Beyond the Headlines is composed of a dedicated team of volunteers from the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. Our volunteers have a wide array of policy interests and skill sets. Each volunteer takes on a diverse array of roles, including: Producer, Technical Producer and Show Host. Feel free to email the team or contact us at email@example.com.
Born and raised in Walkerton, Ontario, Luke is now residing in Toronto. He graduated Spring 2015 from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in International Relations. He entered the Master of Public Policy program to gain the skills and experience necessary to shape policy at the provincial and international level. In his free time, Luke enjoys exploring the historic and diverse sections of the city, taking the opportunity to include all that Toronto has to offer.
Policy Interests: Rural affairs, Agricultural Policy, and Trade and Development
Ahmad Al Ramahi
Ahmad is originally from Amman, Jordan and is now residing in Toronto, Ontario. He holds a Bachelor of Arts at McMaster University, specializing in Political Science with a minor in Indigenous Studies. He is passionate about social justice issues and chose a degree in public policy to understand the mechanisms of how policy operates. Ahmad is honoured to be part of the Beyond the Headlines team, as it is an outstanding medium that allows to shine light on issues that are prevalent in our society.
Policy Interests: Social Policy, Mental Health Policy and Indigenous Affairs
Celine was raised in downtown Toronto, born to second-generation immigrants of Italian and Uruguayan descent. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Political Science, Economics, and French Grammar from McGill University. Celine was a regular contributor to several campus newspapers at McGill, and has experience making documentaries, one of which premiered at the Toronto Student Film Festival. As a daughter of immigrants, Celine joined the SPPG program with an interest in exploring how migration policy shapes larger questions of Canadian citizenship and civic cohesion. Celine’s hobbies include drinking coffee, listening to live music, going on camping trips, and mixology.
Policy Interests: Migration Policy, Municipal Politics and Civic Engagement
Dalia is a second year Master of Public Policy student at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance. She is passionate about the impact of media on policy development and enjoys exploring various topics on air. Dalia is also the director of the Policy and Innovation initiative at SPPG.
Policy Interests: Policy Innovation and Public Administration
Originally from Vancouver, Fiona completed her bachelor’s degree at Queen’s University, with a major in political studies and minor in history. She joined SPPG to explore her policy interests and to pursue a career that betters the community in which she lives. In her free time, Fiona enjoys playing field hockey, reading, socializing with friends, and exploring Toronto.
Policy Interests: Women’s Health Policy, Environmental Policy, Transport Policy, Municipal Policy, and Human Rights
Growing up between Toronto and Dubai, Haris graduated from the University of Toronto with a BA in Economics. His policy interests are varied but centre around government intervention in markets, especially in ones not usually considered in the policy discourse. During his free time Haris enjoys television, movies and sports, along with listening to a wide variety of podcasts.
Policy Interests: Economic Policy, Taxation and Subsidies, Education, Healthcare and Foreign Policy.
Steven was born and raised in Fort McMurray, Alberta, and recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with a minor in Political Science from the University of Calgary. He grew up surrounded by the oil and gas industry, and is particularly interested in energy and environmental policy, as well as policy dealing with public finance. In his free time, Steven enjoys reading, watching too much hockey, and discovering new things to see and do around Toronto.
Policy Interests: Environmental Policy, Energy Policy and Public Finance
Ali Nasser Virji
Ali comes to the University of Toronto from Vancouver, by way of Montreal, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in History and Canadian Studies at McGill University. Armed with an insatiable desire to better his country and formulate solutions to its most pressing needs, the pursuit of a Master of Public Policy was a natural fit. When he is not satiating his addiction to all things political, Ali enjoys exploring the city, shuffling through Spotify’s soul music playlists, and sipping on a strong cup of coffee.
Policy Interests: Broadcast and Telecommunications Regulatory Policy, Transportation Policy, and Inter-Governmental Relations
Richard Tang was born in Hong Kong, but moved to Toronto at a young age. He studied Genetics at Western University and continued to pursue Health Studies at York University. Upon entering the Public Policy program at the University of Toronto, he hopes to find ways to make improvements to Canada’s universal health care system.
Policy Interests: Health Policy and Immigration Policy
Mo Yaghi is Lebanese-Canadian and has lived across the Middle East for most of his life. After completing his undergraduate degree at the American University of Beirut in political studies, he enrolled at the Columbia Journalism School and was awarded a Master of Science this past May. Prior to joining the School of Public Policy, Mo worked in the sale and distribution of pesticides in Turkey, Algeria, and Egypt. In his free time, he enjoys reading and working on news stories as a freelance journalist.
Policy Interests: Criminal Justice Reform Policy, Municipal Governance and Foreign Aid Policy
Before arriving in Canada at the age of six, Pam Abeysekara lived in both Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Arts & Business, Political Science, and Economics from the University of Waterloo, where her co-operative program allowed her to develop an interest in public policy and its potential to solve an array of issues faced by society. In particular, she’s interested in how public and private interests can intersect to create comprehensive policy solutions.
Policy Interests: Social Policy and Welfare Reform
Julia was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but grew up in Calgary, Alberta. She obtained a Bachelor of Commerce with a specialization in International Business from the Humber Institute of Technology in June 2016. In addition to pursuing her Master of Public Policy, Julia works as a Health Economics Analyst at Preyra Solutions Group, a Toronto-based health care consultancy. She has a broad range of policy-related interests, including human rights, health, and anti-terrorism policy; however her main area of interest lies in environmental and climate policy. Passionate about the power of public radio and podcasts, Julia is delighted to be a part of the BTH community. In her free time she enjoys playing the tambourine and ordering Uber Eats.
Policy Interests: Environmental and Climate Policy, Health Policy, and Foreign Policy
Kayla Ishkanian was born and raised in Burnaby, British Columbia and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from McGill University. Coming from the think tank world, Kayla is eager to bring her sass and passion for policy to Beyond the Headlines. As a stand-up comedy enthusiast, Kayla can be found either watching a comedy show or writing jokes, as well as spending her student loans at Sephora.
Policy Interests: Indigenous Affairs, Intergovernmental relations, and Campus Sexual Assault Policy
Katerina Kalenteridis holds a Bachelor of Arts in Labour Studies and Anthropology from McMaster University. She enrolled at the School of Public Policy and Governance to pursue her interests in both labour and social policy, and hopes to connect with the policy community through her time at Beyond the Headlines.
Policy Interests: Labour Policy and Social Policy
Angela is a Vancouverite and holds a Bachelor of Medical Sciences from Western University. She is interested in developing new policy approaches and models of care to improve health care for under-served populations and patient outcomes.
Policy Interests: Health Care Policy and Pharmaceutical Policy
Jonah Kotzer is from Toronto, and holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from the University of Western Ontario. Following the completion of his undergraduate degree, he traveled extensively throughout the Pacific and was based out of Hiroshima, Japan and Melbourne, Australia. He has an interest in the relationships between the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments and how those relationships manifest themselves in policy. His interests include, food, live music, local events and general merriment.
Policy Interests: Intergovernmental Relations, Municipal Policy, Labour Policy, and Transport Policy
Tayyaba Mohsin is originally from Pakistan and currently resides in Toronto. After completing her undergraduate studies in Economics from Lahore University of Management Sciences, she worked in public health at Interactive Research and Development on a WHO program called “Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses”. Tayyaba has been a cultural ambassador of Pakistan to the US and Japan during her educational treks. In her free time, she likes travelling, reading and socializing with friends.
Policy Interests: International Development, Public Policy for Children, and Public Health and Education
Macrina was born and raised in the heart of downtown Toronto, and obtained my Honours Bachelor of Arts in her own back yard – the St. George campus at the University of Toronto. After 4 incredible years of work and exploring Western Europe, Macrina has returned to Toronto to pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree from SPPG. Her free time is almost exclusively devoted to drinking coffee and playing with her puppy.
Policy Interests: Food Security, Financial Literary, and Gender Issues within Public Policy
Ian T.D. Thomson
Ian T. D. Thomson is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba and now resides in Toronto, Ontario. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Manitoba. Ian joined the SPPG program to pursue an interest in the relationship between media and public policy. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and recording music, developing articles, and discovering new artists.
Policy Interests: Broadcast and Telecommunications, Cultural Policy and Fisheries and Oceans Policy