A pioneer in the field of social isolation and connectedness, Ms. Samuel combines academic research, writing and lecturing with direct programmatic and partnership building experience supporting communities across the globe facing diverse challenges. Her work focusing on social isolation as a critical experiential and measurable component of multi-dimensional poverty underscores the importance of social connectedness to human dignity and human rights struggles globally.
Ms. Samuel is actively engaged in several joint programmatic and research efforts. She works in partnership with the Synergos Institute, Nelson Mandela Children’s Foundation and the Foundation for Community Development advancing advocacy and programming that supports social connectedness for children. Ms. Samuel plays an active and ongoing role with Special Olympics International and in particular with regard to the Family Support and Unified Sports programming initiatives. Ms. Samuel is also engaged in partnership with Indigenous communities in northern Canada including Misipawistik Cree Nation, supporting community driven strategies for strengthening education and employment.
Ms. Samuel is Professor of Practice at the Institute for Studies in International Development, McGill University. Ms. Samuel also serves as a Policy Advisor to the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) where she was a Visiting Scholar (2013 and 2014). Among other appointments and memberships, Ms. Samuel is a Founding Member of the Global Philanthropists Circle; Director of the Synergos Institute; Quincy Jones Music Consortium; the Temenos Academy; Prince’s School for Traditional Arts; World Economic Forum (WEF) and WEF’s Family Business Community; the Clinton Global Initiative; the TED conference; the Africa Advisory Committee and the Disability Rights Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch; and the Advisory Board of TakingITGlobal.
As President of The Samuel Family Foundation, Ms. Samuel has actively engaged in a number of collaborative partnerships directed toward global poverty eradication, global environmental sustainability and conservation, youth empowerment, Indigenous rights and human rights advocacy, preservation of traditional arts and wisdom, disability rights and family support. As a Director of The Samuel Group of Companies, founded in 1855, comprising a network of operations across North America engaged in the processing, manufacturing and distribution of steel and other metals, Ms. Samuel has advanced corporate leadership within Canada and internationally and in particular with regard to corporate social responsibility.