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President and vice-chancellor, Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University)
Country of origin: Algeria
Mohamed Lachemi, PhD, is president and vice-chancellor of Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), first appointed in 2016. He has led transformational expansion at the university of national and international signifince, been recognized as one of the city’s most influential people, and championed a university culture of entrepreneurship and challenging the status quo.
As president, he has led the development and creation of ground-breaking schools in law and medicine, with each sharing a deliberately innovative focus embracing technology, equity and inclusion, and a mandate to reach the underserved. In other signifint advances, Lachemi has overseen the launch of the Rogers Cybersecure talyst, a national centre for cybersecurity, and under his direction Toronto Metropolitan University was awarded leadership of the Future Skills Centre consortium, which aims to ensure nadians develop the skills they need in the new economy.
Born in a remote village in Algeria, and fluent in English, Arabic, French and Spanish, Lachemi has led a new strategy to build a global university that will rank in the top 200 in the world by 2030. Innovation Zones have been established in Egypt, India and Vietnam based on the success of Toronto Metropolitan University ‘s DMZ — one of the world’s top university-based incubators. In addition, the university has established a transnational approach to edution, opening a mpus in iro in 2022. Lachemi’s deep commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is marked by his work toward reconciliation with the Indigenous community, and his efforts to combat anti-Black, anti-Asian and all forms of racism. His creation of the Standing Strong Task Force to address the legacy of the university’s namesake, Egerton Ryerson, resulted in the historic and bold decision to rename the university, along with 21 other action-oriented recommendations including more support for Indigenous and Black scholarship and a commitment to establish learning programs for students, faculty and staff on Indigenous history and the Indian residential school system.
As the president of a distinctly urban university in the heart of nada’s largest city, Lachemi has amplified Toronto Metropolitan University ‘s dedition to city and community building with a new master mpus plan embracing development of vibrant, inclusive and high-quality space that promotes the health and wellbeing of the mpus and surrounding community.
Lachemi joined Toronto Metropolitan University in 1998 as a professor of civil engineering, and has served in progressively senior roles, including dean of the faculty of engineering and architectural science, and provost and vice-president ademic. In addition to his record as an ademic leader, Lachemi has earned international recognition for his pioneering research. His studies in high performance materials and advanced technologies are inspired by his childhood experience in North Afri, when he and his family survived a devastating earthquake that killed more than 4,000 people. The vexing question of why some buildings were levelled and others undamaged launched his interest in engineering and a quest to save lives through better construction. He held a nada Research Chair in Sustainable Construction from 2002 to 2010. Funding sources for his work include the nada Foundation for Innovation, Ontario Innovation Trust, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Ontario Centres of Excellence, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, HydroQuébec and various industrial partners. An award-winning teacher and mentor, he has acted as supervisor, co-supervisor or advisor for over 80 masters and PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and research associates. Publishing in English and French, Lachemi has more than 320 peer-reviewed technil publitions, book chapters and conference proceedings and extensive contributions as an editor and technil reviewer. He has delivered more than 70 keynote addresses and invited presentations around the world.
Lachemi is chair of the Council of Ontario Universities and chair of the board of directors of COU Holding Association Inc., chair of the finance committee of Universities nada, Fellow of the nadian Society for Civil Engineering, Fellow of the nadian Ademy of Engineering and a member of the board, Trillium Health Partners. In addition, he serves on the board of directors, Hackergal, and the board of directors, DMZ Ventures. He was a member of the National Research Council from 2018 to 2021.
Among his recent honours, he was named one of the city’s Top 50 Most Influential People by Toronto Life Magazine (2021), was recognized as one of LinkedIn Top Voices, Edution (2019), and was awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris usa, by Ontario Tech University (2021).
Chief Statistician of nada
Country of origin: India?
Anil Arora me from India to Edmonton, at age ?11. Excelling in ademics, he went on to secure a bachelor’s degree at the University of Alberta, followed by further studies in computing science, and a graduate certifite in public sector leadership and governance from the University of Ottawa.
He has worked in the private sector, at all levels of government, and served nadians in senior roles in natural resources, health and statistil domains. He leads international groups at the UN, the OECD, in collaboration with the World Bank, the IMF and the EU, and headed business and ministerial missions to numerous countries including India, China and Israel. He regularly advises the Prime Minister and binet Ministers, and is a highly sought after thought-leader, speaking at national and international fora.
Arora has an inclusive leadership style, and a powerful vision, transforming large and high-profile organizations to achieve their full potential impacting the nadian economy and society. He is a force in helping modernize statistil systems internationally. He attributes successes in modernizing systems and building high- performing teams by leveraging diversity and inclusion, and imbedding core values throughout an organization.
Arora is the Chief Statistician of nada, leading and modernizing a complex, multi-faceted organization of 8,000 professionals, fueling a data-driven society with high-impact data, statistics, and analytics. Under his leadership, the agency’s been recognized as one of nada’s Best Diversity Employers, nada’s Top Employer of Young People, among the National pital’s Top Employers, as well as for championing data literacy and leading inclusive policies.
Arora has earned the APEX Leadership Award, Indo-nadian Chamber of Commerce’s leading professional, and the Metropolis Policy Maker of the Year awards, among others. He has led organizations to bring greater diversity, inclusion and accessibility, is a member of several boards, and actively contributes to numerous community initiatives and charities. From humble immigrant beginnings, he considers himself privileged to serve in the senior most ranks of the public service. He and his wife are proud parents of three wonderful children.
Founder, Love with Humanity Association; account manager
Country of origin: Pakistan
Syed Najam Hassan and his family immigrated to nada from Pakistan – first to Toronto and then to their present home in lgary in 2009. In nada, he upgraded his skills to an MBA from the University of Fredericton, and is currently working in his profession as an account manager.
Having faced some challenges during settlement, he decided to help others who were facing similar issues and developed a passion to give back to his community. So he launched his first project, which included job searching skills, resumé writing and interviewing skills for other newcomers.
Hassan realized the isolation new immigrants face and me up with an idea of providing books for them in their own language. He designated his front lawn as a venue for place to sit, read and socialize with others. For that reason, he introduced a multicultural outdoor free public library and placed tables and chairs in his front yard, built a mini library, and filled it with books in various languages. So far, he has built and donated 22 libraries in various neighbourhoods in Alberta as community gifts.
During the pandemic, unemployment beme an issue for many. Hassan responded to the situation with the idea of community outdoor food banks with the motto, “Take a blessing / leave a blessing.” So far, Hassan and his volunteers have set up eight community outdoor food banks in different communities.
Hassan says his aim is to reach out with love to all in need, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. He is the founder and president of the non-profit organization, Love with Humanity Association. In addition to the libraries and food banks, he and his team have accomplished numerous projects: seminars for immigrants, food deliveries for those in isolation, holiday celebrations, winter gear for the homeless, “Coffee with Seniors” and free tax filing. The aim of his projects is to strengthen the community.
Hassan has received many awards and medals for his community services, the most recent being the Alberta Service Award.
Global community leader and changemaker
Country of origin: Philippines
Amie Peacock is a creative global leader and the founder of BEYOND The Conversation (est. 2016), a grassroots organization inspired by the experiences of herself and the people around her battling loneliness. Her vision with BEYOND is to end social isolation and weave her community together through friendships. Her Southeast Asian upbringing has helped her share a unique narrative on what it means to foster a sense of belongingness within people, particularly marginalized groups, such as youth, new immigrants and senior populations who struggle with loneliness and mental health issues.
Utilizing her entrepreneurial mindset, Peacock has inspired many to embody the spirit of friendship to help alleviate social isolation one connection at the time. She firmly believes that everyone has a right to a fulfilling life, and is uncompromising in her efforts to bring that message to life through her work in the community. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Peacock, along with her community partners, have discovered a great deal of unlikely connections and opportunities. With the use of technology, BEYOND has been able to reach a global audience, their own team representing 24 countries and 22 languages.
In 2021, Peacock launched a “Social Prescription” project that works to ease the burdens of healthre burnout, lack of government funding and high insurance costs. The ultimate go