Allan Thompson is a senior fellow at CIGI, where he is leading the book project Media and Mass Atrocity: The Rwanda Genocide and Beyond. Allan joined the faculty of Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication in 2003, after 17 years as a reporter with The Toronto Star. He is a graduate of Carleton’s bachelor of journalism program (1986) and has a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Kent at Canterbury (1987).
From 1987 to 1993, he worked in The Toronto Star’s regional bureau in Mississauga, in the newsroom in Toronto on general assignment, in the business section and for two years as the immigration beat reporter. Later, he spent a year in England and North Africa, in 1990-1991, through a fellowship with Gemini News Service. In 1994, Allan was posted to The Toronto Star’s Parliament Hill bureau in Ottawa, where he worked for most of the next decade as a political reporter, specializing in foreign affairs, defence and immigration issues. He also completed reporting assignments abroad in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Russia and travelled frequently with the Canadian prime minister.
On the tenth anniversary of the Rwanda genocide, in 2004, he organized a major international conference at Carleton called the Media and the Rwanda Genocide. Two years later, Allan launched a project called the Rwanda Initiative, to build capacity in the media sector in Rwanda through a partnership between Carleton’s journalism school and its counterpart at the National University of Rwanda. As a follow-up to the 2004 symposium, in 2007 he published an edited collection called The Media and the Rwanda Genocide. In 2009, he launched a new research centre at Carleton, the Centre for Media and Transitional Societies (CMTS). The CMTS is now responsible for the international media internships for Carleton students and also undertook a project called Radio, Convergence and Development in Africa, a research program on the impact of information and communications technologies on radio in Africa.
Allan is the co-author of the third edition of the journalism text The Canadian Reporter. He was a candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada in the southwestern Ontario riding of Huron-Bruce in the 2015 federal election and wrote a chapter on the dynamics of the campaign for Carleton’s book on the general election.