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Steering committee

The SHIFT steering committee ensures that high-level decisions regarding our overall strategies, resource allocations and future plans are aligned with our mission, vision, values and ways of working.


Sara Baptiste-Brown

Sara Baptiste-Brown (member since 2019) has worked around the world in the non-profit, private and social enterprise sectors, bringing a balance of empathy, objectivity and critical analysis to social impact initiatives. A JMSB graduate, she is now immersed in the world of experiential learning in her role as Manager at the Institute for Cooperative Education.

Govind Gopakumar

Govind Gopakumar (member since 2019) is the Chair of Concordia’s Centre for Engineering in Society and an interdisciplinary scholar who critically examines the relation between society, environment, and technology in an urban context. Govind has been involved in the leadership of SHIFT since the early stages of its development, he now contributes as a member of the Steering Committee and the Governance Hub.  

Govind Gopakumar

Isabel Heck (member since 2020) is an action researcher committed to social inclusion. After several years working as a community-based researcher with Parole d’excluEs, she recently joined the Collective Impact Project team at Centraide du Grand Montréal. Isabel is also an adjunct professor at UQAM and a member of the CRISES research network (Centre de recherche sur les innovations sociales).

Govind Gopakumar

Shawna Moore (member since 2023) is a member of the Temagami First Nations and has ancestry in Ireland and Scotland. She is a Program Manager at Canadian Roots Exchange’s CREation Funding Program, which provides financial support to Indigenous youth-led councils, and community and grassroots organizations. She is also a Board Member at the Centre for Community Organizations (COCo), where she sits on the governance structure working hub. 

Govind Gopakumar

Seynabou Ndiaye (member since 2021) is a software engineer with a strong commitment to advancing best practices for greater equity and inclusion in the STEM fields.  A recent graduate from the Gina Cody School of Engineering & Computer Science, Seynabou has launched and collaborated on a diverse portfolio of start-ups focusing on sustainability, responsible investing, and mental wellness. She currently works with Sama, a Bcorp leader in ethical AI practices.

Nafija Rahman

Nafija Rahman (member since 2019) has been an engaged citizen and community unifier in her neighbourhood of Little Burgundy for over a decade.  In her work with Amitié Soleil, the Amal Centre for Women, and her catering business chezNafNaf, she advocates for women’s empowerment and ensures that the voices of women of colour from marginalized communities are heard. She is a proud graduate of Concordia and a mother of two boys.

Jessica Cabana

Aishah Seivwright (member since 2021) brings a deeply grounded perspective on equity, intersectionality and neurodiversity in her work to destigmatize mental health within the Black community as co-director of the Black Mental Health Connections. She is an imaginative and solution-oriented project coordinator, who believes that supporting mental health through non-hierarchical, and anti-oppressive organizing is a critical step towards meaningful change for a better future.

Jessica Cabana

MJ Thompson (member since 2021) is a performance studies scholar who has been teaching writing as a tool of expression, collectivity and empowerment for over 20 years. As a Concordia Faculty of Fine Arts professor, her research integrates dance, movement, embodiment and everyday life as political terrain. She is currently Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies and works to provide access and equity to research opportunities and funding.

Jessica Cabana

Florencia Vallejo-Ortiz (member since 2021) is a Concordia undergraduate student in Women's Studies and Immigration Studies. Florencia has extensive experience in community engagement and student organising around issues of migrant justice, environmental activism, prevention of gender-based violence, and movements in solidarity with BIPOC communities. In addition to her academic work, she researches issues related to social, environmental and economic justice in her role as CSU’s campaign researcher.

Ezgi Ozyonum

Ezgi Ozyonum (member since 2023) is a PhD candidate in education at Concordia University. Her work examines international students’ experiences and agency in Canadian universities through a decolonial framework. Additionally, she is the event coordinator at the Decolonial Perspectives and Practices Hub, a SHIFT-funded project. Ezgi is also a researcher at the EDI Lab of Concordia’s Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Safa Chebbi

Safa Chebbi (member since 2023) is a master’s student in sociology at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). She has worked for many years in social justice causes, with a particular focus on decolonial anti-racism work, including being a founding member of l’Observatoire des Inégalités Raciales au Québec. Additionally, Safa is a volunteer at Solidarity Across Borders, and works as a project coordinator at Troisième Avenue.

Andre Williams

Andre Williams (member since 2023) is the Digital Media Coordinator at inPath, a training hub and connection point for artists, educators, and professionals committed to supporting Indigenous youth through the arts. In his role, he has also worked on research and data collection and was the lead project and content manager for the Uusdaadaouw Project book publication. Additionally, through personal interest, Andre has experience supporting project managers and local communities in creating inclusive public spaces; he assisted in the design, research, public engagement, and creative direction.

Jessica Cabana

Jessica Cabana (on leave) is deeply committed to reducing social inequities by building a more just and regenerative economy.  Co-founder of the Hive Cafe Co-op and the Concordia Food Coalition, she brings a profound understanding of the Concordia student organizing and student politics landscape, as well as experience with a variety of alternative governance structures. She currently works with the Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité(CQCM), promoting the cooperative movement among young entrepreneurs.

Lisa Ndejuru

Lisa Ndejuru (on leave) is an artist, storyteller and PhD candidate.  She uses arts-based techniques, dialogue and play to support post-trauma community healing and empowerment. Through 20 years of community-grounded activism, research and organising with the Rwandan diaspora, she has developed extensive experience working cooperatively across multiple disciplines.

Non-voting members

  • Susan Edey
    Senior Director, Community Engagement and Social Impact


  • Nadia Bhuiyan, Vice-Provost, Partnerships and Experiential Learning, OPVPAA
  • Susan Edey, Senior Coordinator, Office of Community Engagement
  • Jason Ens, Executive Director, Academic Policy Planning & Strategic Initiatives, OPVPAA
  • Anna Kruzynski, Professor & Graduate program director, School of Community and Public Affairs
  • Jason Lewis, Professor & University Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary
  • Charmaine Lyn, Senior Director, Office of Community Engagement
  • Kimberley Manning, Professor & Principal, Simone de Beauvoir Institute
  • Dominique Michaud, Director Research Development, Office of Research
  • Mark Underwood, Graduate Student, Applied Human Sciences
  • Vivek Venkatesh, Co-Chair UNESCO-PREV, Art Education, Faculty of Fine Arts
  • Elisabeth Cramer, Social Innovation Lead, SHIFT
  • Brooke Deer, Graduate Student, John Molson School of Business
  • Govind Gopakumar, Chair and Associate Professor, The Centre for Engineering in Society
  • Rajshree Prakash, Assistant Professor, Management, John Molson School of Business

  • Sara Baptiste-Brown, Program Coordinator, Institute for Cooperative Education
  • Jessica Cabana, Project Coordinator, CHNGR MTL
  • Elaine Cheasley Paterson, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs in the Faculty of Fine Arts
  • Jen Gobby, Climate activist and Postdoctoral researcher
  • Govind Gopakumar, Chair and Associate Professor, The Centre for Engineering in Society
  • Lisa Ndejuru, Artist, Storyteller and PhD candidate
  • Marc Nisbet, Financial Analyst, Esplanade
  • Nafija Rahman, Community Organizer, Amal Centre for women
  • Sydney Swaine-Simon, AI Fellow, District 3
  • Nadia Bhuiyan (non-voting), Vice-Provost, Partnerships and Experiential Learning
  • Charmaine Lyn (non-voting), Interim SHIFT Director
  • Claude Pinard (non-voting), Executive Director, Mirella and Lino Saputo Foundation
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