From 7th to 10th March 2023 in Kigali – Rwanda
Rwanda is open.
Michael S. Pollanen is Professor and Vice-Chair (Innovation) of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto and the Chief Forensic Pathologist for Ontario, Canada. He graduated from the University of Toronto with an MD (1999) and PhD (1995) and completed his residency in 2003. Professor Pollanen‘s main academic focus the application of forensic medicine to Global Health by training forensic pathologists and strengthening forensic capacity in the Global South. He has been involved in case work or training missions in: Algeria, Bermuda, Cambodia, Central African Republic, East Timor, Egypt, Haiti, Iraq, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Palestine, Thailand, Uganda and Uzbekistan. His current research interest is nodding Syndrome in Uganda. He has published over 100 papers in peer–reviewed journals. Professor Pollanen is a member of the forensic advisory board of the International Committee of the Red Cross and is a Past President of the International Association of Forensic Science (2015–17). He is a Founder of Forensic Pathology in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. His professional duties include supervising and directing the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (9000 autopsies/year), conducting autopsy (>4500 autopsies conducted to date), testifying in court (>250 court testimonies to date), and directing academic activities in forensic pathology at the University of Toronto. He is also a Deputy Chief Coroner in Ontario
Blumenthal. Ryan, MBChB (Pret), MMed (Med Forens) Pret, FC For Path (SA) Dip For Med (SA) PhD (Wits) Senior specialist forensic pathologist and associate professor at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Forensic Medicine.
His chief field of interest is the pathology of trauma of lightning (keraunopathology). Lightning medicine forms part of wilderness medicine. Wilderness medicine is about providing emergency care
in remote settings. Wilderness medicine is important when considering climate change and the impact global weather systems have on humans, especially in resource-limited and resource-depleted communities.
He has published widely in the fields of electrocution, suicide and other areas involving the pathology of trauma. His chief mission in life is to help advance Forensic Pathology Services both nationally and internationally. Blumenthal has published 35 articles in peer-reviewed Journals. He has contributed Chapters to five international textbooks. He has written four books for the public. He is currently an NRF-C2 rated scientist.
His book ‘Autopsy – Life in the trenches with a forensic pathologist from Africa’ (Jonathan Ball Publishers) launched August 2020 became a non-fiction best-seller in South Africa. It is currently in its seventh print and is being translated into Russian.
His eight-part documentary “Lightning Pathologist” (Channel 180 DSTV) aired 9 November 2020 to 20 November 2020, and was viewed by over 2.2 million people.
Prof Ryan Blumenthal has contributed the lightning and electrothermal chapters in the following textbooks:
Anjli Parrin is a Kenyan human rights advocate and lawyer. She is currently a visiting clinician at the University of Chicago Law School where she directs the Global Human Rights Clinic, which works alongside partners and communities to advance justice and address the inequalities and structural disparities that lead to human rights violations worldwide. She is visiting from Columbia Law School in New York. Anjli conducts human rights factfinding, investigations, and advocacy around the world. Her practice focuses on international criminal law and transitional justice, and using forensic science tools to advance human rights. She has worked alongside forensic scientists to carry out complex war crime investigations, including for the International Criminal Court; successfully proposed new law on exhumations for hybrid courts; and provided trainings to judges, lawyers, police, gendarmerie, NGOs and victims associations on the law and science of suspicious death investigations. Anjli holds a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School, a master’s degree from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, and a bachelor’s degree from the London School of Economics.
Ahmed Zanya Bugre is the Senior Migrant Protection and Assistance Advisor in the Department of Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development (HHS) where he is responsible for the dossiers on climate change and migration, missing migrants and the focal person for the Africa Climate Mobility Initiative (ACMI).
Prior to this position, Dr Bugre was Director of the Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants (FSM), a diaspora-led NGO that he co-founder that focused on providing temporary accommodation, psychosocial, mental health and educational support to asylum seekers and refugees in Malta. He also served as a member of the Advisory Council and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform (ADEPT), where he worked on supporting the platform on legal and strategic planning issues. Dr Bugre has undertaken various consultancy work on migration and humanitarian issues and Africa-Europe Relations with the Government of Malta, US Embassy in Malta, European Union Commission, German Parliament, UN Agencies, and the African Union Commission.
Dr Bugre has contributed to a number of international fora and conferences on migration and development, protection of migrants and asylum seekers, and the integration of refugees in the EU. He represented the African diaspora in the EU on the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) dialogues leading to the adoption of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. He is also an international conference speaker and mentor for final year law students on cross-cultural lawyering and advocacy.
Dr Bugre holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours (Magna cum Laude) from Continental Theological Seminary in Brussel, Belgium; a Bachelor of Laws (Magna cum Laude), Postgraduate Diploma in Notarial Law, and Doctor of Laws from the University of Malta. He recently obtained a Professional Certificate on Leading Strategic Projects from Oxford University. He has authored and co-authored several articles on migrant protection and diaspora engagement, and contributed to academic work on migration, asylum, and forced displacement. Dr Bugre is a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta, Nehemiah Gateway University in Albania, and the Oldenburg IT and Business School in Germany. He served as a Rector of the Nehemiah Gateway University and the Malta National Director of Studies for the Global-ICI University in Spring Missouri, USA. He is an adjunct professor of Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility at the Nehemiah Gateway University and the Oldenburg IT and Business School focusing the impact of European Business footprint in Africa.
Dr Bugre was the first person of African descent to be awarded the national medal of honour, Midalja-Qadi tar Republikka (MQR) by the President of Malta for his distinguished work on the protection, assistance and integration of African migrants in Malta and for his service to the Republic of Malta. He is also received the Rotary Club of Malta Ferrucio Vigniola Prize (2018) for his contribution Peace in the Mediterranean. Dr Bugre is an alumnus of the prestigious International Visitors Leaders Programme (IVLP) of the US State Department. He was nominated by the US Embassy in Malta for the 2019 IVLP Alumni Award for Social Innovation and Change for his distinguished work with the African diaspora in Malta and Europe, and was selected as one the 80 Faces of Exchange for the 80th Anniversary of the IVLP Program.
I graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (France) in 2007. I subsequently obtained a University Degree on Would Ballistics at the Faculty of Medicine of the University Claude Bernard Lyon I (France).
I joined the INTERPOL General Secretariat (Lyon-France) in 2010 as specialized officer (and subsequently Coordinator) of the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) Unit. My day-to-day work consists of establishing new programs to assist the 195 INTERPOL member countries in identifying victims of disasters and revising the INTERPOL DVI standards (Forms and Guide) thanks to lessons learned from recent DVI cases.
The operational component includes frequent missions to support member countries affected by natural or man-made disasters. Some examples are inter alia, the series of coordinated terrorist suicide bombings in Colombo (Sri Lanka) in 2019, the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 which crashed in 2019 near Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), the Germanwings Airbus A320 crash at Seyne-les-Alpes (France) in 2015, the Air Malaysia crash in the Donetsk region (Ukraine) in 2014, the typhoon Haiyan (Philippines) in 2013, the terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi (Kenya) in 2013, the crash of a cargo plane in Brazzaville (Congo) in 2012, the terrorist bomb attacks in Kampala (Uganda) in 2010 etc.
Furthermore, since 2015, I am the point of contact of the ICRC for any DVI related matters. This important and fruitful cooperation is now extended to HTSM (Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants), I-Familia (INTERPOL global database for identifying missing persons based on international DNA kinship matching) and IFRS (INTERPOL Face Recognition System).
Forensic Odontologist and Associate Professor in Forensic Medicine, Head of Human Identification Laboratory at the Medicolegal Institute of Turin, Italy. Expert witness in Civil and Penal Court for dental disputes and professional liability, Human Rights activist. Program Lead in Forensic Odontology training.
Graduated in dentistry (DDS) and in Science in Law (LLB) at the University of Bari, Italy Holds post-graduate diplomas in Legal Medicine, in Forensic Sciences and in Forensic Odontology, and a Research Doctorate degree (PhD) on Analytic Morphometry.
Participating odontologist in the Interpol DVI Forensic Odontology Sub-Working Group, since 2010. President and Founder of the Civil Protection Association Dental Team DVI Europe. Founder, Past-President and President-Elect of the Association Forensic Odontology for Human Rights (www.afohr.org). Fellow of the Odontology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, since 2011.
Officer of the Italian Red Cross Military Corp since 1999 and Officer of the Reserve Medical Corp IT Army since 2007.
Dr Antonel Olckers has practiced as an independent DNA expert in forensic science in South Africa since 1998 and has advised on forensic science cases from across Africa. She is a founding director and full member of the South African Academy of Forensic Sciences (SAAFS) in the field of Biology/DNA and served as Chair since its inception in 2018. She the current chair of the Forensic Science Specialist Technical Committee (FS-STC) of the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) mandated in South Africato e.g. accredit laboratories according toISO standards.
Dr Olckers provides training on Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), ISO17025 and accreditation to it, ethics, integrity, and other topics related to forensic science practice via the “Essential Short Course Series” of DNAbiotec. She has worked to empower professionals to handle DNA evidence in court (scientists, public prosecutors, public defenders as well as private sector attorneys and advocates). DNAbiotec has had an MOU in place with Legal Aid South Africa for pro bono work, and she was honoured withthe Legal Aid Pro Bono award in 2016.
She is a member ofthe Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), and the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG), amongst others. She continues to publish actively in international peer reviewed academic journals in various fields e.g.forensic science,bioethics, and genomic privacy. Dr Olckers is a strong advocate for empowering the next generation of scientists and science leaders in Africa and has received awards for capacity building andLifetime Achievement in biotechnology. She sees collaboration between the public sector, academia, and the private sector as essential to further science and research integrity goals in Africa and beyond.As evidenced from her publications in forensic science she believes in practicing with integrity for science to serve justice.
Jyantkumar Mangaldas Vyas is an Indian academic and forensic
scientist who serves as a Vice Chancellor of National Forensic Sciences
He served as the Director for the Directorate of Forensic
Science, Gujarat State for three decades.
Vyas has studied Master of Science, PhD and LLB. Vyas served as the
Director for the Directorate of Forensic Science, Gujarat State from
1993 to until his retirement in 2009.
He held the additional charge of the office until 2020. He was the
Director General of the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University from
February 2009 to 2020. The university was renamed the National
Forensic Sciences University in 2020 and he continued as the Vice
Vyas was awarded the President’s Medal for his services in 1997. In
2004, he was awarded the Commendation Certificate as the Best
Forensic Science Laboratory Director at the 15th All India Forensic
He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in Forensic
Chemistry by Amity University and AIIMS, New Delhi in 2008.
He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2022
for his contribution in field of forensic science and engineering. Under
his guidance National Forensic Sciences University Gandhinagar has
signed many MoUs with GCTC and Think-tank, Peninsula
Foundation and Adani group on 2nd March 2022.
Professor and Chair of Pathology Department of Pathology, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington DC, USA
Roger A. Mitchell, Jr. MD FCAP – Dr. Mitchell is board certified in Anatomic and Forensic Pathology by the American Board of Pathology and serves as Professor and Chair of Pathology at Howard University College of Medicine.
He is the immediate past Chief Medical Examiner for Washington, DC where he served from 2014 to 2021.
Just before his tenure ended as Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Mitchell was the only forensic pathologist in history to also serve as Interim Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice.
He has performed approximately 1,500 forensic autopsy examinations and has testified as an expert witness in over 60 cases.
Dr. Mitchell has been published in 13 peer review journals, provided nearly 100 lectures on a myriad of forensic topics, has written two book chapters and serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis & Research at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
His recent academic research on gunshot wounds is highlighted in the Journal of Acute Care Surgery and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
Mitchell also serves as Chair of the Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention for the National Medical Association.
He co-authored the paper entitled The Violence Epidemic in the African American Community: A Call by the National Medical Association for Comprehensive Reform.
He recently led a national group of forensic pathologists in the paper entitled: National Association of Medical Examiners Position Paper: Recommendations for the Definition, Investigation, Postmortem Examination, and Reporting of Deaths in Custody.
Dr. Mitchell is the current Vice Speaker to the House of Delegates for the National Medical Association and sits on several additional Boards, including Mentoring in Medicine and the Hip Hop Caucus.
He has lectured all over the world including in Africa and Asia, including Egypt, Bangladesh, India, and Belize.
Dr. Mitchell currently works with the CDC Foundation supporting the Medicolegal Death Investigation International Community of Practice where he provides technical support to numerous international medical examiners and coroners.
Stephen Antonio Fonseca Manager – African Centre of Expertise on Missing Persons and Forensic Systems International Committee of the Red Cross.
My career in death investigation started in 1998 as a Coroner in the British Columbia Coroners Service.
For 8 years I investigated routine sudden and unexpected death enquiries and presided over inquests.
In 2006, I developed the Identification and Disaster Response Unit.
The primary responsibility was to promote a multi-disciplinary systematic approach to the resolution of missing persons cases through the identification human remains after mass fatality events, in complex investigations, and cold cases.
I joined the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 2013 as a forensic coordinator, posted in Lebanon until early 2015.
I worked primarily on the Missing and Dead from the Lebanese Civil War.
From 2015 to June 2022 I worked in Africa, primarily as the Regional Forensic Manager, where the focus was to empower authorities by enhancing justice and medicolegal systems and systematizing medicolegal processes.
I provided oversight for strategic planning and operational support to ICRC forensic specialists who manage humanitarian forensic programs and activities across the African continent.
In June 2022, I transitioned to the role of Manager of the ICRC’s newly created African Centre of Expertise on Missing Persons and Forensic Systems.
I remain a member of the ICRC’s Forensic Unit Global Management Team.
Dr Luis Fondebrider is a forensic anthropologist, from Argentine, 58 years old, who in 1984 co funded the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF), an organization that had worked in 56 countries documenting and investigating cases of human rights violations using different forensic disciplines.
After 37 years of work at EAAF, and being his President for 20 years, he moved to Geneva, where he was hired by ICRC as Head of the Forensic Unit, where he remained until September 2022, to become an independent forensic expert.
Throughout his career, Dr Fondebrider worked had as expert witness and/or forensic adviser, in the following countries: Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Romania, Ukraine, Iraq, Lebanon, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cyprus, Georgia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Morocco, Libya, Vietnam, Thailand, Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria and Namibia.
Dr Fondebrider had worked as forensic expert for the following bodies:
Dr Fondebrider it was part of the Forensic International Team leading the Manual on Genetics and Human Rights, under the Government of Argentina and the ICRC.
Dr Fondebrider it was member of the UN Forensic Working Group that reviewed the United Nations Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions (Minnesota Protocol).
Dr Fondebrider is member of the Advisory Board of the Human Rights Centre of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS).
Dr Fondebrider is member of the International Forensic Advisory Board of the ICRC
Claude Roux is currently a Distinguished Professor of Forensic Science and Director of the Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). He completed his undergraduate and PhD studies in forensic science at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and migrated to Australia upon his PhD completion in 1996. Claude has been pivotal to the development of forensic science in his adopted country over the past 26 years by developing and leading the first undergraduate degree and PhD program in forensic science. His research activities cover a broad spectrum of forensic science and his vision of forensic science has primarily driven his professional motivation as a distinctive academic and holistic research-based discipline.
Claude was President of the Australian & New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS) from 2010 to 2016. He is the current President of the International Association of Forensic Sciences, Vice-President of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Criminal Court.