2019 OECD FORUM
Fahim Hafizur Rahman, Head Delegate
Maryam Musharaf Shah, Communications Coordinator
Palash Ranjan Sanyal
Maria Alyssia Jovellanos
Callista Nicole Harriet Joyce Ryan
Fahim Hafizur Rahman
Fahim Rahman grew up in a household of scientists in Edmonton, but found his passion in representation and advocacy. While completing his B.Sc in Chemistry at the University of Alberta, Fahim served as VP Academic and President of the University of Alberta Students’ Union. There, he represented over 30 000 students to the university administration. Issues such as mental health and food accessibility were addressed, and Fahim negotiated a more flexible meal plan with the University’s Board of Governors. As the Director of Policy for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, a non-for-profit student organization, Fahim represented students across Canada to the federal government. Fahim published a paper on how federal student aid could be reformed to make post-secondary more accessible. He also had a chance to work with MPs and civil service on these issues, which led to improvements in the Canada Student Loans Program. Fahim currently studies law at the University of New Brunswick. He has volunteered with Pro Bono Students’ Canada to help develop a resource guide for those affected by the missing and murdered Indigenous women issue. Most recently, Fahim served as part of YDC’s delegation to the 2018 G20 Youth Summit in Argentina. There, he developed a policy communique on workforce skills development and gender equality. This communique was presented to world leaders during the G20 Summit last November. Fahim is looking forward to bringing his experience to the 2019 Y20 Summit, and to represent Canadian youth as head of the official delegation.
Maryam Musharaf Shah
Born in Pakistan, I moved to Canada as an international student to study journalism and anthropology at the University of Toronto. After five years working as a news reporter for a major daily in Toronto, I am currently a master’s student at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, where I have researched misinformation, migration, climate change, and media framing, among other subjects. My current research is a content analysis of a Canadian newspaper’s coverage of refugee resettlement movements in the 1970s and more recently in the 2010s. I am interested in how to combat misinformation and disinformation as a practicing journalist, especially when it comes to media coverage of migrants. Over the years, I have volunteered for the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Scarborough Campus Students Union, and the Public and International Affairs Association at the University of Ottawa. I am a big fan of spending less time on Twitter and more time reading books.
As a Master of Global Affairs candidate at the University of Toronto and an International Studies graduate from the Université de Montréal, Alexandre has been passionate about contemporary challenges and politics since he was a teenager. His research interests include topics as diverse as artificial intelligence, East Asian and European affairs, international development, global security and more. Alexandre’s participation to various UN Model summits confirmed his willingness to work on the world stage. Last summer he gained first-hand diplomatic experience by working for the Greater China Division at Global Affairs Canada. As lead for the Ambassador to China’s outreach to Canada, Alexandre planned and executed 19 productive meetings with key officials, including six Ministers, while supporting the Ambassador’s preparation to facilitate Canada’s whole-of-government engagement with China. An avid traveller, Alexandre embraces new challenges and learning opportunities. He undertook two student exchanges – one in Prague and the second in Beijing – during which he developed valuable intercultural skills and acquired a network of amazing friends that stretches across the globe. Alexandre is also very involved in his community. He held leadership positions in student associations and organized events for his fellow colleagues such as exclusive political debates between member of parliaments. Above all, Alexandre is a an affable, ever-smiling and curious young professional who is always keen on meeting new people. He looks forward to working with the rest of the delegation and to embarking together in this fantastic adventure.
Palash Ranjan Sanyal
Palash R. Sanyal is a development practitioner currently working with the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan. A Regional Youth Representative for Canadian Water Network, Alumni Ambassador for Clinton Global Initiative, Fellow for the Soliya Connect Program and Mentor for CEP Vancouver, he holds three master's degrees in development studies, environmental engineering and water security. Palash has previously worked with WaterAid, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Global Institute for Water Security, TED and many other international agencies. He was UNESCO/ISEDC Fellow 2013, St. Gallen Leader of Tomorrow 2016, UNLEASH lab talent 2017. He represented Canada and Bangladesh, and presented his work at World Humanitarian Summit, International Child Grants Conference, First Youth Man and Biosphere Conference, GPDRR, EUDRR, 8th World Water Forum and in many other international events. Born and raised in Bangladesh, Palash immigrated to Canada in 2017 and has been continuously engaged with the communities throughout Canada ever since. An expert facilitator and visual storyteller, Palash has extensive experience in impact assessments, community engagements and policy advocacy. Palash was named 30 under 30 leader in Sustainability by Corporate Knights in Canada for his work in 2018.
Alyssia Jovellanos is a fourth year Computer Science student from McMaster University. Her award-winning projects have delved into educational technology, accessibility and AI. As a global advocate for diversity in technology and one of 10 CEMF Women in Engineering Undergraduate Ambassadors in Canada, she works to bring technology to as many people as possible, having launched a free tech interview mentorship group, developed coding modules for thousands of children, and co-founded DeltaHacks – Canada’s first and largest student-run hackathon for change. As one of three Wilson Leadership Scholars in her year (McMaster’s most prestigious leadership award), she gathers donated computers for low-income households. Most recently, she worked at Google on Smart Compose in Gmail: Assisted writing AI that suggests complete sentences for you as you write. She has spoken about her work and about diversity in engineering to audiences as large as 15 000, and was a Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar in 2018.
Callista Nicole Harriet Joyce Ryan
Callista Ryan is a third-year student at Western University, pursuing an Honors Specialisation in International Relations. She is currently studying on exchange at SciencesPo in France, working towards a Certificate in International Affairs and Strategy. She is proud to call Squamish, British Columbia as her home, even while she studies in Ontario and in France. Callista has been a Member of the British Columbia Youth Parliament for five years, currently serving as the Provincial Secretary and formerly as the Leader of the Opposition in 2017. In 2016, she represented her federal constituency, West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, as a Daughter of the Vote and was gracious to meet with over 300 incredible young women from all over Canada. Callista is active on campus, currently serving as the Student Feedback Coordinator for Western University’s Student Union where she is responsible for using qualitative and quantitative methods to gather input from students on campus. She has been active in non-partisan politics and civic engagement since she was fifteen years old. Her focus is on youth engagement and voting. She hopes to pursue future studies in voter apathy, particularly among youth, and eventually work in policy for the federal government. She has big dreams - the opportunity to represent Canadian youth at the OECD forum in Paris being one of them! She looks forward to meeting incredible young people and learning as much as she can while in Paris.