As Manager of the School of Cities, Ben Liu is the administrative team lead responsible for the overall operational and programmatic leadership, direction and oversight of the School. He brings over 20 years of experience across a range of higher education functions.
Prior to joining the School, Ben was the Director of the Office of Professional Development & Career Strategies at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, and the founding Coordinator for Academic Service-Learning & Faculty Development at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Community Partnerships.
Ben is also actively engaged in campus and community governance. He has served on many university committees and working groups, including the University Affairs Board of the Governing Council and the Faculty of Arts & Science Council. As the vice-president of the board of directors of the Central Toronto Community Health Centres, he led the board accreditation process, board development and was the liaison to the Association of Ontario Health Centres. He has served on the boards of the Toronto Centre for Community Learning & Development and the Regent Park Community Health Centre. He is currently on the University of Toronto’s Academic Board and the Committee on Planning & Budget.
Senior Communications Officer
Nina brings to the School nearly 16 years of administrative experience in higher education. Over the last eleven years, she has held communications and external relations positions in the Faculties of Engineering and Arts & Science. A graduate of U of T, including a Master's of Education in theory and policy, she is a past recipient of the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award and U of T’s Arbor Award, in recognition of her voluntary contributions to Innis College.
Senior Partnerships, Engagement and Projects Officer
Lara joins the School of Cities after serving in various member and sponsor relations roles at the Toronto Region Board of Trade. She is a world traveler and passionate city builder who excels at creating partnerships and places to explore the economic, social, and cultural vitality of city regions. A graduate of U of T, Lara has also worked in educational publishing, financial services, and the public sector and serves as co-chair of Environmental Education Ontario.
Project Manager, Creative Mixed-Use Initiative and Urban Pilot Lab
Cecelia is the Project Manager for the Creative Mixed-Use initiative, a matchmaking service for building partners, and the School's Urban Pilot Lab, where interdisciplinary research projects address critical issues facing cities and citizens. She completed her Master of Science in Planning at the University of Toronto, receiving the Friends of Planning Graduate Scholarship for Innovation, Toronto CREW Real Estate Scholarship and the General Motors Women in Science and Mathematics Award. As a city builder, she is passionate about emerging technology as a tool in planning, transit equity and creative placemaking.