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.
Jin Huh(she/her) Executive Director
From grassroots organizing to nonprofit leadership, Jin has supported and led change efforts in communities, organizations, and nonprofit sectors, and collaborated with residents and decision-makers across the city. Jin has over two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, with experience in community development, civic engagement, settlement, housing, women’s and 2SLGBTQ+ health. She has also worked in adult and popular education, and community arts, and was co-editor of HanKut: Critical Art and Writing by Korean Canadian Women. She currently serves on the board of the Toronto Environmental Alliance.
Melissa Wong(she/her) Director, Engagement & Strategic Initiatives
Melissa Wong is an experienced strategist and organizer with a passion for social justice and equity. For nine years, she worked at the municipal level for a Toronto City Councillor, leading campaigns and advancing policy to improve the lives of the city’s most vulnerable residents, including the initiation of the Downtown East Action Plan and the development of the Indigenous Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Melissa’s career in the community and non-profit sector has been dedicated to supporting intersectional gender equality and gender equity. In 2017, Melissa co-founded Women Win Toronto, a program to support and train progressive women to run for elected office. Prior to her work at city hall, Melissa held roles at the Toronto Women’s City Alliance and the North York Women’s Centre.
Kanaka Kulendran(they/them) Director, Organizational Systems
Kanaka is a non-binary, Tamil migrant, and settler in T’karonto. Their ancestral roots are based in Valvettithurai, Eelam. As an educator with a background in Political Science, they have spent the last 15 years working in the nonprofit sector, on the front lines, in management roles, and as a consultant. Kanaka’s sector experience is diverse and includes Food Security/ Food Justice, Settlement, Youth and Education, Community Development, as well as working in public institutions. In all their working spaces, their queer communities, and their earth working communities, they are a practitioner of deep listening and care work. These two things allow them to reflect, learn, and make connections, while ensuring that everything we do centers our relationships with each other.
Mary Micallef(she/her) Program Support
Mary brings decades of experience to Social Planning Toronto's offices. She provides program support to our staff operations.
Israt Ahmed(she/her) Senior Community Planner — Scarborough
Israt Ahmed is 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 an MA and a PhD from the University of Sussex. She has taught courses on diversity, civic engagement, community development, and social planning at the University of Toronto, York University, and Ryerson.
Saroja Ponnambalam(she/her) Community Planner
Saroja is a planner of Venezuelan and Indian-Tamil descent with over a decade of experience in resident engagement in Toronto's diverse neighbourhoods. She is dedicated to reducing barriers to civic participation through local governance, and has worked with numerous community groups and networks across the city to organize around systemic issues, including racial and migrant justice, alternatives to policing, equitable planning and housing equity. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Geography from the University of Toronto.
Hazim Ismail(dia/they/them) Community Planner
Hazim has nine years of experience working with newcomers, refugees, and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. They hold an MA Anthropology and Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Toronto with a research specialization on the intersections of migrant justice and discard, waste systems and how oppressed communities disproportionately bear the brunt of climate change. They have served on the board for Planned Parenthood Toronto, Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project, and Sexuality Education Resource Centre Manitoba.
Beth Wilson(she/her) 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.
Sharma Queiser(she/her) Researcher and Policy Analyst
Sharma conducts community-based, action-oriented research and supports stakeholder engagement. Currently, her work focuses on academic streaming, access to recreation for equity-seeking groups, and community use of public spaces. A social worker by training, Sharma is dedicated to addressing the root causes of social injustices.