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. He currently is working to maximize resource efficiency and economic prosperity as a Project Consultant with Energy & Resource Solutions.


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.

See David’s curriculum vitae here.



Nate Van Beilen

Director of Strategy

Nate grew up in Oakville, Ontario and was raised in a family with strong values of hard work and responsibility. These values were brought to the University of Waterloo. Nate was in the cooperative program in his undergrad and worked at organizations such as the Ontario Ministry of Finance, eHealth Ontario, TDL Corp, and a tax firm. Nate didn’t particularly enjoy business and economics as it was being taught and decided to switch his focus to political science where he enjoyed the philosophical aspects of competing ideologies. Nate was particularly affected by a few political science courses that highlighted the inequality between industrialized and developing countries and how certain ideologies, assumptions and institutions have led to compounding issues societal and environmental issues. Nate travelled to Singapore for a semester abroad and visited many countries throughout Southeast Asia. These travels highlighted solvable issues and a need for responsible business and accountable governance. After completing his undergrad degree, Nate went to British Columbia where he worked on organic farms and travelled down the west coast. At one farm, he set record for most pounds of blueberries picked in one day. In BC, Nate volunteered in a Native territory where a First Nation is protecting traditional lands from pipeline development. These experiences highlighted that humans can have a positive impact on each other and the biosphere when products and processes are designed intelligently with nature as a model and source of inspiration.


In the summer of 2016, Nate completed an internship at the Works Design Communications as a Sustainability Analyst. In the internship, Nate lead a research project for trends and best practices in sustainability reporting and analyzed over 100 companies. He also contributed to consulting projects by conducting materiality analysis and stakeholder research, and developed reports that aligned with GRI G4 guidelines, United Nations Global Compact, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the OECD guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.


He holds down jobs writing blogs and managing social media for a real estate firm in Oakville, and also writes for the Halton Food Council. In his spare time Nate enjoys playing guitar, vegetable gardening, reading, nature photography and species identification, biking, hiking, and canoeing in back country parks.


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.



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.


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.


Swinzle Chauhan


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.


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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Chris Ames



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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.