Young Alumni Award
When it comes to expertise about women in conflict, Dr. Joana Cook is extraordinarily knowledgeable. Her expertise began when she was a curious political science student at the University of Regina seeking to understand womens’ agency in political violence. Cook is a Teaching Fellow and Senior Research Fellow with the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation. Both positions are based out of King's College, London, where Cook received her PhD. She is also an affiliate with the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS).
Her PhD research examined women in relation to post-9/11 U.S. counterterrorism responses in Yemen and the wider MENA region. Her research more broadly focuses on women in violent extremism, countering violent extremism, and counter-terrorism practices in Yemen and the wider MENA region.
At a young age, Joana often read stories of young women in conflicts including the Second World War and the former Yugoslavia, and observed that women were often more adversely affected whenever violence was perpetuated.
This realization was continuously apparent to her in topics ranging from gender-based and intimate partner violence, to the many incidences of missing and murdered Indigenous women within Canada. It bothered Joana that while women were the most impacted by conflict and violence, they weren’t always part of the solution.
Dr. Cook’s work focuses on women, extremism, security, and counterterrorism. She is the former editor-in-chief for Strife, an international journal and blog focusing on conflict with over 1.3 million followers. She has provided policy expertise and research to international governments and has been featured on TV and in print in Time, BBC, Washington Post, CBC, National Post, and Telegraph.
During her time at the University of Regina, Dr. Cook wrote for the student newspaper The Carillon and taught English at Regina's Open Door Society. In her young life, she has travelled to over 30 countries and is well on her way to speaking four languages, and she’s just getting started.