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Lead Advisor

Idil Atak joined the Department of Criminology at Toronto Metropolitan University as Associate Professor in 2013. She received her Ph.D. from the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Law. She was a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism. Idil is the Editor-In-Chief of International Journal of Migration and Border Studies (IJMBS). She is a member of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration’s (IASFM) Executive Committee, the past president of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS), and a research associate at Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law (McGill University). Her research interests include irregular migration, refugee protection, and international and European human rights law. She is currently conducting a SSHRC-funded research on the intersection of security, irregular migration and asylum, along with Professors Graham Hudson (Ryerson University) and Delphine Nakache (University of Ottawa). Idil served as a legal expert for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara, then as deputy to the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.




Dr. Shields is a tenured Full Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University with over twenty-five years of university teaching and research experience in the areas of public administration and public policy, Canadian politics, the political economy of labour market and welfare state restructuring, immigrant settlement and integration policy and practices, and nonprofit sector studies. He holds a number of student teaching awards, and has developed and delivered distance education courses and modules. He holds/held research affiliations with the Centre for Governance Studies at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby; the Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies, Faculty of Business, Ryerson University; the International Social Sciences Institute at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland; and CERIS - The Ontario Metropolis Centre (Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement) where he served as one of the Centre Directors from 2002 to 2008. He has served on various advisory bodies including most recently for the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN).




Harald Bauder is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and the Graduate Program Director, Graduate Program (MA) in Immigration and Settlement Studies at Toronto Metropolitan University. He was the founding Academic Director (2011-2015) of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement (RCIS) and is currently a FRIAS Senior Fellow and Marie Curie Fellow of the European Union Freiburg, Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), University of Freiburg.He received a PhD in Geography in 1998 from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada, and MA and BA degrees in Geography and Urban Studies from Wayne State University, Detroit, USA. In 2016, he Bauder received the Sarwan Sahota Distinguished Scholar Award, 2016, which is Ryerson University’s highest annual research award. In 2015, he received the Konrad Adenauer Research Award, recognizing his life-time contribution to the academic and cultural exchange between the Federal Republic of Germany and Canada. Dr. Bauder has authored four book, edited or co-edited six volumes, and published 74 paper in peer-reviewed journals as well as 17 book chapters. He also contributes regularly to popular media, including the Globe and Mail, Huffington Post, Süddeutsche Zeitung, The Toronto Star, and Die Zeit.




Ronald K. Vogel joined the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Toronto Metropolitan University in August 2011 as full Professor.  Before coming to TMU, he was Chair of the Department of Political Science and Professor of Political Science and Urban and Public Affairs at the University of Louisville.  He also served as Director of the Ph.D. program in Urban and Public Affairs. He currently serves as the Graduate Program Director (GPD) of the interdisciplinary doctoral program in Policy Studies. Dr. Vogel received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Florida in 1986.  He also holds an M.A. and a B.A., both in Political Science, from the same University.  Dr. Vogel is an expert on urban politics and administration in the US.  Increasingly, his research has taken a comparative turn.  For the last decade he has been conducting research on governance of global city-regions in Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, and Toronto. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Japan in 1997-08, received a Canadian Government Faculty Research Grant in 2001, and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Hong Kong in 2007-08.  He was also co-investigator on a three year National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduatesgrant (2004-07).  Professor Vogel is President of the Section on Urban and Local Politics and heads the Comparative Urban Politics related group in the American Political Science Association.




Myer Siemiatycki is a Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Toronto Metropolitan University, which he served as Chair from 1991 to 1996. A member of the Yeates School of Graduate Studies, Myer was the founding Director (2004-2008) of the Interdisciplinary MA program in Immigration and Settlement Studies. He received his B.A. from McGill University, his M.A. from University of Sussex (UK), and his Ph.D. from York University (Canada). Most of Myer's teaching has been in three areas: courses on Local Government (PPA122), Labour Policy (PPA319) and Immigration Politics (POL129). His research interests typically explore intersections of immigration, urban and labour studies in Toronto. Myer is a frequent media commentator on political matters. His career achievements include: Distinguished Educator Award, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (1992); Ryerson Popular Professor Citation, Maclean's Guide to Canadian Universities (2003 thru 2006 inclusive): Research Domain Leader, the Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration & Settlement (2001-06), Ryerson University Faculty Service Award. Active in the Ryerson community, Myer has contributed to organizing such campus events as the Ryerson Union Fair, and Ryerson Holocaust Education Programming.

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Mary Beth Halferty Kraay holds a B.A. in English Literature and Psychology from Queen’s University.  Prior to joining Toronto Metropolitan University, Mary Beth worked as a retail manager, a freelance journalist, a publicist, a screenwriter, a film producer, an administrative coordinator for a children’s theatre organization, and a substitute high school teacher, among other things. Mary Beth Kraay started at Ryerson in the fall of 2001, providing administrative support to the Faculty of Arts campaign and the Office of the Dean of Arts.  Later she was offered an opportunity to join the departments of Sociology and Psychology as their departmental assistant, and to assist in the administration of the part-time degree program in Justice Studies. Despite the change of position, Mary Beth continued to provide support to the Dean’s Office and, in that capacity, assisted in the development and implementation of a unique new liberal arts program, Arts and Contemporary Studies.  When Arts and Contemporary Studies was officially launched in the fall of 2003, it was a natural move for Mary Beth to join the program’s administrative team. After working for two years with Arts and Contemporary Studies, Mary Beth was looking for a new challenge, and decided to take a position in the School of Graduate Studies, where she first served as Graduate Program Administrator for two new MA programs (Public Policy and Administration, and Early Childhood Studies); then for the new interdisciplinary PhD program in Policy Studies (retaining responsibility for the MA in Public Policy and Administration); and currently for the PhD Program in Policy Studies and for the new Master of Arts program in Criminology and Social Justice.


Sara Asalya


​Sara is the Founder and President of the Newcomer Students’ Association of Ryerson (NSAR) , the first platform of its kind at Ryerson University to empower immigrant and refugee students to build fellowship, capacity and community through their shared lived experiences. Under her leadership, NSAR organized two successful conferences, established a scholarship for immigrant women and an indigenous solidarity project.  Sara holds a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature, and a post-graduate certificate in Community Engagement, Leadership and Development; and in Immigration and Settlement Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Higher Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education  at the University of Toronto, her research is focused on exploring the systemic and structural barriers faced by immigrant students with different status in accessing, transitioning to and succeeding in higher education, as well as looking at institutional responses towards the diverse needs of these students.

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Bayan Khatib is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Syrian Canadian Foundation, which aims to empower newcomers and people of diverse backgrounds and promote cross-cultural connections within Canadian society. She is also the co-founder of the annual Syria Film Festival in Toronto, which aims to give voice to the struggles and hopes of the Syrian people. For the past nine years, Bayan led a multinational media campaign, had numerous media appearances, and participated as a speaker on the Syrian crisis at local and international events and conferences. Bayan is the translator of Just Five Minutes: Nine Years in the Prisons of Syria, a memoir of a female political prisoner, and is also the author of numerous short works of fiction and opinion articles published in The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. Bayan is also a member of the Child and Youth Refugee Research Coalition’s strategic advisory committee




Marwa Khobieh has been involved in the humanitarian field since the Syrian crisis in 2012. Marwa Finished her double major in Business Communication and Organizational Communication from Walden University, MN. Marwa channels her efforts and passion in advocating for refugee rights and supporting people from vulnerable communities.  She was awarded The 2016 Community Service Award acknowledging her extensive volunteering efforts in Montreal by The Muslim Association of Canada. She was also a director and board member of the Canadian Alliances for Syrian Aid that supported and settled the first wave of Syrian refugees who arrived in Montreal in 2016/17. Marwa has extensive experience working on international projects including being a member of the Syrian Kid's Foundation, which provides free education for more than 2000 Syrian refugee kids in Al-Salam school in Ryhalni - Turkey.  In addition, Marwa was the chief organizer of an academic team of volunteers from McGill University which helped sponsor the top five Syrian refugee students from Al-Salam school in Turkey who arrived in Montreal and received educational scholarships at Concordia University.   Marwa moved to Toronto in 2017 and is currently a Program Management Consultant at the Syrian Canadian Foundation. She is responsible for establishing and managing various grant-based programs and runs research-based projects in partnership with academic/government institutions and the private sector, Marwa's vision is to empower Syrian newcomers and people from diverse and vulnerable backgrounds to promote meaningful cross-cultural exchanges within Canadian society.

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