Staff List

Mulugeta Abai, Executive Director

Adriana Lilic, Executive Assistant / Office Manager

Elena Sen, Finance Manager

Mbalu Lumor, Senior Manager, Programs and Newcomer Service

Huda Bukhari, Community Engagement/Settlement Manager

Rahel Hailemichael, Settlement Manager

Mahnoush Kay Kohpaei, Training Module Project/Community Engagement Manager

Teresa Dremetsikas, Anti-Human Trafficking Manager

Nadia Umadat, TSLIP Manager

Michelle Collier, Director of Human Resources

Domine Rutayisire, Mental Health Counselor (French/Rwanda/Burundi) (Mississauga/Downtown)

Rigbe Tsige, Administrative Assistant (Scarborough)

Juliette Ntege, Volunteer Coordinator / Administrative Assistant (Scarborough)

Farah, Community Engagement Worker (Downtown)

Ezat Mossallanejad, Settlement Counselor & Policy Analyst (Farsi/Dari) (Downtown/Scarborough/HUB)

Kubra Zaifi, Settlement Counselor (Dari/Pashtu/Farsi) (Downtown)

Leah MacDonald, Child/Youth Counselor (Downtown)

Mildred Fidele, Settlement Counselor (Somali) (Downtown)

Rahel Hailemichael, Settlement Counselor (Amharic/Tigrinya) (Downtown)

Elena Soto-Chico, Settlement/Mental Health Counselor (Spanish) (Scarborough)

Hilena Gebregiorgis, Youth Mental Health  Counselor (Scarborough)

Mathura Nagaratnam, Settlement Counselor (Tamil) (Scarborough)

Nisreen Al Khatib,  Settlement Counselor (Arabic) (Scarborough)

Rosy Bossoke, Youth Mentorship Facilitator (Scarborough) – Maternity Leave

Samar Ahmed, Settlement Counselor (Arabic)  (HUB/Scarborough)

Mona Kalil, Settlement/Mental Health Counselor (Arabic) (Mississauga)

Naziha Mahmoud – Anti-Human Trafficking Counselor


Fatoumata (Fanta) Ongoiba is the Executive Director of Africans in Partnership Against Aids. She is a leader in the African community and a member of the Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS and the African/ Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS.  She holds a Masters in Cooperative Business Development and Management, a Masters in Business Administration, and a PhD in Economics.

Richard Wazana holds an LLB from Osgood Hall Law School, York University, and MSW and a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto.  He is currently working as an immigration and refugee lawyer. Mr. Wazana brings extensive social policy and social services experience. He was actively involved in the following organizations: Parkdale Community Legal Services, Kids Help Phone, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Laidlaw Foundation and Family Services Association of Toronto. He is currently the chair of the board.

Dr. Branka Agic is Director of Knowledge Exchange with the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). She is an Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Master of Science in Community Health (MSCHS) in Addiction and Mental Health Program at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Branka holds PHD in Health and Behavioral Sciences along with a Medical Degree from the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Branka has extensive experience in counselling, research and service development with immigrants and refugees. Her primary research interest is in the area of mental health and substance use among immigrants, refugees, ethno-cultural and racialized groups.

Monika Franklin has been involved in newcomer and settlement issues for many years. She is a lawyer and worked for more than 20 years in the Ontario legal clinic system, most recently as staff lawyer and social assistance team lead at Flemingdon Community Legal Services in the Thorncliffe Park area of Toronto. She provided services to low income, vulnerable and marginalized populations, particularly on social assistance/disability, human rights, housing and immigration issues. She is currently on the Board of MCIS Language Solutions, which provides interpreters to many courts, tribunals, hospitals and legal clinics and also trains newcomers to work as interpreters. She was on the Board of CCVT between 1998 and 2001 and looks forward to the opportunity to renew her acquaintance with CCVT staff, clients and programs.

Wajeeha Rafat is a passionate finance professional, has a splendid career of over 15 years in Finance, Audit and Consulting across large global companies such as Ernst & Young, Siemens, Royal Bank of Canada. She is CPA (Canada), CMA (UK) and SAP CO Certified (Germany) and has a Bachelors in Commerce and Masters in Economics degrees. She started her career with Ernst & Young, conducted external audit of clients in multiple industries including non-profit organizations. She was able to get her first job in the Canada with Scotia Bank as a Manager Reporting and Analysis and thereafter served Royal Bank of Canada for over 3 years as Manager Financial and Regulatory Reporting. She took active part in various volunteering activities hosted by or sponsored by RBC. Recently she raised funds for RBC Race for the Kids and was recognized as the top 10 fund raisers of the CFO Group. Wajeeha is very passionate about volunteering, has been associated with CCVT for almost five years.

Ruba Ali Al-Hassani is a PhD candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, studying post-conflict state sovereignty and state-building. She holds a Masters Degree in Criminology from the University of Toronto that focused on cases of torture at Guantanamo Bay & Abu Ghraib, and a Masters of Law from Osgoode Hall Law School that focused on the Saddam Hussein trial. She has taught Sociology at York University and at her alma mater, Trent University, where she had majored in Psychology and Sociology. Ruba is a co-founder and former Board Member of the Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law. She is also a member of the Board of Directors at the Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation. During her free time, she is an interpreter for the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, and a regional representative of the Iraqi Cooperative Orphan Aid Foundation. Her research interests are many, but focus on Iraqi Studies, terrorism and counter-terrorism, digital Sociology, the Sociology of storytelling, as well as the Sociology of law, crime, and social control.

Kemi Jacobs is Executive Director of the Delta Family Resource Centre and has also been director of property management at one of the largest social housing companies in North America, with a focus on quality housing, the engagement of tenants and building a healthy organization.  In her work in the west of Toronto, her team is focusing on capacity-building, good customer service, clean buildings and a strong operational performance. Previously Kemi lead the Children and Youth section at TCHC. Under her leadership, there was a total re-orientation of the dept. As the focus changed to youth development approaches and on the integration of anti-oppression framework into work with children and youth. With over 20 years of community involvement, Kemi is a past President of the Canadian Council for Refugees, former Executive Director of Culture Link Settlement Services and past chairperson of the National Anti-Racism Council of Canada.

Dr. Carolyn Filteau recently completed a PHD at Osgoode Law School in Toronto, Canada. Her PHD thesis title is “Rights and Responsibilities: What are the Prospects for R2P in the International/Transnational Arena?” She also holds an LLM in Law specializing in Dispute Resolution from Osgoode Laws School and BA/MA in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia. She taught Conflict Resolution at Seneca College in Toronto and Negotiation at the Life Institute, Ryerson University.  Her research interests include international law, humanitarian intervention legal theory, global conflict, the responsibility to protect, global governance, nongovernmental organizations and conflict resolution. She has presented papers at International conferences and published in conference proceedings and journals. She is currently Secretary of the Board of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture.

Fiona C. Thomas is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Ryerson University and Vanier Scholar (2017-2020). Her academic interests are in cross-cultural mental health, including adaption, delivery, and evaluation of mental health interventions for individuals often overlooked by mainstreams mental health services.  Fiona`s PHD dissertation examines the impact of daily stressors and coping mechanisms on trauma symptoms severity in post-conflict Northern Sri Lanka. Her doctoral research builds on her academic and fieldwork with refugee populations in transit countries, including Nepal and Malaysia. Fiona also remains actively involved in supporting newcomer populations settle in Toronto.

Jehan Teja was born in Toronto to first-generation East African Indian immigrant parents, and grew up very aware of the challenges around resettlement in a new country. Since her early teens, she has volunteered in many capacities with the Shia Ismaili Muslim institutions, including extensive work with youth from families that had recently fled Central Asia (Afghanistan in particular). She has an undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science, and a Masters degree in Economics, both from McMaster University. For four years, she was a capital planner with the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, but in early 2014 she left this position to pursue her current endeavours as the owner and artist behind Azki Jewelry, through which she designs and creates ethical jewelry and fashion accessories. Most recently her work has become a permanent feature at the Aga Khan Museum shop.

Dr. Jaswant Kaur Bajwa is a Professor and Research Coordinator in the Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies (CPLS) at George Brown College.  In her work as academician, clinician, anti-violence advocate, and community researcher she uses an intersectional lens and is passionate about the use of education as a tool for social change and empowerment. Both her research and practice since the early 1990s have focused on the impact of violence and mental health issues on learning and the educational changes (both at micro and systemic levels) that need to be made in order to foster a safe and inclusive learning environment for students. She has worked with students with histories of violence, refugees, people marginalized as a result of mental health issues and other systemic barriers. In her role, she provides leadership to staff and students and is responsible for the development of the research capacity within the division. She leads number of research projects at the college. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology with the focus on psychological burnout in caring professionals.

DrHaleh Doulatyari Azar is a physician, currently practising Family medicine, Psychotherapy and counselling. She also is president of Canadian-Iranian Medical Association.In regards to administrative experience, she acted as provincial Chief of family health in Iran and as Vice President of medical services and Chief Medical Officer, in Northern Region of Manitoba.

Hope Masika is a Funder at TD Auto Finance Bank. She holds a Masters` degree in Public  Affairs from Sciences Po – Paris Institute of Political studies (Institut d’études politiques de Paris), France and majored in Policy Analysis, Human Security and research. Her most noticeable research was strategies for building leadership networks in Hong Kong and London for Untied Way worldwide. She has a PGD in Public Administration and Management from Uganda Management Institute and a Bachelor`s degree in Office Administration from Makerere University. She is also a trained HIV/AIDS Counsellor from Family Planning Association of Uganda (FPAU). She worked with the Electoral Commission as an Election Officer and Program Coordinator for the National Political Parties Forum in Uganda. She also worked with the Central Bank of Uganda in Administration before relocating to Canada.

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