who we are: magda

magdaMagda Seydegart is a founding partner in South House Exchange. She specializes in human rights, professional development and institution-building. Over more than 30 years she has established herself as one of Canada's authorities on human rights policy, programming and education. From 1981 to 1993, she served as Executive Director of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre of the University of Ottawa. She has served as a member of the Human Rights Tribunal of Canada and on the staff of the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Association in Support of Native Peoples. She helped found several human rights NGOs in Canada, including the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).

Magda is a strategic analyst and thinker who has led the way in human rights education and development in Canada. She combines the capacity to inspire and motivate others, with the ability to communicate and articulate the path ahead. She is a team player who leads from the heart as well as the head. Her years as an executive director have sharpened her natural abilities to moderate conflict and facilitate and negotiate difficult organizational terrain.

More recent consulting assignments include the development, implementation and evaluation of human rights programming, including work for the UN Human Rights Centre, the UNDP, UNESCO, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Canadian International Development Agency, Rights and Democracy (formerly the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development) in Montreal, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Amnesty International Canada (AICSES), and Equitas (formerly the Canadian Human Rights Foundation). Magda spearheaded the design and implementation of the Human Rights Summer College at the University of Ottawa and the reconceptualization of the International Human Rights Training Program of the Canadian Human Rights Foundation, now Equitas.

Over the past five years, Magda has conducted performance reviews of several Canadian international NGOs. She has developed a specialization in Gender and Diversity planning, training, assessment, monitoring and evaluation. Over seven years, Magda served as an advisor on the Diversity Taskforce of Amnesty International Canada in developing its diversity policy and programming.

Magda has written and spoken widely on the issues of human rights, women's rights, and fundraising. She holds a Masters of Education in adult education (in human rights) from St. Francis Xavier University.