Cesar Jaramillo

MA Global Governance alumnus, Executive Director of Project Ploughshares

Cesar JaramilloCesar Jaramillo, originally from Colombia, came to Canada in 2005 with his wife seeking protected person status. With no relatives in Canada, they ended up at a refugee shelter in Toronto as they waited for their claims to be processed.

“At that point initially to be quite honest I didn’t even know Waterloo existed, what was to become my long-term home,” says Cesar.

After receiving the notice for protected person status, Cesar and his wife applied for permanent resident status and later became Canadian citizens.

“When we knew we were going to be staying, we started considering our options, job-wise, education-wise. My wife had a particularly difficult career practicing medicine here. Mine was arguably more universal, but still I felt that if we were going to stay here, I wanted to have a degree from a Canadian university.”

Cesar received an undergraduate degree in political science, followed by a graduate degree in global governance, at the University of Waterloo. He received a research fellowship at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) before joining Project Ploughshares as Program Officer, working on program areas such as nuclear disarmament, outer space security, and conventional weapons control.

“It’s a challenging environment because sometimes you get the impression the average voter is not as concerned with problems they should be concerned about. But because of that, we feel it’s important to have organizations like Ploughshares that are in some respects the eyes and ears of concerned citizens who perhaps don’t have the time, energy or expertise to pay attention to these issues closely or directly.”

Now, after several years as Program Officer, Cesar has taken over as the organization’s newest Executive Director. Cesar’s commentary on complex international security issues has been featured in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Embassy, and on CBC Radio Canada International, Global News. As an international civil society representative, Cesar has addressed the United Nations General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the UN Conference on Disarmament, and meetings of states parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Portions of this profile originally appeared in Embassy, an Ottawa-based foreign policy weekly, on May 20, 2015

Project Ploughshares is an agency of The Canadian Council of Churches, with a mandate to work with churches, governments, and nongovernmental organizations, in Canada and internationally, to identify, develop, and advance approaches that build peace and prevent war, and promote the peaceful resolution of political conflict. It is affiliated with the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement, Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Published by The Canadian Council of Churches

University of Waterloo

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