2016-17 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CLAIHR: Established in 1992, originally as Canadian Lawyers Association for International Human Rights, Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights (CLAIHR) is a non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental charitable organization, established to promote international human rights, within and in connection to Canada.
It is governed by a Board of Directors who meets monthly and hold annual meeting open to all members. There is also a distinguished Advisory Board.
Juda Strawczynski – CLAIHR President
Juda Strawczynski is Policy Counsel at the Law Society of Upper Canada. Juda acts as works on a variety of projects as part of the Law Society’s policy team. Prior to joining the Law Society, Juda practiced litigation at two litigation boutiques. His practice focused on public law, commercial and insurance litigation, and professional liability defense on behalf of lawyers in civil proceedings. He also served as a Fellow at Physicians for Human Rights in Cambridge, MA, and as a Law Clerk at the Federal Court in Ottawa. Juda was also previously a Director of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation. Juda has a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in Humanistic Studies and International Development Studies, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto.
Noah is Director, Youth Donations, at RBC. He supports RBC’s Youth Strategy through investments in youth-serving charities, leading a small but mighty team committed to social impact by empowering youth around the globe. Formerly, he was Regional Director at the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), a provincial agency and grantmaker, where he managed teams of staff and volunteers investing in building healthy communities, and contributed to the design and execution of OTF’s Investment Strategy. Noah is a bilingual lawyer, the former ED of PBSC, a national access to justice organization, an active community volunteer, and an award-winning singer, performer and writer. He has degrees from McGill and UofT, and lives in downtown Toronto with his wife and two kids, Delilah and Isaac.
Florence Au – Treasurer
Florence Au joined CLAIHR in the Fall of 2010 as the Treasurer. She is currently an analyst at Northland Power Inc. a clean energy developer based in Toronto. In that capacity she helps to evaluate the economic feasibility of power projects and eventually securing the capital needed for each transaction. Previously she interned at the United Nations Institute of Training and Research and with Asia Catalyst, a non-profit based in New York City. Florence studied Finance at the University of Toronto and graduated with a Master of Science from New York University in Environment and Energy. She is also a CFA Charterholder.
William Chan – Student Coordinator
William is a Corporate Counsel at Walmart Canada. Prior to moving in-house he practiced with Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Toronto, Canada where his practice focused on assisting Canadian and international companies doing business or accessing capital in Canada or abroad. He has past volunteering experience working with various legal clinics and non-profit organizations dealing with criminal, family and immigration matters. He has been a member of the Board since 2010 and a past Treasurer.
Heather Cohen is a lawyer called to the bar of Ontario who is a Consultant at Peacebuilders Canada. Previously she was an associate at a large Bay Street firm, practicing in the advocacy department. Heather joined CLAIHR’s Board in February 2014. She had previously volunteered with CLAIHR, reviewing submissions for CLAIHR’s amicus work. Heather also volunteers with the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ), and is a Fellow at The Philippe Kirsch Institute.
Heather graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. During her third year of law school, she completed an internship at the Association of Defence Counsel Practising Before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Throughout her studies, Heather was involved with a number of international human rights organizations. She acted as President of the University of Toronto chapter of Canadian Lawyers Abroad, oversaw a working group which explored how the University could invest in accordance with the United Nations’ Principles of Responsible Investment, and volunteered as a caseworker in the criminal division of Downtown Legal Services. Heather has been published in the German Law Review and Rights Review.
David Israelson is a communications expert – a writer, editor and manager with extensive experience in the corporate, public policy, not-for profit and media sectors. A non-practising lawyer who became an award-winning journalist and advisor, he founded Eon Communications and Research after more than a decade as a senior executive at one of Canada’s largest independent public relations firms. Throughout his career he has worked extensively, across the country, on environment/sustainability and energy conservation issues, with First Nations and in many other policy and issues management areas. He is author of the critically acclaimed book, Silent Earth, on environmental politics, co-author (with Dr. Angela Mailis-Gagnon) of Beyond Pain, published in 2003, and an academic paper on Alberta’s oil sands, published in 2008. David also enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, mostly with the Toronto Star, where he was an editorial writer, foreign bureau chief, and the paper’s environment, housing and business reporter. In 2011 he joined the office of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty as a Senior Writer.
[bio coming soon]
Rikin Morzaria – Secretary
[bio coming soon]
Elisa Suppa is Senior Advisor for Strategy and Research with Telefilm Canada where she focuses on strategic content creation, business and brand development, policy and stakeholder partnerships. She joined CLAIHR as a volunteer board member in 2012 and is committed to supporting and advancing the organization’s objectives. Her work in media and brand development began as Executive Producer with Spafax, an international company, curating content and media product for airline clients. Elisa has served as a volunteer in various capacities with – The National Ballet of Canada, the board of the CNIB, Big Sisters (Toronto), and fundraising for CPPS Mission Projects in Tanzania. She has worked in PR and Marketing with Carnegie Hall and the Manhattan Theater Club in New York City, and holds a master’s degree in Arts Administration from New York University.
R.D. Vicovac is a Legal Officer with the Human Rights Advisory Panel, United Nations Mission in Kosovo. Prior to this, he worked as a lawyer in Winnipeg Manitoba, and for 8 years served in a variety of legal positions with the United Nations in a post-conflict environment. He also spent another 4 years as a Senior Legal Expert in a number of Human Rights projects funded by the European Union, providing assistance to persons displaced by conflict and in developing the capacity of The Ministry for Human & Minority Rights in Serbia. He has a Juris Doctor degree from Hamline School of Law in Minnesota, with studies also completed at the University of Manitoba and at Oxford University. His article titled, Challenges in Providing Legal Aid to Persons Displaced Following an Armed Conflict, Lessons Learned from Kosovo was published by the Oxford Journal for Human Rights Practice.