He previously served as Chair (2008–2013) of Canadian Pugwash, an organization of physical, life and social scientists seeking to reduce the threats to global security. He currently sits on the organization's Board of Directors.
Dr. Dorn is a scientist by training (with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Univ. of Toronto), whose doctoral research assisted with chemical sensing for arms control. He participated in the negotiation, ratification and implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) while working at Parliamentarians for Global Action (1992–93). He addressed parliamentary bodies on several continents and drafted a parliamentary declaration on the ratification and implementation of the treaty that was signed by over a thousand parliamentarians.
His interests are now broader, covering both international and human security, especially UN field operations for peacekeeping and peace enforcement.
At the Canadian Forces College he teaches officers of rank Major to Brigadier-General from Canada and over 20 other countries in the areas of arms control, Canadian foreign and defence policy, the ethics of war, peace operations and international security. He has served as Chair of RMC's Master of Defence Studies (MDS) programme and at CFC as: the Deputy Director for Graduate Studies; Chair of the Department of Security and International Affairs; and Deputy Director for Outreach and Community Development.
As an "operational professor," he seeks direct experience in field missions. In 1999, he served as a district electoral officer with the United Nations Mission in East Timor. He has also served with the United Nations in Ethiopia (UNDP project), at UN headquarters as a Training Adviser and three times as a consultant with the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). He has carried out DPKO-sponsored research in conflict areas in Central and South America, Africa and South East Asia. In 2010, during a sabbatical, he was a Visiting Professional in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. In 2014, he was appointed to the UN's Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in UN Peacekeeping. In 2017-18, he worked in the UN Department of Field Support as the "Innovation and Protection Technology Expert."
He has served as the UN Representative of Science for Peace, a Canadian NGO, since 1983 and addressed the UN General Assembly at its Third UN Special Session on Disarmament in 1988. In the United States, he was a Senior Research Fellow at Cornell University (Einaudi Centre for International Studies, 1998–2000), a consultant to UN Studies at Yale (1996), a visiting scholar at the Cooperative Monitoring Centre (Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, 1999) and an adviser to the Federation of American Scientists (Biological Weapons Control expert group, 1990). At the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, he was a member of the directing staff and taught the course, "Live, Move and Work: Technology and Engineering in Modern Peacekeeping" (1999–2001).
At the University of Toronto, he was a Research Fellow with the International Relations Programme and with the Peace and Conflict Studies Programme, and the Physical Science Don at Trinity College. In 2001/02 he was awarded the inaugural Human Security Fellowship by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).
He has written several books, including Keeping Watch: Monitoring, Technology, and Innovation in UN Peace Operations, and most recently edited the volume, Air Power in UN Operations: Wings for Peace. He is hoping to "someday soon" complete a book on a broader theme, possibly titled "The Emerging Global Watch: UN Monitoring for International Peace and Human Security." It will analyse the expansion of the UN's monitoring of conflicts, ceasefires, elections, human rights, sanctions, enforcement and global security generally.
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Dr. Walter Dorn
Canadian Forces College
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