About Us



WIIS-Canada is a national network dedicated to promote women’s leadership in international security. We aim to enhance the potential of our members throughout their careers by opening doors and offering valuable resources:

Women in International Security (WIIS) was founded in 1987 by a small group of women in senior-level positions in the United States government and academia, as a response to the lack of support for women in male-dominated foreign policy and defense environments. Today there are over 7,000 members consisting of both men and women worldwide, representing a diverse range of expertise, generations, and efforts in relation to the international gender, peace, and security sector.

WIIS-Canada was founded in 2007, after founding member Stéfanie von Hlatky had attended a WIIS-Global symposium in Washington, D.C. In 2008 the first Annual Workshop was held, and since then the work and influence of WIIS-Canada has grown, as the network has grown.

WIIS-Canada’s main activities include:

  • Mentorship and Professional Development: connecting with peers and senior-level professionals and offering skills building training, job leads and scholarships.
  • Public Policy and Research: developing cutting-edge public policy proposals and research in international security issues, publications and offering dissemination opportunities for members.
  • Outreach: Raising awareness and supporting the work of advocates and governments on issues like the Women, Peace and Security agenda and the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence.

WIIS-Canada aims to provide a voice and platform of engagement and opportunity for Canadian WIIS membership. Its overall mission aligns with the mission of WIIS-Global. Our core values and principles include the following:

  • We define “international security” broadly, inclusive of a range of disciplines such as conflict resolution and human rights, military and government policy, international law and political science;
  • We bridge the divides among issues (traditional and human security), generations of women, and sectors (academic, practitioner, and policymaker);
  • We educate and support women at all stages of their careers - the multigenerational aspect of its network is one of the greatest strengths of WIIS-Global and WIIS-Canada;
  • We build local, national, and global communities that support women’s leadership in peace and security;
  • We encourage the active civic engagement of women and men who understand the importance of inclusive and diverse participation in peace and security
  • WIIS-Global and WIIS-Canada are non-profit and non-partisan. We advocate for women's inclusion and leadership in the peace and security fields but do not lobby on specific pieces of legislation
  • We provide valuable services and resources to build a global network of women in these fields, and increases the number and visibility of women across sectors and around the world