Director, Global Cities Institute
Sector: Academia Sector
Magic Moment: After many years working with the South African anti-apartheid leadership through very difficult times, and mostly from outside the country from Zimbabwe, it was an incredible moment to be invited to Pretoria to work for the new Government in the Office of President Nelson Mandela to draft their new National Urban Strategy.
Key Influence: My Mother – She somehow (very subtlety!) taught me confidence and equality as a woman without ever discussing gender equality-words not in her vocabulary back then.
Prof Mario Carvalho- My Planning Prof.- Taught me to think globally about cities and nurtured a keen sensitivity to poverty and justice that remains at the core of my work on cities globally.
Next Big Challenge As An Industry: Two key challenges in the Toronto Urban Region (TUR). First, “Governing the TUR” – to re-think the governance framework to allow us to think and act like a city region on the global stage. Second, establish an inclusive governance framework for the TUR, ensuring we leave no community or citizens behind. We can learn from other cities globally across Europe and the US who are failing to ensure inclusive cities.
On Championing Others… I bring student interns and men and women in their early careers to the Global Cities Institute, University of Toronto, and the World Council on City Data to help build these two entities. The success/traction on the global stage of both entities is in very large part due to these young talents.
One word that captures you: Canadian