Kaleigh S. Heard

Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer

Equal parts books, brains, heart, and adventure, Kaleigh is a real-life Hermione Granger crossed with Indiana Jones.  You can normally find her with her head in a book or doing field research around the globe as she is completing her Ph.D in Political Science and holds two Masters degrees in War Studies and International Conflict Management.  Overall, Kaleigh's research concerns the cultural, humanitarian, and international legal aspects of armed conflict.  In particular, her interests include the development of normative and legal frameworks for restitution or 'condolence' payments provided to civilians harmed during armed conflict; reflecting on both the ethical and strategic arguments for such restitution schemes and the impediments to their normative development.  She also conducts research pertaining to the impact of social and religious life in societies emerging from conflict and on sexual and gender-based violence and human trafficking during armed conflict and in vulnerable refugee communities.  

Kaleigh currently holds several government research fellowships, doctoral fellowships at Yale University and the University of Oxford, and previously worked as the youngest Defence Scientist ever employed by the Canadian Department of National Defence.  Previously, Kaleigh also worked in corporate social responsibility, consulted for various military and political international organizations, and continues to teach and conduct research extensively within academia.

Born and raised in the Great White North, Kaleigh is a die-hard hockey fan, global adventurer, maple syrup connoisseur, and lover of the outdoors.  She has traveled to over thirty countries and is fascinated by the beauty of the world's cultures and people; her favorite places being the ones as different as possible from her own life.  Prior to beginning her academic career, Kaleigh was a highly-regarded national-level swimmer, ultimately forced to end her athletic career due to a life-threatening boating accident.  Today, she loves climbing, skiing, running, biking- anything in the outdoors.  Despite thriving in the Muggle world, Kaleigh is still patiently awaiting her Hogwarts letter, entirely convinced its just been lost in the mail.

When was a time you needed assistance with something that seemed unmentionable at the time? A situation that you would not have been able to get through without tangible support?

Following a life-threatening accident in 2010 I was in the hospital for weeks with no ability to walk, much less move my legs.  On top of my injuries I had a rampant infection ravaging my leg.  During the weeks in the hospital and the months of recovery that followed I relied almost completely on my friends and family to help me with basic everyday tasks, including changing my clothes, washing and feeding myself, and using the facilities.  I was also entirely reliant on my team of doctors and nurses' care and expertise to combat my infections, and heal my injuries, and my sports medicine team who stepped up to teach me how to walk again.  When I insisted on returning to university mere months after my accident, my incredible best friends stepped up to get me to and from classes, up and down stairs, carry my things, and even steal my crutches back from opportunistic college students.  I would not be healed, walking, have completed my degrees, or as full of life and love as I am today without my tribe.