among others: the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference; Royal United Services Institute UK PONI Nuclear Policy Workshops; the NATO German Marshall Fund Brussels Forum; ongoing participation with the Brookings Institute Nuclear Security Seminar Series; the BASIC Next Generation Forum, among other BASIC UK workshops; Women In International Security (WIIS) events, both in Canada and virtually through the WIIS International network; and other virtual events by organizations including CSIS, SIPRI, CNAS and Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy. 

I was one of three dozen participants in a seminar series hosted by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Multilateral Dialogue Vienna and Atomic Reporters that involves monthly seminars and culminates in July with several days of in-person meetings in Vienna.

I’ve been published by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, Project Ploughshares, Open Canada – CIC, Women In International Security (WIIS) Canada among others. I am currently pursuing opportunities to continue writing.

I am exploring fellowships, internships and any other opportunities to further hone my expertise in international affairs, be they nuclear oriented or not.

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analyst, researcher and sometimes writer

I am interested in international security and international organizations, keen to explore policy and diplomacy around issues including arms control and nuclear security, gender equality, human rights and security, and more.

My experience has taken me across the world, with varying roles and into different industries; from Canada to Rwanda, with stops in Germany and France along the way; Parliamentary reporter to Program Director to UN contractor to Peace Researcher; journalism, NGO’s and international organizations.

work experience

Data Analyst – Canadian Red Cross
July – September 2022
Developped an internal survey with a target audience of nearly one quarter the organization’s population; completed a broad research report which included an environment scan, literature review and compiled recommendations; conducted cross department meetings to increase awareness of the needs for accessible, well segmented data.

Central Poll Supervisor – Elections Canada
September 2021
Co-supervised a polling place with four polling stations and ten staff on Election Day; responsible for organizing and covering staff breaks, attending to the special needs voters, site set-up and tear down.

Peace Researcher – Project Ploughshares
June 2021-August 2021
Contributed to projects related to Canadian arms control permits, primers on drones and loitering munitions; published an article on nuclear strategic stability; participated in several nuclear oriented conferences and talks.

Junior Professional Consultant (JPC) United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) Rwanda
August 2019 – December 2019
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. Filled a short-term gap in the Communications department during a long hiring period, reassessing the unit’s assets and protocols for improvements. Contributed to the team’s organization and participation at regional and international conferences.

Program DirectorNATO Association of Canada
June 2018 – August 2019
Sole representative of the association in Ottawa, was responsible for creating and rebuilding relations between the diplomatic community and the NATO Association. Responsible for programming leading up to and celebrating the 70th anniversary of NATO. Also worked and spoke regularly with reporters, government officials, members of think tanks and other NGOs. Contributed to Association initiatives, including support (editorial and project assistance) for the rotation of interns.

Joined the roster of NATO Association fellows as a Research Analyst in 2019.

Parliamentary reporter, National
April 2014 – January 2016
Contributed to the newsroom’s broad parliamentary political coverage, through daily reporting and live coverage of committee meetings and Question Period; was the National Security reporter, also covering Defence, Cyber and Privacy as related; assisted with minor copy editing, layout as well as rotational wire editing work.

Worked freelance afterwards from January 2016 to February 2017, with bylines and hits in Open Canada, the National Post, The Chronicle Herald, Vice, CTV and CBC.

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More context

Wide range of Experience

In 2021 I worked as a Peace Researcher with Project Ploughsares, contributing to several projects on drones, weapons sales from Canada and nuclear policy. I’m grateful for the time I was given to research topics from nuclear disarmament, international humanitarian law, human security, U.S.-Russia strategic stability, disarmament diplomacy and more. I was also heavily encouraged to attend in seminars, conferences and the like to extend my research to other organizations, including the Carnegie Endowment, Ploughshared Fund (US) and more.

I finally felt confident in working my first federal election with Elections Canada after a suitable amount of time had passed since my journalism stint, admittedly a small dream of mine as a child. I co-supervised a team of 14 and ran four active polling booths for the entirely of Election day.

My work with the United Nations in 2019 – 2020 was my first position living full-time abroad in Rwanda, East Africa. 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 furthermore 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.

With the NATO Association of Canada, I was tasked to explore the Alliance at 70 years from 2018 – 2019. Programming was designed to go beyond the same tired topics and usual suspects to address gender security, climate change, refugees and migration, civilian-military relationships and more. As the Association’s primary contact in Ottawa, the larger part of my role was to build and sustain relationships with ambassadors and diplomats, politicians and bureaucrats including those at the Department of National Defence and Global Affairs, and civil society counterparts. I was lucky to travel, 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 with from 2014-2016, I focused heavily on National Security as well as contributing to the newsroom’s broad political coverage. I’ve had additional 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, including for CTV and CBC. My years working as a student reporter with the Dalhousie Gazette and the King’s Watch magazine geared me for the one-woman newsroom skillset mentality needed for modern journalism.

In 2014 I finished a double Bachelor’s Degree with Double Honours in Journalism and Political Science from the Universities of King’s College and Dalhousie, respectively, in Halifax, NS.

I’m a proud member, supporter and sometimes volunteer with several organizations, in particular the Women Peace and Security Network and Women in International Security – Canada.

I am an English native with formerly fluent French, currently intermediate, keen to pick up other languages for traveling.

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I’m quite active on Twitter at @Claire_Wahlen.

Available on Instagram.

And LinkedIn.

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