ADVISORY BOARD

Senator Salma Ataullahjan

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Senator Salma Ataullahjan is a former Pakistani Senator, and currently is a Senator with the Conservative Party. Senator Ataullahjan has made a lasting impression in the community because of her commitment and dedication to others. A natural consensus builder, she has been actively involved in several organizations, notably The Citizens Foundation, Canadian Pashtun Cultural Association, and South Asian Regional Council of Canada. Destined to follow in her family’s inspirational footsteps, Senator Ataullahjan was appointed to the Canadian Senate in the summer of 2010 as a representative for the province of Ontario. As the first Canadian Senator of Pakistani origin, she stands for the ethnic diversity of all Canadians. In the Senate, she is Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Human Rights and a member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Standing Joint Committee for the Library of Parliament. She is committed to issues affecting women and youth, having proposed several recognized studies in the Human Rights committee - one on women’s engagement in Afghanistan, another on cyberbullying of children under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Canada. Senator Ataullahjan also serves as Vice-President of the Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an international organization of parliaments that holds the objective of fostering contacts, coordination and the exchange of experience among parliamentarians from 159 countries.

Senator Mobina Jaffer

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Senator Mobina Jaffer represents the province of British Columbia in the Senate of Canada. Appointed to the Senate on June 13, 2001, Senator Jaffer is the first Muslim senator, the first African-born senator, and the first senator of South Asian descent. Senator Jaffer is Deputy-Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence and sits as a member of the Rules, Procedures, and the Rights of Parliament, Legal and Constitutional Affairs, and Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration committees. Senator Jaffer also chaired the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights for 8-years. Senator Jaffer served as Canada’s Special Envoy for Peace in Sudan from 2002 to 2006. From 2002 to 2005, she chaired the Canadian Committee on Women, Peace, and Security. Senator Jaffer is often invited to speak at international conferences on security issues and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which “urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts” and “calls on all parties to conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, in situations of armed conflict.” As a grandmother, women’s rights and children’s rights are central to Senator Jaffer’s advocacy.

Dr. Mohamed Lachemi

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Dr. Mohamed Lachemi is president and vice-chancellor of Ryerson University, appointed by the Board of Governors effective April 4, 2016. An internationally recognized researcher and accomplished academic administrator, he has been a key contributor to the growth and development of Ryerson over a transformational time in the University’s history. As a Ryerson professor of civil engineering since 1998, Dr. Lachemi has served in progressively senior roles, including Dean of the faculty of engineering and architectural science, and provost and vice-president academic. He has welcomed extraordinary new scholars and students to Ryerson, overseen the creation of a new Faculty of Science, and represented Ryerson in Poland, Germany, South Africa, the UK, and India, meeting Ryerson alumni worldwide. In consultation with the Ryerson community, Dr. Lachemi brought in the University’s academic plan, Our Time to Lead 2014-19, and as president he is championing its shared values and strategic goals. Working with academic leaders, he has promoted the outstanding success of innovation clusters such as the Centre for Urban Energy and Ryerson’s signature entrepreneurial zone learning model; as well as ground-breaking partnerships such as the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Science Technology (iBest) with St. Michael’s Hospital, and a national consortium on Big Data. Based on the success of the Law Practice Program offered in collaboration with the Law Society of Upper Canada, he has launched a feasibility study for a law school at Ryerson, and is extending the university’s dedication to city-building with a survey on the design of spaces that constitute the public realm.

Mr. Grayson Bass

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With a motto of "Imagine. Innovate. Build.", Mr. Grayson Bass has lead strategy initiatives and operations for start-ups to established multinationals around the world focusing on Innovation and Product/Portfolio Management. He is a Teacher, Leader, and Inventor. Mr. Bass is a person of diverse interests and experiences, and has successfully worked with companies involved in Energy, IT, Private Equity, International Trade, Manufacturing, Licensing of Intellectual Property, R&D, Socially Responsible Businesses, Advertising, and Education. This depth and breadth of knowledge has allowed him to bring a unique skill-set in how he approaches and leads organizations and a unique capability to find order in chaos. He is known to his friends, clients and colleagues as being creative, solution oriented, and capable of resolving complex situations. A native Texan and a global nomad, when he is not home in Toronto, you can find him on different parts of the globe seeking out innovative ideas and having conversations with interesting people. He can easily be found within a large group of people by following the loudest laugh. He researches networks and social economic measurement and has a passion for social justice and economic empowerment. He teaches Applied Innovation to Executive MBA students at the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. A significant amount of his advisory work is done on a pro-bono basis, particularly to help those in developing regions such as Africa, Latin America, SE Asia, and South Asia. In his spare time, Mr. Bass works with a number of charities on various community initiatives, with a specific emphasis on helping minorities, women, and veterans.

Mr. Fareed Amin

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As the Senior Vice President, Public Policy, for Walton Development and Management, Canada, Mr. Fareed Amin is responsible for leading and executing the government management strategy and public policy relations plan for the Walton Group of Companies (“Walton”) in Ontario. Mr. Amin has over 26-years of distinguished service in the public sector and has gained a comprehensive understanding of the legislative processes and the policy framework that guides growth related initiatives and economic opportunities within the province of Ontario. As a strong advocate for citizen-centered government and seamless government services, Mr. Amin was instrumental in creating a single portal for companies interested in investing in Ontario. Mr. Amin also held the role of Deputy Minister with a number of Ministries in the Ontario Public Service. Mr. Amin held the position of Director at the Islamic Foundation of Toronto. He is also a Founding member and the former President of the Islamic Institute of Toronto. He is a member of the Board of Governors at the University of Toronto and Seneca College and is the Chair of the Judicial Appointment’s Advisory Committee.

Mr. Lorne Waldman

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Mr. Lorne Waldman LL.B. (Osgoode), LL.M (Toronto) practices exclusively in the area of immigration, refugee and human rights law, and has done so since 1979. Mr. Waldman appears frequently at all levels of the courts in Canada. He has appeared as counsel at the Supreme Court of Canada in Pushpanathan and Agraira and in JP v MCI; as counsel for interveners in Burns and Rafay, where he acted as counsel for the Senate of the Republic of Italy; the two Charkaoui appeals and in Khadr and Harkat where he acted for the Canadian Bar Association; and in Gavrila which deals with the relationship between extradition and refugee law where he represented Amnesty International. Mr. Waldman recently represented the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in its intervention before the Supreme Court of Canada in Ezokola and in its intervention before the Ontario Court of Appeal in the case of A.M.R.I. v. K.E.R. which raises issues related to the reconciliation of Canada’s obligations under The Hague Convention and the Refugee Convention. Mr. Waldman was appointed as a Special Advocate by the Minister of Justice in February 2008. He was elected as the first President of the Canadian Refugee Lawyers Association in September 2011 and continues to serve on its executive. He was awarded the Louis St Laurent Award of Excellence by the Canadian Bar Association in 2007 for his contributions to the legal community and a lifetime achievement award by the Canadian Bar Association in 2015. He has been named three times as one of the 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada in 2010, 2015 and again in 2016. He is the author of several reference works, including Immigration Law and Practice, 2nd Edition (Butterworths), Canadian Immigration and Refugee Law Practice, 2013 and The Definition of Convention Refugee and comments frequently in the media on immigration and national security matters. Mr. Waldman was recently named to the Order of Canada.

Ms. Nafisah Chowdhury

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Ms. Nafisah Chowdhury is a Partner in the litigation group of Miller Thomson LLP, where she provides clients with strategic advice on all manners of legal disputes, including disputes arising in the employment law context and in the context of shareholder rights. Ms. Chowdhury obtained her J.D. from the University of Toronto in 2007 and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 2008. In her spare time, Ms. Chowdhury stays actively involved in various community projects that promote civic engagement. She is Co-Chair of her firm’s United Way Committee and is an executive member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Labour and Employment Law section.

Mr. Aaron Emes

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Mr. Aaron Emes is a Partner at Torys LLP. His practice focuses on corporate and securities law, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, corporate governance, and infrastructure and energy projects. Mr. Emes received his LLB (with Honours) from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law in 1998 and was called to the Bar in both Ontario and New York in 2000. Recent clients and transactions Mr. Emes has been involved with include: advising the Province of Ontario in its sale of a 15% interest in Hydro One Limited, Ontario’s largest electrical transmission and distribution utility, by way of a $1.83 billion initial public offering of common shares, advising Canadian National Energy Alliance as the preferred bidder to manage and operate Canadian Nuclear Laboratories as part of the Government of Canada’s restructuring of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and advising TMX Group in its sale to the Maple Group and on its proposed merger with London Stock Exchange Group. Mr. Emes believes that it is essential that successful professionals give back to the community by helping improve the well-being of citizens, as such he is an outgoing and passionate advisor who is involved in his community in a wide range of activities.

Mr. Jawad Rathore

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Mr. Jawad Rathore serves as the President and CEO at Fortress Real Developments. His extensive career began in financial services in 1997 after attending York University; in 2001, he opened his own firm. In 2002, Mr. Rathore expanded his business to include a real estate division that has grown into what Fortress is today. With a focus on marketing, Mr. Rathore’s time is spent growing the brand by teaming with some of Canada’s top developers which has led to the company holding a portfolio of over 80 projects across 10 major markets across the country. A passionate sports fan, Mr. Rathore believes in building communities by providing support for programs that help children in disadvantaged areas participate in recreational and amateur sports. He has been active in several grassroots campaigns including a reading and learning centre in the Jane and Finch neighborhood (where Mr. Rathore lived as a child) to major refurbishments and gifting campaigns across the country. Mr. Rathore’s commitment to different charitable endeavors has led him to be a senior advisor and participant in several fundraising ventures including North York Harvest Food Bank, the executive committee of Covenant House CEO Sleepout, part of the chapter advisory board for the Children’s Wish Foundation, a six-year gifting program to Hospital for Sick Children, one of the largest private donors in the history of MLSE Team Up Foundation, the newest float sponsor at the historic Toronto Santa Claus Day Parade and recent significant gifts to the DeRo United Foundation and the DeMarre Carroll Family Foundation. Mr. Rathore has also led Fortress to be a pillar partner for Giants of Africa, a global initiative by Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri. Mr. Rathore has already mapped out the Leafs, Raptors and Jays Championship Parades and is a proud father to 6 wonderful children.

Dr. Ingrid Mattson

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Dr. Ingrid Mattson is a scholar of Islamic Studies, an expert in interfaith relations and a Muslim religious leader. Since 2012 she has held the London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College in London, Canada. Previously she was Professor of Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary (CT) where she developed and directed the first accredited graduate program for Muslim chaplains in America. From 2001-2010 Dr. Mattson was elected and served as vice-president, then as president, of the Islamic Society of North America (USA). Her writings focus on Qur’anic Studies, theological ethics and interfaith engagement. Dr. Mattson is a Senior Fellow of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Amman, Jordan and has served on many boards, including the Interfaith Taskforce of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the Council of Global Leaders of the C-100 of the World Economic Forum and the Leadership Group of the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project.

Dr. Julie Macfarlane

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Dr. Julie Macfarlane is a distinguished Professor and Professor of Law with the University of Windsor. She has received a number of professional Honours in the course of her career, including the David Mundell Medal for Legal Writing (2016), the Institute for Social Policy Understanding Scholar of the Year Award (2012), and the International Academy of Mediators Award of Excellence (2005). Her weekly blog on the SRL phenomenon has won two “Clawbies” (2015 and 2016), for best Canadian Legal Blog for a Non-lawyer Audience and best Canadian Legal Blog on Change & Advocacy. Dr. Macfarlane has researched and written extensively on dispute resolution and in particular the role of lawyers. Her bestselling 2008 book, “The New Lawyer: How Settlement is Transforming the Practice of Law” (University of British Colombia Press) is due for release in a 2nd edition (2017). Dr. Macfarlane was the founding editor of Dispute Resolution: Readings and Case Studies (Emond Montgomery) a student text used widely in ADR courses in Canadian and US law schools and now in its 4th edition. Dr. Macfarlane conducted a four-year empirical research project from 2008-2012 which examined the use of Islamic family law principles and values in divorce processes among North American. Dr. Macfarlane continues to work on a range of social justice issues including access to justice, Islamophobia, and justice for victims of sexual violence.

Mr. Moez Kassam

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With over a decade of experience as a successful entrepreneur, hedge fund manager, business partner, and philanthropist, Mr. Moez Kassam brings a wealth of experience and creative energy to all that he does. As a principal of the Anson Group, Mr. Kassam manages a $750 million long/short hedge fund that was ranked by Bloomberg Magazine a top ten global performer for 2014 & top 25 2015 respectively. Alongside this demanding role, Mr. Kassam applies his innate business acumen to the benefit of numerous charities, including Kids Cook to Care, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and Ryerson University’s Lifeline Syria. He is a member and serves on the executive of Young President's Organization, and moonlights as an executive producer for television and production house Moringa Media, where he provides the critical link between the worlds of business and art. His passion for food knows no bounds, often traveling great distances for a single meal and documenting it all in a food-focused Instagram account with a following in the thousands; “Dîner en Blanc” Toronto—a chapter of the Paris-based dinner party sensation—recently took notice, naming Moez their “Chief Food Officer”. Mr. Kassam has an MBA from the London Business School and a BA from Western University. He is proud to call Toronto home.

Mr. Abdulrahman Ali

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Mr. Abdulrahman Ali is the Managing Director at Safarifone. He has more than 12-years’ experience in the field of telecommunications and networking, with his expertise ranging from VoIP communications, Mobile Financial Systems (MFS), networking, programming, and security, to technical management, business planning and executive function in the telecom field. His interests lie particularly in the areas of Mobile Financial Systems (MFS), VoIP, and OSS/BSS systems in the telecom industry. Outside of spearheading the success of his company, Mr. Ali is (both professionally and personally) actively engaged in many national charitable initiatives. Not only does Mr. Ali believe that that successful professionals have an obligation to “give back”, he believes they have an obligation to help create a platform that tells the story of what it means to be a Muslim Canadian.

Dr. Hany Soliman

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Dr. Hany Soliman is a Radiation Oncologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. Mr. Soliman is actively involved in oncology research and medical education. He obtained both a bachelors of science and doctor of medicine degrees from the University of Toronto. He has been an active volunteer in the Muslim community with several grass roots organizations and has a passion for charitable work. He is currently a director with Islamic Relief Canada.