Board of Directors

Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Director

Yasmeen is professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta.  Her research interests centre on the Canadian and comparative dimensions of ethnic and gender politics; nationalism, globalization and processes of racialization; immigration policies and politics; surveillance and border control; human rights, and citizenship theory.  In addition to over 80 published scholarly articles and book chapters she is co-editor of Surveillance and Control in Israel/Palestine:  Population, Territory and Power (Routledge, 2011),  co-editor of Politics in North America: Redefining Continental Relations  (Broadview  and University of Toronto Press, 2008), editor of Gendering the Nation-State: Canadian and Comparative Perspectives (University of British Columbia Press, 2008),  and co-author of Selling Diversity: Immigration, Multiculturalism, Employment Equity and Globalization (Broadview and University of Toronto Press, 2002).  Her work has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC), and she has also served on national SSHRC adjudication committees.  Dr. Abu-Laban sits on the editorial board of Canadian Ethnic Studies/Études ethniques au Canada, has served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA), and chaired the CPSA Diversity Task Force.  She has given numerous invited presentations across Canada and internationally, and regularly speaks and works with Canadian-government and community organizations.  In 2013 she was awarded a Killam Professorship on the basis of “outstanding scholarship and teaching [and] a record of substantial contributions to the community.”


Dany Assaf, Legal Counsel

Dany Assaf’s practice focuses on competition and antitrust, in both domestic and international matters, as well as on foreign investment review. He acts for Canadian and international clients, advising on all aspects of competition law and foreign investment matters and has been involved in many of Canada’s highest profile transactions and investigations. Dany has been recognized as a leading expert in the areas of competition law and foreign investment law. He is also a co-founder and instructor of the inaugural Islamic Finance course as part of the Executive Programs at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Dany has been an adjunct professor of law at the University of Western Ontario and has served as an associate editor of the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Magazine. Dany is a member of the Board of the Canadian Club of Toronto and formerly represented a prior firm at the Canada-Arab Business Council.


Mohammad Fadel, Director

Dr. Mohammad H. Fadel is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, which he joined in January 2006. Professor Fadel wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on legal process in medieval Islamic law while at the University of Chicago. Professor Fadel was admitted to the Bar of New York in 2000 and practiced law with the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York, New York, where he worked on a wide variety of corporate finance transactions and securities-related regulatory investigations. Professor Fadel also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and the Honorable Anthony A. Alaimo of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Professor Fadel has published numerous articles in Islamic legal history and Islam and liberalism.


Walid Hejazi, Director

Dr. Walid Hejazi is an Associate Professor of Business Economics, and Academic Director, at the Rotman School of Management where he teaches Canada’s current and future business leaders in the MBA, EMBA, and custom Executive programs. Walid has developed a course in Islamic Finance in the MBA program at the University of Toronto, the first such course in Canada. He has published extensively in many academic and business journals. Walid balances his research activities by helping many of Canada’s leading organizations leverage research to develop and deploy new strategies and initiatives. He has consulted for the Canadian and foreign governments on themes related to international competitiveness and has appeared several times before parliamentary committees. He is currently working to enhance the Rotman presence in the Middle East, and has been working closely with Mubadala, an arm of the Abu Dhabi government on Training.


Bessma Momani, Director

Dr. Bessma Momani is an Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and Senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI). She has been a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., a visiting scholar at Georgetown University’s Mortara Center, and at the Amman Institute in Jordan. She has authored and co-edited over six books and over 55 scholarly, peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters that have examined the IMF, the World Bank, petrodollars, regional trade agreements in the Middle East and economic liberalization throughout the Arab Gulf & the Middle East. Dr. Momani has received a number of Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council awards and prizes for her research on global economic governance & political economy of the Middle East. Dr. Momani has been a public commentator and analyst on the Global Economy, Middle East and the Arab Spring. She is a regular contributor to CBC radio and is a Middle East analyst on CTV News, CBC’s The National, Al-Jazeera English, Bloomberg TV, BNN and TVOs the Agenda. She has also published numerous op-eds on the Arab Spring in Canadian & international news outlets as well maintaining her own blogs on the Huffington Post, Open Canada, and CIGI.


Ziad Said, Treasurer

Ziad Said is a partner in KPMG’s Financial Institutions and Real Estate Practice. He has over 12 years experience auditing and advising financial institutions in Canada. He attended the University of Western Ontario where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree (math) then went to the University of Toronto to pursue his CA requirements.


Brady Wood, Chair

Brady is a trusted communications leader, known for assisting organizations through difficult reputation challenges. As Chief Communications Officer at Niagara Health System, Brady is a key leader in the organization's ongoing reputation recovery. A member of the organization's Executive Team, Brady is the lead for both the Communications and Patient Relations teams. Previously Brady held leadership roles at St. Joseph’s Health System, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, and with the St. Joseph’s International Outreach Program in Haiti and Uganda. Brady has also been a member of Ministerial review teams in Ontario, examining and aiding challenged hospitals across Ontario for consecutive Ministers of Health. Currently enrolled in the Masters of Communication Management program – an Executive Education degree offered by the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in partnership with the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University – Brady also holds degrees from Western University Canada and from York University.