Our Board of Directors are passionate about housing justice, and provide essential support that enables CERA to help communities to realize their housing rights.
Safia Lakhani, Chair
Safia has been a member of CERA’s Board of Directors since March 2015, and has been chair since February 2019. She is a lawyer at Iler Campbell LLP where she works with non-profit organizations, NGOs, charities and co-operatives, and is passionate about housing rights. Safia has a Bachelors’ Degree in International Relations from Wellesley College, and graduated from McGill Faculty of Law in 2012. While at McGill, she was the co-chair of the Human Rights Working Group and was involved with the McGill Muslim Law Students Association and Legal Information Clinic. She has previously served on the Board of Artscape’s Salon Planning Committee.
Jenny Neiman, Co-Chair
Jenny Neiman has proudly been a board member of CERA since March 2015. Jenny is currently a senior human rights consultant with the City of Toronto. In her role she consults and provides dispute resolution with respect to discrimination and harassment in employment, City owned accommodation and service or facility use. Previously she worked as an Early Resolution Officer for the Ontario Ombudsman and a Researcher at the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. Jenny graduated from the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law in 2012, articled at the Department of Justice focusing in Public Law and was called to the Bar in June 2013. She has volunteer experience with various restorative justice and mediation programs and was president of a condominium corporation.
Alan Han, Treasurer
Alan Han is a banker with over 9 years of experience in finance and consulting. Most recently at RBC Capital Markets, he managed a large portfolio of lending accounts in corporate credit and risk management. He has also advised clients on business solutions in my financial consulting role at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Alan has an MBA from Rotman and a Masters degree in law from Osgoode Hall. Alan has served as a member of several not-for-profit Boards, committees and organizations, including as a Board member and Director of Finance for “Students for Barrier-Free Access” at the University of Toronto. He is currently completing my final year in a three-year term as a Member of the Arch Disability Law Centre where he has advocated for the disabled.
Lesley Freiberg, Secretary
Lesley has been on CERA’s Board since December 2016. She currently works as an Investigator with a provincial office whose jurisdiction includes health care organizations in Ontario. Lesley previously worked with tenants to assert their housing rights. She is interested in advancing equality and human rights and the important work that CERA does.
Drew Davidson, Director
Drew Davidson is a Toronto-based communications strategist who has worked in politics, non-profits and media. Over the last decade, her work has centred on creating policy changes at the local, national and international levels, from writing about international development at WE Charity to leading anti-racism initiatives within the Ontario government. Drew’s writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and Huffington Post.
Katherin Furniss, Director
Katherin has been a member of CERA’s Board of Directors since March 2015. She is a clinic lawyer with Legal Aid Ontario, where she regularly represents vulnerable and marginalized individuals. Prior to this, she was an associate at Stockwoods LLP. She has worked at the Office of the Information Commissioner and Federal Court of Appeal. Kathrin graduated from Osgoode Law School in 2011 and was called to the Bar in June 2012. She volunteers at the Human Rights Legal Support Centre and Law Help Ontario, providing pro bono legal services.
Karen Lewellen, Director
Karen is the president / senior producer of Curtain Up distribution INC. Curtain Up is an international media non-profit which, through its primary programs, common ground media and Harfield artistry, uses media to champion under represented voices and ideas. In addition to her work as a radio producer and professional singer, Ms. Lewellen has been providing board developments, fundraising and public relations consulting services to charities universities & social impact organizations across North America for more than 20 years.
David Jachimowicz, Director
David Jachimowicz is a fan of disco and house music who practices banking law. David has previously worked with other international banks and law firms in the United States and Canada, always with a focus on cross-border financing transactions and regulatory compliance. David has served as a director on the boards of a number of not-for-profit organizations involved in social services and the arts, and has led finance and fund development committees with the aim of making these organizations financially stronger. In addition to serving on boards, David volunteers as a friendly visitor to isolated seniors and periodically takes on community-based assignments as a hospice volunteer. Those volunteer experiences made him particularly aware of the need for legal advocacy and assistance in housing matters related to these marginalized communities.
Quang Pham, Director
Quang Pham is a well-versed professional from the real estate industry, having experience as a real estate salesperson, appraiser and mediator. He is currently working on the City of Toronto’s city-wide real estate model to improve and deliver client-focused solutions to City divisions, agencies and corporations. Quang previously worked for CERA as a Human Rights and Housing Caseworker, providing legal information to tenants facing human rights issues in housing. Quang was born and raised in Regent Park and he is committed to CERA’s mission with a deep interest in both human rights in housing and the human right to safe, adequate and affordable housing.
Dani Saad, Director
Dani comes from a diverse professional background with experience in public policy, urban planning, and communications. Dani is currently the Coordinator of Stakeholder Relations and Special Projects in the Chief Planner’s Office at the City of Toronto. Previously, Dani spent several years working across policy files in Office of the Premier of Ontario. Dani was a 2018 DiverseCity Fellow as part of CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellowship, an award-winning program for rising leaders who are interested in city-building and creating change in their communities.
Andrew Sunstrum, Director
Andrew Sunstrum works as the HR Compliance Program Lead at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. He has previously worked as an Investigator in the Toronto Ombudsman’s Office and as a Human Rights Officer at the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Andrew has over seventeen years of experience resolving complex disputes, has extensive knowledge of Canadian and Ontario human rights legislation and skills in developing and implementing corporate policy. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution.