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Alistair Edgar
Executive Director

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Dr. Alistair D. Edgar serves as the Executive Director of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), having returned in August 2010 to the position he held previously in 2003-2008.  He currently also serves as co-director of the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS), and Associate Professor of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, where he has worked since 1993.

Outside of the university, Dr. Edgar is president of the New Delhi, India-based International Jurist Organization (IJO); he is a National Board member of the United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC); and sits on the board of the Canadian Landmines Foundation as representative of the LCMSDS. Dr. Edgar is an Editorial Board member for the Issue Briefs series, from the Center for Governance and Sustainability (University of Massachusetts Boston).

Dr Edgar’s current research interests involve issues of transitional justice in war-to-peace transitions and post-conflict peace building. After completing his first term with ACUNS in 2008, he conducted sabbatical research fieldwork on this subject in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Kosovo, and northern Uganda during 2008-10. He intends to return to all locations when possible, to continue his work there.

Dr. Edgar holds a BA Honours in History from Cambridge University (Sidney Sussex College) (1983), a MA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia (1985), and a PhD in Political Science from Queen’s University, Canada (1993). He was the John M. Olin Doctoral Fellow in Economics and National Security at the Olin Institute, Centre for International Affairs, Harvard University in 1992-93, and completed a Certificate in Russian Studies at Moscow State University in 1995.

Brenda Burns

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T > +1.226.772.3142


Brenda Burns joined the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) as the Co-ordinator in 2008. ACUNS members and others will see her regularly representing ACUNS at events such as the UN DPI-NGO conference and the ISA Annual Meeting, and of course at all of the core Academic Council events. Prior to this, Brenda worked in a variety of positions at Wilfrid Laurier University since 2001, in the Development Office and the Special Events Office. Between 1996-2001, Brenda worked in public relations and special events roles in the not-for-profit sector (Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada, KidsLink, Canadian Institute of Child Health). Brenda received her Diploma in Public Relations from Algonquin College in 1996, and her BA in Sociology from Carleton University, Ottawa in 1994. She also holds a   French Language Certificate from the University of Nantes, France (1990).

IMG_0030Gwenith Cross
Technical and Program Support Administrator

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T > +1.226.772.3121


Gwenith Cross joined the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) in 2012 as a PhD intern and Book Review Editor. In 2015 she became an administrative assistant. Gwenith is the online editor for the ACUNS website and all social media. She co-hosts podcasts and is the editor for the ACUNS podcasts. Gwenith also writes and designs communication materials and provides general administrative support. Gwenith is a PhD Candidate in the History Department at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is interested in issues relating to maternal and infant health and the history of medicine, and her dissertation is on the history of twentieth-century midwifery and obstetrics in Canada and Britain. Gwenith holds a MA in History from Dalhousie University (2009), a BA Honours in the History of Science and Technology from the University of King’s College (2007), and a BA from the University of Auckland (2005).

AnastasiaUfimtseva-photoAnastasia Ufimtseva
Book Review Editor

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Anastasia is the Book Review Editor at the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS). She is pursuing a PhD at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (Wilfrid Laurier University). Her research focuses on China’s economic engagement with resource rich countries. Anastasia holds a MA in Political Science, specializing in International Political Economy, from the University of Waterloo (2014), and a BA (Honours) in Political Science with International Relations from the University of British Columbia (2013).