Board of Directors
Sanga Achakzai – Chair
At the age of 15, Sanga Achakzai came to Canada with high hopes for a more secure and prosperous future, a chance to obtain a higher degree of education and an opportunity for leadership in the community she lives in. Sanga graduated from York University in 2008, with a Specialized Honours in International Relations, as well as a French certificate in bilingualism. While her academic background served more in project management, research and policy analysis, her work experience has been more in functioning as a front line worker in the not-for-profit sector for over 6 years. Sanga has worked as a settlement worker and volunteer coordinator for 3 years, at the Afghan Women’s organization. She also possesses a great degree of skills in proposal writing, coordinating websites, managing projects and conducting research. She currently works at Catholic Cross Cultural Services (CCS), where she coordinates the Community Services Program for women, and also assumes responsibility for volunteer management. Sanga is enthusiastic about social inclusion and social justice for the visible minority, and is exceptionally keen on working with the South Asian community, and assisting them to reach leadership roles to become more visible in Canadian multicultural society.
Anjum Sultana – Vice-Chair
Anjum Sultana has been a board member with CASSA for the past two years and is excited to go into her third year of service for the board. Anjum is very passionate about health equity and social justice and that has led to her current role as a Masters of Public Health Student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. For our MPH degree, she has specialized in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences, Community Development and Global Health with interests in Public Health Policy. Anjum has worked and volunteered at various institutions with a focus on reducing racial health inequities such as eHealth Ontario, Mount Sinai Hospital, Sick Kids Hospital, Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention and Womens College Research Institute. She is deeply committed in developing equitable high-quality health care systems and has focused on this in her work in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and with IMAGINE, a health promotion initiative affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, that provides clinical, curative, illness prevention services in their weekly clinic and through outreach efforts to focus on health promotion and community development. In the future, she is interested in working on public health policy analyst for governments and international institutions and is currently completing a practicum as a Health Policy and Communications Analyst at the Association of Ontario Health Centres.
Tanzina Islam – Secretary
Tanzina Islam is the Manager of Health Promotion & Community Relations for the East Mississauga Community Health Centre. In her role, she oversees Health Promotion programs targeting priority populations, supports strategic planning, and monitors population needs and advocates for the good health of the Mississauga community. She was formerly a Project Coordinator at CASSA for the CapaCITY Creators Project and is a current member of CASSA’s Health Equity Task Force. Tanzina has worked in the areas of mental health, chronic health, gender-based violence, community engagement and health equity across institutions such as Humber College, Toronto Public Health and the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH). Tanzina also leads two independent research projects focused on ‘understanding honour killing as a form of gender-based violence’ and ‘identifying risk factors for global sex trafficking’. She is a University of Toronto Alumni and holds a Master of Public Health degree. Her expertise lies in applying evidence-based knowledge when developing, implementing and evaluating health interventions. Central to her focus is integrating equity-focused frameworks when planning health services for marginalized populations. She hopes to be a part of initiatives that empower communities, strengthening community action, and challenge sociopolitical structures that contribute to poor health and inequity
Neha Ahmed – Treasurer
Neha spent much of her early life in Tanzania, before moving to Canada and being drawn to a career in public health. She has extensive experience in research, project management, data analysis and evaluation and has had the opportunity to work on health promotion and education projects in Tanzania with the Aga Khan Health Services. Neha presently spends her days working as a Senior Analyst at Cancer Care Ontario, trying to get through her booklist and learning to ride horses.
Mohan Swaminathan – Board Director
Mohan Swaminathan is an accomplished advertising, marketing and communications professional with almost two decades of global experience in consumer goods, publishing and real estate. Mohan is a creative writer and originator of ideas and strategies to sell, persuade, communicate and market virtually anything. Currently Mohan is Creative Director at Montana Steele Advertising, a reputed ad agency in Toronto. Before moving to Canada just a few years ago, Mohan worked in Dubai with internationally renowned ad agency DDB, spinning award-winning campaigns for Volkswagen, Sony and HSBC. Prior to that, Mohan worked in the Mumbai ad world, pitching Unilever brands to the world’s fastest growing consumer market. A true global citizen, Mohan is fluent in 7 languages and a passionate advocate of cultural diversity in all walks of life. At CASSA, Mohan looks forward to leveraging his diversity skills and experience, shining a spotlight on deep-rooted prejudices and working to raise the profile of newcomers to Canada.
Jam Muneer Ahmed – Board Director
Mr. Jam Muneer is a dedicated Development Professional and working in social sector since last 15 years. He holds Masters in Social Work from University of Karachi, Pakistan and ‘Certificate in Canadian Social Work Practice’ from Ryerson University, Toronto. Mr. Jam brings with him a wide range of experience and skills in a diversified social development sector, and his focus of attention has been with promotion of education, improvement of water supply and sanitation, Gender in Development, and training of NGOs to enhance their working capacity. He has been affiliated e Hh with District Government functionalities towards public private partnership with civil society organizations, and advocating for a strong voice of stakeholders in policy and decision making process. Mr. Jam has worked with number of organizations including Government of Pakistan (provincial and district governments), USAID, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and have done consultancy services with several national and international organizations in development sector. At present, He is working as a ‘Tenancy Support Specialist with a not for profit organization and providing services to clients having tenancy issues and mediation between landlord and tenants.
Dr. Mahbub Hasan – Board Director
Dr. Mahbub Hasan is a passionate educator and community worker. He has been teaching at Community Services Department of Centennial College since 2013. With 17 years’ of experience in social service and non-profit management, his specialized skills include: strategic planning, project management, programs & project evaluation and fundraising. Hasan is a lifelong learner. He has BA and MA degrees in History, M.Phil in Ethno-history, and Ph.D in Anthropology. He studied Project Management and Business Communications at University of Toronto. He studies Social Work at Ryerson University, Toronto. Dr. Hasan has worked extensively in various capacities in international non-profit agencies across Asia, Europe and North America through ActionAid International, CIDA, VSO, CASSA, and University of Toronto. Hasan considers CASSA as his home. As a newcomer, he started his social justice work at CASSA from 2010 as a volunteer and later performed as Fundraising Coordinator and Project Coordinator during (2011-2014). In 2015, Dr. Hasan won an international Fellowship award in 2015 for curriculum development by International Centre of Non-violent Conflict. At present, he is a member of Board of Directors of Daniels Spectrum (Regent Park Arts), Community Impact Advisor of United Way Toronto and York region.