Ann Fitz-Gerald is a Professor of International Security and the Director of the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Canada. Prior to this appointment in 2019, she was the Director, Defence and Security Leadership, Cranfield University where she held a Chair in Security Sector Management. She completed degrees in Commerce (BComm), Political Science (B.A), War Studies (M.A) and a PhD. Following an initial career in the financial sector, she worked at the International Lester B Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium and at the North Atlantic Parliamentary Assembly. During her time at both NATO and the Parliamentary Assembly, she focused on the accession strategies of Central and East European countries. She moved to the UK and completed her PhD in 2001. Between 1999 and 2001, Ann worked at King's College, London University's Centre for Defence Studies. In 2001, she moved to Cranfield University's Department for Management and Security, where she led Cranfield's Centre for Security Sector Management for 5 years. In 2006, she designed and developed the Masters programme in Security Sector Management, which is delivered in both in the UK and East Africa.
In 2011, Ann was invited to become the McNaughton-Vanier Visiting Professor at the Royal Military College of Canada. In 2013, she was appointed as the Visiting Professor of Global Security Management at Queen’s University. Ann publishes on issues concerning national security policy, security sector reform and international security interventions. She holds Visiting Professor at other universities including Nkumba University (Uganda), Njala University (Sierra Leone) Queen's University (Canada), and the Royal Military College of Canada.
Ann has advised, and has been seconded to work with, Governments of a number of transitional countries on issues relating to national security policy/strategy issues (including Nigeria, Ukraine, Poland, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Nepal, Botswana, Sierra Leone, Trinidad and Tobago, Albania, Montenegro and The Gambia). In 2011, Ann supported the AU High Implementation Panel during the post-referendum peace talks between North and South Sudan (security issues). She was re-engaged to provide further advisory support to the Panel between 2014-2016.
In November 2012, the Government of Canada awarded Ann with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contribution to post-conflict resolution and dialogue. Since 2013, she has served as a Senior Security and Justice Adviser to the UK Government and is a member of the United Nation’s Rule of Law and Security Institutions’ expert roster.