Ben Rowswell is a visiting scholar at Stanford University, where he is leading a research project to support democracy activists in Egypt called www.cloudtostreet.org.
As a Canadian diplomat he has specialized in the Arab and Muslim world. He served in the political section of the Canadian Embassy in Egypt from 1996 to 1998, as chargé d’affaires in Iraq from 2003 to 2005, and as deputy head of mission in Kabul from 2008 to 2009. For his most recent assignment he served as representative of Canada in Kandahar, leading a Provincial Reconstruction Team of more than 100 American and Canadian diplomats, aid workers, civilian police and other experts in strengthening the provincial government at the heart of the Afghan conflict.
His thematic expertise is in peace building and democracy promotion. A senior associate at the Center on Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, he is the co-editor of Iraq: Preventing a New Generation of Conflict (2007).
He founded the Democracy Unit in Canada’s foreign ministry, and is an inaugural recipient of the Palmer Prize for Diplomats awarded by the Community of Democracies.