For Ted Itani, volunteering has been a "marvelous opportunity to give back to society what society has given me over my lifetime..."  Ted was recently appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition of his dedication to humanitarian and peacekeeping work around the world.

After serving in the Canadian military for 37 years, Ted volunteered with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva to assist with a landmine study. Working alongside other international experts, the study resulted in a publication - Anti-personnel mines – Friend or Foe?  

Ted represented the ICRC when the study was presented to the public at the parliamentary press gallery, and it formed the basis of the Ottawa Treaty in 1997, which aims at eliminating anti-personnel landmines around the world. This treaty is regarded as one of the world's most widely accepted treaties, as over 80 percent of the world's countries are States Parties to the treaty. Then president of the ICRC, Dr. Cornelio Sommaruga, personally thanked Ted for his contributions when he stayed on after the study to fine tune the ICRC contribution to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, lead by Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams.

Ted remained active with the ICRC as a volunteer, and joined the ICRC Regional Delegation in Central Asia as a delegate in 1999, where he assisted the arms-carrying ministries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to implement International Humanitarian Law (IHL). After returning to Ottawa, Ted was assigned to the ICRC Missing People Project in 2001. He has worked as an IHL and diplomacy advisor in Geneva, as well as a volunteer with the IHL and Humanitarian Issues Program in Ottawa.

Ted continues to support IHL events, as well as various other Canadian Red Cross training events such as IMPACT, security training and a range of seminars.

Besides his work with the Canadian Military and the Red Cross, Ted has spent 17 years volunteering with the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre as a humanitarian advisor. Currently, he works mainly for the US State Department Global Peace Operations Initiative program as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on human security, conflict prevention, conflict mitigation, post-conflict stabilization, reconstruction and reconciliation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. 

We’d like to take a moment to thank Ted for all his amazing work as a volunteer, and congratulate him on this well-deserved appointment.

Ted Itani has also been awarded the Order of Military Merit, and the Canadian Forces Decoration.