Our Staff

Social Planning Toronto's staff team brings passion, skill and decades of combined experience to our projects. We believe in our work and building lasting relationships with our partners and members.

Maria Serrano

Acting Executive Director

Maria has extensive experience providing creative, innovative and strategic leadership in the community sector in the areas of operations, organizational and human resources. She's responsible for the development and implementation of systems, human resources, overall management of the administrative needs of Social Planning Toronto and supervision of Program Support Staff.

Mohamed Ismail

Financial Manager

Mohamed Ismail brings over 50 years of financial management experience in both corporate and non-profit environments. Having worked globally in Somaliland, Saudi Arabia and Canada, Mohamed has been working with Social Planning Toronto since 2002.

Israt Ahmed

Senior Community Planner - Scarborough

Israt Ahmed works as Senior Community Planner at Social Planning Toronto coordinating civic engagement initiatives and building resident leadership. She coordinates city-wide campaigns and local initiatives to make the city equitable, accessible and affordable for Torontonians. She holds MA and PhD from university of Sussex in U. K in and teaches at Ryerson in her spare time.

Angelica de Jesus-Bretschneider

Researcher & Policy Analyst

Angelica is strongly committed to driving social change through community-based research. She has led and supported numerous qualitative and quantitative research initiatives on policy and planning matters that affect marginalized populations in Toronto and in various countries around the globe. Angelica has extensive experiences in the non-profit, government, and academic sectors. She is a PhD candidate in Planning at the University of Toronto. Angelica investigates a wide range of policy and social planning issues, including housing, immigration, settlement, and challenges faced by newcomers to Canada.

Cutty Duncan

Community Planner

Cutty Duncan brings over 20 years of experience as a community organizer and community development professional working with marginalized and racialized populations in Toronto's inner city neighbourhoods. He coordinates the Action for Neighbourhood Change project in the Weston-Mount Dennis neighbourhood, specializing in youth development, community economic development, community organizing and advocacy, and community policing & safety.

Yasmin Haq Khan

Community Planner

Yasmin has worked in social planning since 1992, and has been a tireless advocate for racialized youth, women, newcomers and the homeless through leading or facilitating many committees and collaborations, as well as being a founding member and supporting the development of several local organizations serving youth and ethno-racial communities.

Ravi Joshi

Communications Coordinator

Ravi Joshi is a passionate storyteller and communicator with over 10 years experience in public relations and communications within the non-profit sector. Before joining the team at Social Planning Toronto, he served as Special Assistant to a Toronto City Councillor, and as the Online Campaign Coordinator for Make Poverty History Canada.

Susan Kwong

Community Planner

Susan has over 10 years of experience working in community development, capacity building and political organizing. She has spearheaded and coordinated a range of advocacy and policy reform campaigns on a national and local level. Susan has a Masters in Social Work, a B.A. in Economics and Labour Studies, and a B.A. in Social Work.

Mary Micallef

Program Support

Mary brings decades of experience to Social Planning Toronto's offices. She provides program support to our staff operations.


Maria-Saroja Ponnambalam

Community Planner

Saroja is a community organizer and documentary filmmaker who has expertise in capacity-building and teaching media arts in diverse neighbourhoods. She has been a strong advocate for racial justice, mental health awareness, and migrant rights, and has been active in several grassroots initiatives across the city. In the arts, she has worked as a Community Media Facilitator in Rexdale on the National Film Board’s HIGHRISE project and as a Programming Coordinator at the Regent Park Film Festival. Saroja has an M.A in Human Geography from University of Toronto.

Sharma Queiser

Researcher and Policy Analyst (Education and Human Development)

Sharma is passionate about translating research into action for systemic change. With an MSW from UofT and BSW from Ryerson University, she has a strong understanding of social justice and anti-oppressive practice. Her work at SPT currently focuses on equity in education, access to public space, and recreation services.

Shahina Sayani

Community Planner

Shahina Sayani has 15 years of experience as a funder, Executive Director, community development worker, facilitator, consultant and researcher. She is passionate about increasing access to grassroots and formal education, as well as developing community capacity building initiatives that facilitate sustainable leadership. She enjoys volunteering as a mentor and raising funds for youth scholarships.

Ryan Tilley

Program Assistant - Membership

Ryan Tilley brings over 6 years of experience with fundraising and development within both non-profit and corporate environments. Passionate about engaging with Social Planning Toronto's diverse membership on social justice issues, Ryan has been serving our organization since 2012.

Beth Wilson

Senior Researcher and Policy Analyst

Beth Wilson is our lead on policy and research at Social Planning Toronto, starting at our organization in 2002. She has a Master of Social Work (MSW), Policy, Organization and Community.

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