Strategic Advisory Committee2017-11-30T17:12:14+00:00

Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC)

The Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC) is chaired by a Vice-President Research (VPR) from a Canadian university and comprises two ESPO representatives, two academic representatives, two representatives from the refugee community, and representatives from IRCC and Statistics Canada. This committee plays an advisory role. It’s mandate is to provide scientific and impact oversight of the project, identify links for partnership, oversee knowledge mobilization strategies and advise on other issues as they arise.

Approved
Bayan Khatib

Co-Founder of Syrian Canadian Foundation

Biography:

Bayan Khatib, is the Co-founder and Executive Director of The Syrian Canadian Foundation, which aims to empower newcomers and connect communities. For the past five years, Bayan lead a multinational media campaign, had numerous media appearances, and participated as a speaker on the Syrian crisis at local and international events. Bayan is the translator of Just Five Minutes: Nine Years in the Prisons of Syria, a memoir of a female political prisoner, and is also the author of numerous short works of fiction and opinion articles.

Approved
Fariborz Birjandian

Chief Executive Officer at CCIS Alberta

Biography:

From the local to the international level, Mr. Fariborz Birjandian has served on committees, boards and task forces related to immigration, refugees, diversity, equal rights and the cultural arts. He became a refugee when he left his home country of Iran with his family in 1987. His involvement and work with refugees began in 1987 and has continued these past 30+ years. He initially began this work with the UNHCR and, once settled in Canada, he volunteered with several organizations including the Red Cross and Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS). In his role as CEO with CCIS, he leads 300 staff members and 1,600 volunteers as they deliver approximately 90 programs and services designed to aid the settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees in Calgary, Alberta and its surrounding communities. He has been instrumental in designing and initiating numerous methodologies related to settlement and integration including the UNHCR Settlement Handbook that is used nationally and internationally.

He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his community involvement, and for his commitment to ensuring that institutions, advisory groups and all levels of government work to recognize the needs and challenges faced by newcomers, promote the creation of welcoming and engaged communities, and recognize and celebrate diversity.

Approved
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Biography:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for matters dealing with immigration to Canada, refugees, and Canadian citizenship.

Approved
Mehrunissa Ali

Professor at Ryerson University

Biography:

Mehrunnisa Ali is a Professor in the Faculty of Community Services at Ryerson University. Mehrunissahas extensive experience in developing and evaluating educational projects, especially in teacher education. She has taught prospective and practicing teachers, community development workers, and university students for several years. She currently teaches in the graduate programs in Early Childhood Studies, Immigration and Setlement Studies, and Policy Studies. She is also the Ryerson Director of the Centre of Excellence for Research in Immigration and Settlement, the Ontario Metropolis Centre (CERIS). Her research interests include newcomer children, youth and families; parent-teacher relations; and preparation of teachers to work with diverse populations. Mehrunnisa has extensive experience in developing and evaluating educational projects, especially in teacher education.

Approved
Michael Ungar

Project Director, CYRRC at Dalhousie University

Biography:

Michael Ungar, Ph.D., is a Family Therapist and Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience. Since 2002, Dr. Ungar has directed the Resilience Research Centre, designing multisite longitudinal research and evaluation projects in more than a dozen low, middle, and high-income countries, with much of that work focused on the resilience of marginalized children and families, and adult populations experiencing mental health challenges. His studies have focused on the resilience of children and families involved with child welfare and mental health services, refugee and immigrant youth populations and community resilience, including resilience to violent extremism. Dr. Ungar has published over 180 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the subject of resilience and is the author of 15 books for mental health professionals, researchers and lay audiences. These include Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success, a book for adults experiencing stress at work and at home, The Social Ecology of Resilience: A Handbook for Theory and Practice for researchers, and Working with Children and Youth with Complex Needs, a book for clinicians. His blog, Nurturing Resilience, can be read on Psychology Today’s website.

Approved
Statistics Canada
Biography:

Statistics Canada, which was formed in 1971, is the Government of Canada government agency commissioned with producing statistics to help better understand Canada, its population, resources, economy, society, and culture.