As an acknowledgement of my academic and community commitment, the Trudeau Scholarship gave me the resources and support I needed to be able to dedicate myself fully to the research and issues that motivate me. With the Foundation’s support, I was able to get out into the field several times and adapt my research and questions to the realities I found there. The Foundation staff members have been more than generous with their time, giving me sincere, ongoing support throughout my doctoral work, and always demonstrating understanding and willingness to work with me as my projects and needs develop and change. Their confidence and commitment have been a never-ending source of encouragement over the years. I have been unbelievably fortunate to be able to count on this kind of support as I pursue this fascinating adventure.
The Trudeau Scholarship is also exceptional and unique because it is enriched by the community’s energetic enthusiasm to be dynamic and committed researchers and players, demonstrating true openness and an honest desire to help build a better world. The Trudeau community is an extraordinary network, and the Foundation’s activities provide an inspiring platform for discussing and debating the critical issues of today and tomorrow. This experience has given me a better grasp of the vast scope of social sciences and humanities research and of the strategic role it has to play in connection with different issues and public policy areas. The multi-disciplinary discussions are rich with questioning and reflection, and they clearly nurture the members’ projects, research and actions. One thing is certain: this experience has encouraged me to remain devoted and engaged in a world where the contribution of every individual can make a difference.
Christian Girard holds a Ph.D. in Planning & Urban Studies and a M.Sc. in International Studies from Université de Montréal, as well as a B.B.A. from HEC Montréal. For the last 15 years, he has worked and done research in Asia, Africa and Latin America on various projects related to poverty reduction, housing and urban management, education, women empowerment and social entrepreneurship. He has worked in academia, NGOs and the private sector, including with local and international development organizations. While Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Politics & Economics at the Asian University of Women in Bangladesh, he established the Development Studies programme and he founded the Research Center on Development and Humanitarian Action as well as the Observatory on Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Asia. His main research interests include poverty and development, urban management and governance in the Global South, and social entrepreneurship & social innovation. In addition to receiving funding for his research from the Trudeau Foundation, he has received more than 25 excellence awards and merit scholarships for his academic and professional achievements, as well as his community engagement.