Mark Freeman / IFIT Founder and Executive Director

Mark Freeman is the Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT), a non-governmental organisation that recently celebrated its tenth anniversary as a global peacebuilding innovator. 

A leading expert in political transitions and high-level peace negotiations with more than 30 years of experience, Mr Freeman is regularly consulted for advice on crisis management and conflict resolution. He has worked in countries including Ukraine, Venezuela, Colombia, Afghanistan, Bolivia, Bosnia, Burundi, DRC, The Gambia, El Salvador, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco, Nepal, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, and Zimbabwe. 

Prior to founding IFIT, Mr. Freeman was Chief of External Relations and a member of the Senior Management Team at the International Crisis Group, a leading global conflict prevention organisation. He also helped launch the International Center for Transitional Justice and served as its first Director of International Affairs. Earlier in his career he worked at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York and as a corporate lawyer in Toronto.

A widely recognised thought leader in international law and human rights, Mr. Freeman is the co-author of Negotiating Transitional Justice (Cambridge, 2020), which draws upon his years as an adviser inside the Colombian peace talks in Havana. He is also the author of Necessary Evils: Amnesties and the Search for Justice (Cambridge, 2010) and Truth Commissions and Procedural Fairness (Cambridge, 2006), and the co-author of International Human Rights Law: Essentials of Canadian Law (Irwin Law, 2004).

Mr. Freeman holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, and a Master of Laws from Columbia Law School where he was a Human Rights Fellow and James Kent Scholar. He has been a Lecturer-in-Law at KU Leuven and the University of Ottawa, and a Visiting Professor at Queen’s University Faculty of Law.

Mr. Freeman is a member of the International Panel of Experts of the International Commission on Missing Persons and an Advisor to the Schmidt Futures International Strategy Forum. A Canadian and Belgian citizen, Mr. Freeman speaks English, French, Spanish, Italian and Catalan.