About Me


Mark Sedra is the President and co-founder of the Security Governance Group (SGG), a consulting firm specializing in security and governance issues in fragile and conflict-affected states, and the Executive Director and co-founder of the Centre for Security Governance (CSG), a non-profit think tank focussed on the study of security sector reform and related issues. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo and Balsillie School of International Affairs. His current research focuses on the topic of post-conflict state-building with an emphasis on security issues. He has conducted research on a number of countries and regions, including Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and the Balkans; however, the bulk of his research in recent years has centered on Afghanistan.

Mark was formerly (2008-2012) a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), an independent think tank that addresses international governance challenges, and led the Centre’s work on security sector governance. He has been a Research Associate at the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), a German-based independent think tank specializing in peace and security issues, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. He also served as the 2004-2005 Cadieux Léger Fellow in the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).

Mark has been a consultant to governments, intergovernmental organizations, and NGOs on issues pertaining to the security and political situation in Afghanistan, including the United Nations, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Notably, in late 2003 he served as the manager of the security chapter of the Afghan Government report titled, Securing Afghanistan’s Future: Accomplishments and the Strategic Pathway Forward, which was prepared for the Berlin international donors conference held on March 31- April 1, 2004. Over the past four years he has published numerous editorials, articles, policy reports, and book chapters focusing primarily on security issues in Afghanistan and the Middle East. He is a regular media commentator on international security issues in Canada abd globally.

Mark holds an BA in History and Political Science from the University of Toronto, an MSc in the History of International Relations from the London School of Economic (LSE) and a PhD in Political Science from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.

Research Interests:

  • State failure and state-building
  • Civil wars & insurgencies
  • International security
  • Post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building
  • Security sector reform (SSR)
  • The role of technology and social media (Web 2.0) in international relations

Please contact me if you would like a copy of my CV.


Beyond my work at the SGG, CSG and the University of Waterloo, I am affiliated to the following organizations:

Balsillie School of International Affairs

I am a Faculty Member of the Balsillie School of International Affairs, a centre for advanced research and teaching on global governance and international public policy. Founded in 2007 by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Research in Motion, The Balsillie School of International Affairs is a collaborative partnership among Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) and the University of Waterloo and The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). There are over 60 affiliated faculty teaching in the three programs currently associated with the School, the Ph.D. in Global Governance (joint UW/WLU), the Master’s in Global Governance (UW) and the Master’s in International Public Policy (WLU), and over 50 graduate students at UW and Laurier currently hold CIGI Junior fellowships.


I am a member of the editorial board of the journal Peacebuilding, which is an international, comparative, multidisciplinary journal open to articles on contemporary and historical cases. It will aim to provide in-depth analyses of the ideologies, philosophies, interests, and policies that underpin peacebuilding programmes and initiatives, and to connect with debates being held by policymakers, civil society personnel, scholars and students.

Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security (JCTS)

I am a member of the editorial board of the Journal for Conflict Transformation & Security. It is a biannual, peer-reviewed academic journal that “provides a platform to analyse conflict transformation and security as processes for managing ‘change’ in a non-violent way to produce equitable outcomes for all parties that are sustainable.”

International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT)

I am a member of the expert roster of the ISSAT, a multi-donor initiative, developed at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DCAF). The ISSAT brings together policy and operational security sector reform (SSR) expertise, from the developmental, security, defence and diplomatic domains, in order to provide the international community with comprehensive advice both on the technical and the process aspects of supporting SSR.