Chantel Cole


Chantel received her Bachelors of Arts with honours in International Development Studies (Co-op/Specialist) and Political Science in June 2017 from the University of Toronto. She conducted fieldwork in rural Guatemala and produced an award-winning undergraduate dissertation. Chantel’s research interests lie in international relations, international security, comparative politics, and political economy. In particular, she is interested in examining the causes and dynamics conflict and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean. Chantel is fluent in Spanish and has an intermediate level proficiency in French. Chantel assisted in producing a literature review for my research paper that focuses on the evolution of norms and gender-based violence in Jihadist groups. Additionally, Chantel is our Global Projects Coordinator, assisting me in the management of various international research projects. She is also the Program Manager of the Islam and Global Affairs Initiative at the Munk School and is the Executive Director of the Women in International Security Toronto chapter. 


Ajmal Burhanzoi


Ajmal holds a BA in English Language and Literature from Kabul University and an MA in Political Science from Ball State University. He is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Toronto majoring in international relations and comparative politics. His research focuses on third-party interventions in multi-ethnic societies and their consequences for ethnic politics/conflict and state-building in those societies. His main case is Afghanistan post-2001, however, he also examines developments in Chad and Iraq. He is the recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2017/18) and was wait-listed for a SSHRC doctoral award (2017/18). Ajmal provided research assistance to my Jihad and Co. book project, mainly focusing on the Afghan case and the cross-border trade networks there. He also provided research assistance in the jihadist norm evolution project. Ajmal is bilingual by birth (Dari and Pashtu) and has an intermediate level proficiency in Urdu. 


Amir Abdul Reda


Amir is a third year PhD student in Political Science at the University of Toronto, a Junior Fellow at Massey College, and a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. His work focuses on elaborating a model for quantifying non-Western political cultures based on public opinion surveys, and explaining shifts in systems of ideas in these societies. In so doing, he mainly focuses on Middle Eastern cases and currently writes his PhD dissertation on idea shifts in the Lebanese community of Cote d’Ivoire from Laicité to Islam. In the past, he has published on the ideological development of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the cultural framing of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in Syria during the civil war. Moreover, he is an avid R user for statistical programming and he often translates texts –Medieval to Modern—from Classical Arabic to English and from French to English. 


Chris LaRoche


Chris is a PhD candidate at the department of political science and a Fellow at the Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict, and Justice at the University of Toronto. His research investigates the geopolitics of military interventions, and in particular how great power competition affects the legitimacy of global security institutions and norms. Chris assists me in the capacity of a research and editorial assistant. Chris is fluent in French. 


Gerald Bareebe


Gerald is a Trudeau Scholar and PhD Candidate in the department of political science at the University of Toronto. His PhD research is focused on the convergence between the military and elite interests in post-conflict state reconstruction, regime consolidation and nation-building in Uganda and Rwanda. Before starting his doctoral studies, Gerald was a national politics reporter at the Daily Monitor, Uganda's largest and most influential independent newspaper. 



Ousmane Aly Diallo


Ousmane Aly Diallo is a Ph.D. Candidate and a Doctoral Fellow at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. His research interests include the role of identity and legitimacy in the ownership of international interventions by national actors in West Africa, with an emphasis on the collaboration between the UN and regional organizations such as ECOWAS and the G5 Sahel.

Ousmane currently collaborates with Professor Ahmad  on the influence of the informal economy in the patterns of political violence, and in the behaviors of non-state armed groups in Northern Mali. The Mali case study is part of the global « Jihadi War Economies » project which include several other case studies in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East


Aatika Moollabhai


Aatika is a fourth-year student at the University of Toronto Scarborough completing a double major in public policy co-op and political science. She is interested in environmental governance, examining how non-state actors govern and interact with states, as well as the governance of environmental displacement and how this relates to security issues. Aatika completed policy work at the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, during an eight-month placement. Her role on my team includes drafting documents and proposals, assisting at various events, corresponding with different groups and speakers, and completing literature reviews.


Fazan Baig


Fazan is a recent University of Toronto graduate that specialized in political science. His interests lie in international relations. As my research assistant, h provided support in research ISIS financing mechanisms through illicit smuggling in Iraq and Syria. With this information, I was then able to go into the field and se how this played out on the ground. Fazan also assisted in the editing and reference formatting of article for my book 'Jihad and Co.'. Fazan is currently working towards a law degree and is fluent in English and Urdu, and has an understanding of Punjabi.


Mohamed Ibrahim


Mohamed is currently completing a double major in Political Science and History, with a research focus on Middle Eastern Political History. Mohamed speaks English, and Arabic (intermediate). While working on our research team, Mohamed's main task involved finding and translating Arabic primary sources from Jihadists groups in Middle East for my recent paper on Gender-Based Violence in Jihadist Conflicts. The work he produced assisted in the understanding of Jihadists' thinking and ideology with regards to their treatment of and attitudes towards women. 



Muhammad Ali Akbar


Muhammad is final year undergraduate student pursuing a double major in Public Policy and International Development. His research experience and interests lie in political economy, microfinance and international security dilemmas with a focus on the Pakistan-Afghanistan region. Muhammad was part of my team of students who worked on my research paper that analyzes the evolution of jihadi norms in war theatres. He transcribed primary source material from Urdu and compiled a data set accordingly. He had to extrapolate key content from large amounts of data to meet the needs of the project. Muhammad is fluent in both English and Urdu and can speak proficient Hindi and punjabi as well. 



Sahra Togone


Sahra is a Masters of Education candidate in the Educational Policy and Comparative International Development Education collaborative program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. Her research interests include: Global Education, Educational Policy Studies, Educational Theory, Post conflict Reconstruction of Education, and Transnationalism and Education. While part of our team, Sahra was responsible for synthesizing primary and secondary source materials in the Somali language and building academic literature reviews.



Swilai Burhan


Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Swilai immigrated to Canada and graduated from the University of Toronto in 2015 specializing in Political Science andminoring in Women and Gender Studies. She is currently an MA of International Relations student at McMaster University. Her area of interest include identity politics, International security and ethnic conflicts. She is fluent in Pashto, Dari, Farsi, Urdu and English. Under my supervision, Swilai participated in an interview with Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, a prominent Taliban leader. While part of our team, she used her language and cultural sensitivity skills combined with academic training to critically analyze primary source materials and propaganda sources. 



Zabikhulla Yari


Zabikhulla is a recent University of Toronto Scarborough graduate who specialized in Political Science and Public Law. His research interests include international security, federalism, Canada’s judicial system, and employment law. Zabi is fluent in Uzbek, Dari, and Russian. During his time on our team, he researched primary and secondary data, drafted research reports, and analyzed quantitative data as part of a multi-country study on the political economy of modern jihadist insurgencies for my book Jihad & Co. Zabi also produced literature reviews for scholarly journals, assisted with the Islam and Global Affairs inaugural year, and organized events in collaboration with our initiative and other campus groups and departments.