About GREAT...

The Global Research Epicenter Against Human Trafficking (known as GREAT) is a registered Canadian charity (CRA BN: 798215497RR0001) and operates as the “Global Resource Epicenter Against Human Trafficking”. Donations by Canadian taxpayers are processed through CanadaHelps and are eligible for tax deduction (a CRA approved receipt will be issued by CanadaHelps).  U.S. taxpayers may donate to GREAT through the American Fund for Charities a 501(c)(3) organization, EIN 52 2109597 and are eligible for tax deduction (an IRS approved receipt will be issued through the American Fund for Charities).

About our Volunteer Directors

GREAT draws upon the volunteer work of our Directors who lead efforts around the globe in our fight against human trafficking.Each in their own right is a leader in their field, and each contributes to GREAT by leveraging their strengths in support of our team.

James Brown

Executive Director

After retiring following a 33 year career in policing in Canada, Jim returned to academia to complete his Master’s in Security Studies and now his Professional Doctorate in Policing, Security and Community Safety, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He has worked with police agencies across North America and Europe, and lead international missions with the OSCE, and has vast experience in community consultation with groups across those regions.

Jeff Blom

Chief Operating Officer

Jeff serves as the COO of GREAT, bringing 26 years of investigations, police training and security experience to the team. Jeff holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Park University, has worked for IJM and currently for Global Sentry Group. In his early law enforcement career, he began on patrol, but later specialized in the Tactical Response Unit, Drug Enforcement Unit and the Property Crimes Unit. He started an international nonprofit and conducted training in El Salvador in 2005, which was his first opportunity to train police, internationally. After a successful career in law enforcement, he resigned as Chief of Police to further pursue the international arena. Since then, Jeff has: “Conducted 100’s of undercover investigations into human trafficking in over 17 countries, working with local law enforcement on interventions and rescues in several countries, training the police and interviewing hundreds of victims of trafficking to learn more about ways to combat it.” Mr. Blom has been recognized by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for his work in an American pedophile case. He has been awarded the Medal of Valor and Distinguished Service Medal, and is an internationally published author; his article on intelligence-led investigative model of human trafficking interventions was published by in the United Nations Siren report and in three other countries.

Marcel van der Watt

Director of Research

Marcel holds a PhD and is a lecturer at the department of Police Practice at the University of South Africa (UNISA). He was a member of the South African Police Service for 10 years where he worked as hostage negotiator and investigator at the Hawks as well as the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS). Marcel gained international recognition for his work in counter human trafficking and received numerous awards and commendations for the investigation of crime including a position in the YPIA Top 35 under 35 Africans for 2014. Marcel provides assistance in on-going investigations and intelligence-gathering activities and also participates on provincial and national human trafficking task teams in South Africa. He has published and presented his work on local and international platforms.

Lambia Karitsiotis

Director – Training Resources

Lambia Karitsiotis is a graduate of the University of Ottawa with a double major in Criminology and Sociology. While completing her studies, she was involved in assisting federally incarcerated lifers and long term offenders with respect to access to programming and community services. Following her post-secondary studies, Ms. Karitsiotis began her career with community corrections, where she has been supervising adult offenders for over 13 years. Additionally, Ms. Karitsiotis has been assisting directly with community policing initiatives for the past 11 years, and is a Certified Trauma Educator focusing on Compassion Fatigue, Vicarious Trauma and other Occupational Stress Injuries, having trained numerous members of law enforcement, school boards, hospitals and victim service providers. She is also trained and certified in Early Field Traumatology as well as Critical Incident and Stress Management, and is a Peer Member on the CISM team. Through her involvement in community mobilization, Ms. Karitsiotis has focused on human trafficking training for law enforcement, schools and other government agencies, and is currently the Regional Coordinator for a human trafficking task force.

Benjamin Greer

Director – Policy and Legislative Development

Benjamin Greer is an expert in legislative consultation and legal analysis, with particular focus on assisting Governments to enhance anti-trafficking laws to protect vulnerable populations, identify survivors and prosecute traffickers. Ben and his team have designed and improved asset forfeiture laws in California to effectively dismantle trafficking networks, as well as educating courts and prosecuting agencies on the unique challenges of calculating restitution and bail. He also advises on the legal requirements for T-Visa applicants suffering from mental health trauma. They have recently increased their focus on supply chain transparency, application of sexually violent predator (SVP) laws and tribal law enforcement prosecutions involving trafficking of American First Nations victims. Ben also advises coalition groups seeking to abolish slavery and human trafficking, and has served as Special Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice where he co-chaired the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Work Group.

Simon Saint de Claire

Director – Governmental and Inter-Agency Affairs

Simon de Saint-Claire, PhD is a facilitator for International Security Sector Development, with a focus on democratic policing: integrity, rights, communications, diversity and societal interrelations. A former New Zealand Army Officer, for over a decade Simon sub-contracted to the United Nations Secretariat providing field-based strategic services, later working in the Private Security Sector. Since 2002 he has provided independent field consultancy, facilitation and research to intergovernmental actors, national police authorities, state development agencies, international police missions, and technical assistance NGOs (as a Special Consultative Status delegate to UNODC, OHCHR and EU FRA). Simon has an academic and research background in International Relations, Human Rights, Socio-Cultural Anthropology, Human Relations and Intercultural Communication, Community-Orientated Policing, and Human Trafficking.

Katja Maas

Director – Marketing and Promotion

Katja studied design at the prestigious Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art in Scotland, before being enlightened and deeply influenced by ten years of working at Milton Glaser’s right hand side. Once in New York, she studied High Focus Drawing under James McMullan and learned most about photography and art direction from working with David Eustace. Katja is passionate about the issue of human trafficking, and works tirelessly in advancing all efforts to combat this crime.

Maureen McVey

Director – Corporate Planning

Maureen Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP) with 20 years of Business Analysis. She is a founder of the global business analysis certification body (IIBA) and was head of learning and development. Maureen has a wealth of experience in both the project management and business analysis field, including competency dictionary initiatives for the IIBA, FEAPO and IEEE. Maureen has worked and taught internationally in the private sector and public sector.

Gail Urquhart

Director – Funding Development

Gail has served in leadership positions for a broad range of charities, foundations and trusts in Canada. Gail brings over 25 years of knowledge and experience in charity management and fundraising campaigns totaling over $500 million to assist with the development of GREAT.