Staff

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David Harary

Executive Director

Named as a Top 30 Under 30 Leader in Sustainability by GreenBiz in 2017 and Corporate Knights Magazine in 2016, David has a well-earned reputation as an insightful, fearless mediator between science, management, and policy. He has cultivated extensive experience building strategic communications plans with NASA Headquarters and worked alongside policymakers on resource security in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In the summer of 2016, David developed strategic business plans at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that will promote economic growth through public-private partnerships across the National Marine Sanctuary System.

 

David’s research is multidisciplinary and covers ground in human security, intelligence, technology, sustainability, and public-private partnerships. His latest writing has been published in the Harvard Kennedy School ReviewInquiries Journal and Cornell International Affairs Review.

 

In both the office and in the environment, David’s ability to develop and communicate solutions for challenges facing today’s society has been sharpened by a diverse portfolio of unique experiences. He has over 3,000 hours of laboratory experience and has worked with several non-profits and multinational corporations on sustainability and natural disaster resilience. In 2014, David founded the award-winning non-profit think tank, Center for Development and Strategy. He holds an M.Sc. in Sustainability Management from the University of Toronto and a B.A. in Economics and Geography and International Trade from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

 

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Nate Van Beilen

Director of Strategy

Nate is a highly motivated sustainability professional who is working towards a flourishing low-carbon future. Currently based in Toronto, Nate is an Associate, Business Development at the Climate Solutions Group Ltd. where he helps develop innovative strategies for low-carbon financing, communicates low-carbon investment opportunities, and conducts research and analysis on environmental commodities such as emission allowances, carbon offsets, renewable energy credits, and low carbon fuels.

 

Nate also is Manager of Business Development at Just Vertical, a Toronto-based start-up focusing on delivering highly productive and cost-effective urban agriculture solutions. He is also a participant in the Ontario Circular Economy Lab which is developing national strategies for a waste-free, low-carbon future. Nate also holds a certification in ISO-14064-3: GHG Validation and Verification and is a Climate Reality Leader.

 

Nate holds a Master of Science in Sustainability Management (MScSM) from the University of Toronto and a B.A. (hons) from the University of Waterloo in the Cooperative Arts & Business program with a major in political science, a minor in economics, and specialization in global engagement. Nate has multiple academic papers published focusing on sustainable agriculture and carbon sequestration. He also has many blogs and articles published online.

 

With a wealth of analytical, communication, and business experience, Nate develops CDS’s strategic outlook and consults on project and program development. His diverse experience at small and large corporations, and government ministries and agencies allows Nate to consider the variables needed for effective strategy development and project delivery.

 

On the side, Nate enjoys music and has a knack for growing food. He has a certification in permaculture design and has five seasons of growing under his belt. Feel free to reach out to Nate on Linkedin.

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Jeremiah Pariag

Director of New Media

Jeremiah is a graduate of the Master’s in Environment and Sustainability program at Western University and is currently working as an Environmental Management Consultant at Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited in Toronto. Prior to this, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science — also from Western University — as well a Professional Certificate in Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies at Stanford University.

 

Over the last few years, Jeremiah’s multidisciplinary background has enabled him to explore a wide range of career opportunities allowing him to be lucky enough to work for: Microsoft, Credico, KMW Energy, Delta Upsilon, York Region, the University of Western Ontario, and several others.

 

Jeremiah has a strong educational base thus far; however, he plans to continue his education and my career concurrently. During his time in the Political Science program at Western University, Jeremiah specialized in political opinion writing and global crisis solutions. Toward the end of his undergraduate studies, he found myself underwhelmed by the efforts made by world leaders to solve global environmental issues, which motivated him to enroll in Stanford University’s Professional Certificate in Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies program and the M.E.S. program at Western University. Going forward, he plans on completing my MBA within the next 3 years.

 

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Sabina Hyseni

Director of Sustainability

Sabina is currently a Junior Professional Consultant Intern with the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and is pursuing her M.S. in Sustainability Management at the University of Toronto. In her current role at UNICEF, she is working in the Private Fundraising and Partnerships department with the Child’s Rights and Business team. She graduated with an HBSc in Chemistry from Wilfrid Laurier Univeristy and is studying in Geneva, Switzerland in the Fall of 2016. Her personal interests led her to a Kung Fu academy in China for two years under Shaolin monks in order to increase her work ethic and personal awareness. It was in China, where she saw people living without basic sanitation, water and food, which led her to pursue a career in sustainability. In Toronto, she is a radio co-host at Green Majority Media. She speaks fluent English and Albanian with working knowledge of French and Italian.

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Sophie Barnett

Human Rights Analyst

Sophie Barnett is a fourth-year student pursuing an Honours BA in international relations at the University of Toronto. She is a compliance director at the G20 Research Group and a research assistant for Dr. John Kirton at the Munk School of Global Affairs. She has research interests in both forced migration and cybersecurity. Sophie’s work has been featured by a variety of sources, including E-International Relations, the NATO Association of Canada and the University of Southern California International Review. Outside of the University of Toronto, she enjoys travelling and learning new languages.

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Swinzle Chauhan

Editor-in-Chief

Originally from India, Swinzle was born and brought up in Penang, Malaysia and considers herself a bit of a cultural nomad. She moved to Vancouver to attend the University of British Columbia, where she graduated in 2015 with a BSc in Environmental Sciences, with a double major in Geography. She has worked in waste management, water conservation, and corporate social responsibility. Currently, Swinzle is in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management (MScSM) program at the University of Toronto.

Swinzle enjoys cooking and hiking, and considers herself to be a bit of a foodie. As a travel-enthusiast, she has been most interested in urban sustainability and waste management in cities across the world, and hopes to be able to contribute to global efforts to make cities more resilient.

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Spencer McMurray

International Security Analyst

Spencer Adrian McMurray is a Vancouver-born, recent graduate of the Peace, Conflict, and Justice Specialist program at the University of Toronto (H.B.A.). An avid peace maker and aspiring conflict transformation practitioner, Spencer is interested in exploring the nexus between security, peacebuilding, and aid both academically and professionally. He focused his studies on transitional justice, security, peacebuilding, the determinants of conflict, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with a regional focus on the MENA area.

 

Throughout his tenure as an undergraduate student, Spencer has worked tirelessly with several organizations, including the Mosaic Institute (A think tank dedicated to peacebuilding and conflict resolution), Médecins San Frontier, and twice as a class representative for the Peace, Conflict, and Justice program. In addition, Spencer has worked as a consultant with the United Nations Development Programme in East Jerusalem, where he assisted in conducting quantitative and qualitative research about Palestinian Authority governance processes, security sector reform, peacebuilding, and civil society. Spencer has been to East Jerusalem twice before, in both academic and professional capacities. As such he is a budding expert of the region, having studied the MENA area for 4 years and acquired 6+ months of lived-experience there.

 

Spencer will be undertaking a Masters in International Security program at L’institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) in the Fall of 2017. His studies will focus on Diplomacy, Global Risks, and the Middle East, where he will study alternative dispute resolution processes, including negotiation, mediation, and the politics of peace agreements and ceasefires. He has been selected as Toronto Rotary District 7070 Rotarian Scholar for the 2017-2018 academic year.
As an International Security Analyst, his research will unpack and assess pressing global security issues as they arise, what impact these issues have on global security concerns, and how best international actors should respond.

Emile Lavergne

Emile Lavergne

Climate Security Fellow

Emile is interested in climate resilient development and security. He is working towards a career at the intersection of clean and renewable energy, and environmental and social policy, leveraging innovation to facilitate long-term sustainable development. Holding a one-year fellowship with CDS, Emile will be studying the relationship our environment has with national security.

 

As a current 2nd-year masters candidate at the Munk School of Global Affairs, Emile’s specialized focus on the environment and international relations is bridged through his dual-enrollment with the University of Toronto’s School of Environment. He is fully bilingual (English/French) and has worked in Paris, Ottawa, and New York. He studies in Canada and has lived in Taiwan, France, China, South Korea, Japan, and the United States.

 

Emile holds a B.A. in Economics and International Development from McGill University in Montréal, Canada.

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Juan Jimenez

Director of Finance

Juan grew up in Pereira, Colombia before moving to the United States at a young age. He is currently working for Citigroup’s Investment Banking office in Buffalo, NY as a financial analyst with a couple years of experience in the industry. He has worked closely with David Harary, the CDS Executive Director, to bring a financially sustainable business model to the Center for Development and Strategy by bringing in new sources of revenue and setting strict financial goals. What originally attracted Juan to the think tank, is its ability to have an impact on the community. Coming from a small developing country with poor economic roots, Juan is deeply affected by the many inequalities our society has created. He has pledged to do everything possible to give back to the community and CDS has created a unique avenue to do so.

 

Juan graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration at the State University of New York at Buffalo with concentrations in International Business and Financial Analysis. He served as the Treasurer for UB’s Student Association, where he oversaw a budget of over $3.4 million.

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Bryan Chester Campbell Romero

Global Politics Research Assistant

Bryan is a Cuban student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy at the University of Havana. His research interests focus in the intersection of Political & Moral Philosophy and International Affairs. With issues like ethnic violence, the nature of revolutions or the foundations and future of the nation-state, he’s been concerned with the ethical and theoretical questions at the bottom of some of the most pressing global problems. He is interested in the policy making process in international organizations as well.

Bryan is also an independent translator and interpreter, working for institutions like CARE International and Cornell University. He speaks Spanish (native speaker), English and French.

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Brian Malczyk

Climate Security Fellow

Brian hails from Toronto, and is a graduate of the Peace, Conflict, and Justice Studies program at the University of Toronto (BA 2016). In his third-year, he was an International Presidential Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. Succeeding this, he led North American Model United Nations in his capacity as Secretary-General. Brian also served as Co-President of the Canadian Red Cross group.

 

Brian is an alumnus of St. Michael’s Choir School (2012) and executive member of its alumni association, SMCSAA. He currently teaches piano and sings with several choral groups as a reflection of his background in music.

 

As a Climate Security Fellow at CDS, his research interest orbits the impact of climate change on state engagement with the Arctic and its people.

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Joseph Palladino

Editor

Joseph serves as an Editor of the new Journal of Sustainable Innovation or JSI. He was born and raised in a small town near Toronto,  Canada, to a family of entrepreneurs. It is this entrepreneurial environment which he believes fueled his interest in sustainable innovation. He is a student of the University of Toronto’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management (MScSM) program, where he has focused his work on corporate responsibility, reporting, and sustainable innovation. He holds a certification in Corporate Social Responsibility, and most recently held a position as a Corporate Sustainability Coordinator with Tepperman’s, a medium-sized home furnishings firm in southwestern Ontario, Canada. In 2016, Joseph worked with a technology start-up incubator at the University of Toronto, where he facilitated the development of a guide for entrepreneurs looking to produce their own innovations. He has also worked extensively with NGOs in Canada’s post-secondary education sector, allowing him to bridge his interest in pedagogy with sustainable innovation.

 

As a graduate of McMaster University with a combined degree in Political Science and Geography & Environmental Science, his research is highly multidisciplinary and has allowed him to produce research on topics including water security in the Great Lakes, biogeochemical processes and Canadian Indigenous communities, community development topics, and the role of digital communications in building corporate responsibility programs. He stays current on sustainability and technology topics, and is always searching for opportunities to drive sustainable innovation forward. Outside of these pursuits, Joseph enjoys golfing, hiking, and searching for the perfect craft beers.

 

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Kristy Mlakar

Editor

Kristy has an infectious passion and insatiable curiosity for the development of sustainable energy and transportation systems. She works as a Junior Projects Coordinator and Researcher for the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium, where she performs research and report writing to aid in the development of innovative low-carbon smart mobility integration and demonstration trials.

Kristy is currently completing a Master of Science in Sustainability Management at the University of Toronto. Previously, Kristy completed an Honours Bachelor of Science degree at McMaster University studying Earth and Environmental Sciences. During her undergraduate degree, Kristy worked as a Research Assistant in McMaster’s Research Group for Stable Isotopologues. She completed an undergraduate thesis in stable isotope paleoclimatology, measuring the relationship between the oxygen isotope composition of calcite and water at low temperatures. This research estimates past global temperatures and is proof of unprecedented current climate conditions.

Kristy’s strong background in laboratory research, paired with extensive field work in subjects such as geophysics, ecology, stratigraphy, and sedimentology, have allowed her to establish a deep and critical understanding of scientific research. Her recent research work more heavily focuses on policy and economic problems, including papers comparing the economic viability of distributed energy resources against centralized energy resources and determining payback periods for electric vehicle incentives provided by the Government of Ontario. In addition, Kristy has worked 16 different jobs throughout her university studies across different sectors and in both public and private roles. Kristy’s breadth of experience and unwavering work ethic provide her with a unique toolkit and skillset to tackle large-scale sustainability issues facing our world today.

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Taylor Whitfield

Editor

Taylor is from the Greater Toronto Area and has had a life-long passion for global issues. At the completion of his undergraduate degree in Global Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University Taylor had participated in four international volunteer experiences including environmental research in Costa Rica and social development work in China. He is currently a graduate student in the University of Toronto’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management program where he recently completed an internship studying drought in Southeast Asia with the government-university partnership UCRSEA. Taylor’s interest in global affairs also led him to work full-time as a border officer with the Canada Border Services Agency at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport where he experienced the front lines of international relations and policy. Additionally, he has experience as an entrepreneur and currently serves on the board for the Global Studies Alumni Council at his alma mater.