2017 World Bank - International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings
Erika Richter, Head Delegate
Ben Winn, Communications Coordinator
Erika Richter is a community organizer, public policy enthusiast and conflict resolution facilitator.
As the Community Engagement Manager at RESULTS Canada Erika worked on public advocacy campaigns that influenced Canada’s international development spending and policies. Through her role with RESULTS she supported Canadians in directly advocating global institutions such as the World Bank, and multilateral funding mechanisms, as well as Canadian Parliamentarians, Ministers and Party Leaders. She was particularly interested in engaging Canadian youth in this advocacy work.
Erika has also spent five years working on conflict transformation programs for youth from conflict-affected regions. For three years she has facilitated and built programming for youth from Israel, half of whom identify as Palestinian citizens living in Israeli, and half of whom identify as Jewish-Israeli.
Sharing her passion for advocacy, global health policy, and conflict transformation, Erika has presented at a number of Canadian Universities and conferences, including being featured by TEDx. Erika has also been selected to participate in a number of international conferences including the Hive Global Leaders Forum, and the Spinelli Institute seminar on Federalism in Europe and the World.
Erika graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science and Peace Studies, and has since continued studying humanitarian diplomacy and community development. She is beginning her Masters at Carleton’s Norman Paterson School for International Affairs, specializing in Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution in September 2017.
Ben Winn is a performing arts student-turned commerce graduate from Toronto, with a passion for combining creativity and business. He is a Fellow at Venture for Canada; a fellowship program that recruits, trains, and supports recent graduates to work at top Canadian startups, with the mission of fostering entrepreneurship across Canada, and it was through this program that he was able to jumpstart his career in tech and innovation.
Ben currently manages Customer Success at SeamlessMD; a HealthTech startup that launches, optimizes and expands digital surgery care pathways for hospitals in both Canada and the United States. He was also on the founding team for the Venture Out Conference; Canada’s first ever summit for LGBTQ* inclusion in tech and entrepreneurship, for which he was selected as an Acts of Greatness Champion in 2017. He continues to be a member of the Venture Out executive team, and a strong advocate for diversity in tech, as he believes that having a diverse team (in all sense of the word) is a vital component of innovation.
Ben also co-founded Fatale Beauté, an on-demand beauty service for working professionals in the GTA, and he volunteers as a marketing strategy consultant for Toronto-based arts organizations.
Outside of work, Ben enjoys playing tennis, cooking for friends & family, and rolling around on the floor with his dog, Mylo. He is thrilled to be a part of YDC, and to support the mission of growing youth involvement in national policy and foreign affairs.
Grant Sorensen is a Research Assistant in the Financial Stability Division at the Bank of Canada. His work focuses on the oversight and crisis preparedness of Canada’s systemically-important financial market infrastructure – the payment, clearing, and settlement systems that underpin our economy and the capital markets. Prior to his current role at the Bank of Canada, Grant worked as a Commercial Banking Associate at TD Bank where he specialized in the underwriting and structuring of corporate credit.
A Ch’nook Scholar and honours graduate of the University of British Columbia, Grant holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the Sauder School of Business. Throughout his undergraduate career, Grant was actively engaged across campus, most notably through his roles as an Advisor on the Dean’s Council, Director of the UBC Student Leadership Conference, and as an Academic Coach in the Ch’nook Aboriginal Management Program. Outside of UBC, Grant is a member of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade (GVBOT) and a recent graduate of their Leaders of Tomorrow Program.
Grant is an avid traveler who has visited 31 countries and over 100 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. His experiences abroad largely inspired his interests in policy and governance, economic development, and the advocacy of young people – all central themes in his work with the Bank of Canada, GVBOT, and now to the World Bank and IMF. In the future, Grant plans to pursue graduate studies in financial economics to add greater depth to his knowledge of advanced economies and emerging markets.
Meryam Al-waadh has recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master's of Science degree in Laboratory Medicine Pathology. Her thesis was focused on studying the importance of personalizing therapy for breast cancer patients and the mechanism responsible for treatment resistance. While at UofT she was appointed as the Graduate Student Union Chairperson, presiding over 170-course union members. Notable achievements carried out during the appointment included: the allocation of a graduate student conference funding and the creation of an independent student review board (reviewing union conflicts).
To meet the career objectives of life science graduates and identifying a professional network, Meryam was a part of a team that founded and organized a graduate student Mentorship program. The program was designed to run for a 6-month period, where students were paired with a life science professional and engaged in regular networking events. The program was a success and renewed for a second cycle with funding. She has written for various science and technology related blogs on topics focused on women in STEM careers, recent graduate career development and scientific innovation.
She has developed the website HealthTech2017, a blog discussing the intersection of science and technology, data science projects and the latest innovation. She has a strong interest and experience in data science, and programming, particularly using analytics to solve problems. She is currently an Associate with INVIVO Communications, a digital health technology communications company. She also holds a Bachelor of Technology degree with a Specialization in Biotechnology from McMaster University and an Advanced Diploma in Business Management.
Jason Ribeiro is a Ph.D. student and SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholar working out of the University of Calgary's, Werklund School of Education (Leadership, Policy, and Governance Unit). His emerging research aims to inform organizational leadership capacity to shape, lead, and sustain innovation efforts in cross-sector partnerships. He joins the delegation as an active member of the international academic community, having taught over 500 university students, published 11 scholarly works, and delivered over 20 national/international conference presentations.
Jason recently obtained an M.Ed. Administration and Leadership in Education from Brock University, where he received the President's Surgite Award, Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Award, and the Spirt of Brock Medal at convocation. He also holds a Professional Management Certificate from the Goodman School of Business (Brock University) and additional teaching qualifications from Queens University and York University. He completed his undergraduate degrees in History and Religious Studies at McMaster University and Intermediate/Senior Education at York University.
Jason's multidisciplinary background has allowed him to work in a variety of exciting research and governance settings: American Education Research Association, Alberta Graduate Provincial Advocacy Council, Ontario Public Interest Research Group, Brock University-DSBN Innovation Hub, Pathstone Mental Health, and most recently with the World Economic Forum's, Global Shapers Community (Calgary Hub).
As a trained K-12 teacher and educational technology consultant, Jason recognizes the leadership role Bretton Woods Institutions play in supporting developing nations as they educate and train their citizens for a knowledge economy. He looks forward to serving as a Young Diplomat of Canada delegate and connecting with other youth representatives and world diplomats at the Annual Meeting.