NATIONAL OFFICE TEAM
President and Research Director
Ben Rowswell was appointed President and Research Director of the Canadian International Council on November 19, 2018.
Ben has 25 years of experience as a practitioner of international relations. He earned his expertise in international security serving with the United Nations in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993, as Canada’s first diplomatic envoy to Baghdad, Iraq, after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and as the head of the NATO Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar at the height of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan.
Ben has advised top levels of government on international strategy in the Privy Council Office during the tenures of Jean Chrétien and Stephen Harper, and at the Washington DC Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2003 to 2004.
But his abiding passion is the defence of human rights and democracy. He established the Democracy Unit of Global Affairs Canada, worked closely with human rights movements as a political officer in the Canadian Embassy to Egypt, and most recently as Canada’s Ambassador to Venezuela from 2014 to 2017.
Throughout his career, Ben has sought to engage citizens in the practice of international relations. After a fellowship at Stanford University that introduced him to the powerful role that individuals can play in global affairs, he pioneered the practice of digital diplomacy at Global Affairs Canada. This same passion led him to join Farhaan Ladhani in founding software startup called Betterplace, which tailors opportunities for citizens to engage in civic action through a mobile app.
Nicolai Pogadl joined the Canadian International Council in January 2019. As the CIC’s Development Manager he coordinates member, partner, and donor relations and helps run the day-to-day operations of the National Office in Toronto.
In previous engagements he conducted policy-oriented research and outreach projects at Concordia University’s Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies and implemented various Information Technology projects at the St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland.
Nicolai advises the German Federal Foreign Office’s Global Diplomacy Lab and is an alumni of the Manfred-Wörner Seminar organized by the German Marshal Fund. In recent years he received various fellowships and research grants, e.g. from the Aspen Security Forum and the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab.
He was born and raised in Germany, studied International Affairs at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, and now calls Canada home as a Permanent Resident.
Daniel has a BA from Ryerson University in Politics & Governance and has a passion for civic engagement, governance and international affairs.
His role at the CIC includes managing the National Speakers Program, as well as coordinating events, communication and research of the National Office.
He has worked previously as an elected executive at the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) where he planned and carried out a number of projects with public and government consultation – including creating the Centre for Educational Research & Policy (CERP) and establishing Ryerson’s U-Pass, reducing transit costs for students by 40%. In this capacity as well as others he has worked in policy-related communications and events.