Synopsis: The High Commissioner’s presentation will focus on the centrality of the democratic process in evaluating India’s constitutional and developmental policies which treat inclusion as a core principle. H.E. Bisaria will also touch on global inclusivity in the access to vaccines in today’s pandemic. In Canada, multiculturalism, immigration, integration and assimilation have defined the governance of communities of diversity. Mr. Higham will draw on his long international career as a Canadian diplomat to share his experience and insights about who we might be and expose the range of perspectives and attitudes which are at play in so many other countries struggling with new “diversity challenges”.
About the Speakers:
Ajay Bisaria has been the High Commissioner of India to Canada since March 2020. He is a career diplomat who has earlier served as High Commissioner of India to Pakistan and as Ambassador to Poland and Lithuania. He has represented India at the World Bank in Washington DC, and in Embassies in Berlin and Moscow. He has served in various capacities in India in the Ministry of External Affairs, Department of Commerce and the Prime Minister’s Office. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, an MBA from IIM Kolkata and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Princeton University.
Robin Higham, has had a 35-year career in Canada’s foreign service. Assignments abroad included Ghana, United Kingdom, United States and Thailand, Rome, Brussels and Rabat, Morocco. 1995 he returned to Ottawa as Director General of the Department’s International Cultural and Academic Relations Bureau. In 1999, Robin retired from DFAIT (now Global Affairs Canada) to join the University of Ottawa as Senior Fellow, focusing his research interests on international public diplomacy, cultural pluralism and the governance of culturally diverse societies. At the University of Ottawa until 2016, Mr Higham completed a series of initiatives on international public diplomacy and identity, in communities of diversity. Motivated by a perceived need for more innovative approaches to democratic governance in societies characterized by their diversity, he authored two books examining the opportunities and challenges inherent in Canada’s model of multiculturalism and newcomer integration: Who do we think we are? and What Would You Say?