Leonard Garnier Connecting the local and global classrooms

Keynote Speaker: Leonardo Garnier

Special Advisor for the 2022 United Nations Transforming Education Summit

Leonardo Garnier is the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General for the Transforming Education Summit. He is an Associate Professor in Economics at the Universidad de Costa Rica. He served as Costa Rica´s Minister of Planning and Economic Policy from 1994 to 1998 and as Minister of Education from 2006 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2014. He is an Economist with a Ph. D. from the New School for Social Research and a B.A. from the Universidad de Costa Rica. He has worked as a consultant in areas related to economic and social policy for international institutions like UNDP, IADB, ECLAC and, especially, UNICEF. Together with Laura Cristina Blanco he published the book Costa Rica, an almost successful underdeveloped country (Uruk, Costa Rica, 2010); he has also published papers in diverse academic journals and books. He is the author of two children’s books: Mono Congo y León Panzón Uruk Editores, Costa Rica; and El Sastrecillo ¿valiente? CIDCLI, México.

Sustainable and inclusive global learning

Keynote Speaker: Bhavani Rao

UNESCO Chair, Gender Equality & Women's Empowerment

Dr. Bhavani Rao is the Dean of the School of Social and Behavioural Sciences of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University), a top-ranked University in India. She is the Director of two Research Centers: AMMACHI Labs (Amrita Multi Modal Applications and Human Computer Interaction) and the Center for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality. She has been designated as India’s UNESCO Chair in Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment. Her work focuses on empowering underserved communities, especially women in rural areas, through capacity building and vocational skills, using the latest technologies. Since 2009, she has led many projects funded by international, national and foreign organizations (including UN agencies and the Government of India).

Local and global community engagement

Keynote Speaker: Kenisha Arora

Youth Representative to the SDG4 High-Level Steering Committee

Kenisha Arora is a Medical Science student and a passionate youth leader. She has worked locally, nationally, and internationally to transform education.

At her University, Kenisha serves as a Senator and Board of Governor where she oversees a budget of $829 million to drive investment in re-energizing research, fostering a sense of community, and promoting teaching and learning for the future and social impact. She works tirelessly to amplify the voices of 40,000 students as the Chair of Student Senators.

Kenisha also serves as the youngest member of the UN’s SDG4 High-Level Steering Committee through which she is responsible for the global governance of education and monitors the benchmark indicators of each country alongside UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Bank, and Heads of State. Kenisha’s humanitarian impact through her non-profit organization, The HopeSisters, has led her to be the Top 10 for the $100,000 Global Student Prize and the recipient of the Princess Diana Award.




The Sustainable and Inclusive Internationalization Virtual Conference is pleased to present the following speakers, listed in alphabetical order by first name.


Adam Sherkin


Acclaimed for “dazzlingly displays of hand and ear virtuosity” (Opus One), “technical prowess and uncommon lyricism” (Musical Toronto), Adam Sherkin is a dynamic artist who commands a multi-dimensional approach to performance and composition. Admired for innovative programming and engaging virtuosity, Sherkin has performed at significant venues throughout Canada, the United States and Britain. Sherkin’s recordings are available on all major streaming services.

He is thrilled to return to SOTG 2022 as Cultural/Artistic Contributor. A new initiative, The Ineo Verda Project, collaborates with scientists to musically represent the complexities of ecosystems: how they have evolved, how they are changing due to climate change, and what the future could hold for them.

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Andrew Champagne

Andrew Champagne is an international education professional with cross-cutting industry experience. He has worked on international education policy and research with Global Affairs Canada, in international student recr2uitment and marketing with the University of British Columbia and now, as Manager, Mobility Programs with Colleges and Institutes Canada supports advocacy efforts related to international student mobility, leads on promoting Canada’s colleges and institutes in international markets, and oversees the implementation of Global Skills Opportunity, Canada’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program. Andrew believes that international mobility is a force for good in the world and is supportive of two-way mobility initiatives.

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Addise Amado Dube

Head of Development and Communications, Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology (EGST), Ethiopia

Addise Amado is a PhD Researcher at Oxford Centre for Mission Studies/Middlesex University on the theme of ‘The Culture of Cleanliness: Modernization Efforts in Improving Sanitation in Ethiopia and the Roles of FBOs.’ He leads a Practicum Course and Field Education Programme on Development Studies and is Head of Development and Communications at the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Alice J. Hovorka

Alice's research program broadly explores human-environment relations and is theoretically informed by feminist, poststructuralist and posthumanist philosophical perspectives. She focuses on three areas: The Lives on Animals, Urbanization, Gender & Everyday Life and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Click here for more info.

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Amir Asif

Professor and Vice-President Research and Innovation, Lassonde School of Engineering, York University

Amir Asif is Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Vice President, Research and Innovation at York University, Toronto. As a specialist in signal processing and communications, his research interests are focused on developing next generation technologies for every-day applications, including health and medical devices, radar and sonar applications, distributed multiagent networked systems, and electrical power grids.

Amir has more than 15 years of experience serving in senior university leadership positions, including the founding Dean (2014-2020) of the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science at Concordia University, Montreal, QC. He is rethinking how to unlock the full potential of the higher education institutions for greater social impact through academic innovation, research partnerships, and entrepreneurship, by transcending traditional boundaries of conventional approaches and disciplines, and by addressing systemic issues that have been holding the Canadian institutions back. Amir received his education and professional training from Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard University. He is a registered professional engineer in the province of Ontario.
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Anjali Kumar

Anjali Kumar is a fourth year Law and Society student at York University. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she had the opportunity to focus on issues prevalent in society such as the effects of climate change on vulnerable groups and the future possibility of sustainability. Being a part of CBE gave her the chance to put theory into practice. Collective action and dialogue can be taken to address these issues. Being a youth in society today, it’s so essential to talk about these issues impacting the future. We need to create change that will happen in our collective actions and thoughts.

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Arnd Wächter

Arnd Wächter is an award winning filmmaker, intercultural educator and social entrepreneur. He founded the non-profit organizations Crossing Borders Education and Morocco Exchange as a creative and proactive response to 9/11. Arnd founded Crossing Borders Films and produced the CBE Intercultural Film Trilogy. His feature films were selected at over 20 intercultural conferences and 15 international film festivals, winning several awards. He co-produced the cross-cultural landing page for National Geographic Education around his intercultural film trilogy. Arnd and his work appeared in the New York Times, Euronews, the PIE Magazine and on National Public Radio (NPR), among others.

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Becky Schutt

Becky is a strategist and consultant in the international creative industries. She recently led the Developing Inclusive & Creative Economies (DICE) at the British Council, the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

As Fellow at University of Cambridge Judge Business School (2009-2017), Becky established and taught the MBA Culture and Arts Concentration, galvanizing the next generation of creative leaders, board members and investors. She has previously advised over seventy flagship cultural institutions, pioneering creative social enterprises, and governments in over twenty countries. Becky serves Crossing Borders Education (CBE) as key advisor and trustee.

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Beth Eden

Beth Eden is the Chief Executive Officer of QS World Merit, a global charity working towards an equal world by allowing young people to access opportunities based on merit (using the SDGs as their framework for impact). She has been working on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, previously the Millennium Development Goals for over 11 years. She was recognized as one of Canada's 30 under 30 Sustainability Leaders with Corporate Knights and a 25 under 25 Environmentalist with Starfish Canada in 2020 for her work with Climate Action, the SDGs and Community Mobilization in Canada.

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Bhavani Rao

Dr. Bhavani Rao is the Dean of the School of Social and Behavioural Sciences of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University), a top-ranked University in India. She is the Director of two Research Centers: AMMACHI Labs (Amrita Multi Modal Applications and Human Computer Interaction) and the Center for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality. She has been designated as India’s UNESCO Chair in Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment. Her work focuses on empowering underserved communities, especially women in rural areas, through capacity building and vocational skills, using the latest technologies. Since 2009, she has led many projects funded by international, national and foreign organizations (including UN agencies and the Government of India).
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Bruno Guilherme

I am 19 years old and I live in São Paulo, Brazil. I am chemistry technician and undergraduate student of the Chemistry Institute of Universidade de São Paulo. In my Freshman Year, I worked on a chemistry education project. In my Sophomore Year, I did a scientific research project in catalysis. I work with science communication at Principia Institute and I am a member of the environmental group Polluters Out Brasil. I have loved science since I watched Cosmos, and I've been passionate about environmental subjects since I realized Climate Change was one of the biggest issues of my time.

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Chantal Coté

Expertise in the fields of management, education, internationalisation, EU program, project development and management. Strength in building network and playing a role as the link between people. Long experience from public sector at various levels in higher education, national agencies as well as regional and municipal government. Creative, driven and result-oriented to contribute towards common goals. Positive person, a team player who wants to involve everyone.Back to top of page

Carol Ma

Carol is the Associate Professor and Head of Gerontology Programme Senior Fellow, Centre for Experiential Learning Singapore University of Social Sciences. She is known among academia and the community sector as an active and passionate practitioner of Service-Learning (S-L) and aging in Asia.

Currently, Carol is the senior fellow of the Centre for Experiential learning, associate professor, and Head of Gerontology Programmes (Master & PhD) at Singapore University of Social Sciences. She is leading the curriculum development, community engagement, and research in gerontology and promoting transdisciplinary education to address aging issues. She has led various aging and service-learning projects, namely, the elder learning development project, the age-friendly cities project (accredited by WHO), and the intergenerational project on health & wellbeing, etc. In view of the pandemic, Carol has taken the lead to work on a project on Reminiscences in Dementia Care during the COVID-19 pandemic with National Archives of Singapore and Dementia Singapore.

Charles Hopkins

UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability at York University

Charles Hopkins holds the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability at York University Canada conducting research on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and coordinating two research networks. The first network is comprised of teacher education institutions spanning 50 countries focusing on the SDGs and the Global Education 2030 Agenda. The second network covering 40 countries aims to embed sustainability in curricula to improve the education of Indigenous youth. Hopkins consults for institutions worldwide including United Nations agencies, governments, universities and other education stakeholders. He is Co-Director of the Asia-Pacific Institute on ESD in Beijing China.

Christiane Marie Canillo

Christiane is an Honours Bachelor of Arts psychology graduate and a Liberal Arts diploma recipient. She works as a cognitive psychology research assistant in a research lab investigating spontaneous thought, human memory, and narratives. She has combined experience in customer service industries for more than five years with academic research experience for more than three years. She provides administrative support, runs online experiments, has experience with primary and secondary analyses, and actively collaborates with student researchers working on small and large-scale projects.

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Claudio Klaus Jr.

Claudio holds a Bachelor of International Relations. Currently, he is in his final year of Law School as well as his Master’s Degree in Development and Society. As part of his research, Claudio is an International Visiting Research Trainee during the Fall semester of 2022 at Osgoode Hall Law School (York University). Claudio’s experience with local and global community engagement includes participation in different programs in his hometown in Brazil, as well as summer and winter school and conferences in Azerbaijan, Croatia, South Africa, the United States, and others. He produces the podcast “Estudar Direito pelo Mundo” showcasing the work of lawyers around the world.

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David Huerta Harris

Short-Term Mobility Director, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico
He holds a PhD in Business from the University of Hull U.K. A Master in Administration with a Strategic Planning concentration and a B.A. in Industrial and Systems Engineering, both from Tecnológico de Monterrey. He previously served as Short-Term Mobility Director and as Tecnologico de Monterrey's International Liaison Office Director at Yale University. Before, he served at the campus level as Undergraduate Academic Dean, Business and Administration Program Director and Students Affairs Director.David's experience includes working with public and private sectors in strategic initiatives that promote leadership and entrepreneurial skills development in young professionals. Recently, he has been supporting Tecnologico de Monterrey's faculty and staff to develop a set of innovative international programs for international students. He has also worked closely with universities and international consortiums to promote international learning and cooperation across platforms.

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Deepika Joon

Deepika is working at Institute for Sustainable Development and Learning at Leuphana University of Lüneburg in Germany. She is pursuing her PhD on evaluation of youth engagement in ESD. At ISDL, she is leading an international teacher education project called Politics4Future. She is Scientific Project Coordinator of UNESCO Chair in Higher Education for Sustainable Development at Leuphana and manages the teacher education network called UNiESD&ST. At present, Deepika is teaching a research-based learning course on youth participation in building regenerative futures to entry level Bachelor students at Leuphana. Before joining ISDL, Deepika worked at UNESCO as Youth Mobilizing Specialist and set up a network of youth centric organizations in different countries and rolled out UNESCO MGIEP’s campaign on Kindness. Mobilizing, supporting, and learning with young people lies at the core of her work. Deepika is working in the field of Education for Sustainable Development since 2008, when she joined the leading climate change research organization The Energy and Resources Institute in its school and youth education programme. She has extensive experience working with grassroots organizations in rural development due to her work as Young Professional by the Federal Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. Deepika has also worked on a campaign in India against female foeticide and pre-birth determination of gender.

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Della Elizabeth Burke

Della Burke has been working in International Education for 20 years. She is currently the Coordinator for Campus Internationalization at ITESO, the Jesuit University of Guadalajara and holds a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona. Previously, she worked in the international offices of a number of public and private universities in the United States and Mexico. In 2019, she led the Commission for Internationalization at ITESO and guided the interdepartmental team which devised the strategic internationalization plan. Della leads a team of cross-faculty academics to ensure that meaningful internationalization is accessible and increasing across all departments.

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Divinia Jithoo

Divinia is a Specialist in International Education at the International Education and Partnerships Office at the Durban University of Technology. Ms Jithoo has worked in higher education Internationalisation since 2007 and has specialised in study abroad and exchange as well as international virtual engagement. Ms Jithoo is also a PH.D candidate at the University of Western Cape. Her research focus is leadership of cross-border research collaboration.

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Dominique Scheffel-Dunand

Academic Lead, Globally Networked Learning Initiative, York University, Canada

Professor in Linguistics in French Studies at York University, Dominique enjoys working on challenges bilingual education and societies face locally and globally to investigate the critical role of suspending one’s judgment in intercultural dialogues across communities. Her research in psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, conversations, media and language systems (natural, artistic and computational) shaped her current work on critical pedagogies with a focus on student-centred learning and open pedagogy in intercultural environments. Measuring the impact of computation and digitality on education encouraged her to co-lead the French as Second Language Hub (FSL Hub/Pôle FLS) to mobilize, accelerate and engage various stakeholders to transform the field of FSL with a focus on equity accessibility and inclusion.

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Dzulkifli bin Abdul Razak

Dzulkifli Abdul Razak is currently the Rector of the International Islamic University Malaysia. He was the Vice Chancellor of USM from 2000-2011. He is the immediate past president of International Association of Universities, a Paris-based UNESCO-affiliated organisation. Dzul was the first Asian recipient of the prestigious 2017 Gilbert Medal. He is a Senior Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (FASc), World Academy of Art and Science (FWAAS) and World Academy of Islamic Management (FWAIM). From February 2021, Dzul serves as an Expert for the Futures of Higher Education Project at UNESCO’s Institute for Higher Education (IESALC) based in Caracas.

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Gabriela Geron

Director of Partnerships, Innovation, and Communications, Hemispheric University Consortium

Gabriela Geron has over 20 years of experience in higher education. She holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a focus on IT Management in Higher Education Institutions from Universidad de Cantabria, Spain. Her Master of Science in Quality Systems and Bachelor of Industrial Engineer are from Tec de Monterrey, Mexico. Her research is focused in how technology supports the international competitiveness of higher education institutions and helps their students succeed obtaining a Summa Cum Laude distinction in her dissertation for her contribution to Latin America internationalization and received the Innovation, Technology and Industry Award granted by the Ilustre Colegio Oficial de Titulados Mercantiles y Empresariales de Cantabria as the best Ph.D. Thesis. She was part of the Women in Education Leadership Program at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, cohort 2017. She is an individual contributor of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), associate researcher of Universidad de Monterrey, reviewer of international journals, speaker at international conferences, author of academic papers, chapter books and blogs.

Prior to joining University of Miami, she served as Director of Engagement Strategy, Operations Senior Manager and Solutions Consultant at Ellucian, a private software company with over 2,700 customers in more than 50 countries. She has acted as a Consultant for the University of Monterrey and Planning Director for Tec de Monterrey. She was also professor at the University of Monterrey, the Culinary Institute of Mexico and Tec de Monterrey.

As the Director of Partnerships, Innovation, and Communications, she develops strategies and key initiatives to build and/or enhance global partnerships with higher education institutions consistent with University of Miami’s Roadmap to the New Century strategic plan. She also plays a key role in the Hemispheric Innovation Hub initiative and oversee the communications of the hemispheric and global affairs area. Dr. Geron is part of the Hemispheric University Consortium Secretariat where she coordinates different initiatives in education and innovation and is responsible of the consortium’s Website, social media channels and communications operations.
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Giorgio Marinoni

Giorgio Marinoni is Manager of Higher Education and Internationalization at the International Association of Universities (IAU). He oversees Internationalization, one of the strategic priorities of the Association.

He is responsible for research, advisory services and advocacy on internationalization. He is also the coordinator of the Network of International Education Associations, NIEA, a global network of non-profit, non-government associations whose main stated purpose is to advance international higher education.

Before his current position at IAU, Giorgio Marinoni worked for UNICA, the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe and was President of Erasmus Student Network (ESN) in 2007 – 2008.

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Haleema Ahmed

Haleema Ahmed is a Muslim-Canadian, a biomedical sciences student at York University and a student researcher at Black Creek Community Health Centre. She is a member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, providing advice to the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada on national issues. Whether it is writing articles on education, Islamophobia, and social justice for Canadian news outlets, directing Muslim youth arts at MY Voice Canada, or interviewing scientists at SciSection radio, she is passionate about using journalism as a vehicle for change.

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Helen Balderama

Director, Global Engagement and Partnerships, York International

Helen joined York International in November 2016 after more than 3 years at the University of Manitoba where she championed international education cooperation through her work at the UM International Office and the Division of Extended Education. She holds a BA Philosophy (Cum Laude) from the University of the Philippines, a Post Graduate Diploma on Cultural Projects for Development from the International Training Centre of International Labour Organization in Italy and an MA Public Administration from the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. Helen has more than 15 years of professional experience in the international education field backed by a portfolio of programs and projects in Asia, Europe and the Americas including her work at the UNESCO National Commission in Manila and the Asia-Europe Foundation. Helen is NAFSA’s International Outreach Coordinator (2017-2018) and was recently appointed Member of the 2018 CBIE Annual Conference Advisory Committee. Helen speaks English and Tagalog.

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Hilligje van't Land

Secretary-General, International Association of Universities, France

Dr. Hilligje van’t Land serves the global higher education community as Secretary-General of the International Association of Universities (IAU) - global NGO with UNESCO Associate Status. For the past two decades, she has fostered the key role of higher education in societal transformation. She supervises the overall programme activities of the IAU, develops the Association’s strategic plans and oversees the everyday work of the secretariat. She positioned the IAU as a partner in UNESCO work on Education for sustainable development and in the UNESCO Futures of Education initiative, and higher education as a key stakeholder for the UN Agenda 2030 – Transforming our world. Hilligje van’t Land strongly believes in the importance of international cooperation and intercultural understanding and has developed multilateral projects related to higher education and beyond. She represents IAU in various working groups and expert committees including at the Council of Europe, UNESCO and the UN.  
Hilligje van’t Land holds a PhD in comparative francophone literature, speaks six languages and published on higher education issues of relevance locally and globally.

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Hirofumi Makino

M.D., Ph.D.,President of Okayama University since 2017

Professor Hirofumi Makino, M.D., Ph.D. has been President of Okayama University since 2017. Under his leadership, Okayama University is following a whole-institution approach towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As a Medical Doctor, he puts the well-being of students, staff and the community are at the core of the university´s overall vision.
Okayama University is well-connected with its partner institutions worldwide in the pursuit of sustainable development. Okayama University became the first national university in Japan to be selected by the U.S. Department of State as a partner institution for the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program in 2019. President Makino is regularly invited to speak at the United Nations, World Economic Forum and other high-level conferences to share his expertise.

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Hugo Cahueñas

Hugo is a Professor of Law at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador. He is a Ph.D. candidate in law at the World Trade Institute, University of Bern. Hugo holds a LL.M in International and Comparative Law, from George Washington University. He has served at the Disaster Law Program of the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and at the Ecuadorian Red Cross (ERC), as National Coordinator of the Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Hugo has been a consultant for the United Nations, the Inter-American Development Bank, Plan International, CARE, the ERC and the IFRC.

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Ian Garrett

Ian Garrett is a designer, producer, educator, and researcher in the field of sustainability in arts and culture. He is Associate Professor of Ecological Design for Performance at York University, where he is Graduate Program Director for Theatre and Performance Studies. He is also the director of the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and producer for Toasterlab, a mixed reality performance collective. He maintains a design practice focused on ecology, accessible technologies and scenography.

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James C. Simeon

Associate Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University, Canada

Dr. James C. Simeon, Head of McLaughlin College, is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada. He is a Member-at-Large of the Executive of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS) and a past President of CARFMS. He also serves as the Coordinator of the International Association for Refugee and Migration Judges' (IARMJ) Inter-Conference Working Party Process. His primary areas of research are international refugee law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, international criminal law, and public policy and public administration. He has published widely in these areas of research and he has organized and led many highly successful academic and professional conferences, symposia, and workshops.

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Katrin Kohl

Executive Coordinator to the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability

Katrin Kohl is the Focal Point for SDG 4 on Quality Education in the Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) Global Cluster, with the International Association of Universities. She is the Executive Coordinator to the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability at York University, responsible for overall strategy and coordination of global research projects. She is a lawyer and holds an MBA. Prior to her engagement with York University, Katrin served as the Managing Director of the German Commission for UNESCO and in other management positions in Germany, at the University of Duesseldorf and the Cornelsen International Publishing House.

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Kenisha Arora

Kenisha Arora is a Medical Science student and a passionate youth leader. She has worked locally, nationally, and internationally to transform education.

At her University, Kenisha serves as a Senator and Board of Governor where she oversees a budget of $829 million to drive investment in re-energizing research, fostering a sense of community, and promoting teaching and learning for the future and social impact. She works tirelessly to amplify the voices of 40,000 students as the Chair of Student Senators.

Kenisha also serves as the youngest member of the UN’s SDG4 High-Level Steering Committee through which she is responsible for the global governance of education and monitors the benchmark indicators of each country alongside UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Bank, and Heads of State. Kenisha’s humanitarian impact through her non-profit organization, The HopeSisters, has led her to be the Top 10 for the $100,000 Global Student Prize and the recipient of the Princess Diana Award.

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Kris Acheson-Clair, PhD

Formerly Georgia State University faculty and Fulbright Scholar to Honduras, Kris is a well- published scholar on intercultural competence, transformative learning theory, and assessment.

Kris currently serves as director of Purdue University’s Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment, and Research (CILMAR). Under her leadership, CILMAR works with the university’s faculty and staff both to put intercultural learning at the heart of study abroad and virtual exchange programs and to embed intercultural learning across the curriculum and student life.

Kris and CILMAR also serve the field of international education by creating experiential and reflective resources in the Intercultural Learning Hub (

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Larissa Bezo

President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Bureau for International Education, CBIE, Canada

Larissa Bezo presently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Bureau for International Education.Ms. Bezo has served in senior leadership positions in both the public and not-for-profit sectors, including as Deputy Clerk and Deputy Cabinet Secretary in the Government of Saskatchewan and Senior Advisor to a Federal Royal Commission. After a distinguished public service career, Larissa pursued her longstanding commitment to international development and solidarity through senior-level assignments with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the International Centre for Policy Studies in Ukraine.Larissa Bezo has worked successfully with Boards of Directors and Executive Committees to define strategic priorities and oversee their implementation. She possesses 25 years of professional experience, including 15 years in the international development and education sector.Ms. Bezo is an accomplished senior executive with a proven ability to provide effective leadership to build organizational capacity and resilience, foster durable partnerships, navigate sensitive political, intercultural and international issues and mobilize resources to achieve organizational priorities.Larissa graduated from the University of Regina with a Master of Arts in Political Science.

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Leonardo Garnier

Leonardo Garnier is the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General for the Transforming Education Summit. He is an Associate Professor in Economics at the Universidad de Costa Rica. He served as Costa Rica´s Minister of Planning and Economic Policy from 1994 to 1998 and as Minister of Education from 2006 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2014. He is an Economist with a Ph. D. from the New School for Social Research and a B.A. from the Universidad de Costa Rica. He has worked as a consultant in areas related to economic and social policy for international institutions like UNDP, IADB, ECLAC and, especially, UNICEF. Together with Laura Cristina Blanco he published the book Costa Rica, an almost successful underdeveloped country (Uruk, Costa Rica, 2010); he has also published papers in diverse academic journals and books. He is the author of two children’s books: Mono Congo y León Panzón Uruk Editores, Costa Rica; and El Sastrecillo ¿valiente? CIDCLI, México.

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Lily Asch

Lily Asch is a facilitator, storyteller, event host and social entrepreneur. Her practice centers around participatory, creative and empathetic approaches. She has particular interest in community development, social impact, wellbeing and youth engagement. Lily is a lead facilitator for Crossing Borders Education and is the founder of Real Talk, a social enterprise dedicated to creative expression around mental health. She has worked across a variety of third-sector organizations and delights in holding transformative group spaces.

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Lucie Weissova

Lucie is a higher education professional with 10 years’ experience in the field of Internationalisation of Higher Education. Throughout the years, I have been involved in many different tasks but what I enjoy the most is inspiring the academics and supporting them in making Internationalisation more inclusive and beneficial for all involved. My research interest is IaH/IoC and related support and professional development for academics.

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María José Castelazo André

Master in management and production of contemporary arts by the University of Lille, France. She has been working for more than 18 years on International Education; her present role is the Global Curriculum and Special Project Manager at ITESO, the Jesuit University of Guadalajara. She was the head of International Affairs of the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology of the State of Jalisco until 2021. Part of his career includes being part of the Internationalization office of the University of Guadalajara. She has a specialty from the Institute of the Future, with the intention of continuing to create transversal impact projects for future generations.

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Mario Guerrero

Mario Guerrero is a dynamic and inclusive educator with experience spanning ten years and three continents. Mario brings diverse teaching experiences from higher education institutions across Colombia, the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Germany, along with research contributions to critical perspectives on cross-cultural awareness as well as gender equality, diversity, and inclusion. Prior to completing his PhD studies in Education at York University, Mario obtained two postgraduate degrees - a Masters of Science in Education from Fordham University in NYC and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics/TESOL from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom - and a B.A. in Language Teaching from the University of Nariño in Pasto, Colombia.

Mario’s academic, professional, and personal life has been marked by his exposure to individuals of diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, making him a dedicated advocate for those facing the linguistic, interpersonal, and professional challenges of living in a new country. Throughout his different professional roles, from Academic English instructor at the University of Toronto to educational leader at the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education in NYC, Mario has had the privilege of supporting international students, newcomers, and other English language instructors through the use of inclusive teaching methodologies and intercultural curriculum design.

Mario is currently working at York University as a Project Officer in different academic and educational projects that focus on Education for Sustainable Development, Intercultural Communication and Global Citizenship Education at York University and in partnership with other international universities.

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Meera Pathmarajah

Meera is co-founder of Visions Global Empowerment and Education Director of She worked as Asia Regional Program Manager of Room to Read for four years, designing educational programs in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Meera holds a B.A. in Psychology and South Asia Studies from the University of California, Berkeley; an Ed.M. in International Education from Harvard University; and an Ed.D. in International Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University. A former adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco and UCLA, Meera’s research interests include international education, gender, teacher education, and learner-centered pedagogy.

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Meghan Fay Zahniser

Meghan is the Executive Director of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Her entire career has been dedicated to advancing the sustainability movement. Meghan started her career as Environmental Educator at the University of Buffalo over twenty years ago. She spent many years at the U.S. Green Building Council where she developed and managed a local chapter network for building industry professionals.She joined AASHE 13 years ago and held the positions of Director of Programs and STARS Program Manager before becoming Executive Director in 2015.

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Meghna Tare

Chief Sustainability Officer, University of Texas Arlington

As UT Arlington’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Meghna works collaboratively to foster partnerships among academic, research, and operational departments and promotes sustainability in areas of energy efficiency, waste management, transportation, education, outreach, and sustainability-focused curriculum.

She has expertise in UN SDGs, public policy, CSR, climate change, equitable food systems, transportation, conservation, and social impact.

Meghna is the Founder and Director of Regional Center of Expertise for Education in Sustainable Development ( RCE North Texas), a program of the United Nations University, and the North Texas Food Policy Alliance.

She graduated with an MBA in Sustainable Management, MS in Environmental Science, and MS in Chemistry.

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Mila Monica Maralit

Mila completed her Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics at UP Diliman in April 2013. In 2021, she completed an Ontario Advanced Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Administration at Centennial College in Toronto, Canada and is now completing her Master of Science in Tourism Development and Management at the Asian Institute of Tourism at UP Diliman. Monica is currently working as a Project Coordinator at Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) in Toronto, Canada. She is also a faculty member teaching tourism, hospitality and certification courses at Queens College. Monica also serves as one of the Board of Directors for the Culinary Tourism Alliance (CTA).

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Mustafa Shirzai

I am a third year Biomedical Science student at York University. I am dedicated towards bridging the gap between international and national communities, and recently I was chosen as one of the Global Leaders of York Science for the year 2022-2023. I am also a volunteer at Crossing Borders Education where we have constructive workshops and aim to support the global youth.

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Noah W. Sobe

Noah is Professor at Loyola University Chicago where he works on the history and future of education. From 2019 to 2022 he helped to lead UNESCO's flagship Futures of Education initiative that led to the Reimagining our futures together: A new social contract for education report. A past-President of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) and co-Editor of the journal European Education Professor Sobe is the author of over 50 articles, chapters and books.

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Omar Hernández

Omar Hernández is the Program Manager of the UN Academic Impact initiative. He served as Volunteer and Conference Management Specialist at the UN Climate Change Secretariat and as Consultant for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Moreover, Omar volunteered with the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees. He worked as an International News Analyst and Editor for the Venezuelan media, including assignments as a Correspondent at the UN in Geneva. He also taught university courses of International Journalism and International Law. Omar has a Master’s degree in Cooperation for Development and a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies.

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Pablo Idahosa

Pablo L. E. Idahosa, International Development Studies and African Studies, Department of Social Science, York University

Pablo Idahosa (BA (Hons.) is a Professor in the Department of Social Science at York University, where he has taught Development Studies and African Studies for over twenty five years. He directed the York’s African Studies program for over 14 years and for six years was Graduate Director of Development Studies.  He has written on development ethics, the politics of ethnicity, national development and African modernities. Among his publications are Populist Dimension of African Political Thought, co-editor of The Somali Diaspora, and co-editor, Development’s Displacements.  His ongoing research interests include the relationships between development and cultural production in Africa, economic displacements and inequalities in Africa,  national development, the politics of disease in Africa, and African diasporas. He is formerly an executive on the International Development Ethics Association. He is currently completing a book on Social Welfare in Africa.

He has been an advisor on curriculum for African History and African Studies school boards in Toronto and Ontario.

He was formerly Head of Founders College at York University.

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Patrick Alcedo

Recipient of the President's University-Wide Teaching Award, York University’s highest teaching award, Dr. Patrick Alcedo is a dance researcher, a specialist on Philippine traditional dances, and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. He is the Chair of and a Full Professor in the Department of Dance at York University, the most comprehensive department of its kind in Canada. The Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, through the Commission on Filipino Overseas, conferred on him the 2022 Pamana Presidential Award for excellence in his profession. Among more than 300 nominees, he won this year’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.

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Pornchai Mongkhonvanit

IAU First Vice President and Chair of HESD Working Group
IAUP President Emeritus

Pornchai Mongkhonvanit is the current president of Siam University, First Vice President and Chair of Higher Education for Sustainable Development cluster of the International Association of Universities (IAU). He is also the President Emeritus of International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) and Former President of the Association of Private Higher Education Institutions of Thailand (APHEIT) under the patronage of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Pornchai is also a Former President of the Thailand Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa.

He has been recognized as the Notable and Prominent Alumnus in Education of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned his Postgraduate degree in Finance, Investment and Banking. He received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand. He studied and received the Degree of National Defense College of Thailand In addition; he participated in the Institute for Educational Management at the Graduate School of Education of Harvard University. Currently, he also serves as a Board member of World Association of Cooperative Education (WACE).

Being recognized as an expert on higher education strategy with emphasis on promoting sustainable relationship between University and Industry, Pornchai received the Medal of Honor from the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) and also from Kyung Hee University, South Korea. Pornchai has also received Honorary Professorship from Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Mexico and Guizhou University, China; Pornchai has been honored the Ph.D. Honoris Causa from Angeles University Foundation, Philippines, University of Cordilleras, Philippines’s Women University, and Asia e-University in Malaysia. He also has received the distinguished alumni award from Saint Gabriel College and Kasetsart University.

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Qjiel Mariano

Qjiel was formerly a nursing student at the University of Santo Tomas before transferring to the Global Health Honors program at York University Toronto, Canada. He is a two-time Quezon Leadership Awardee at the University of Santo Tomas and the Founder and Executive Director of Streets to Schools, a youth organization active in helping out-of-school children and youth overcome illiteracy while learning the SDGs. He hopes to finish his studies at York to apply his learnings in the Philippines. His work in youth development and empowerment has allowed him to achieve the following:

Everyday Young Hero Awards in Washington D.C., USA• Points of Light Honor Roll in Atlanta, Georgia, USA• Led a team of youth to become the youngest winners of the ESD Okayama Awards 2021 in Okayama Japan• Winner of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the telecommunications arm of the UN, Generation Connect Pitch Challenge. He also presented the winning proposal to world leaders in Kigali, Rwanda in June 2022• Youth Council Member at the UN Joint SDG Fund• Member of ICPD 30+ a call to action for Population Health• 2nd place at the Harvard Innovation Challenge Southeast Asia at Harvard University.

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Rachel Warnick

Rachel is the Director of Programmes at Professors Without Borders and the founder of Nature Océan Indien, a Mauritian NGO that supports young people to be active change makers. She is a National Geographic Certified Educator and a Teach SDGs Ambassador. As a specialist educator and learning designer, she travels the world to deliver programmes that leverage visionary pedagogical approaches to make education systems more equitable. She has worked with many institutions, private and corporate clients in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The experience of living in fourteen countries on four continents gives a global perspective to her work.

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Ravichandiranesan Ponnudurai

Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Honours) - Management Graduate, Senior Consultant (Reverse Engineering), Toronto, Canada
Ravi Ponnudurai has just completed his Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies. He has over 20 years of experience in the STEM sectors and Financial Industries. He is a leading steward with Toronto Nature Stewards, a group of volunteers, citizens, and scientists, dedicated to protecting, regenerating, and celebrating, the Toronto Ravine system and the natural spaces. He is actively engaged in this pilot program run by the city of Toronto that gives new authority to community groups to partner with the city to jointly manage these valuable and vulnerable spaces. Ravi is also an active Bird watcher and Nature Photographer.

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Rebecca John

I am an international student from India, pursuing Specialized Honors in Cyber Security from York University in my second year. At the school level for the National Science Congress, I have worked on various topics from waste to energy, fuel, zero waste city, basophilic designs, vertical gardens, aeroponics, green roofing etc. I was part of UNHACK 2021 with the topic "Molded Pulp for Envelope Insulation in one-story houses.” The project was centred around an optimum method of insulation which would increase the efficiency and life of heating appliances. I am presently a part of the Go Global SDGs in Action Program 2022-23, and honestly wish to invest my energy in sustainable development as it’s now not a project; instead, it has to become a way of life for all of us.

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Renchillina Joy G. Supan

Renchillina is a community-engaged social researcher and an SDG advocate based in the Philippines. She currently works as a Research Assistant at the Newborn Screening Reference Center, National Institute of Health at the University of the Philippines (UP) - Manila for a three-part content analysis study of online groups. She recently graduated from UP - Diliman as magna cum laude for a degree in Sociology. She has more than five years of professional and volunteer experiences in project management and digital marketing for local and international organizations.

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Robert J. Didham

UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Lifestyles, Associate Professor & Centre Director, Centre for Collaborative Learning for Sustainable Development, Faculty of Education, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

Robert J. Didham (Ph.D.) became the current holder of the UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Lifestyles in February 2021. He is also the director of the Center for Collaborative Learning for Sustainable Development and an associate professor at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. With a background in community-based sustainable development, public participation and social learning, Robert has extensive experience in interdisciplinary research and capacity building projects. He has coordinated multi-country research on education for sustainable development, sustainable consumption, and adaptation planning, and he has led policy support projects for several national governments.

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Roda Muse

Roda Muse has been Secretary General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO since May 2021. Previously, she was a manager at the Department of Innovation, Sciences and Economic Development Canada. She also worked as Ontario Regional Director for Status of Women Canada. She is a school board trustee and a member of several boards: Consortium Centre Jules-Léger, Montfort Hospital, Harriet Tubman Institute at York University.

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Savo Heleta

Dr Savo Heleta is a researcher and educator with more than ten years’ experience in higher education, academic research, curriculum development, teaching, research supervision and internationalisation. His research interests include decolonisation of knowledge; higher education internationalisation; conflict analysis; peacebuilding; climate justice; and social justice advocacy and activism. Survivor of the Bosnian war, he is the author of 'Not My Turn to Die: Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia' (AMACOM Books, 2008). Savo is an internationalization specialist at the International Education and Partnerships directorate at Durban University of Technology in South Africa.

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Sebastian Berger

Sebastian Berger is the Executive Director of the Global Student Forum (GSF). He previously held the office of Vice President in the European Students’ Union (ESU) alongside various other elected leadership positions within the international student movement on the national, regional and global level. He currently holds the Co-Chairmanship of the Education and Academia Stakeholder Group in the United Nations, engaging with the monitoring and review of the Sustainable Development Goals through the annual High Level Political Forum and representing the voice of the education sector towards the UN framework. Alongside his activism in education politics, he serves as the treasurer of Nobel peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s 100 Million Foundation. Sebastian holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from University of Vienna and currently completes a Master’s degree programme in International Relations and Security Studies at NUP Cyprus.

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Shaheen Nanji

Shaheen (MA, International Studies) is the Executive Director, SFU International at Simon Fraser University and is responsible for the collaborative development and implementation of the University’s international engagement.

As a convener and facilitator of partnerships, engagement and dialogue on global issues, she is committed to collaboration between diverse disciplines, sectors, cultures, perspectives and interests for deeper impact. Her areas of work have included international development; the Sustainable Development Goals; refugees and migration; equity, diversity and inclusion; education; and diaspora. She serves on the Boards of Academics Without Borders and the Proteknon Foundation for Innovation and Learning. She is also an Associate of the SFU Centre for Dialogue.

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Shirley Jhih-Syuan Lin

I’m Shirley Jhih-Syuan Lin from Taiwan and I’m currently a graduate student at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies (GIIASS) at Tamkang University, Taiwan. My interest of study includes middle power theory, Canadian Foreign Policy, and Cross-strait Relations.
I’m also currently the general coordinator of the 2023 Diplomacy and National Security Wargaming Camp held by my institute. I hope I may learn more about how to create a more sustainable world from you and contribute to our dialogue from Taiwan's point of view.

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Vania Ramírez-Camacho

Associate Regional Director, Political Science and International Relations Department, School of Social Science and Government, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico

Vania Ramírez-Camacho is the Associate Regional Director of the Political Science and International Relations Department in the School of Social Science and Government at the Tecnologico de Monterrey. She also served as the Director of the International Relations Undergraduate Program, Mexico City Campus for ten years. She holds a degree in Political Science and Comparative Development Studies from Trent University, Canada and an MA in Politics and Government in Latin America from the University of Essex, United Kingdom. Mrs. Ramírez has over 17 years of academic experience. Prior to joining the Tecnologico de Monterrey, she worked as a consultant at Zimat Consultores, Mexico´s leading communications consulting firm. Mrs. Ramírez has wide-ranging experience working in both the private and public sectors. She served as an advisor to the President of the Energy Commission of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies during the LVII Legislature. One of her key areas of work is migration, return migration and different aspects of migrant integration. Professor Ramírez collaborates with different non-governmental organizations and research centers dealing with migration fostering active learning and activism among students. Prof. Ramírez-Camacho led the students’ research group at the Tec de Monterrey that worked on Mexico´s international obligations´ assessment model under the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (ICRMW). She was a Research Fellow at Yale University during summer 2018.

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Vinitha Gengatharan

Assistant Vice-President, Global Engagement & Partnerships, York International

Vinitha Gengatharan is the Executive Director of York International. As Executive Director, Vinitha focuses on strategic leadership and operational planning for international student success and enhancing student mobility opportunities. She also provides vital support to the Provost's Office in developing and executing an internationalization strategy that contributes to and enhances the University’s international reputation and reach. Vinitha has 17 years of experience working at several universities, most recently as the Director of Waterloo International at the University of Waterloo, and at the University of Toronto in a variety of leadership roles. Her previous work included: managing international student services, developing international pathway programs, overseeing the analysis necessary to establish and support international academic priorities, creating opportunities and programs of intercultural communications and education, participating in more than 30 strategic missions, establishing an institutional overseas office, strategic framework for international partnership development, supporting several hundred delegation visits, contributing to the development of institutional international strategies and overseeing the tracking and achievement the priorities. Vinitha has also been an active volunteer in the not-for-profit sector, including most recently as University Lead for the Ryerson led Pan University Lifeline Syria Initiative, has served as the Chair of the Agincourt Community Services Association, a United Way anchor agency, and currently serves on the Advisory Board to the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce.

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Xavier Cortada

Xavier recently appointed as the inaugural Artist-in-Residence for Miami-Dade County, is an artist and professor of practice at the University of Miami Department of Art and Art History (with secondary appointments in the Miller School of Medicine and School of Law). Over the past three decades, the Cuban-American artist has created art at the North and South poles and across 6 continents, including more than 150 public artworks, installations, collaborative murals and socially engaged projects. Particularly environmentally focused, the work Cortada develops is intended to generate awareness and action around climate change, sea level rise, and biodiversity loss.

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Zainab Bokhari

I am Zainab Bokhari from Islamabad, Pakistan. I am a Psychology graduate from Foundation University Islamabad.

I am working as a Facilitator/ Project Manager at Crossing Borders Education, CBE.
I have been managing CBE project with the youth in Pakistan and Morocco. I have also been facilitating Sustainable on the Go (SOTG) workshops for CBE.

I am passionate about mental health especially in young people. A lot of my interests lie in public speaking and photography.

I have been recently reading up on climate crisis and have been observing its drastic effects on Pakistan. Almost one-third of the land have been flooded in the last few months and I do not see any actions being taken to prevent future catastrophes.

I am looking forward to participating in this conference in order to better understand and work to create a change.

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Zainal Abidin Sanusi

Zainal Abidin Sanusi is currently the Director of Sejahtera Centre for Sustainability and Humanity, International Islamic University Malaysia while serving as an Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Science. Prior to this post, he served as the Minister Council (Education) at the Malaysian High Commission, London and as Deputy Director of the Centre for Leadership Training at the Higher Education Leadership Academy of the Ministry of Education Malaysia. A sustainability expert and enthusiast with vast leadership experience. He holds a B.A. in Public Policy and Management from Luton University, UK, an MA in International Relations from the International University of Japan, a PhD in International Studies from Waseda University, Japan and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Sustainable Development from the Institute of Advance Studies, United Nation University. His current research interests are Sustainability Science, Education for Sustainable Development, and Public Policy Analysis.

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