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Board of Governors Elections 2024


Professor Irene Gammel has been elected as the faculty Board Member for a term of two years.

Tony Conte has been elected as the administrative staff Board Member for a term of two years.

Ahmed Elshahed, Aasim Ul Haq Khwaja, and Cristobal (Cris) Leal have been elected as the student Board Members for a term of one year. 

All positions will commence on September 1, 2024.

 (PDF file) Returning Officer Report - Board Elections Faculty, Staff, and Student 2024


Important Dates

2024 elections for the student, staff and faculty members:

Nomination period: February 1, 2024-February 9, 2024

Campaigning period: February 14, 2024-March 8, 2024 

Voting period: March 5, 2024 - March 8, 2024 

2024 elections for alumni:

Nomination Period:  February 1, 2024-February 9, 2024

Campaigning Period: February 14, 2024-June 26, 2024

Voting Period: June 12, 2024 to June 26, 2024


Varinder Bhabra

Varinder has a passion for and extensive experience and leadership in networking, mentoring, fundraising, and social initiatives and would like to lend these skills to his alma mater, via a position on the TMU Board of Governors, to enhance alumni engagement with the University and with each other.

It is said that it is who you know, more so than what you know, that counts in the workplace, so where better to build one’s network than at the school that taught them what they know- TMU / Ryerson University? Those who spent years pursuing their degrees, diplomas, or certificates, while developing friendships, can enjoy an ongoing solid foundation of support for each other, yet many have lost those relationships. Varinder strives to increase and strengthen these connections, to serve alumni, the school and the community.

To enable this reconnection, Varinder will work with existing alumni groups and provide support on current initiatives, while identifying and collaborating on new ones, including a focus on international alumni, who are instrumental in increasing TMU’s brand awareness, globally.

Varinder would also like to participate in shaping the educational path for current and future students, to maximize their success and to help shape future ambassadors for the university. He brings many years of leadership experience from the corporate world and agile capabilities that can enhance or even transform how the University addresses the changing environment, student needs and expectations, to contribute to discussions pertaining to important University matters.

Examples of initiatives:

- He held the position of VP of a 350+ member association that brought professionals together through events and activities.

- He founded, an online site that brought professionals together to network for business opportunities, jobs, and personal interests.

- He mentored several Ryerson graduating students over several years.

Jacob Circo

Hyacinth Gawne

I am honoured to put my name forward as a candidate for TMU’s Board of Governors. I am passionate about university governance and I am confident that the sum of my professional, volunteer, and academic experiences to date has equipped me with the right set of knowledge and skills to be an effective Board member.

I am currently a Team Lead at the Ontario Treasury Board Secretariat in the Ontario Public Service. I lead a team of senior strategic advisors and am responsible for managing the development and delivery of strategic analysis and advice to Cabinet committees on major fiscal, operational, program and policy initiatives. Earlier, in my role as Senior Strategic Advisor for the education sector, I provided advice on infrastructure policies and programs, such as the construction and land acquisition for major capital projects. My extensive and multi-faceted experience in the public service to date has led me to develop a strong background in governance, public policy, financial planning, and stakeholder engagement.

My professional experience is complemented by my volunteer work. I currently serve as a Board Member at the Institute of Public Administration of Canada and a mentor at the University of Toronto. In addition, I have had experience in supporting community issues such as social housing. For example, to address a long-standing issue in a housing complex within the Flemingdon Park area, I represented tenants’ interests to facilitate a successful resolution with the Toronto Community Housing Corporation.

I hold a Master’s in Public Policy, Administration & Law.

It is the above blend of knowledge, skills, experience and sheer passion, combined with a long-standing interest in the post-secondary sector and university governance that has motivated my interest in an alumna position on TMU’s Board of Governors. I ask for your support and vote so that together we can make a positive impact to the future of TMU and its students.

Nevil Knupp

Excited about the chance to serve on the TMU Board of Governors, my platform emphasizes creativity, dedication, and diverse growth. As an alum, I've funded two awards, totaling $40,000, showcasing my commitment since graduating in 1986.

With a successful career at IBM, CIBC, and CARFAX Canada, I bring expertise in management, business development, technology operations, and strategic planning. My focus as a board member aligns with TMU's priorities:

1. Alumni Engagement: Strengthening connections between graduates and the school to leverage their industry experience for TMU's growth strategy.

2. Fundraising: Drawing on my corporate relationship development skills to spearhead initiatives and attract vital funds, ensuring TMU's sustained excellence.

3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:Committed to enhancing TMU's strengths in DEI, striving for excellence in engaging diverse perspectives and experiences.

4. Advanced Technology:*Passionate about staying at the forefront of technology, particularly AI, I aim to position TMU as a leader in its strategic application.

In summary, my commitment extends beyond nostalgia, grounded in a strategic vision for alumni engagement, fundraising, DEI, and embracing cutting-edge technology. I look forward to contributing to TMU's continued success as a dedicated Board of Governors member.

Alexander Panovski

Who is Alex and why vote for him?

Alex Panovski was born and raised in Toronto (East York) and loves both the professional and recreational opportunities Toronto has to offer. Alex is currently pursuing a PhD in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Alex has worked for the Toronto District School Board as a secondary school business and special education teacher and believes deeply in strongly funded public education institutions. Alex has served in two formal OSSTF union roles and has volunteered his time extensively for student extracurricular activities. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration from Toronto Metropolitan University. Alex enjoys reading, playing guitar and attending alternative/indie concerts in his leisure time.

Alex believes his history of advocacy and volunteering for public education enrichment as well as strong financial literacy knowledge uniquely positions him as an ideal candidate to represent TMU alumni on the Board of Governors. Alex brings an open-minded and collaborative approach to best represent alumni interests in a professional manner.

Ryan Rodrigues

Neil Supriyo

Alan Stratton

Nibras Yacoub

Who is Nibras Yacoub?

An accomplished TMU alumni & professional with 24 years of experience in the Architectural and Project Management industry. A natural leader, strong decision maker that encourages team problem solving and a collaborative work environment who focuses on delivering quality results. Currently the Vice President of Operations at NORR Architects & Engineers Limited, a multi-discipline design firm with practices across North America & the U.K.

Areas of Experience & Focus - Project Management, Operations Management, and People Management.

Why the TMU Board of Governors?

The Board of Governors is responsible for the governance of the university; control of its property and revenues; the conduct of its business and affairs. As a former student, my experience at Toronto Metropolitan University was extremely positive & highly engaging. TMU has given me a solid foundation, life-long friends, and access to a thriving professional community.

I would love to pay this forward thru my volunteer work & actively support the Board of Governors’ efforts to ensure the coming generations receive a university that continues to be a great centre of development, that of pragmatic knowledge and research which ultimately addresses social need. My experience as a Board of Directors member with Building Transformations, North America’s largest building technology & innovation community, as well, a Program Advisor for George Brown College offering strategic advice on curriculum for current & future architectural students, gives me a solid foundation for this position.

If elected, I will leverage my knowledge, skills, and commitment to building community service in the interest of a mission I find both personally and professionally rewarding. I look forward to serving TMU & supporting the Board of Governors.

Feel free to reach out.

Ming Yeung

As an ardent advocate for lifelong learning and community involvement, I am thrilled to announce my candidacy for the TMU Board of Governors. With a commitment to fostering an inclusive and forward-thinking academic environment, I seek your support in this pivotal election.

Platform Highlights:

1. Student Voice Amplification: I firmly believe that students are the heartbeat of TMU. I will actively engage with the student body, ensuring their perspectives shape governance decisions. Let’s create avenues for open dialogue, transparency, and collaborative decision-making.

2. Diversity and Inclusion: TMU should be a place where every student feels seen and heard. I will champion policies that celebrate diversity, promote equity, and foster an environment where all identities thrive.

3. Mental Health and Well-Being: The rigors of academia can take a toll on mental health. I propose expanding mental health resources, reducing stigma, and cultivating a campus culture that prioritizes well-being.

4. Affordability and Accessibility: Education should be accessible to all. I will advocate for affordable textbooks, explore scholarship opportunities, and work towards minimizing financial barriers.

5. Career Development: Strengthening industry connections is vital. I will advocate for internships, co-op programs, and networking events to enhance students’ career prospects.

About Me: I possess 20+ years of professional experience and education in LLM, MBA, BEd, and BSc. I am involved in leadership roles as a volunteer in professional associations to give back to the community and society at large. My active involvement in student clubs, mentorship programs, and financial literacy has given me insights into student challenges. I promise to be a dedicated advocate for your needs.

Vote for Ming Yeung: Together, we can shape TMU’s future—a university that thrives on collaboration, inclusivity, and academic excellence. I look forward to earning your support! Make your vote count!