Reyn Lauer

Reyn Lauer (photo)
Degree Title: 
Master's in Political Science with International Development Studies & BA Honours, Major in ID with Area of Emphasis in Political Economy and Administrative Change
Graduation Date: 
2006 & 2003

My decision to enter into the International Development Studies program was a pivotal point in my life’s trajectory.  The theory I learned in class was helpful in understanding the context and history of development.  However, throughout my degree at the University of Guelph I also considered the practical application of what I was learning in the classroom.  This led to interesting experiences in Haiti, Nicaragua, and a study abroad in Guatemala.  The coupling of theory and exposure to practice, helped root my future steps.

Once graduated from the BA program I moved to Sudan where I was the Project Support Officer for an organization called FAR Sudan.  This was a difficult period in Sudan and the work was incredibly overwhelming.  I was involved in the inception of several projects, and assisted in the monitoring and evaluation of existing programs.

I returned to the University of Guelph a year later to start my Masters Degree in Political Science within the Collaborative International Development Studies.  As my MA degree was coming to a close the organization SIM Canada contacted me requesting monitoring and evaluation of their current CIDA program in six countries.  The program was going through a difficult time, and I incorporated various trainings on Results Based Management and helped build a common understanding of project management fundamentals at the field level.

At the conclusion of the consultancies SIM Canada approached me with a job offer working in their project’s department managing CIDA funding.  I have remained with this organization focused on managing CIDA funding for the past six years, including CIDA bilateral, partnerships, and CIDA intern programs.  This has resulted in tremendous opportunities to meet people from around the world, learn about the complexities of development, and be blown away by the strength and resilience of people involved in our programming.

This September I will be returning to Sudan to work once again with the organization FAR.  I will be acting as the Director or Programs, helping support the work of communities throughout both Sudan and South Sudan.  I will be working with many international donors, governments, local communities, and United Nations agencies, finding areas of collaboration and partnership.  It will be a challenging post, but I am excited for adventure ahead of my family, including four month old daughter!

I am thankfully for many of the lasting impressions, learning and friends I made from my time at Guelph.