Student Spotlight: Raouf Farrah

Faculty of Social Sciences
School of International Development and Global Studies
Graduate students
Awards and recognition
Raouf Farrah
From time to time, the Faculty of Social Sciences takes the opportunity to recognize a special student who stands out amongst the rest by sharing a student spotlight. Today, we are shining that spotlight on Raouf Farrah, one of our most exceptional students.

Raouf has pursued his master's degree with the School of International Development and Global Studies, where he has demonstrated an outstanding level of academic ability and dedication. Thanks to his commitment to academic rigour and his passion for making a positive impact on the world, he quickly established himself as one of the best MA students in the program. His extraordinary academic achievements have not gone unnoticed during his time at the faculty. During his tenure at uOttawa, he has earned a nomination for the Governor General’s Gold Medal, a testament to the high quality of his research and writing. He was also nominated as Class President for this year’s convocation in June. Finally, Raouf's work was recognized once again when he was awarded the Dean’s Future Leaders Prize. These honours speak to his phenomenal abilities and his potential for leading initiatives with meaningful impacts.

Beyond Raouf's academic accomplishments at uOttawa, his life journey to date has been nothing short of remarkable. Born and raised in Algeria, he was a young man with big dreams and a passion for making a difference. Raouf's parents, a doctor and engineer who highly valued their children’s pursuit of knowledge, instilled in him a love of learning and a desire to help others. This thirst for education led him to pursue a degree in the actuarial sciences and a second bachelor's degree in philosophy and politics, all while building his career in risk analysis with major private corporations like Mercer and Sunlife. He then went on to work with the SecDev Group, where he served as the Lead Africa Analyst. In this role, Raouf conducted high-level analytics on the complex challenges and environments for discerning public and private sector clients. He became an expert in qualitative and quantitative research methods and innovative big data and open-source intelligence techniques. It was during this time that he decided to pursue a master's degree in Globalization and International Development at uOttawa.

What’s great about Raouf is that he is not only known at the Faculty of Social Sciences as a brilliant student, but also a very relatable and authentic person that truly cares for others. He takes a genuine interest in people's lives, whether it’s his peers, his supervisors, or his study participants. This human approach is what contributed to an exceptional quality of research and deep insights that were unwavering, even as he established a family with his wife, Lara, and they welcomed their daughter into the world in 2019. Raouf's multidisciplinary academic background and extensive practical experience gave him a unique perspective on the world which would prove invaluable in his future career. His passion for data-driven and evidence-informed policy and action led him to work for some of the top risk analytics firms, and he is now in a critical role with the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime. His expertise has earned him international recognition, and he has contributed to various publications, including Le Monde, Le Monde Diplomatique, Jeune Afrique, Mondafrique, openDemocracy, Huffington Post, Tribune Afrique et El Ouatan in his home country . Raouf is also a contributor to the World Economic Forum Agenda on Africa and part of several international networks.

Raouf's journey has not been without its challenges. His work on transnational organized crime and terrorism, security and conflict, migration and development in the Maghreb and the Sahel, and cyber policy, cybercrime, and cybersecurity in African contexts has brought him face-to-face with some of the most complex and difficult issues we face today. Despite these challenges, Raouf has remained committed to his work, driven by a passion for positively impacting the world. His work on the African Youth Front on Coronavirus is a testament to his dedication to helping others while his contributions to the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime are making a real difference in the fight against organized crime.

Raouf Farrah is an inspiration to all who know him. He serves as a model for future leaders, showing that anything is possible with hard work, determination, and a passion for making a difference. His commitment to evidence-based policy and action reminds us that we can all make a difference, no matter how big or small our contribution. As he continues to make significant contributions to the fields of political economy, security, and conflict, we can be certain that Raouf is fighting with courage and conviction in pursuit of a better future for all.