François Audet

Founding director and member of the scientific committee, Professor

Francois Audet is a Professor at the School of Management Sciences (ESG) at Université du Québec à Montréal and Director of the Canadian Research Institute Humanitarian Crises and Aid(OCCAH). He is also a member of the ESG’s Chair of Project Management. He has a PhD from the School of Public Administration (ENAP) which focuses on the decision-making processes of international humanitarian organizations in relation to strengthening local capacity. He has also been a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR).

Prior to embarking on his academic career, François Audet accumulated more than fifteen years of experience in humanitarian aid. He served as Head of the East African and Indian Ocean Regional Delegation for the Canadian Red Cross and as Director of Programs for CARE Canada. He  also worked for several years in Latin America and Southeast Asia on behalf of CECI  where he acted as the head of humanitarian aid projects. He has participated in more than a hundred humanitarian and technical support projects in Haiti, Colombia, the Horn of Africa, and the Sahel region. His research interests include new humanitarian practices, the effectiveness of humanitarian action for refugees, and Canadian development assistance policy.

Profile and  publications

Olivier Arvisais

Scientific Director, Professor,

Olivier Arvisais is a Professor at UQAM’s Faculty of Education and OCCAH’s scientific director. His research focuses on two axes: the didactics of social sciences at the elementary and secondary level, and education within emergency situations. Professor Arvisais is currently conducting research on education in refugee camps, child protection through socioemotional learning and education within contexts of armed conflict and totalitarian proto-states. As a researcher, he regularly serves as a consultant for several international organizations, including the educational sector of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

Profil et publications

Marie-Pierre Leroux

Member of the Scientific Committee, Professor

Marie-Pierre Leroux is a Professor at UQAM’s School of Management Sciences (ESG) and a member of OCCAH’s scientific committee. She is also the co-director of the strategic human resources management axis of ESG’s Project Management Research Chair. Marie-Pierre holds a PhD in industrial relations, and her research interests are centred around two primary areas: 1) the management and sharing of knowledge, 2) strategic management of human resources within the context of projects. She is interested in the determinants that contribute to the efficiency of managers and project teams, in demonstrating the impact of human factors (such as personality, capacity for assimilation, intercultural and relational competencies) and relational factors (confidence, communication, power, subjectivity and reflexivity) on project success and organizational capacity.

Profile and publications 

Marie-Claude Savard

Associate Director, PhD Candidate

Marie-Claude Savard is a PhD candidate and lecturer at UQAM’s School of Management Sciences and a project management professional with twenty years of experience in the non-profit sector. For twelve years, she oversaw development and volunteer cooperation programs for a variety of Canadian NGOs. As a PMP-accredited manager, Marie-Claude is interested in the impact of Western management practices on civil society organizations in the Global South. Having obtained a bachelors’ degree in cultural anthropology from McGill University and a Masters in Project Management from UQAM, she undertook a PhD in Administration in 2017. Her professional and academic trajectory merges anthropology and management, and her research focuses on how NGOs in Southern countries assert their autonomy vis-à-vis their Western donors and collaborators.


Éric Jean

Director, Risk and Security Management Program

Having started his career in economic development and politics, Eric Jean completed his first humanitarian mandate in Afghanistan with Médecins du monde Canada in 2003. He then went on to complete 8 other humanitarian missions for international organizations such as Médecins sans frontières and the World Health Organization. He has worked in emergency contexts where he supported populations facing humanitarian crises following natural disasters and armed conflict, primarily in West Africa and Southeast Asia. Throughout these mandates, he occupied a variety of managerial and coordination positions where he covered all aspects of field operations management in a variety of security contexts. Mr. Jean holds a Masters’ diploma in public administration ENAP, with a specialization in international administration. As someone who is deeply interested in communication and intercultural relations, he firmly believes in the importance of security management approaches that are grounded in community acceptance of humanitarian workers.

Christine Persaud

Co -director, Risk and Security Management Program

Christine has been working in humanitarian assistance since 1999 and began as a project coordinator for various NGOs including Médecins Sans Frontières. In 2003, she was approached to conduct security assessments and security trainings until she became the security manager for CARE Canada in 2006. She then decided to continue as an independent consultant in safety and security and in emergency assessments and trainings to counter balance her artistic projects. She has been the principal writer for several major agencies’ global security policies, principles, training materials, country-specific security planning and guidance documents, crisis management plans and hostage incident management policies and procedures. Christine is the researcher and author of the European Interagency Security Forum’s briefing paper Gender and Security: Guidelines for Mainstreaming Gender in Security Risk Management and InterAction/EISF’ publication NGO Safety and Security Training Project: How to create Effective Security Training for NGOs. She has also worked for Global Affairs as a senior program officer in the International Humanitarian Assistance Directorate. She has recently left the Canadian Red Cross where she served as Senior Risk Management and Security Advisor for seven years.

As a woman in a technical area such as risk and security management in early 2003, Christine faced innumerable challenges and gender barriers. Given this, she decided to persevere and serve as a role model for diverse humanitarian and development personnel, both those working in the field and those aspiring to work in security. She is recognized as a leading voice on gendered and inclusive risk and security management in the aid sector and Government donor agencies such as USAID, Global Affairs Canada, European Union (ECHO), DFID, SIDA, GIZ etc.


Diane Alalouf-Hall

Communications Manager, PhD Candidate.

Diane is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the Université du Québec à Montréal, under the supervision of Jean-Marc Fontan and François Audet. At OCCAH, she is a member of the research team on the “Value Chain as Framework for the Design of International Humanitarian Response in Protracted Conflict” project. Her research interests are focused on the impact of normative Western practices in the context of international aid. Her thesis, initiated in 2017, questions the effects of the standardization, Sphere type, of humanitarian aid in fragile states.