We’re excited to announce new additions to NIFC’s Board of Directors and Advisory Council. They bring with them a wealth and diversity of experience, skills, and expertise.

Please join us in welcoming to the Board of Directors:

Syvanne Avitzur is a trilingual (English/French/Hebrew) Israeli-born Canadian who is working towards her M.A. in Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa as well as working as a researcher and project coordinator in the environmental policy space. She is an NIFC New Generations Leadership Council Member, a 2024-2025 NIFC Naomi Chazan Fellow, and a former volunteer with NIF in Jerusalem who cares deeply about NIF’s mission and promoting human rights and equality in the region. Passionate about active citizenship and engagement, Avitzur has worked in several capacities to establish experiential learning opportunities with various stakeholders and titleholders, working towards meaningful participation within governments and the United Nations. She has experience as a Middle East and North Africa Researcher, focusing on women and queer activism movements as well as the effects of climate change in the Levant.

Sylvia Bashevkin is a Toronto-based writer and researcher, best known for her work on women’s political participation. A professor emerita in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, she is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and holds an honorary doctor of letters degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Bashevkin’s scholarly distinctions include the Canadian Political Science Association Prize in International Relations, the Bertha Lutz Prize for highest quality public writing and research on women in diplomacy from the International Studies Association/SOAS, the Mildred Schwartz Lifetime Achievement Award in Canadian Politics from the American Political Science Association, the Jill Vickers Prize from the Canadian Political Science Association and the Ursula Franklin Award in Gender Studies from the Royal Society. She has won numerous public recognitions including the 2020 Woman of Distinction award in the field of education from YWCA Toronto. Bashevkin is the author of books including Women as Foreign Policy Leaders: National Security and Gender Politics in Superpower America (Oxford University Press, 2018); Women, Power, Politics: The Hidden Story of Canada’s Unfinished Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2009); Tales of Two Cities: Women and Municipal Restructuring in London and Toronto (UBC Press, 2006); Welfare Hot Buttons: Women, Work and Social Policy Reform (University of Toronto Press, 2002); and Women on the Defensive: Living Through Conservative Times (University of Chicago Press, 1998).

Ariel Katz is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. Professor Katz received his LL.B. and LL.M from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his SJD from the University of Toronto. His general area of research involves economic analysis of competition law and intellectual property law, with allied interests in electronic commerce, pharmaceutical regulation, the regulation of international trade, and particularly the intersection of these fields. Between 2009 and 2012 Professor Katz was the Director of the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy. Prior to joining the University of Toronto Professor Katz was a staff attorney at the Israeli Competition Authority. Since joining the Faculty of Law, Professor Katz has taught courses on intellectual property, constitutional law, cyberlaw, and the intersection of competition law and intellectual property. He shares some of his current thoughts on these issues on his blog.

Please join us in welcoming to the Advisory Council:

Andrew Cohen is a best-selling writer, an award-winning journalist, and a former professor of journalism whom The New York Times has called one of “Canada’s most distinguished authors.” In a career of 46 years, he has written on politics and culture from Ottawa, Toronto, London, Washington, and Berlin. His seven books of history, biography and commentary range in subjects from Canada’s constitutional politics to national character to Arctic exploration. Cohen writes a weekly column for Postmedia News, appears on radio and television, and was recently a consulting producer on an eight-part documentary on John F. Kennedy airing on The History Channel. He is chair of the Advisory Council of The Trudeau Centre at the University of Toronto, a juror for the Canadian Jewish Literary Awards, and a Global Fellow of The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.