CARE Canada Humanitarian Director to Join Global Panel on Refugee Issues

CARE Canada is pleased to announce its senior humanitarian director has been appointed to a high-level international panel to find new solutions to the global refugee crisis

Jessie Thomson, senior director of CARE Canada’s Humanitarian Assistance and Emergency Team, has been appointed to serve as Councillor to the World Refugee Council, which was launched today.

“The number of people forced to flee their homes due to violence and conflict continues to surge. Immediate and innovative solutions are needed now more than ever,” says Thomson. “The majority of refugees are hosted in developing countries. We need to find new and creative ways to share responsibility for refugees, so that states in the global South are not left to shoulder this crisis on their own.”

With the support of the Government of Canada and coordinated by the Centre for International Governance Innovation, the World Refugee Council is an independent group of global leaders and innovators aimed at advancing new solutions to the global refugee crisis.

Chaired by former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs the Honorable Lloyd Axworthy, the Council will offer advice on broad-reaching reform and innovation to reinvigorate the global refugee system. The Council will develop a transformative agenda to help ensure that international cooperation for refugees is predictable, equitable and just.

The Council co-chairs are Jakaya Kikwete, former President of Tanzania; Hina Jilani, an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan; and Rita Süssmuth, immigration reform advocate and former President of the German Bundestag. The Council is composed of a diverse group of councillors who as thought leaders, stateswomen and statesmen will conduct the work of the Council and seek to forge consensus among countries of the Global South and North. The Council will also be assisted by a civil society advisory group and supported by a robust research agenda.

The work of the Council will build on the New York Declaration, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2016, and the process to negotiate a Global Compact on Refugees, led by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. It will provide much-needed research and recommendations on structural reform, including how best to manage refugee movements; deploy emerging technologies for improved protection and solutions for refugees; promote innovative financing models; and identify opportunities for strengthening the international legal regime on refugees.

“Refugee women and children need a system that ensures they are not only able to survive, but also thrive and move forward with their lives,” says Thomson. “This is the challenge that we face and I look to the World Refugee Council as an opportunity to make a real difference here.”


To arrange an interview with Jessie Thomson, contact:

Darcy Knoll
Communications Specialist | CARE Canada | +1.613.790.2134

To learn more about the World Refugee Council, its mandate and members, visit:

Jessie Thomson is a civil society leader on international refugee protection. She is currently the senior director of CARE Canada’s Humanitarian Assistance and Emergency Team, working with CARE for the last six years. She has worked as a protection delegate with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Pakistan, and as a senior policy adviser at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada, leading policy development related to refugees and Canada’s relationship with UNHCR. Jessie is also co-chair of an Ottawa-based private sponsorship of refugees group supporting a newly arrived Syrian refugee family and sits on the Board of the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO).