About Us

Initiative Team

Michael J. Molloy

Michael J. Molloy, Co-Director

Michael J. Molloy is Co-Director of the Jerusalem Old City Initiative, Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, President of Canadian Immigration Historical Society, and an expert on global refugee affairs. He was a senior official in Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada and Global Affairs (formerly DFAIT), the Canadian Ambassador to Jordan (1996-2000), and the Canadian Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process at Global Affairs (2000-2003). A founding member of the Multilateral Refugee Working Group (the Middle East Peace Process), he has worked on the Palestinian refugee issue since the early 1990s and acted as a Senior Advisor for the Canadian delegation to the Multilateral Refugee Working Group. Molloy was also a member of the Canadian team sent to select Ugandan Asian expellees in 1972, oversaw implementation of the refugee provisions of the 1976 Canadian Immigration Act, and coordinated the movement of 60,000 Indochinese refugees to Canada in 1979-1980. A career foreign services officers, he served in Japan, Lebanon, the USA, Geneva, Jordan (twice), Syria, and Kenya. His latest publication is Running on Empty: Canada and Indochinese Refugees, 1975-1980 (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2017).

John Bell

John Bell, Co-Director

John Bell, Co-Director of the Jerusalem Old City Initiative, has worked for three decades on Middle East politics, diplomacy and mediation, including with the United Nations, the Canadian Government and International NGOs. He is Director and Co-Founder of The Conciliators Guild, an organization that disseminates knowledge to widen the lens of perception in politics, and help increase tolerance. He has been involved in Track II mediation and diplomacy in the Middle East and elsewhere for over three decades. His writings about the Middle East are published widely in newspapers, journals and websites across the world. He is the co-editor of the three volume, Track Two Diplomacy and Jerusalem - The Jerusalem Old City Initiative, Routledge 2017. His latest book, How to Tame the Political Animal: The Missing Piece.

Tom Pierre Najem

Tom Pierre Najem, Project Manager

Tom Najem is Project Manager of the Jerusalem Old City Initiative and Professor of Political Science at the University of Windsor. He is a specialist in the field of international relations and comparative politics of the Global South, with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. From 2002 to 2012, Najem served as Department Head of Political Science at the University of Windsor. He has also lived and worked in the Middle East and North Africa and held previous academic appointments in Morocco and the UK. Publications include: The Historical Dictionary of Lebanon (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021); the three volume Track Two Diplomacy and Jerusalem – The Jerusalem Old City Initiative (Routledge, 2017) Syria, Press Framing, and the Responsibility to Protect, (Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2017), Africa's Most Deadly Conflict: Media Coverage of the Humanitarian Disaster in the Congo and the United Nations Response, 1997-2008 (Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2012), and Lebanon: The Politics of a Penetrated Society (Routledge, 2011).


In Memoriam

Michael Bell, Co-Founder and Co-Director

Michael Bell was considered the face of Canadian Diplomacy in the Middle East. His hard work and dedication impacted everyone who had worked alongside him. He was a founding member of the Jerusalem Old City Initiative and dedicated his final years to working on the process. Michael Bell will be missed greatly by his family, friends, and colleagues. His works and legacy live on in Canadian diplomacy and in the Jerusalem Old City Initiative.

Globe and Mail Obituary