Brandon H. Wheeler is the Executive Director Freedom Research Foundation based in Washington DC. In the course of his work, Wheelertraveled over 90 countries planning, executing and designing operations at the tactical, operational and service policy levels. In 2006, after living in Damascus, Syria and studying Arabic at the University, Mr. Wheeler was brought on to conduct a cultural and political study throughout the Kurdish areas of Rojava, Bakur, Bashur and Rojalat. After 4 months of traveling across the region, meeting with political, tribal and religious leaders, Wheeler ended his research and joined the United States Marine Corps.
From 2006 to 2015 Wheeler served in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Portugal, Japan and was critical in NATO Operations Unified Protector, Operation Enduring Freedom. His responsibilities as Executive Director of the Freedom Research has taken him on multiple trips into Syria and Iraq meeting with political and military leaders in Rojava and Bashur in order to develop programs to defeat Islamic extremists.
Wheeler regularly briefs US Presidential candidates, members of congress, diplomats of European nations, Ambassadors to the United Nations and has spoken at the National Defense University in Amman, Jordan and War University in Warsaw, Poland.
Christina Frangou- Moderator
An award winning journalist, writer and editor, Christina specialize in writing about health, medicine and social issues. With a passion for feature writing, particularly about people who are often overlooked, Christina captured stories about addiction, bereavement and refugee health; firearm violence, safe consumption sites and medical assistance in dying.
Featured in The Globe and Mail, Avenue, Alberta Views, Swerve, Calgary Herald, National Post, General Surgery News, People Magazine, Huff Post (US and Canada). Her reporting has garnered multiple national awards and nominations, including a National Newspaper Award in long feature writing for her story about her experience as a young widow, for which she also did a valentines Tzavta about love.
Her work has twice appeared on Sports Illustrated’s annual list of the best stories of the year (Media Circus: The Best Journalism of 2016, Media Circus: The Best Journalism of 2017). Recent awards include: Best Feature Article, Professional Writers Association of Canada, 2018, Silver, Public Issues Reporting, International Regional Magazine Association, 2018, Bronze, Magazine Writer of the Year, International Regional Magazine Association, 2018, Gold, Long Feature Writing, Alberta Magazine Awards, 2018 among many others.
Christina received a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University (with combined Honours in History) and a Master’s of Arts (International History) from the London School of Economics.