Dr. Samantha Nutt

Dr. Samantha Nutt

Physician | Global Affairs Expert | Founder, War Child Canada and War Child USA

For more than 20 years, Dr. Samantha Nutt has been on the frontlines of many of the world’s major crises. A medical doctor and founder and president of the internationally renowned non-profit War Child, she is one of the most intrepid and recognized voices in the humanitarian arena and a leading authority on current affairs, public health, war, and foreign policy. Nutt draws on her incredible wealth of experience as a veteran of international healthcare and a leader on the world stage, to share unique insights into global issues and what they mean to her audiences.

In addition to overseeing War Child Canada and War Child USA, Nutt is a staff physician at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. Nutt also authored the critically acclaimed and #1 bestselling book, Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies, and Aid, a bracing and uncompromising account of her work in some of the most devastated regions of the world.

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’s The National, and a contributor to NowThis News. Her written work has been published by TED Ideas, Reuters, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, Maclean’s Magazine, The Ottawa Citizen, The Huffington Post, and many others. She has also been featured in AP News, Forbes, Time, Chatelaine, and More magazine, and on CTV National News, Global TV News, NBC Nightly News, and BBC World News, to name just a few.

Named one of Canada’s “25 most influential figures” by The Globe and Mail and one of “Canada’s Five Leading Activists” by Time Magazine, Nutt was recognized as a Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum and has been appointed to both the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada. Most recently, she was awarded the prestigious Loyola Medal by Concordia University.

Nutt graduated summa cum laude from McMaster University, earned a 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. Nutt is also a senior fellow at Massey College at the University of Toronto and a former board member of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Dr. Samantha Nutt est un médecin ayant plus de dix ans d’expériences du travail dans les zones de guerre.  Elle a soigné des enfants dans certains des endroits les plus dangereux du monde; elle a notamment travaillé avec War Child Canada, les Nations Unies et des organismes non gouvernementaux en Iraq, en Afghanistan, à la République démocratique du Congo, au Libéria, en Sierra Leone, en Somalie, au Burundi, dans le Nord de l’Ouganda et à la frontière de la Thaïlande et du Myanmar.

Spécialiste de la santé maternelle et infantile dans les zones de conflits armés, de la médecine familiale, de la santé publique, de la santé des réfugiés et de la santé de la femme, Mme Nutt travaille également pour le Centre des sciences de la santé de l’hôpital Sunnybrook et occupe un poste de professeur adjoint au sein de la faculté de médecine familiale et communautaire de l’Université de Toronto.

Mme Nutt a été choisie par le magazine Maclean’s dans le cadre de son palmarès des douze personnalités canadiennes jouant un rôle décisif dans la société.  La revue Time l’a décrite comme l’une des cinq principales activistes du Canada et CBC News Sunday l’a récemment qualifiée de chef de file du Canada au chapitre du leadership.

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, educators, and general audiences, this captivating talk 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, Dr. Samantha 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.

When Women Lead

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. Dr. Samantha 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.

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.

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 towards investors, asset managers, and business leaders, Dr. Samantha 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.

Taking Your Vision To Action

Do you have an idea you’d like to see realized? A change you’d like to promote within your business or organization? A vision for creating something new? In this 45-minute presentation, Dr. Samantha Nutt reflects on the more than 20 years she has spent transforming her vision for a new approach to humanitarian aid into an internationally acclaimed organization. War Child assists half a million children and their families every year in some of the world’s most challenging environments.

Blending humorous anecdotes with powerful storytelling, this keynote offers practical tips and inspiring lessons for individuals and organizations seeking to implement any kind of change or to launch something new.

When Local is Global

Our world is accelerating and our communities are colliding, not always for the better. Whether it is the terrible garment factory fires in Bangladesh, the diamonds on our fingers, the components in our cell phones, the profits in our pensions, or the environmental wreckage — such as the Gulf oil spill — associated with our energy needs, our interdependence means that we need to frame the questions differently. How do I get it cheaper, faster, and better, must also be accompanied by questions of how do we get it right? And answering that question is a lifelong pursuit.

In this 45-minute presentation, Dr. Samantha Nutt examines our obligations to the wider world, exploring the questions: How do we impact on it, and how does it impact on us? What do we know, and what do we need to learn?

What Not To Give (The Art of Philanthropy)

Don’t give to charity; give to change. This is Dr. Samantha Nutt’s overarching message in a dynamic and thought-provoking presentation about philanthropy esploring what works and what doesn’t.

Geared to general audiences who want to know how to really make a global difference, this presentation challenges popular thinking around what it means to give and why good intentions don’t guarantee good outcomes.

Nutt outlines practical solutions and recommendations for those looking to make the most of their philanthropic efforts. Ideal for groups looking for a mix of inspiration and information on philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.

Global Health

Many health professionals and associations are engaged in “global health” work. But is this effective? And how can they really have an impact? In this compelling presentation, Dr. Samantha Nutt reflects on the 20 years she has spent advancing the cause of global health, the lessons she has learned, and the role that health practitioners can really play in promoting a healthier and safer world. This presentation is ideal for medical audiences, as well as hospitals and medical and nursing schools.

Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies, and Aid

This presentation explores some of the concepts and themes in Dr. Samantha Nutt’s #1 bestselling book, Damned Nations. Suitable for audiences looking to understand more about current and international affairs, this gripping keynote is a valuable introduction to the challenges and opportunities facing our world.

More Topics

Dr. Samantha Nutt can offer keynotes geared towards specific audiences and industries. For more information, please contact your Speakers’ Spotlight Agent or fill out our request form.

Adapting to the Unknown: Strategies for Employers during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This presentation is developed for businesses that are looking to develop public health protocols and strategies for their business. Dr. Samantha Nutt is a public health expert and a veteran of international healthcare crises. She provides insight into current public health trends; infection control practices to consider; the evidence around the effectiveness of specific health/safety measures; and future developments and considerations to keep in mind.

Where Do We Go from Here?

Join Dr. Samantha Nutt as she explores the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; how countries and governments are responding; overlooked regions of the world, and their implications for public health and safety; the future of work; and the likely trajectory of the coronavirus — from national and international perspectives.

We Will Get Through This: An Antidote to Hopelessness

Dr. Samantha Nutt has frontline experience providing aid and medical care to people in crisis all around the world. This virtual presentation focuses on her personal story, sharing insight she’s gained on how to tap into resiliency and avoid being overcome by feelings of helplessness and hopelessness during times of great uncertainty.

Nutt has spent years working in war zones, facing daily fear and dread about the unknown. With this uplifting presentation, she helps audiences understand the emotional ups and downs during crisis and develop the important skill of dealing with change.