Board of directors

Daniel Cooper (president)
Daniel Cooper Law Office

Zulfikar Hirji (vice-president)
(DPhil Oxford) Associate Professor of Anthropology at York University

Zulfikar is Associate Professor of Anthropology at York University. Trained as a musician, historian and social scientist, his research is interdisciplinary and collaborative. He has written on pluralism, place-making, identity formation, representation, and artistic expression, particularly in Muslim contexts. His current research examines the senses and the body in art, science and religion. He has recently completed an ethnographic film that explores the sensory worlds of a South Asian Muslim dancer-choreographer and has been a curatorial advisor for a groundbreaking, multi-sensory exhibition of historical textiles and cultural objects from Muslim West Africa and contemporary artists.

Leila Boujnane (secretary/treasurer)
CEO and Co-Founder, Idée Inc

Leila is the co-founder and CEO of Idée Inc, a firm focused on large scale image search. Idée launched TinEye the world’s first reverse image search engine. Our goal is to build useful image search solutions and to make the world’s images searchable. Leila began her career in software development at Algorithmics a financial risk management software company and brings a decade of software experience to her role at Idée. She is a supporter of Canada’s startup community and a search innovation leader who has been featured in various publications including Canadian Business, the Globe and Mail, the Financial Post, Fast Company, The New York Times, CBC, The Guardian. She is also a novice ultra runner and terrible photographer.

Cheryl Atkinson
Professor, Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson University and Principle of Atkinson Architect

Cheryl is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with degrees in Environmental Studies and Architecture. Her architectural career has combined both teaching and practice. Prior to establishing Atkinson Architects, she was a Senior Associate at Teeple Architects Inc (TAI) where she was Project Architect, and design collaborator on numerous educational and institutional projects, including libraries, community centres, childcare centres, schools, and university teaching facilities. These projects have been recognized for both design excellence and sustainability, including four Governor General awards, and five OAA Awards. Her design work in two large commercial interiors projects at the firm have been recognized with Best of Canada Awards (Canadian Interiors Magazine/National Post).

Leonard Chan
Product/Sales Manager – Environmental Remediation, Canada Colors & Chemicals

Leonard graduated from Queen’s University with a Masters in Chemical Engineering. He worked for years as an environmental consultant, designing systems to clean up contaminated soil and groundwater. He currently works for Canada Colors & Chemicals where he leads the environmental products division, responsible for sales and product management. He also runs his own business, writing articles for publications on topics ranging from the earth’s geomagnetic poles to pole dancing. In his spare time, he writes screenplays, short stories, and is attempting to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

Rob Spekkens
Faculty member, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Canada

Rob is a theoretical physicist who works on the foundations of quantum theory. He was born in Montreal and raised in Eastern Ontario. He attended McGill University, pursuing a joint program in Physics and Philosophy and then completed an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics at the University of Toronto. He has held postdoctoral fellowships at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, and at the University of Cambridge as an International Royal Society Research Fellow. In 2008, he returned to Canada to become a faculty member at the Perimeter Institute. For his contributions to quantum foundations, he was awarded the Birkhoff-von Neumann prize of the International Quantum Structures Association in 2008. Rob frequently participates in science outreach events through lectures to high school students and the general public.