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Ajay Nandalall

Ajay Nandalall

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Ajay Nandalall

YorkU alum Ajay Nandalall

2016

Risk Manager, Environmental & Social Risk Management
Toronto-Dominion Bank

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

Since graduating, I have had the opportunity to hold various roles within both the public and private sectors, in the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and the Toronto-Dominion Bank, respectively. However, the majority of my career has been spent within the private sector; needless to say, this was not something I necessarily foresaw having completed both the BPA and MPPAL programs consecutively…

As Risk Manager with the Toronto-Dominion bank's Environmental and Social Risk Management team, I focus on the measurement, assessment and monitoring of climate-related risks facing the Bank, its customers/clients and communities in which it operates. I am currently co-leading the Bank's development of metrics and scenario analysis/stress-testing programs to help quantify and better understand the risks and opportunities posed by climate change and the transition to a lower-carbon economy.

Prior to this assignment, I was very fortunate to be a part of the Management Associate program at TD Bank, which is a 24-month leadership & talent development program, consisting of four 6-month rotations in various areas across the organization, such as Canadian Personal Banking, Commercial Banking, Auto-Finance, Wealth, Technology, etc. The program is focused on fully immersed learning and development, where associates take on roles with full responsibility in their selected area. I held various roles in banking including working in Open Banking/FinTech partnerships, Cannabis Legalization, Finance & Stress Testing, Product Management (Real Estate Secured Lending) and Anti-Money Laundering. Most recently Ajay supported the Office of the Chief Risk Officer as an Enterprise Risk Manager with TD, leading the annual refresh of the Bank's Risk Appetite Statement and supporting the C-Suite and Board through the Bank's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working in the private sector with the mind of a public servant, I strive to understand, evolve and influence institutional impact on the public good with each assignment I take on. It has been a ride full of surprises and welcome opportunity thus far, and I look forward to what the future holds…

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

I graduated from the Bachelor's of Public Administration program in 2014, and the Master's of Public Policy, Administration and Law in 2016. There was no doubt in my mind that I would have either been a lawyer or a public servant thereafter, but if you've read this far, chances are you know that neither is the case…

I am happy to say I have no regrets, in particular with respect to my education, which common sense would not necessarily lead one to believe given that I now work for what is ostensibly the polar opposite of the public service.

My studies, and more importantly the exceptional faculty are a large part of what helped me get where I am today. These programs do not only seek to educate students in the realm of policy, law, government administration, etc. - they seek to teach students how to understand the world around them, and by virtue of this, how they can effect change. Some of the core values that the School of Public Policy and Administration helped to instill was the drive to question the world as it is and challenge the status-quo, to drive positive change, and above all, it instilled a strong sense of fiduciary responsibility towards the public and working towards the betterment of the public good. In time, I realized this was something that could be put into practice in any organization, any sector (for the record the private and public sectors have a very symbiotic relationship), and any country…

How did my studies help? Aside from the aforementioned, in short they helped me to begin to understand how the world worked from a holistic point of view. They taught me how to ask the right questions, how to evaluate and tackle problems, and where I might start to look for the right answers. They taught me how to learn, but more importantly why it is important that we never stop.

If you're reading this and thinking about joining either program; do it. You will have the opportunity to be informed, educated and developed by world-class faculty, many of whom continue to be leaders in their respective fields. Either program, with the right approach to learning (which mostly consists of a voracious appetite for knowledge) will prepare you for a career in almost any field you can imagine, for there is guaranteed to be a policy or law (or one needed) to govern it, it will need administration, but more importantly, it will need thinkers, change-makers and LEADERS...

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