NSB Logo

Dr. Samantha Nutt

Global Humanitarian, Founder of War Child & Bestselling Author

Samantha Nutt is an award-winning humanitarian, bestselling author and acclaimed public speaker.  A medical doctor and a founder of the renowned international humanitarian organization War Child, Dr. Nutt has worked with children and their families at the frontline of many of the world’s major crises – from Iraq to Afghanistan, Somalia to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone to Darfur, Sudan.  A leading authority on current affairs, war, international aid and foreign policy, Dr Nutt is one of the most intrepid and recognized voices in the humanitarian arena and is amongst the most sought-after public speakers in North America.  With a career that has spanned more than two decades and dozens of conflict zones, her international work has benefited hundreds of thousands of war-affected children globally.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Dr. Samantha Nutt tailors her keynote addresses to the themes and objectives of individual groups. All of her presentations are unique and consider the needs, interests and backgrounds of her audiences.

Conflicted? The World of War
This presentation takes a compelling look at the impact of war – the truth, the lies, and the reality on the ground – and the major events currently shaping our world. Geared towards students, educator and general audiences, this captivating presentation examines our growing global economic and security inter-dependence, and explores the meaning of social justice and community in the 21st century.

Leaders have strength, courage, and conviction. Were they born with these illusive qualities, alongside a perfect balance of knowledge and charisma, or have they simply learned to communicate their experience and ideas more effectively than the rest of us? Leaders encourage us to inspire, to think, and to demand more of ourselves and of our society. They connect us to something larger than ourselves. But is leadership just ingrained in certain people, or can it be acquired? Can we all be leaders?
In this presentation, Nutt looks at the meaning and significance of leadership. She maps out ways in which we can all be more effective leaders – in the world and in the workplace – because the capacity to lead exists in each and every one of us.

Why the World Needs More Lawyers
Geared towards lawyers, civil society organizations and justice advocates, this presentation explores the importance of the rule of law and access to justice in promoting a more peaceful and sustainable world. Nutt talks about her experiences developing and promoting access to justice programs that strengthen the rights of women and children, with a view to tackling the climate of impunity that exists in many corners of the world. She explains why the rule of law and its champions can and must be the next frontier of international humanitarian assistance.

When Women Lead
A popular choice for International Women’s Day and other events celebrating women’s leadership, this presentation combines humour and personal reflections on women in the 21st century and why the women’s movement is unfinished everywhere. Nutt’s often satirical take on hot topics such as “Lean In” and whether “women can have it all” offers an engaging, thought-provoking and entertaining examination of the challenges women still face in the world and how women (and men) can advocate for change. This presentation is also suitable for businesses and other groups looking to promote diversity and strengthen gender equality at the senior management and executive levels, as well as on Boards.

Corporate Governance
Doing the “right” thing in business isn’t without its ambiguities, or even its liabilities. When do ethical screens trump financial considerations? How are these assessments weighted and what matters to shareholders? Will you be in breach of your fiduciary duty if you prioritize human rights over hard math? What is your legal obligation either way?

In this thought-provoking presentation geared to investors, asset managers, and business leaders, Nutt reflects on the changing ethical and fiduciary responsibilities facing businesses, and the meaning of governance and risk at a time of growing consumer activism and evolving international legislation. She examines the true meaning of transparency and corporate social responsibility, and makes the case for why businesses willing to embrace these changes will land on top.

Canada 150

Canada at 150: Where do we go from here?
The world is changing in complex and at times frightening ways.  Globalization, terrorism, integrated economies, climate change, population displacement, emerging epidemics – all of these are impacting on how Canadians view the world and our relationship to it.  What does it mean to be Canadian now?  Is there a role for us in the world?  Are we who we think we are and how do other countries see us?  Join recognized global affairs expert and award-winning humanitarian Dr Samantha Nutt as she explores the meaning of Canada in the 21st century and learn about what Canadians can do to have a lasting global impact.

Beyond the Keynote

Panelist/In Conversation


Calgary Peace Prize

Order of Canada

Order of Ontario

  • Dr. Nutt’s keynote presentation was excellent and a huge success! Her presentation was thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and very inspirational. It was very evident that Dr. Nutt struck a chord with many of the physicians in the room especially during the Q&A session. Following Dr. Nutt’s presentation, several physicians approached her afterwards wanting to speak with her.

    - Ottawa Hospital Academic Medical Organization
  • Well she was quite the hit...the union members LOVED her and want us to bring her back. She spoke from the heart, great experiences and related to real life women moving forward and that was key. I have heard Samantha before so knew she was good, wondered how she would be received--- suffice it to say she was fantastic.

    - Union Representative Education, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees
  • Great, great, great presentation!!! I am so proud to be Canadian right now!!! You are an inspiration to us all!

    - Trinity College School
  • I was really inspired by you as well as your speech.. I've never seen the crowd so moved by a speaker.

    - University of Chicago, Illinois
  • Samantha Nutt was absolutely incredible. Hands down the best inspirational guest speaker we've had. She is my new role model.

    - Grant MacEwan College
  • Samantha Nutt's presentation was fabulous. It was the highlight event of our conference! Her speech was very inspiring and touching, and it resonated tremendously with our conference participants.

    - Canadian Bureau for International Education
  • Samantha was amazing! She was funny, down to earth, personable, and certainly passionate about her causes. She motivated our delegates to take action and share the stories she told. We sold most of her books after her keynote. She was truly a delight to work with.

    - Association Consultant, Ontario School Counsellors' Association

Summary Profile

Dr. Nutt is a respected authority for many of North America’s leading media outlets.  She is a regular foreign affairs panelist on the acclaimed news program, CBC TV NEWS The National with Peter Mansbridge.   Dr. Nutt’s written work has been published by The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Maclean’s Magazine, Reuters, The Ottawa Citizen and The Huffington Post, among many others, and she has appeared in Time Magazine, Chatelaine Magazine , More Magazine and on CTV National News, Global TV News,  NBC Nightly News and BBC World News Service, to name just a few.

Dr. Nutt’s critically-acclaimed debut book, entitled Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies and Aid, was released by McClelland and Stewart Ltd. (a division of Random House) in October 2011 and was a #1 national bestseller in both hardcover and paperback.  Lewis Lapham declared it a “brave and necessary book”, while the Literary Review of Canada called it a “brilliant polemic.”  Damned Nations is a bracing and uncompromising account of Dr. Nutt’s work in some of the most devastated regions of the world.

Dr. Nutt was named one of Canada’s 25 Transformational Canadians by The Globe and Mail, and has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.  Time Magazine has featured her as one of Canada’s Five Leading Activists.   In July 2011, Dr. Nutt was appointed to the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honour, for her contributions to improving the plight of young people in the world’s worst conflict zones.

Dr. Samantha Nutt graduated summa cum laude from McMaster University, earned an M.Sc in Public Health with distinction from the University of London and holds a Fellowship in Community Medicine (FRCPC) from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.  She is further certified by the College of Family Practice and completed a sub-specialization in women’s health through the University of Toronto as a Women’s Health Scholar.  Dr. Nutt is the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates from universities in Canada and the U.S.A.

Dr. Nutt is a staff physician at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.  She is the Founder of War Child Canada and U.S.A., is a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto and is on the board of the David Suzuki Foundation.