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James Orbinski

Research Scientist, St. Michael’s Hospital


Dr. Orbinski believes in humanitarianism, in citizenship and in actively engaging and shaping the world we live in so that it is more humane, fair and just. Dr. Orbinski has extensive field experience with Medecins sans Frontires in Somalia, Afghanistan, Rwanda and Zaire. He was elected MSF’s international president from 1998 to 2001, and launched its Access to Essential Medicines Campaign in 1999. In 1999 he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to MSF for its pioneering approach to medical humanitarianism, and for its approach to witnessing. He is now a research scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, and associate professor of both medicine and political science at the University of Toronto. He is a founder and Chair of Dignitas International, a hybrid research NGO focused on community based care, prevention and treatment for people living with HIV in the developing world. Dr. Orbinski was the storyteller in a documentary film on humanitarianism, screened at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, titled Triage.