NATIONAL OFFICE TEAM

Ben Rowswell

Ben Rowswell

President and Research Director

Ben Rowswell has been President and Research Director of the Canadian International Council since November 2018.

Prior to the CIC, Ben served as Canada’s Ambassador to Venezuela from 2014 to 2017. This capped a 25 year career as a professional diplomat including assignments in Canada’s embassies to Egypt, to the United States, and in Canada’s Permanent Mission to the UN. He served Canada’s first diplomatic envoy to Baghdad, Iraq, after the fall of Saddam Hussein from 2003 to 2005, as Deputy Ambassador to Afghanistan and as head of the NATO Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar between 2008 and 2010.

As a practitioner of international relations, Ben’s thematic interest has been in human rights and democracy. He founded the Democracy Unit at Global Affairs Canada, and worked closely with human rights activists in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Ambassador to Venezuela, Ben was an outspoken advocate of the restoration of the popular sovereignty of Venezuelans after the suspension of constitutional order in early 2017.

These experiences abroad awakened an interest in the role of citizens in our own democracy. In Ottawa, Ben supported the Cabinet process as a member of the Privy Council Office during the tenures of Jean Chrétien and Stephen Harper, experiences that exposed him to the far-reaching impact that public opinion has on decision-making at the highest levels of government.

Ben brings that passion for the role of individual citizens to the CIC, a platform for everyday Canadians to participate in the national conversation about our nation’s role in the world.

Daniel Lis

Daniel Lis

Programming Coordinator

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.

Email: daniel@thecic.org