Urban Governance, Law and Policy

Amira Babeiti

Amira Babeiti, (UTSG) Undergrad – Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies
Project : The Lebanon Rehab Project

A fourth-year student minoring in Human Geography, Amira Babeiti has made it her mission to understand the transformation of Lebanon, from being the ‘Paris of the Middle East’ into a present-day urban dystopia. She is a first generation Canadian whose parents emigrated to Canada during the Lebanese Civil War. Their turbulent past acted as a catalyst which inspired her academic and field research on Lebanon’s Urban Realm. She has contributed to the establishment of a classroom for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon’s rural community of Ketermaya.  

Read more about Amira's thoughts and journey in her Students in the Spotlight feature. "Students in the Spotlight" is a conversation series with members of the SofC Student Academy and Urban Leadership Fellowship program.

Judy Perpose*, (UTSC) Undergrad – Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy, Global Asia Studies and Urban Public Policy & Governance
Project : Policy Brief: Gig Economy

Judy is an undergraduate student studying Public Policy, Global Asia Studies and Urban Governance. Her research interests include comparative public policy, Pacific Asia history and politics, forced migration and political systems and theories. While studying, Judy has worked for Toronto Deputy Mayor De Baeremaeker (2015-2018) and is currently, Assistant, Special Projects to Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson. Upon graduation from the University of Toronto in June 2020, Judy hopes to pursue a masters and PhD in comparative public policy. As part of the 2018 Jackman Humanities Institute Scholars in Residence Program, Judy worked with a team of multi-disciplinary researchers on the history of settlement relocation and social engineering in ancient China and how such settlement patterns serve political needs. She has also conducted solo research on the history of Transportation in Scarborough with the Scarborough Archives and Historical Society. Judy has represented her university at the 2019 Global Vision Trade Mission to China, World Model United Nations conference in Panama City (2018) and Harvard University’s National Model United Nations conferences in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Read more about Judy's thoughts and journey in her Students in the Spotlight feature. "Students in the Spotlight" is a conversation series with members of the SofC Student Academy and Urban Leadership Fellowship program.

Krishanu Ranwan, (UTSG) Undergrad – Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
Project : Combating Disinformation in the Digital Era

Krishanu is the founder of vistasnews.com, a news platform that focuses on a millennial audience, creating analytical articles on current affairs in politics, business and technology. He is also a blockchain enthusiast, quoted by The Telegraph for his blockchain insights, and has mentored over 100+ students. In his spare time, he participates in debates and writes essays, having been recognized for his talents on several occasions.

Mena Rizk, (UTSG) Undergrad – Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Science, Machine Intelligence Major
Project : Predicting Future States of Homelessness in the City of Toronto

Mena’s passion lies in analyzing, leading, and optimizing complex systems. Throughout his year-long internship as an operations manager at Procter & Gamble’s Toronto Office, Mena leveraged his background in advanced analytics to optimize supply chain processes resulting in over $1.5 million of annual savings. He spent his following summer at Procter & Gamble’s Belleville Plant where he pioneered the use of 3D-printing technology in the plant and systemically integrated it within the site’s management systems. Mena aims to apply his background in advanced analytics and operations leadership to his passion of urban systems for the purpose of empowering, enabling, and enriching the lives of urban populations through developing innovative solutions to urban challenges. 

Michelle Verbeek*, (UTSG) Graduate – Master of Global Affairs
Project : Urban Disaster Risk in Latin America

Michelle Verbeek is a current Master of Global Affairs student at the Munk School, specializing in innovation policy. During her undergraduate studies in Human Geography at McMaster University, Michelle developed an interest for working with urban issues while developing a policy research project assessing the impact of high-rise dwellings on Toronto’s critical infrastructure. During her studies at Munk, Michelle has had the opportunity to work with the Reach Project in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she worked on social innovation interventions, and studied infrastructure deficiencies in irregular settlements. Currently, Michelle is working at the Urban Policy Lab where she is conducting research on local municipality’s capacities for digital governance. Michelle looks forward to utilizing her professional and academic experiences post-graduation while working in the field of urban development, intensification, and resilience. 

Soukayna Remmal

Soukayna Remmal*, (UTSG) Graduate – Master of Global Affairs
Project : Sustainable Urbanization Policies in Africa

Soukayna Remmal is currently pursuing a dual degree Masters in Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPP/MGA) at SciencesPo Paris and the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. Prior to that, she graduated with a B.A in International Relations and a minor in African Studies from Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane-Morocco. In pursuit of her degrees, she completed internships at a think tank, an embassy, and an international humanitarian organization. Her areas of interest are policy, advocacy, African urbanization, and international cooperation in the Global South.

Read more about Judy's thoughts and journey in her Students in the Spotlight feature. "Students in the Spotlight" is a conversation series with members of the SofC Student Academy and Urban Leadership Fellowship program.

Uma Kalkar, (UTSG) Undergrad – Bachelor of Arts in Peace, Conflict, & Justice
Project : Reaching Across the Web: Healing Urban-Rural Divides with Internet Connectivity

Uma is a fourth-year undergraduate student with a deep interest in the intersection of American domestic and foreign policy, conflict, and international science and technology. Uma’s work focuses on the role of internet inequality and political unrest. She is a 2019-2020 International Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress in Washington D.C. performing quantitative research on the urban-rural digital divide in light of modern American populism. As a Research Assistant to Professor Emeritus Ron Baecker, Uma helped copy-edit, fact-check, and suggest current content for his 12-chapter textbook “Computers and Society: Modern Perspectives”, published by Oxford University Press (2019). She also launched a global marketing campaign, social media platforms, and blog to create a platform for professors and informed citizens to discuss computer ethics issues. She is currently co-authoring a general reader version of the textbook alongside Prof. Baecker. Uma is an experienced Instructional Designer who has worked on 4 college-level mathematics textbooks, 3 online content projects, and 2 curriculum design programs at Vretta, a Toronto-based mathematics and technology company. At U of T, Uma works as a Research and Data Project Assistant at the MA Economics program, using quantitative analysis and data visualization tools for an alumni job placement tracking initiative.