Bio (Lauryn Oates)

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Lauryn Oates

Lauryn Oates


Associate Faculty


Humanitarian Studies


Lauryn Oates teaches Development and Human Security in the Human Security and Peacebuilding program. Her research interests include education in conflict and post-conflict countries; technology for education; open educational resource materials; literacy; teacher education and teaching critical thinking, as well as epistemology, empiricism, ethics and humanism. Oates has led projects in Afghanistan such as a program that trained 10,000 teachers and a network of village libraries and basic literacy classes for girls and women who missed out on their educations under the Taliban. She has worked to make educational materials accessible to teachers in their own languages through several translation projects, and participated in the creation of the first digital library for teachers in Afghanistan. Oates has worked on development programming throughout Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. She has been published academically and in The GuardianHuffington Post, National Post, Globe and Mail, and the Calgary Herald.


Oates designs, manages and evaluates development programming focused on education, in particular teacher education, literacy and educational materials. Her work often also focuses on gender and women’s rights in conflict situations. Her doctoral research focused on the development of mother tongue teaching resources using information communications technologies for primary teachers in northern Uganda. She has twice received a Social Science and Humanities Research Council award for her scholarship.

She is the founder of the Darakht-e Danesh Online Library for Educators in Afghanistan, executive director at Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and is a freelance development consultant. Her clients have included UNICEF, Global Rights, the Nike Foundation, Action Aid, the Aga Khan Foundation, medica mondiale, the Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit, the Women and Children’s Legal Research Foundation, USAID and Womankind Worldwide, among others. Coverage of her work has been featured in Elle, Ms., Trek, Vancouver Magazine, National Post, 24 Hours, Chatelaine, Canadian Living, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Sun, the Victoria Times Colonist and the Vancouver Province. She is a member of the board of directors of the Syrian Kids Foundation.


Oates holds a PhD in Language and Literacy Education (2012) from the University of British Columbia, a Master of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding (2006) from Royal Roads University and a Bachelor of Arts Honours in International Development Studies (2004) from McGill University.

Her literacy and education programs have been recognized by the United States Library of Congress (2017) and the American Library Association (2018). She has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) and the Royal Roads University Alumni Leadership Award (2013). The Globe and Mail named her as the first of Ten Canadians to Watch in 2009.