Board of Directors

Nija Hope: Chair

Nija has served as a Director since January 2013 and as a Chair since July 2013.  She is an independent consultant with over 10 years of experience in corporate strategy, process reengineering, financial modelling, and information systems. She also served as a Lecturer at the Rotman School of Management from 2002 to 2011. Her experience spans higher education, healthcare, international development, and financial sectors.  She has an MBA from the Rotman School of Management and an MS from DePaul University.

Faariya Abdullah: Secretary

A member the AC-AF board as of January 2013, Faariya is an Associate Director within Ernst & Young’s Program Execution Services team. Faariya has over 7 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies and Crown Corporations in the areas of change management, organization design, HR strategy, effectiveness and process excellence, and is skilled in the areas of business process standardization, communications and training. Faariya also has comprehensive experience working within the government, telecommunications, resources, retail, hospitality and non-profit industries. She holds her Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation.

Kumanan Ramanathan: Treasurer

Kumanan joined AC-AF as a board member in October 2013. As a Senior Associate at Alvarez and Marsal in New York City, Kumanan has over 5 years of experience in cross-border transactions, business strategy, cash management and forecasting, operations improvement, and financial modeling. Kumanan was previously a Manager at KPMG’s Toronto office in the Restructuring practice. He also has considerable experience in diverse industries such as healthcare, mining, automotive, logistics and power utilities. Kumanan is a Chartered Accountant and holds a commerce degree from the University of Toronto.

William Booth

William has a long history of working with bi- and multi-lateral organizations, as well as numerous not-for-profit international organizations. Among other activities, he drafted a regional strategy for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in collaboration with UN country offices in Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States. His expansive resume covers work with UNAIDS, UNDP, AIDS Vancouver, Literacy Lives, Keeping the Door Open, and with the HIV Legal Network’s Board of Directors. Currently, William holds an appointment as Clinical Instructor in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care at the University of British Columbia’s College of Health Disciplines, he is President of Vancouver Initiative (formerly Panos Canada), and he also functions as the Literacy Outreach Coordinator of the Downtown Eastside (DTES) Literacy Roundtable.

Wendy Forsythe

Wendy has worked for more than 35 years in the Canadian pension industry and joined the AC-AF board in October 2013. She has held senior positions with OMERS, Mercer Human Resource Consulting, PwC, the Ontario Hospital Association, and the Ontario Public Service. She has been active in not-for-profit boards for a number of years, and gained her ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors in 2011. Aside from her dedication to AC-AF, she is currently a member of the Kingston General Hospital Board.

Gita Jaffe

Gita is a child-welfare specialist, and the founder of AC-AF.  Her dedication to community development began in 1995.  Since then, Gita has built up an extensive resume through her work with WUSC, Olympic Aid (Right to Play), UNHCR, and IFNL. She earned her PhD from Clemson University, where she focused on children’s rights, health, and education policy.

Marolen M. Mitchell

A self-employed business woman from Longview, Texas, Marolen is the President of M & M Residential Properties, LLC, also known as MullMax Ventures, LLC. Her draw to international development stems from her time in Romania, where she developed Casa Speranta, a non-profit which provides a home model of care for abandoned HIV positive children. She currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Casa Speranta, as well as President of the MGH Foundation in Constanta, Romania.

Adam Tanel

A Litigation Associate at Thomson, Rogers LLP, Adam represents catastrophically injured persons in disputes with insurance companies. Possessing an academic focus on human rights, he came to AC-AF in October 2013 with a wide range of experiences in the volunteer/NGO sector.  Previously, he engaged in outreach work with at-risk youth, in international environmental protection, and provided pro bono defence counsel to low-income Torontonians.  He gained his J.D. from the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto.

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