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Nurjehan Mawani

Photo of Governor Nurjehan Mawani photographed by Lindsay Gibeau

Vancouver BC

Nurjehan Mawani, C.M, LL.D. (hon) is a lawyer, public servant, diplomat and a global Canadian. During her long and distinguished career in the Public Service of Canada she served as Chairperson and CEO of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada where in 1993, she issued groundbreaking Guidelines on Gender-Related Persecution which address the unique ways in which women experience violence in conflict and made Canada a leader in the recognition of gender-related persecution internationally.

Nurjehan then went on to serve as Commissioner of the Public Service Commission of Canada and subsequently as Advisor on Diversity to the Clerk of the Privy Council and the Canada School of Public Service.

Between 2005 and 2019, she served as Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), first to the Kyrgyz Republic and then to Afghanistan, leading AKDN's engagement in both countries through periods of political, security and economic transitions while working in close collaboration with governments, international partners and civil society institutions.

Recognition for Nurjehan's contributions to the public service and the advancement of women include receiving the Order of Canada and the Public Service of Canada Outstanding Achievement Award. In 2007, she received the UNIFEM Canada Award for “an innovative ability to bridge law and policy and for far-reaching effects of the guidelines impacting the lives of thousands of refugee women and girls.”  She is the recipient of a number of honorary doctorates and serves on several advisory boards in Canada and internationally including as a founding member of the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges.

She is a Senior Fellow and Inaugural Chair in Global Engagement at Massey College.