2019 YOUTH 7 SUMMIT
Melanie Rodriguez, Head Delegate
Anjum Sultana, Communications Coordinator
Ross Anthony McDonach
Melanie is a passionate leader dedicated to empowering communities through cross-sector collaboration and capacity building. She has completed training courses from Ivey Business School, Harvard University, the British Council and the United Nations Association of Canada. Her nonprofit experiences range from implementing strategy workshops in Canada to evaluating volunteer programs in rural Nicaragua. She has worked with 20 nonprofits and completed nine consulting projects in North America, Central America and South America. To develop the skills necessary to lead change, she worked in a variety of roles including evaluating the risk of a 200-million dollar banking portfolio, delivering post-graduate sustainability curriculum's and managing business development as an Executive Director of an international children’s foundation. Most recently, Melanie founded the social sector consulting firm Capacity Creation. Capacity Creation helps social sector organizations increase capacity, diversify funding and improve stakeholder management. Her clients range from grassroots organizations in Peru to national advocacy charities in Canada. Currently, Melanie is a Rotarian, Forte Fellow and MBA student at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto, Ontario. Melanie hopes to apply her passion and experience to inspire youth to create change in their local and global communities.
Anjum Sultana is a policy professional based in Toronto engaged on issues of public health, gender equity and civic engagement. Currently, she serves as the Manager of Policy & Strategic Communications at YWCA Canada, the nation's oldest and largest women's serving organization. with 32 member associations in 9 provinces and 2 territories. In her role, she leads government relations, policy development and strategic communications for the organization. Anjum Sultana holds a Masters of Public Health from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. During her graduate studies, Anjum received the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, was accepted into the Public Health Policy Collaborative, and was a Junior Fellow at Massey College. During her graduate studies, she was Executive Co-Director of IMAGINE, the University of Toronto student-run interprofessional clinic and health promotion initiative that provides access to health care services for people without OHIP coverage. Anjum is Founding Advisor with Progress Toronto, a Board Member with the Regent Park Community Health Centre, and completed a Fellowship at the Wellesley Institute. As a researcher, Anjum has been involved in projects focused on the health impact of social protection policies, mental health, sexual health, employment and working conditions, as well as citizenship and civic engagement. As an advocate and organizer, Anjum has been involved with campaigns focused on the $15 Dollars and Fairness campaign, reversing cuts to refugee health care, and promoting access to health care services to all residents in Ontario.
Ross Anthony McDonach
Ross currently works for the UK Government on EU science programmes policy and engagement. He has worked on international trade as a foreign officer for the United States Consulate General in Montreal and on proposals for micronutrient research at the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics. He holds degrees in Management and Economics from McGill University and in English Literature from the University of Oxford.
Marissa Fortune is a globally-minded young professional dedicated to fostering peace, justice and equality in all of her professional, academic and personal engagements. Holding a Bachelor of Arts in Joint-Honours Political Science and International Development from McGill University and a certificate in Social Sciences and Humanities from Sciences Po, Paris, Marissa is currently working towards a Master of Development Studies at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland. Alongside her studies, Marissa works at the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) providing operational support to reinforce the international community’s security and justice sector reform capacity.
Marissa’s previous professional experience includes time spent as a policy analyst for Employment and Social Development Canada, and a program officer for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada where she provided functional guidance on issues of security and admissibility risk. Marissa also spent time as a research assistant at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) and worked on a gender and counter-extremism consultancy project for the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF). Her current research is focused around the Women, Peace and Security agenda and larger issues of gender equality, conflict and peace-building processes.