Research Fellows

Research Fellows/Research Fellowes of the Leadership and Democracy Lab are drawn from Lab alumni, Western university graduates and interested partners in the private, governmental and non-profit sectors. This honourary position affiliates helpful external mentors with each year’s student research teams towards advancing the Lab’s scholarly mission. Selection is on an ad hoc basis. Please contact the Lab’s faculty directors for further information and to apply.

Alden headshot

Alden Eakins 

Alden completed his Bachelor of Arts, Honors Specialization with Distinction in Political Science at Huron College at Western University. His research has included political risk in Central Africa's mining sector, how to better integrate Indigenous economic reconciliation across Canada, as well as taking a forward looking view on energy storage trends in North America. 

Alden has applied the research skills from his involvement in the Lab to professional settings. While at AstraZeneca in Summer 2021, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alden worked on global health policy strategies to build more resilient healthcare systems. Alden is currently spending Summer 2022 at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, working in a team that produces strategic thought leadership on trends such as climate change, technological disruption, and stakeholder capitalism.

Alden will commence an MSc at the London School of Economics in September 2022, and the following September Alden will matriculate at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. 

V-Gaspard-Picture-for-LareSizeb.JPGValere Gaspard

Valere Gaspard is a researcher and practitioner. Valere completed his Honours Specialization in Political Science and Major in Philosophy at Western University, where he was the recipient of the S.F. Glass Gold Medal for the graduating political science class of 2020 and the Barry Connell Steers Scholarship recipient for 2019-2020. While at Western, Valere was a researcher at the Leadership and Democracy Lab. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Ottawa.

Valere’s research interests include election law, federalism, Canadian politics and ethics. In collaboration with Dr. Cristine de Clercy, Valere’s work has explored the role and regulation of third parties in the pre-election period, among other related topics.

A member of Elections Canada’s Media Relations and Environmental Monitoring Centre since 2018, Valere has contributed to various projects, including analysis on the impact of changing circumstances (such as COVID-19) on elections and democracy.

Valere was one of ten interns selected from across Canada for the 2020-21 cohort of the Parliamentary Internship Programme.

“Messaging, Partisanship and Politics: Discourse in Standing Committees in a Minority Parliament”, Canadian Parliamentary Review (Winter 2021 edition Vol. 44 No. 4): 
“What’s age got to do with it? Canada needs criteria to settle voting age debate”, The Hill Times (December 2021): 
“How Ontario can rethink its election spending law to ensure fairness, equality”, The Conversation (November 2021):  
“A new perspective for the Leaders’ Debate Commission”, The Hill Times (September 2021): 
“How crises impact voter turnout in federal elections”, part of Policy Options’ “How can we improve the elections process” special feature series (September 2021): 
“Time to rethink Bill C-10, step back, and answer: is the internet a public or private good?”, The Hill Times (August 2021):   
“Canada can look to Wales for key lessons in voter registration”, The Hill Times (May 2021): 
“Homelessness and the Pandemic: Seeking Shelter from the Storm”, Policy Magazine, (February 2021): 
“For parliamentary interns, a lesson in the importance of institutional flexibility”, The Hill Times, (November 2020): 
“Online voting for MPs should never become a permanent option”, Policy Options magazine, (April 2020): 


Hannah Gibb

Hannah Gibb completed her Honours Specialization in Political Science at Western University and an Honours Business Administration degree from Ivey Business School, from which she graduated with distinction for both degrees.

Hannah’s research interests include Canadian politics and ethics, political theory, and a gendered view of political leadership. In collaboration with Dr. Cristine de Clercy, she has explored the role of gender in populist party support.

Hannah is currently a Consulting Analyst with Accenture in the private sector but hopes to pursue an MA in Political Science in the future. She plans on continuing her research work on a part-time basis whilst in her full-time role.