Keynote speakers


Wendy Kroeker

Wendy specializes in community conflict transformation processes as an instructor in Canadian Mennonite University’s (Winnipeg, Canada) Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies department and in locations around the globe. She has over 15 years of experience as a community mediator, conflict transformation trainer, peace program consultant, program manager for international development projects and university instructor. The Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, and Palestine are some of the locations in which she has worked over the past two decades with indigenous groups, NGO staff, community and religious leaders, and various educators.

Wendy is a PhD candidate at the University of Manitoba in Peace and Conflict Studies. Her research focuses on the impact of local peacebuilding efforts and contributions in the context of south Philippines.

In addition to Wendy’s contributions to the conflict transformation and peacebuilding field in diverse areas of Canada through training and community mediation are years of teaching and course development at the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (the Philippines), and the Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute. Her work with the international development agency Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has seen her and her family spend 5 years working in the Philippines, assisting in strategic planning and training for the peace programs in India and Bangladesh and most recently resourcing the peace programs in Palestine and Laos.

© Wendy Kroeker, 2017


Maria Mekri

Maria Mekri is the Executive Director of SaferGlobe, a leading Finnish think tank on peace and security issues.

Maria has years of management experience and expertise on a wide range of topics related to peace and security. She has more than 20 years of academic experience in International Relations and more than ten years of experience in teaching. She holds an MPhil in International Relations from Cambridge University, a BA in Politics and Fine Arts from Brandeis University and an MBA from HaagaHelia University of Applied Sciences.

Maria is currently the Conceptual Framework Manager of the IECEU-project, a large H2020-funded project on increasing the effectiveness of European Union Crisis Management. In the project, SaferGlobe developed a mechanism for the comparative study of crisis management missions and operations.

She is also a member of the Advisory Board of GAP (Gaming for Peace) and an expert member of the Parliamentary Finnish Development Policy Committee. Her specific interest is in creating sustainable, practical solutions for improving security and peacefulness in complex crisis situations.

© Maria Mekri, 2017