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Allan Thompson joined the faculty at Carleton in 2003 after spending 17 years as a reporter with the Toronto Star. After reporting from Rwanda in 1996 during the mass exodus of Rwandan refugees from eastern Zaire and again in 1998 to prepare a series of feature articles, Thompson’s relationship with the African country has shaped his work at Carleton.
Thompson launched the Rwanda Initiative, a partnership between Carleton’s journalism school and its counterpart at the National University of Rwanda to help rebuild the news media sector in a country devastated by the 1994 genocide. In 2010, he received a medal from Governor General Michaelle Jean in recognition of his work on the Rwanda Initiative and the promotion of press freedom.
Building on the success of the Rwanda Initiative, Carleton launched the Centre for Media and Transitional Societies in 2009, with Thompson at the helm. The centre will continue and expand the Rwanda Initiative media capacity building project and forge new networks that will promote action research on the role of the media in governance, development or conflict prevention and resolution in transitional societies.