Work includes promotion of conflict resolution and peace education in communities of Northern Ireland

The Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) will present alumnus Bridget Brownlow with an honorary degree in recognition of her decades of work in conflict management, ranging from assisting large organizations to the troubled communities of Northern Ireland.

Brownlow, of Halifax, NS, earned a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from JIBC in 1994. JIBC will present her with a Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa, at the afternoon ceremony of its 2024 spring convocation on June 13.

“It is our privilege to honour Bridget Brownlow for her impressive accomplishments over more than 25 years in the fields of conflict resolution and peace education,” said JIBC Interim President and CEO Colleen Vaughan. “Her leadership and efforts in connecting former combatants and their descendants, facilitating insight into the root causes of social injustice and conflict, have positively influenced thousands of people internationally.”

Head and shoulders image of woman wearing blue top against black background.
Bridget Brownlow, a graduate of JIBC's Certificate in Conflict Resolution program who went on to found the Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Program, will be recognized with an honorary degree at JIBC's 2024 convocation.

Brownlow is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Education and teaches part-time in the Departments of Political Science and Irish Studies at Saint Mary’s University (SMU) in Halifax, where her previous roles have included serving as conflict resolution advisor for 18 years. 

She is also the founder and former senior program coordinator of the Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Program, an initiative with the Canadian non-profit Peaceful Schools International. The program sent SMU student volunteers to Northern Ireland to promote peace education and conflict management skills to elementary school children through creative workshops. Over 18 years, the program sent close to 500 students to Northern Ireland where they facilitated workshops impacting thousands of children and youth. 

Brownlow helped connect SMU’s faculty to her extensive network of contacts in Northern Ireland, which led either directly or indirectly to research projects on topics ranging from youth engagement to the impact of the decades-long armed conflict on their society today. She also developed a successful partnership with faculty and students at Yale University, which facilitated a new virtual program in conflict resolution for former combatants in the Northern Ireland conflict. 

Her work has included collaborating with Indigenous representatives from the Cree and Mi’kma’ki First Nations in Alberta and Nova Scotia respectively, and drafting an agreement on Indigenous-led alternative dispute resolution processes available to physicians and employees of the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

She has received many accolades for her work in conflict management, including the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad from Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins in 2021, the World Peace Tartan Award (2020), the Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary International (2021), and the Peace Medal from the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth (2018).

Brownlow earned a Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie University and a Master of Arts from SMU, both in history.

The 2024 Spring Convocation ceremony will be held on June 13 at the New Westminster campus to recognize approximately 670 graduates who have completed certificates, diplomas and degrees at JIBC.



Want to make a difference every day? The Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) provides the education and training to let people to do just that, being there to support others when their health, safety or property is at stake.

JIBC is a public, post-secondary institution focused on justice and public safety professionals at all stages of their careers in fields including law enforcement, firefighting, paramedicine, security and emergency management. Complementing these programs, the Institute provides instruction in related areas such as conflict resolution, mediation, leadership and counselling, offers graduate studies in cybersecuritybusiness intelligence, and tactical criminal analysis, and conducts applied research in the justice and public safety fields.