As many DIAC Members may already know, our tireless Executive Director Rhonda Lawson is retiring at the end of June. As DIAC's executive director since 2018, Rhonda has been instrumental in implementing new programs for the Association, revitalizing existing programs, and supporting and sustaining our organization through the difficult pandemic years.
Rhonda's governance expertise has allowed DIAC to flourish during her tenure. The Board of Directors and Committees of the Board are highly engaged, focused and productive. It is thanks to Rhonda that DIAC has its current Mission and Vision statements and the Strategic Plan that Rhonda facilitated in 2019 has served the Association well in the years that have followed.
In fact, the Board is thrilled that a new Strategic Plan - under development since the Board's Offsite in February - will steer and shape the Association in the coming years, even after Rhonda has retired. She leaves a substantial legacy at DIAC and her presence will be greatly missed, even as her contributions to the Association continue to serve us.
Rhonda's innumerable contributions to DIAC mean that she will leave very big shoes for her successor to fill, but the Board of Directors has confidence that the incoming Executive Director will be an extremely valuable addition to the Association.
From April 1st until June 30th, Rhonda and DIAC's new Executive Director, Hafeeza Bassirullah will be working together to ensure a smooth transition for the many programs and services DIAC provides our members.
We would like to extend a very warm welcome to Hafeeza!
Hafeeza Bassirullah, Ed.D
As an accomplished leader with proven experience executing programs, defining and shaping strategies, and transforming organizations, Hafeeza has extensive expertise implementing initiatives, policies, and programs to successfully enhance organizational effectiveness, create long-term partnerships, and deliver on the mission of organizations.
Before joining DIAC, Hafeeza worked at the Real Estate Institute of Canada where she redefined, expanded, and elevated the organization’s educational programming. Previously, at the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants, she established the Education Department and developed the nationally recognized education program for the profession. She also championed change management principles which improved the overall operations, advocacy, and educational standards of the organization.
At the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Hafeeza worked with a team to transform the landscape of emergency management in the province of Ontario, enabling and empowering hospital staff and other health workers to make informed decisions during health emergencies.
As an Instructor of health promotion courses at the Toronto Metropolitan University, Hafeeza inspires and motivates students to learn and be leaders and enablers in promoting health from a holistic perspective.
Hafeeza holds a Doctor of Education degree with a focus on Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning from the University of Toronto and a Master of Education degree with a focus on Adult Education.