I am a Radiologist at Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga and Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. As a physician it is enormously satisfying to have a personal impact on the lives of individuals struggling with illness and disease. However, as a South African native, I have seen first hand the impact of apartheid on the dignity and health of its citizens. This has led me to understand that the social, political and economic infrastructure of a society can have a significant effect on human well being and dignity. I realize that, as medical practitioners, we cannot work in isolation. The struggle for well being and dignity must be fought on a broader level that includes social, political and charitable initiatives. As a long standing supporter of the IDRF, I am privileged to have an opportunity to work with the other members of the YPC in seeking global change and improvement in the conditions of those who are suffering because of poor health, limited economic means or restrictive political systems.
I have been on the IDRF Board of Directors for 4 years and am currently the Vice Chair of the IDRF Young Professionals Council. I am a graduate of the University of Toronto and started a career in Human Resources and later took time out of work to raise my two young children. This gave me the opportunity to do what I was very passionate about which was volunteering and this path lead me to an amazing organization called IDRF. I am very excited to be a part of the YPC and work together with this diverse group of people to do what we can to help our local and international brothers and sisters in humanity. I feel very optimistic about what we can do together as the next generation of IDRF supporters and volunteers.
Leen Al Zaibak
As an advocate for education and with a passion for mentoring youth, I co-founded Jusoor, an international NGO that helps Syrian youth continue their education. Jusoor has provided over 600 university scholarships for youth to study in North America, Europe and the Middle East and schooling for 700 refugee children in Lebanon. Jusoor has partnerships valued at $10M, which is one of the reasons I so strongly believe in the power of collaboration and partnerships across sectors. Previously, I worked for the Ontario government as a policy advisor for the Minister of Children and Youth Services. My governance experience includes board and committee roles with several organizations, including the Canadian Arab Institute, The Royal Ontario Museum and Oolagen Youth Mental Health. I hold a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Manchester, England. I am currently a DiverseCity CivicAction Fellow.
I come from a Digital Communications UX/UIDesign background. I am a Senior Consultant in UX/UI Design. I provide UX (user experience) expertise, digital art direction and creative strategic analysis for assorted digital communications solutions. I have a strong background in digital design with diverse Web/Mobile, Interactive and UX design/dev experience in industries such as: Government, Arts & Culture, Advertising, Finance, Events, Health & Wellness, Tourism & Wealth Management. I have been a supporter of philanthropy and arts/culture since my school days. I have experience in organizing and branding arts & philanthropic events (such as: Rogers Indian Ocean LIVE, Rumi Fest and Rising Sun). I also have international work experience in Santo Domingo with CSIH and received basic training about International & Sustainable Development in Montreal & Ottawa. I oversee and work on the branding and design of IDRF-YPC initiatives.
I am currently pursuing a law degree at the University of Ottawa. Prior to this, I worked as Senior Advisor to Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, focusing on trade policy and legislative affairs. In the past, I worked on community outreach in the Office of the Premier of Ontario and a Toronto-region Member of Provincial Parliament. I’ve pursued my passion through various community and political initiatives, aimed at social justice and human rights’ causes, including the IDRF-YPC. I hold a Masters in Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University and my doctoral research focused on the limits of state policies on multiculturalism and have lectured on religion and diversity in Canada. I learned to combine my love for activism, academia and travel and had the opportunity to earn certifications in Critical Muslim Studies through the University of Granada, and Genocide and Human Rights Studies through the Zoryan Institute (and the University of Toronto).
I am a licensed clinical psychologist and researcher at the Health & Wellness Centre, UofT Scarborough (UTSC), Canada. I completed my doctoral studies at the Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ and pre- & post-doctoral training at the Positive Psychology Centre, University of Pennsylvania, where with Dr. Martin Seligman, I developed and empirically validated Positive Psychotherapy (PPT). I have delved into topics of growth and engagement, resilience, search for meaning and how to succeed doing the right thing. Some of these topics have made into peer-reviewed journals, Wall Street Journal, CBC and the TEDx. I have had the pleasure and privilege of training professionals and educators internationally including the University of Paris, London, City University of Hong Kong, University of Melbourne, University of Ottawa and Princeton University. I integrate my hatha yoga and mindfulness training to facilitate a process of active search for an active and realistic search for the half-full portion of the proverbial glass to survive, thrive and flourish.