Staff

 

Ben Liu

Ben Liu
Executive Director

As the administrative lead, working with the School of Cities' senior leadership team, he provides leadership and strategic direction for the overall mission of the School, including programming and outreach, revenue generation and business administration activities, and ensures the efficient and effective management of the School’s resources. Administrative oversight includes finance, human resources, communications and branding, IT, facility operations and services, space management, capital and renovation project management, governance, as well as risk management. He brings over 24 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 Academic Board, Committee on Academic Policy and Programs, Planning and Budget Committee, University Affairs Board, and the Service Ancillary Review Group of the Governing Council. As the vice-president of the board of directors of the then-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 the Vice-Chair of the Faculty of Arts & Science Council and a board director for Arts Etobicoke.

 

Lara M

Lara Muldoon
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.

 

Katherine Danks, Programs Officer, Education
Katherine Danks

Programs Officer

Katherine joins the School of Cities as the Programs Officer and comes to us from the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, where she has been a part of the Advancement and Alumni Relations administrative team for over three years. Prior to that she developed and ran her own business in designing and facilitating experiential creative leadership and strategic visioning programs.
Katherine began her career in advertising and worked at Anderson DDB as an Account Executive and later as New Business Supervisor, where she helped develop strategy and conducted research to advance new business.
Katherine has a genuine interest in using creativity in approaching problem solving and innovation. She holds a B.F.A. (Honours) from York University and a certificate in Adult Training and Development from OISE at the University of Toronto.

 

Cecelia Pye, Project Manager, Creative Mixed-Use Initiative and Urban Pilot Lab

Cecelia Pye
Project Lead, Creative Mixed-Use Initiative and Urban Pilot Lab

Cecelia is an urban planner and manages the Creative Mixed-Use (CMU) Initiative and the Urban Pilot Lab. The CMU initiative provides a matchmaking service for real estate partners, offers training modules to support non-profit and social services through complex development processes, and provides site-specific support for mixed-use projects with government agencies. In addition, she supports the School's research initiatives and strategic partnerships, leading a multidisciplinary capstone course for undergraduate students to address critical issues facing cities and citizens. 

Cecelia brings creativity to all challenges, working previously for community groups and Business Improvement Areas. She led the movie nights in Trinity Bellwoods Park, the annual festival in Dundas Street West, and an apple pie baking competition to raise money for the Fort York Food Bank. Cecelia currently sits on the Steering Committee of Jane's Walk and acts as co-chair for the Social Purpose Real Estate Reference Group (Toronto).