President & Executive Director
Shirin brings over 20 years of leadership experience in many not-for-profit agencies in Canada and internationally. She has a Masters’ degree in Public Policy Administration and Law from York University and a Post degree Diploma in Not-for-Profit Management from University of Western Ontario. Trained in Governance and Leadership from Kellogg Schulich School of Business, she has worked in world renowned agencies along with agencies serving many ethnic and diverse groups in Toronto.
Shirin is the CEO of GrantX Inc and is a member of board of Heritage Toronto. She was also Member of McMichael Women’s Council, was board member of Toronto Food Policy Council, Arab Community Centre of Toronto and served two terms as a national board of director for Aga Khan Education Services in India, where she played an active role in enhancing the primary education program funded by the European Union and World Bank.
Manaal Hussain is a higher education professional based in Toronto with extensive experience in program development, management and evaluation. She completed both her Bachelors and Masters of education from University of Toronto, where she is currently employed.
She values collaboration and strategic partnerships to create synergies. She is an advocate of creating inclusive spaces that are mindful of issues related to equity and access, and aims to challenge stereotypes and norms. She looks at the intersectionality of power, identify and privilege and how that impacts and informs the experiences of those in the minority.
Sahar is a Finance and Operations management executive with over a decade of experience in corporate finance, accounting, strategy planning and execution and managing large scale business transformation projects. She is known to be a passionate leader, building strategic partnerships and creating customer-centric solutions that create value for the businesses she works with.
Sahar holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business and her CPA designation with CPA Ontario. She is also a guest lecturer at the Schulich School of Business and has taught Finance courses at McMaster University.
Sahar has a strong passion for helping those in need and a passion for the arts. She has previously served on the board for a few not-for-profit organizations in the areas of education and poverty/hunger.
Board of Advisor
Nermine Zohdy is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in non-profit and development. She has a Bachelors Degree in international relations and economics, and a master’s degree in professional development.
Her skill with donors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multi-stakeholders was honed during her time with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Save-The-Children, the Arab Community Centre of Toronto and NGOs overseas.
Khaula Mazhar is a self-taught, professional artist. Born and raised in Canada, the daughter of South Asian immigrants, whose main aim in life was to produce doctors or engineers. Her father pointed at her in her warm York County Hospital bassinet proclaiming, “this one’s going to be a doctor.” Needless to say, the story went quite differently and this is why you should never assume in life. While she did dutifully pursue an education in science, earning her Masters in Biochemistry, she now gets paid to scribble on everything from small pieces of paper to large walls. Any surface will do as long as she can paint a story on it.
Shruti Desai is an IT engineer working in Cloud technology as an Azure Solution Architect at a reputed Government organization. Art is Shruti’s passion and hobby. She started painting at the age of 12 when she was captured by a painting from Raja Ravi Verma. From that day she has explored various mediums such as acrylic, water colour and oil paint. She is also well versed in various techniques such as wet on wet, pichwai, nature paintings, and portraits. On a lasting journey of learning, Shruti also conducts various art classes as a part of her own company where individuals of all ages are welcome to learn, grow, explore, and have fun.
Nkoyooyo Kezaala Brian
Head of Technical
Head of Live stream events coordination, Video editor and Tech support Department.
Brian is a creative mind behind designing event graphics and videos and operation of the live streams for Artists and Artisans Development Network. With a background in Art, Music and video production.
He is also a singer-songwriter and has composed a number of songs for human rights campaigns and entertainment.
Head of Digital Arts
Milad is a media producer/creative director with an extensive background in motion design, animation, video production and multimedia marketing. He has worked in multiple creative agencies and has experience in developing promotional campaigns, producing engaging and entertaining content for television, commercial advertising and corporate branding for clients in the US, UK, UAE and Canada.
Milad has a master’s degree in Media Production (MA) from Ryerson University and a bachelor’s degree (BFA) in Integrated Media from OCAD University. He has been a graduate teaching assistant at Ryerson University assisting and providing teaching support in various courses, such as concepts in media studies, international media storytelling, digital media theory/practice and sports media.
Board of Advisor
Carolyn is an experience and versatile education leader with over 15 years of experience piloting numerous training and development programs, and policy development solutions to government organizations, colleges and the not-for-profit-sector. She holds a master’s degree in Public Policy, Administration and Law from York University, a bachelor’s degree in international Relations from the University of the West Indies and a post graduate diploma in Human Resource Management from Humber College
As an immigrant to Canada, she is passionate about developing programs and instructional design tools that will help newcomers to Canada. This passion has resulted in several successful educational partnerships.
Jayshree Mina Daya
Board of Advisor
Jayshree is a Scarborough artist who migrated to Canada in the mid nineties, has nurtured a lifelong love of creative expression through painting and design. Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, her art incorporates imagery of the nature and wildlife that she grew up surrounded by. Her love of beauty combines with her formal training in a Fine Art College in Mumbai, India, to create work that is fuelled by passion and steadied by technique. She has been painting for more than 30 years. Her creative style is constantly evolving as she enjoys experimenting and painting freely but finds herself inexorably returning to the medium of acrylic and watercolour painting. She has worked as an art teacher in a Montessori School in Pickering, Ontario. She is passionate about art education and believes strongly in teaching both children and adults the skills that can enable them to draw and paint realistically. Her artistic pursuits have branched into fashion design, children’s art and crafts, and embroidery and batiks. Mina’s background and diverse experience have blended seamlessly on programs facilitating countless art projects. She has also created many commissioned works of art. She continues to learn and collaborate with other artists.
Board of Advisor
Zatoon is retired senior artist who was employed by the North York Board of Education, as a first teacher in special education and later as a teacher of gifted children. She also served as an adjunct professor at York University’s Faculty of Education for 8 years where she supervised the teacher interns in math and science education. In 1991, she was seconded to York University as a full time associate professor in math education. At McGill University for four years, she taught summer courses in gifted education to graduate students and teachers from all provinces in Canada.
Zatoon was always a strong advocate for women’s issues such as, equity in the workforce, elimination of math anxiety in females, and empowering women to enter the science, mathematics and engineering fields
Dr. Nafis Syed Motiwala
President Brampton Chapter
Dr. Nafisa Syed Motiwala is a visual artist, art historian, author and educator based in Toronto/Brampton with 7 years of experience in pastels, Charcoal, acrylic, watercolour. She has a doctorate degree in History of Art with specialization in Decorative and Architectural Elements of the Regional Architecture in Madhya Pradesh (a state in India) during the 14th -16th century. “Her subject matter is nature, whether it is a traditional landscape or a bird and flower painting. She uses a colourful palette, to capture movement and life — making the brush dance and the colours sing. Everything is captured in the spontaneous dance and movement of the brush as it foretells a story. The story of the artist and the world around her.”. She has exhibited globally in group exhibitions in India, UAE, US, Canada, Lebanon, Brussels, Turkey, France, Russia, Singapore and Ukraine. She has also authored a book “Mughal Jewellery: An Insight to the Jewellery under the Mughals”. She also has research papers to her credit including “The Hand of Hamsa: Interpretations Across the Globe”, IISTE, 2016. She has been awarded Ratan-e-Hind Award for Excellence in Abstract Art, Delhi, India. Professionally, Nafisa has been employed in a spectrum of fields including editorial team in Delhi Art Gallery, Europa (Taylor and Francis), content development. She also worked as a Subject Coordinator and faculty team Social Studies Department in India and in Dubai.