Rochelle R. Atizado (MAPI 2015)

Rochelle R. Atizado (MAPI 2015)

From Glendon campus to a powerful global career

Pathway(s): International Affairs, Public Policy and Human Rights

Title: Senior Advisor, Partnerships & Special Initiatives, United Nations Foundation

Being named one of the country’s most powerful women is a distinction reserved for only a small group of inspirational leaders. But for Rochelle R. Atizado, a Glendon grad and first-generation Filipino Canadian, it was an honour that went far beyond just a line on her résumé—it was a reminder of the importance of representation.

“Early in my career, I rarely saw people who looked like me in leadership positions and that remains true today,” said Rochelle, who currently works for the United Nations Foundation in New York. “When I received the Top 100 recognition in 2023, I was touched by the young women who reached out and felt a stronger responsibility to carve out a pathway where others could see themselves in.”

After achieving her Bachelor of Commerce degree in Global Management from the Toronto Metropolitan University, Rochelle was eager to bring her career to a global level by continuing her education with a Masters in Public & International Affairs at Glendon Campus.

“Many classmates came to our program with prior political science experience, but Glendon was my first introduction to the world of international affairs. Because of the close-knit community, small class sizes and direct access to my professors, it was an ideal setting for me to develop the skills I would eventually need to be successful in my career.”

Glendon’s global approach also offered Rochelle the unique opportunity to bring her education beyond the classroom with an international internship at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York as an Editorial Intern. She then went overseas to the UN’s Geneva, Switzerland headquarters to work as a Humanitarian Affairs Intern.

“Thanks to my professors, I was exposed to internship possibilities outside of Canada. Though working in editorial wasn’t part of my original plan, it was my foot in the door to an organization I was interested in working for and, ultimately, helped lead me to my career today.”

Now, back in New York as Senior Advisor, Partnerships & Special Initiatives, Rochelle spends her days fostering relationships with partners to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. And despite the ‘imposter syndrome’ she experienced in her early career, her distinction as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women demonstrates that she’s right where she needs to be.

Understanding how her journey can serve as a roadmap for other aspiring female leaders like herself, Rochelle wants to encourage them to take a leap of faith and go for those big dreams. “My number-one advice is to go for it, always.”


Where is your favourite city in the world and why?

New York City. It has an energy you can’t find anywhere else in the world and, as challenging as it can be, it is also where I have grown the most.

What is your favourite hobby?

I love outdoor activities, especially outrigger canoe, stand-up paddling, and roller skating.

What was your favourite thing(s) about being a Glendon student?

I loved the campus—everything from the gardens to the library! It is a beautiful and peaceful place, and the perfect backdrop for studying.

What do you want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered for my Bayanihan spirit, a Filipino term loosely translated into community and care for others. I’ve worked hard for my achievements, but I didn’t get to this point alone. I want to pay it forward and help others who may go down similar roads after me.