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Shireen Salti

Shireen Salti

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Shireen Salti

YorkU alum Shireen Salti


Executive Director
Canadian Arab Institute

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do.

I was recently named the Executive Director of the Canadian Arab Institute, a national not-for-profit, non-partisan organization that focuses on issues of interest to the Canadian Arab community through research, education and community engagement. The Institute strives to be the leading policy and research organization on domestic policies of concern to Arab Canadians. I joined the MPPAL program directly from the BA Honours program in Business and Society (Law & Governance, Media & Communications) in 2015. As an MPPAL student, I served as an executive member of our student association and participated in the annual IPAC/CAPPA Case Competition. My Major Research Paper (MRP) on the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Toronto received the Best MRP Award in the MPPAL program in 2017. I have held various positions with the Ontario Public Service, the Ontario Legislature Internship Programme and with the Council of Ontario Universities. In my free time, I work to empower youth in policing, newcomers in the GTA, and alumni at SPPA as part of Toronto Police Service, Together Project and YUSPPAAN (our alumni network) -- communities that have played a crucial role in shaping who I am today.

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

Research, networking and career opportunities.

The MPPAL program has provided the basis for my exemplary presentation, communication, research and writing skills. The diverse course work and research opportunities have exposed me to a wide range of issues facing the public sector. I have researched a number of policy issues including education, immigration, indigenous rights, health and long-term care, national unity and how legislative decisions affect minorities living in Ontario.

Through the MPPAL program, I also had the opportunity to present my Major Research Paper at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA) as well as represent York University at the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) National Public Administration Case Competition. These experiences have strengthened my policy analysis and research skills.

The networking opportunities in the MPPAL program are abundant. I was able to connect with numerous professionals in the municipal, provincial, and federal governments through attending conferences, socials, and networking events hosted by the School of Public Policy and Administration. In addition, through meeting classmates and faculty in the program and alumni at events, I was able to gain expertise and career advice from experienced professionals in the public service. This has led me to my first position in the OPS a year into the program at the Education, Quality and Accountability Office and later at the Ontario Ministry of Education.

In general, my education and training in the MPPAL program have certainly positioned me well for success in my current role and allowed me to gain diverse experiences in leadership, engaging with community and government stakeholders, and policy analysis.