Meet the Founder

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In 1995, twenty-five-year-old Samantha Nutt - a recent medical-school graduate and a field volunteer for UNICEF - touched down in Baidoa, Somalia, “the City of Death.” What she saw there - gangs of young men roaming the streets armed with rocket launchers; a woman in a clinic line holding a dead baby; an overwhelmed, underfunded aid agency working in such an unsafe environment that its workers had to travel with armed escorts high on drugs - would spur her on to a lifetime of passionate advocacy for children and families in war-torn areas around the world.

Dr Samantha Nutt is a medical doctor and the Founder/Executive Director of War Child Canada. For fifteen years, she has been at the frontline of many of the world’s major crises – from Iraq to Afghanistan, Somalia to the Congo and Sierra Leone to Darfur. These experiences have given her a unique insight into the brutality of modern conflict – why it begins, what sustains it and what we can and should do to prevent it. As one of the most original and influential voices in the humanitarian arena, Samantha is a go-to authority for the many of North America’s leading media outlets. With her uncompromising and powerful advocacy for justice and peace, Dr Nutt is one of the most sought after public speakers. She has inspired thousands of people across the continent to see global conflict as a problem that can and must be solved.

Samantha was recently named one of Canada’s 25 most influential figures by The Globe and Mail, the latest in a long list of awards and tributes. Time Magazine named her one of Canada’s Five Leading Activists, while the World Economic Forum recognized her as one of 200 young global leaders. In 2010, Samantha was awarded the Order of Ontario and in 2011, she was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Dr. Nutt is a staff physician at Women's College Hospital in Toronto and an Assistant Professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.

The book Damned Nations is the brilliant distillation of Dr. Nutt’s observations over the course of fifteen years, providing hands-on care in some of the world's most violent flashpoints, all the while building the world class non-profit, War Child, in North America. Combining original research with her personal story, it is a deeply thoughtful meditation on war, as it is being waged around the world against millions of civilians - primarily women and children - and an exposé of how we facilitate and fuel these seemingly faraway atrocities. Nutt’s boundless energy, dedication, and compassion shine through on every page as she lays out real, lasting solutions to these problems and shows how to move beyond outdated notions of charity towards a more progressive, inclusive, and respectful world view.