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Farah Mohamed (MA’96) is a powerful voice of change for girls and women around the world. As founder of G(irls)20, she built an organization that is cultivating a new generation of female leaders. Today, as CEO of the Malala Fund, she works for a world where every girl receives 12 years of free, safe, and quality education. And her passion for social justice was ignited at Western.

Biography

Farah Mohamed is the CEO, Malala Fund. Before joining the Malala Fund, she created G(irls)20 to provide advice on female labor force participation to the G20 and Business20 while investing in the entrepreneurial passion and skills of girls in 20+ countries.

International Volunteer Endeavours: Co-anchor, The Clinton Global Initiative’s Network on Investing in Girls & Women, Advisor, Virgin Unite Canada (Richard Branson’s foundation), Cherie Blair Mentor, Women in Business, International Election Observer, National Democratic Institute (2012 Egyptian & 2013 Jordanian elections).

Domestic Volunteer Endeavours: Current: Member of the Board, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation; Past: Harbour Front Centre, Canadian-American Business Council and Hope Live Board Member for the Canadian Club of Toronto, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Science Centre, Member of the Executive Committee for the Brazilian Ball 2010 and Maharaja Ball 2010.

Speaking Engagements: Leadership at the International Level (IPU at the UN, New York), Economic Freedom (Melbourne Writers Festival, Australia) Maximizing Philanthropy (Sydney, Australia), The Impact of Empowering Girls & Women in an Emerging Democracy (Sudan), Creating Safe Spaces for Girls (G8/G20 Meeting of Parliamentarians in France), the Empowerment of Girls (Scotland), Financial Inclusion and Education (Russia), Scalable Ideas – Pitching for Partnerships (China, Future of Jobs Summit (Washington, DC), Hindustan Times Leadership Summit (India).

Career Highlights: Inaugural President of The Belinda Stronach Foundation (TBSF). Under Farah’s leadership, TBSF created and launched the Foundation’s flagship program including One Laptop Per Child for Aboriginal Youth. She also oversaw the Foundation’s work in Liberia with President Johnson Sirleaf and a $1M humanitarian relief effort in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Just prior to creating TBSF, Farah served as Vice President, Public Affairs and Community Engagement for VON Canada. At VON, she was successful in building government and private sector partnerships, as well as strengthening the brand of Canada’s largest, national, non-profit, charitable home and community-care organization. For 10 years, Farah worked closely with some of Canada’s most senior politicians. Farah began her political career in 1995 with The Honourable Paddy Torsney who served as Chair of the House of Commons Justice Committee and then Junior Cabinet Minister on the Environment. From 1999 to 2004, Farah served as the Director of Communications for The Honourable Anne McLellan in her role as Minister of Justice, Minister of Health and Deputy Prime Minister of Canada.

Awards: Meritorious Service Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, BBC’s 100 Women, Top 25 Most Influential Women in Canada, Women of Influence, Top 40 over 40, Canada’s Top 25 Immigrant, Canadian Diversity Champion Award

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree at Queens University and a Master of Arts degree from Western University in the field of Political Science and International Relations. Bellagio Fellow, Rockefeller Foundation (Bellagio, Italy).

The Beginning: Of Indian heritage, Farah was born and raised in Uganda until 1972 when Idi Amin ordered the expulsion of Indian Ugandans, giving them 90 days to leave Uganda. Her father, mother and sister sought refuge in Canada.

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