Dr. Samantha Nutt
Founder and Executive Director of War Child in North America
A leading authority on current affairs, war, international aid, and foreign policy, Dr. Samantha Nutt is one of the most intrepid and recognized voices in the humanitarian arena. With a career that has spanned more than two decades and dozens of conflict zones, her international work has benefited hundreds of thousands of war-affected children.
Dr. Nutt was named one of Canada's 25 Transformational Canadians by the Globe and Mail, and has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Time Magazine has featured her as one of Canada's Five Leading Activists. In July 2011, Dr. Nutt was appointed to the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honour, for her contributions to improving the plight of young people in the world's worst conflict zones.
Dr. Nutt graduated summa cum laude from McMaster University, earned an M.Sc in Public Health with distinction from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (University of London), and holds a Fellowship in Community Medicine (FRCPC) from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She is further certified by the College of Family Practice and completed a sub specialization in women’s health through the University of Toronto as a Women’s Health Scholar. Dr. Nutt is the recipient of more than a dozen honorary doctorates from universities in Canada and the U.S.A. She is also a staff physician at Women's College Hospital and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Nutt’s critically acclaimed book, Damned Nations, was a #1 bestseller in Canada. Lewis Lapham declared it a “brave and necessary book,” while the Literary Review of Canada called it a “brilliant polemic.” Damned Nations is a bracing and uncompromising account of Dr. Nutt’s work in some of the most devastated regions of the world.
Conflicted? The World of War
In this talk, Dr. Samantha Nutt takes a compelling look at the impact of war—the truth, the lies, and the reality on the ground—and the major events currently shaping our world. Geared towards students, educators, and general audiences, this captivating presentation examines our growing global economic and security inter-dependence, and explores the meaning of social justice and community in the 21st century.
Leadership: It's Within Us All
Leaders have strength, courage, and conviction. Were they born with these elusive qualities, alongside a perfect balance of knowledge and charisma, or have they simply learned to communicate their experience and ideas more effectively than the rest of us? Leaders encourage us to inspire, to think, and to demand more of ourselves and of our society. They connect us to something larger than ourselves. But is leadership just ingrained in certain people, or can it be acquired? Can we all be leaders?
In this presentation, Dr. Samantha Nutt looks at the meaning and significance of leadership. She maps out ways in which we can all be more effective leaders—in the world and in the workplace—because the capacity to lead exists in each and every one of us.
When Women Lead
A popular choice for International Women’s Day and other events celebrating women’s leadership, this presentation combines humour and personal reflections on women in the 21st century and why the women’s movement is unfinished everywhere. Dr. Samantha Nutt’s often satirical take on hot topics such as “Lean In” and whether “women can have it all” offers an engaging, thought-provoking, and entertaining examination of the challenges women still face in the world and how women (and men) can advocate for change. This presentation is also suitable for businesses and other groups looking to promote diversity and strengthen gender equality at the senior management and executive levels, as well as on Boards.
Why the World Needs More Lawyers
Geared towards lawyers, civil society organizations, and justice advocates, this presentation explores the importance of the rule of law and access to justice in promoting a more peaceful and sustainable world. Dr. Samantha Nutt talks about her experiences developing and promoting access to justice programs that strengthen the rights of women and children, with a view to tackling the climate of impunity that exists in many corners of the world. She explains why the rule of law and its champions can and must be the next frontier of international humanitarian assistance.
Taking Your Vision to Action
Do you have an idea you’d like to see realized? A change you’d like to promote within your business or organization? A vision for creating something new? In this presentation, Dr. Samantha Nutt reflects on the fifteen years she has spent transforming her vision for a new approach to humanitarian aid into an internationally acclaimed organization that assists half a million children and their families every year in some of the world’s most challenging environments. Blending humorous anecdotes with powerful storytelling, this keynote offers practical tips and inspiring lessons for individuals and organizations seeking to implement any kind of change or to launch something new.
ETFO Waterloo Region Teacher Local
[Sam] was a huge success and our members are posting extremely positive comments about her presentations. You know you have a powerful and commanding speaker when you could hear a pin drop during the presentation, and when the speaker receives a long standing ovation.
I have, personally, never before been awestruck by a conference speaker. Dr. Nutt’s enthusiasm for her purpose was palpable.
Sinclair Secondary School
The event could not have gone better. Sam was fantastic, the speech got a standing ovation and absolute silence from over 700 students in the gym. She stayed for over an hour after the event to talk to students, sign autographs and pose for pictures. I’d like to thank everybody involved for helping to inspire Sinclair’s students.
Canadian Bureau for International Education
Samantha Nutt's presentation was fabulous. It was the highlight event of our conference! Her speech was very inspiring and touching, and it resonated tremendously with our conference participants.
Trinity College School
Great, great, great presentation! I am so proud to be Canadian right now! You are an inspiration to us all!
Model United Nations of the University of Chicago
First of all, I wanted to congratulate you on all of your efforts. I was really inspired by you as well as your speech. I’ve never seen the crowd so moved by the keynote speaker.
Grant MacEwan College
Samantha Nutt was absolutely incredible. Hands down the best inspirational guest speaker we've had. She is my new role model.
Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies and Aid
For readers of Christopher Hedges, Robert Fisk, and Christopher Hitchens, an extraordinary humanitarian gives us a bracing and uncompromising account of her work in some of the most devastated corners of the world -- and a new and provocative vision for changing course on our growing militarization.
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 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.
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 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. 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.