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Speaker Biographies

Portrait Naomi Alboim

Naomi Alboim is Senior Policy Fellow with the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration program at Ryerson University and is Distinguished Fellow in the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University. Naomi is an active public policy consultant and has advised governments and NGOs across Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, Vietnam, Indonesia, Ghana, Kenya and South Korea. Previously, Naomi worked at senior levels in the Canadian federal and Ontario provincial governments for 25 years, including eight years as deputy minister in three different portfolios. Her areas of responsibility included immigration, human rights, labour market training, workplace standards, culture, as well as women’s, seniors’, disability and Indigenous issues. Naomi is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals and is a member of the Order of Ontario.

Portrait Rupa Banerjee

Rupa Banerjee is Associate Professor of Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour at the Ted Rogers School of Management. Rupa examines the employment experiences of highly skilled immigrants as well as temporary foreign workers. She is motivated to understand the factors that pose barriers for immigrants and the potential avenues to overcome their disadvantages. Currently, Rupa is working on a five-year study, funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Grant, examining the impact of recent changes in Canada’s skilled immigrant selection policy.

Portrait Anna Boucher

Anna K. Boucher is Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Sydney. She holds degrees in politics and law from Sydney University and the London School of Economics. Her research focuses on immigration policy and its intersection with the welfare state, gender equality, industrial relations and employment law as it impacts immigration. Her work has been published in international journals and books, and has been presented before intergovernmental and government agencies. She is a regular commentator in the news on immigration issues. 

Portrait Bill Boulding

William (Bill) Boulding is Dean of the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He is an accomplished scholar with a passion for helping to advance business as a force for good. Bill has advocated at the top levels of government, industry and academia for ways that enable business to improve society. He is active in a number of governance roles which include serving as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Council on Values, a member of the board of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC®), a member of Swarthmore College’s Board of Managers and as chair of the Board of Directors of Duke Corporate Education. Bill received his PhD in Managerial Sciences and Applied Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Portrait Meng Hsuan

Meng-Hsuan Chou is Associate Professor and the Provost’s Chair in Public Policy and Global Affairs at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. Her research interests include comparative regionalism, politics of migration and higher education, and transnational administration and global policy.

Portrait Francis Collins

Francis L. Collins is Professor of Geography and Director of the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis at the University of Waikato. His research explores international migration focusing especially on the experience and regulation of temporary migration, including migrant aspirations and desires, international students and urban transformation, labour migration and marginalisation, and time and youth migration. Francis is the author of Global Asian City: Migration, Desire and the Politics of Encounter in 21st Century Seoul (Wiley; 2018) and co-editor of Intersections of Inequality, Migration and Diversification (Palgrave; 2020) and Aspiration, Desire and the Drivers of Migration (Routledge; 2020).

Portrait Alex Cutean

Alexandra Cutean is Senior Director of Research & Policy at the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC). Alexandra provides strategic leadership and oversight on ICTC’s research and policy initiatives and has authored numerous reports on topics including talent, labour mobility, investment, trade, smart cities and transformative technologies like AI and blockchain. Alexandra’s work focuses on providing in-depth research and policy considerations for the Canadian digital economy. Her previous work experience extends across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. She holds both an MSc in Foreign Affairs and an MSc in Conflict Resolution and Negotiation from the University of Amsterdam.

Portrait JC Dumont

Jean-Christophe Dumont is Head of the International Migration Division in the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He joined the OECD Secretariat in 2000 to work on international migration issues and has held his current position since 2011. He oversees the OECD annual flagship publication, International Migration Outlook, and numerous publications on the economic impact of international migration, as well as on migration management and the labour market integration of immigrants and their children in OECD countries. His past work includes a focus on migration and development issues and on the international mobility of health workers. Jean-Christophe holds a PhD in development economics from the University Paris IX-Dauphine.

Portrait Fakih Mohmad

Mohamad Fahkih is the owner of Paramount Fine Foods. An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Mohamad purchased a nearly bankrupt restaurant in 2006 and transformed it into what is known today as the fastest growing Middle Eastern Halal restaurant chain in North America. Mohamad’s determination to change perceptions surrounding Middle Eastern food has driven Paramount’s brand success across Canada and internationally and has advanced the global Middle Eastern food trend. A community leader, Mohamad regularly participates in fundraisers and community events, supporting multiple causes and organizations. His determination to uphold values of giving back to communities where Paramount restaurants are located has resulted in a workplace culture of giving to others and supporting one another. ion and the Canadian Population Society, as Vice President (representing the Academy of Social Sciences) of the Royal Society of Canada, and as Chair of the International Migration section of the American Sociological Association.

Portrait Ian Goldin

Ian Goldin is Professor of Globalisation and Development, University of Oxford, and founding Director of the Oxford Martin School (external link) . Among his many notable appointments, Ian was Vice President of the World Bank, served as Chief Executive of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and Economic Advisor to President Nelson Mandela, and was Principal Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He has published 22 books, including Terra Incognita: 100 Maps to Survive the Next 100 Years (Penguin; 2020) and The Butterfly Defect: Why Globalization Creates Systemic Risks and What to Do (Princeton University Press; 2015), in which he predicted that a pandemic was the most likely cause of the next financial crisis. He provides advisory and consultancy services to numerous NGOs, governments and companies and has served on the board of six globally listed companies. Ian has been knighted by the French Government. He has an MSc from the London School of Economics and DPhil from the University of Oxford.

Portrait Igor Grossmann

Igor Grossmann is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Waterloo. Igor’s work aims to unpack the philosopher’s stone of psychological research – the concept of wisdom and wise reasoning, integrating philosophical perspectives with psychological and computational methods for research on culture, reasoning and judgment in the face of adversity. His work has been published in Science Advances, Proceedings of the Royal Academy: Biological Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Perspectives on Psychological Science, Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Psychology, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He has been an Associate Editor of Emotion and currently is an Associate Editor of the flagship journal, Social Psychological and Personality Science. Igor also co-hosts the “On Wisdom Podcast,” which aims to disseminate scientific insights from psychology, philosophy and cognitive sciences to the broad academic audience and the general public.

Jenna Hennebry is Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier’s Balsillie School of International Affairs. Jenna is a member of the Canadian Council for Refugees Subcommittee on Migrant Workers, the International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s Migration Research Leaders' Syndicate, the UN Expert Working Group on Women’s Human Rights in the Global Compact for Migration, and the UN Migration Network's Working Group on Bilateral Labour Migration Agreements. She is co-founding Director of the International Migration Research Centre and co-founder of the Migrant Worker Health Project and the Migrant Worker Health Expert Working Group. Jenna’s work has been published in national and international journals such as International Migration and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and in technical reports on migrant worker rights and health with UN Women, the IOM, and numerous other government and civil society organizations.

Portrait Zabeen Hirji

Zabeen Hirji is Deloitte’s Executive Advisor, Future of Work, advising in the areas of leadership and talent development, workforce and culture transformation, and diversity and inclusion. From 2007 to 2017, she was Chief Human Resources Officer at the Royal Bank of Canada. An active proponent of inclusive growth and prosperity through investment in people, she advises senior levels of government and higher education as a member of the External Advisory Board for diversity and inclusion for the U.K. Research and Innovation Council and as former advisor to the Clerk of the Privy Council for the Government of Canada. Zabeen is executive-in-residence at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business, a visiting professor at King’s College Policy Institute in London, U.K., and a past member of the Governing Council of the University of Toronto. She is Board Chair of CivicAction and sits on the Advisory Group for the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council.

Srujana Katta is a doctoral researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. Her research focuses on migrants’ lived experiences of work and resistance in the U.K.’s platform economy. Srujana is also a researcher at the Fairwork Project, an action-research project based at the Oxford Internet Institute. Fairwork evaluates working conditions at gig economy companies and advocates for fairer platform work around the world.

Portrait Laura Lam

Laura Lam is a PhD student at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto and a researcher with CERC Migration. She completed her MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies at Ryerson University, and her research interest is at the nexus of migration, employment and gender. She has previously worked in a marketing capacity with various startups and technology accelerators. She currently serves as co-editor of the open-access publishing platform, The Migration Initiative.

Portrait Shamir Madhany

Shamira Madhany is Managing Director, Canada and Deputy Executive Director, World Education Services (WES). She joined WES in 2018 after more than two decades of public service. She has extensive experience working with licensing bodies, settlement agencies, and higher education and post-secondary sectors in Ontario. She served as the chief architect of several government programs that enable highly skilled immigrants to obtain employment in their fields. Shamira played a key role in the launch of WES Canada in 2000 during her tenure at the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration as Provincial Lead, Access to Professions and Trades.

Portrait Sabrian Marchetti

Sabrina Marchetti is Associate Professor of Sociology at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. She specializes in gender, racism, labour and migration issues, with a focus on the question of migrant domestic work. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the European Research Council-funded project, “DomEQUAL: Paid domestic work and global inequalities” (2016-2021), which looks at the conditions and labour rights of domestic workers in India, the Philippines, Taiwan, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Germany, Italy and Spain. Her books include Black Girls: Migrant Domestic Workers and Colonial Legacies (Brill; 2014) and Employers, Agencies and Immigration: Paying for Care (co-edited with A. Triandafyllidou; Ashgate; 2015). The books Migration and Domestic Work (Springer) and Global Domestic Workers: Intersectional Inequalities and Struggles for Rights (Bristol University Press) are forthcoming in 2021.

Portrait Phil Martin

Philip Martin is Professor Emeritus of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis, editor of Rural Migration News and the author of numerous research publications on migration and farm labour. His most recent book is The Prosperity Paradox: Fewer and More Vulnerable Farm Workers (Oxford University Press; 2021). 

Karen McCallum is Senior Research Associate at the Diversity Institute. Karen has a background in interdisciplinary social sciences with degrees from Waterloo University and McMaster University. She has recently returned to Canada to re-engage on the vanguard of Canadian policy and research after completing doctoral studies at the University of London (UK). Her work at Ryerson’s Diversity Institute-Future Skills builds on previous academic experience as a visiting professor at Bridgewater State University (US) and lecturer at the University of Oxford. Karen’s focus is on improving public policy in the intersecting areas of labour and economic justice, housing, gender, and social care and reproduction, and to contributing to better outcomes for those least well served by existing systems. Her research, teaching, and evidence-based policy analysis draws on her background in environmental justice, Indigenous theory, sociology, feminist theory, and social psychology.

Karen McCallum portrait
Portrait Kathleen Newland

Kathleen Newland is Senior Fellow and Co-founder of the Migration Policy Institute. Her previous positions include Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, lecturer at the London School of Economics and Special Assistant to the Rector of the United Nations University. Her consultancies include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, the World Bank, the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Global Forum on Migration and Development. Kathleen is author or editor of nine books, including most recently All at Sea: The Policy Challenges of Maritime Migration (Migration Policy Institute; 2016), as well as numerous reports, policy papers, articles and book chapters. She serves on the Board of Directors of Kids in Need of Defense and has been a member of the boards of the International Rescue Committee, U.S., the Stimson Center, the Foundation for The Hague Process on Migrants and Refugees and the Women’s Refugee Commission.

Portrait Ito Peng

Ito Peng is the Canada Research Chair in Global Social Policy at the University of Toronto. She is a world authority in global social policy, specializing in gender, migration and care policies. She has written extensively on social policies and political economy of care in East Asia and has just completed an international research project entitled, Gender, Migration, and the Work of Care, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is currently engaged in two research projects: The Care Economy: Gender-sensitive Macroeconomic Models for Policy Analysis and Care Economies in Context: Towards Sustainable Social and Economic Development. She is a distinguished fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and a Research Associate for the joint program of UN Women and the International Labour Organization at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. Her recent book, co-edited with Sonya Michel, is called Gender, Migration and the Work of Care: A Multi-Scalar Approach to the Pacific Rim (Palgrave Macmillan; 2017).

Portrait Peter Douglas

Douglas Porter is Chief Economist at BMO Financial Group, with over 30 years of experience analyzing global economies and financial markets. His team has won numerous awards, including Best Economic Forecaster for Canada by FocusEconomics, top Canadian forecaster by Bloomberg News and the prestigious Lawrence R. Klein Award for forecast accuracy of the U.S. economy. Douglas has been a member of C.D. Howe’s Monetary Policy Council since 2008 and serves on the Investment Management Committees of the Bank of Montreal’s Canada Pension Plan and Western’s Endowment Fund. He also sits on the Board of Directors of Toronto Finance International and on the American Bankers Association’s Economic Advisory Committee. Douglas is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has an MA in economics from the University of Western Ontario. As a respected commentator on economic and financial trends, he is regularly quoted in the national press and interviewed on radio and television.

Portrait Peter Scholten

Peter Scholten is full Professor in the Governance of Migration and Diversity at Erasmus University Rotterdam. In addition, he is international coordinator of the IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe) Research Network on international migration, director of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Center on the Governance of Migration and Diversity, and alliance coordinator of the European University for Post-Industrial Cities. His work focuses on comparative governance, relations between science and society, and on multi-level governance in the areas of migration and migration-related diversities.

Portrait Madeleine Sumption

Madeleine Sumption is Director of the Migration Observatory, University of Oxford. She was previously Director of Research for the International Programme at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. She has written more than 40 reports and articles on migration, typically involving theoretical and empirical analysis of the economic impacts of policy design. She has also produced numerous evidence-based reports for policy audiences and has advised governments on the social and economic effects of migration policies. In 2017, Madeleine received a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to social science.

Portrait Syed Zwick

Hélène Syed Zwick is Executive Director of ESLSCA Research Center and Associate Professor of Economics at ESLSCA University, Egypt. She is a research and teaching economist with over 10 years of international experience and has lived and worked in three different continents (Europe, Africa and Asia). Hélène is also an international consultant and has worked with the International Labour Organization, the World Bank and the International Organization for Migration. Her most recent publication is entitled, “Narrative analysis of Syrians, South Sudanese and Libyans transiting in Egypt: A Motivation – Opportunity – Ability Approach”, in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.


Anna Triandafyllidou is the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Ryerson University. Prior to joining Ryerson in 2019, she was based in Florence, Italy, where she held a Robert Schuman Chair at the European University Institute and directed the Cultural Pluralism research area of the Global Governance Program. She was also a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges between 2002 and 2018. Anna is Editor of the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies. Her most recent books include Migrants with Irregular Status in Europe (co-editor S. Spencer; Springer IMISCOE; 2020), Handbook of Migration and Globalisation (editor; Edgar Elgar; 2018), The Problem of Religious Diversity (co-editor T. Modood; Edinburgh University Press; 2018), Multicultural Governance in a Mobile World (editor; Edinburgh University Press; 2018) and Global Governance from Regional Perspectives (editor; Oxford University Press; 2017). She also coordinates two blogging spaces: Pandemic Borders and Global Extremes. 

Portrait Niels van Doorn

Niels van Doorn is Assistant Professor of New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam. He is also the Principal Investigator of the Platform Labor research project, funded by the European Research Council (ERC). The project examines how digital platforms are transforming labor, social reproduction and urban governance in post-welfare societies, focusing specifically on Amsterdam, Berlin and New York City.  

Portrait of Darsana Vijay

Darsana Vijay is a research assistant on the Platform Labor project. She holds a Masters Research degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam and an MA in English Studies from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai. She is interested in how digital platforms affect the lives and livelihood of (cultural) producers in the margins.

Portrait Peter Walsh

Peter William Walsh is a Researcher at the Migration Observatory, University of Oxford. His research focuses on U.K. immigration policy, including family migration, international students, asylum, detention, deportation and the post-Brexit points-based immigration system. His doctoral thesis, The Legislature in Immigration Policy-Making: A Liberal Constraint?, examines the role of the national legislature in shaping the immigration law of liberal democratic states. He is the co-editor of the book, From Financial Crisis to Social Change: Towards Alternative Horizons (Palgrave Macmillan; 2018).

Portrait Margaret Roberts Walton

Margaret Walton-Roberts is Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University and an affiliate with the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario. She has published widely on issues related to gender and migration, including global health professional migration. Her current research focuses on the international migration of healthcare professionals within Asia and from Asia to North America and Europe.

Huiyao Wang is Founder and President of the Center for China and Globalization and is Vice Chairman, China Association for International Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Commerce, People’s Republic of China.  He is a member of the steering committee of the Paris Peace Forum initiated by French President Macron; the Migration Advisory Board of the International Organization for Migration; the Yale University Asia Development Advisory Council; and the Duke Kunshan University Advisory Council. Huiyao has worked as Director for Asia at SNC-Lavalin in Montreal and as Chief Trade Representative of the Canada-Quebec Government Office in Hong Kong and Greater China. He was a Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institute. He has authored and edited over 80 books in both Chinese and English on global trade, global governance, global migration, China outbound and inbound investment and Chinese Diasporas including China’s Domestic and International Migration Development series (Springer; 2019.) Huiyao holds PhD degrees in international business and global management from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Manchester.

Portrait Chris Wright

Chris F. Wright is Associate Professor of Work and Organisational Studies at the University of Sydney Business School where he is Co-Director of the Sydney Employment Relations Research Group. Chris’s research focuses on the intersection of employment, globalization and public policy, with a particular interest in labour immigration, comparative employment relations and sustainable supply chains. He has authored over 80 scholarly publications, is Co-Editor of International and Comparative Employment Relations, an Editor of the Journal of Industrial Relations and Associate Editor of Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society. Chris has a PhD from the University of Cambridge. 

Portrait Brenda Yeoh

Brenda Yeoh is Raffles Professor of Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Research Leader of the Asian Migration Cluster at NUS’ Asia Research Institute. Her research interests in Asian migration span themes including gender, social reproduction and care migration; skilled migration and cosmopolitanism; higher education and international student mobilities; and marriage migrants and cultural politics. She has published widely in geography and migration studies journals and her recent books include the Routledge Handbook of Asian Migrations (co-edited with G. Liu-Farrer; Routledge; 2018) and Student Mobilities and International Education in Asia (co-authored with R. Sidhu and K.C. Ho; Palgrave Macmillan; 2020).