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We recommend making travel arrangements as soon as possible, as the Grand Prix Montreal runs from June 10-13.

2014 Congress

The SAR Network 2016 Global Congress will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Scholars at Risk Network and the collective efforts of network members and partners protecting scholars and promoting academic freedom worldwide. Over the years, the network has grown from fewer than two dozen institutions to over 400 in 39 countries.

At the Congress, more than 200 university, government and nonprofit leaders, faculty, staff, students and advocates from 25 countries will come together to discuss seminal issues facing higher education today. Congress participants will discuss how to do more to protect universities and scholars in these challenging times, and to strengthen the capacity of the university sector to contribute to a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

The 2016 Congress will provide global SAR network members—and prospective new members and partners—a special opportunity to engage with Canadian and other North American SAR members, as well as to enjoy all the cultural, historical and natural features that Montreal offers.

Download the 2016 Global Congress Poster!



Congress hosts include:


Preliminary Program (subject to change)

All events at McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Pre-Meetings and Workshops by invitation, contact SAR for more information

Tuesday, June 7
09:00 -

Protecting Student Expression Workshop

(for invited representatives of student groups from different world regions exploring strategies for reducing violence against and within student movements)

Monitoring & Prosecutions Workshop

(for invited working group members exploring responses to prosecution of scholars under laws aimed at restricting thought, inquiry & intellectual expression)

Wednesday, June 8

Promoting Values in
International Partnerships

(invited working group members explore methods for implementing values in cross-border higher ed partnerships)

Individal section meetings

(side meetings for representatives of universities participating in SAR activities via a SAR “section” or “partner network”)


Student Networking Session

(meeting for students and representatives of student groups to share experience and discuss opportunities for participation in SAR-related activities)

Session for New/Prospective members

(Q&A and networking session for universities, colleges, associations and other partners new to SAR or considering getting involved)

Joint meeting of representatives from SAR sections & partner networks

(meeting for invited representatives of SAR “sections” and “partner networks” to discuss concerns and coordination of activities)


2016 Global Congress

Wednesday, June 8
13:00 -

Activity Expo and Networking

(tables featuring SAR and partner organizations'  activities, opportunities to ask questions and get involved – notify SAR if you would like to host a table!)

Courage to Think Dialogues

(a series of  20 minute dialogues with SAR scholars and partners sharing their experience with pressures on higher education, including from Central Asia; Latin America; China, Iraq, Syria, & the Great Lakes region)

15:30 -

Jonathan Fanton, SAR Board Chair and president of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and
Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO (invited)

Global Snapshots  Regional Challenges to Higher Education Security & Values

(higher education leaders discuss challenges to security and higher education values in various regions featuring:
Lisa Anderson, American political scientist and the former President of the American University in Cairo, Egypt
John Shattuck, President and Rector of Central European University, Hungary
Jonathan Becker, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Bard College
Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

18:30 -

Evening Reception

(featuring remarks from Catharine Stimpson, Chair, SAR Board Nominating & Governance Committee and University Professor, Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at New York University, and Lloyd Axworthy, former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and  vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg, and chancellor of St. Paul's University College,  announcing the establishment of the new international Scholars at Risk Ambassadors Council)

 Thursday, June 9
08:30 -

Activity Expo and Networking

(continuing from prior day)

Courage to think Dialogues

(continuing from prior day)



(remarks by Robert Quinn, Executive Director, Scholars at Risk)


Geoffrey Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School


Protecting Student Expression

(a panel discussion the results of the pre-Congress workshop featuring student leaders from Hong Kong, South Africa, and Egypt, among others)

Academic Freedom Threats
in Canada and the US
(a panel discussion on contemporary pressures on higher education security and values)

Supporting Higher Education in the Refugee Crisis

(a panel discussion on responses to the crises in Syria, Iraq and beyond featuring featuring Barbara Sheldon,  the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Philip Schwartz Initiative; Yannick du Pont, Spark, among others)

13:15 Lunch

Wrongful Prosecutions

(a panel discussion of the results of the pre-Congress workshop featuring examples from Thailand, Pakistan, Egypt, Bahrain, among others)

Promoting Values in
International Partnerships
(a panel discussion of the results of the pre-Congress workshop featuring Kenneth Prewitt, Columbia University; Kris Olds, University of Wisconsin-Madison, among others
16:30 -

Centerpiece Dialogue - Values in International Partnerships: Challenges & Opportunities

Leadership perspectives on values in international partnerships
(featuring Lisa Anderson, John Shattuck, Jonathan Becker, Adam Habib)

18:30 -

Keynote and Awards Dinner

(recognizing contributions of SAR members and partners active in hosting scholars and other SAR-activities; featuring a keynote interview by Nathalie des Rosiers, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, at the University of Ottawa; with Emad Shahin, visiting professor at Georgetown University sentenced to death in Egypt in abstentia; and the announcement of the 2016 Scholars at Risk Courage to Think Defender Award.

Friday, June 10
09:00 -
Activity Expo and Networking
10:30 -

SAR Network Membership Meeting

(biennial business meeting for SAR institutional members in good standing to share experience and views  on network structure, policies and strategic priorities including for growth, sustainability, services for  scholars and hosts and other activities, including proposals for the location of the 2018 Global Congress; members are invited to submit in advance topics for discussion and will be encouraged to participate via ‘town hall’ format)

12:30 -
Lunch and Departure



Preliminary Speakers



Lisa Anderson

Lisa Anderson, a specialist on politics in the Middle East and North Africa, was most recently the president of The American University in Cairo, stepping down in December 2015. She previously served as dean of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.


Lloyd Axworthy

Lloyd Axworthy is a Canadian politician, statesman, and academic. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Following his retirement from parliament, he served as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg from 2004 to 2014 and is currently chancellor of St. Paul's University College. He serves as Chair of the Scholars at Risk Ambassadors Council.


Jonathan Becker

Jonathan Becker is the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director, Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College. He is also an associate professor of political studies specializing in Russian and eastern European politics, media and politics, and education reform.


Nathalie Des Rosiers

Nathalie Des Rosiers is a dean and professor of law at University of Ottawa, Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She is a well known constitutional law expert and previously served as the General Counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA).


Jonathan Fanton

Jonathan F. Fanton is the president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He previously served as the president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, as the president of The New School for Social Research, and as the board chair for Human Rights Watch. He currently serves as Chair of the Scholars at Risk Board.


Adam Habib

Adam Habib is the vice-chancellor and principal of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He is an academic, an activist, an administrator, and a renowned political media commentator and columnist.


Kenneth Prewitt

Kenneth Prewitt is the Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs and the Vice-President for Global Centers. He previously served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Stanford University, Washington University, the University of Nairobi, Makerere University and the Graduate Faculty at the New School University (where he was also Dean).


Emad Shahin

Emad Shahin is a visiting professor at Georgetown University and the editor-in-chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics. A prolific author, he has authored, co-authored and co-edited six books and has more than 50 scholarly publications.


John Shattuck

John Shattuck is president and rector of Central European University in Hungary. His distinguished career spans more than three decades and includes positions in higher education, international diplomacy, foreign policy and human rights.


Geoffrey Stone

Geoffrey R. Stone is the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He previously served as Dean of the Law School from 1987 to 1994 and Provost of the University of Chicago from 1994 to 2002. Stone is currently chief editor of a 20-volume series, Inalienable Rights, which is being published by the Oxford University Press.





We recommend making travel arrangements as soon as possible. Due to the Grand Prix Montreal, which runs from June 10-13, availability at many hotels is already very limited.


Recommended Hotel

Please note all rates are in $CAD

We recommend Congress registrants make reservations at the Residence Inn Montreal Downtown and have arranged the following discounted rates for Congress attendees:

6-8 June (Monday-Wednesday): $219 CAD
9 June (Thursday): $299 CAD

These rates do not include applicable taxes (3.5% hotel tax, 5% provincial tax, and 9.975% GST ). Please note that due to the high demand during Gran Prix weekend, hotel reservations for Thursday night are non-refundable. To make a reservation as part of the Congress block, please call Nayla Sultani, Sales Coordinator at the Marriott Residence Inn Montreal  Downtown at (514) 982-6064 and mention Scholars at Risk when booking.

Additional hotel options:

McGill University has special arrangements with a few downtown hotels located within walking distance of the main campus. Guest rooms are available at reduced prices to anyone connected to the university: staff, students, visitors, etc. Mention McGill University when making reservations by phone

Delta Montreal Hotel
475 President Kennedy Avenue
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1J7
Tel.: 514-286-1986 / 1-877-286-1986
Fax: 514-284-4342

Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile
1155 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC H3A 2N3
Tel: 514-285-9000
Fax: 514-289-1155
Toll Free Number in North America - 877-285-9001

Château Versailles
1659 Sherbrooke St. West (north side)
Montreal, QC H3A 1B4
Tel: 514-933-8111 / 1-888-933-8111
Fax: 514-933-6967
Official McGill link

Meridien Versailles-Montréal
1808 Sherbrooke St. West (south side)
Montreal, QC H3A 1B4
Tel.: 514-933-8111 / 1-888-933-8111
Fax: 514-933-6867

Hotel Omni Mont-Royal
1050 rue Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal, QC H3A 2R6
Tel.: 514-284-1110

New Residence Hall
3625 Avenue du Parc
Montreal, QC H2X 3P8
Tel.: 514-398-3471
Fax: 514-398-4521




Starting March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Exceptions to this new eTA requirement include 1) U.S. citizens, and 2) travellers with a valid visa. Please note that U.S. permanent residents are not covered by this exception and will need an eTA to travel to Canada after March 15, 2016.

For more information on this new regulation and for general visa information, including visa processing times, please visit the Canadian Government's Immigration Website.


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