Toronto Urban Fellows

About the program

Toronto Urban Fellows logo

The job posting for the 2016-2017 Toronto Urban Fellows program is now closed.

About the Program

The Toronto Urban Fellows program provides talented new professionals with an intensive introduction to the governance, operations and administration of Canada’s largest city through a combination of full-time work experience and a series of seminars, tours and workshops.

The Toronto Urban Fellows program has established a strong reputation as an innovative, groundbreaking initiative that has welcomed more than 90 highly skilled and talented professionals to the Toronto Public Service.

Urban Fellows make important contributions to the City of Toronto's policy and research agenda, provide fresh perspectives on complex issues, and undertake essential program development and evaluation activities. While their academic and professional backgrounds vary, all Toronto Urban Fellows share a commitment to excellence, public service and the City of Toronto's success.

About our Logo

The Toronto Urban Fellows logo was designed by two of its alumni. The background grid represents the City of Toronto's existing bureaucracy. It provides a strong foundation for the program but is rigid and defined in its structure. The coloured squares that burst from the grid represent the Fellows, their diverse backgrounds and their fresh perspectives. The logo depicts the Fellows as being framed by the grid, but emerging from it with the new energy and enthusiasm that recent graduates bring to the Toronto Public Service.


The Toronto Urban Fellows program won a 2014 City Manager's Award for Toronto Public Service Excellence in the Cross-Corporate Project category. Introduced in 2008, the Award is the Toronto Public Service's highest honour. Read more about the City Manager's Award.

The City of Toronto was recognized as a world-class innovator who is changing the face of public service in Canada through its Toronto Urban Fellows (TUF) program. Rosanna Scotti, former director of Strategic & Corporate Policy in the City Manager's Office, was presented with a plaque at the Institute of Public Administration of Canada's (IPAC) national conference in St.John's, Nfld. Launched in 1990, the IPAC Award for Innovative Management (sponsored by IBM) distinguishes government organizations that have demonstrated exceptional innovations that address the wide variety of issues facing society today. Read more about the IPAC Awards.

Toronto Urban Fellows Cohort, 2015-2016

Toronto Urban Fellows Cohort, 2015-2016

Toronto Urban Fellows Cohort, 2015-2016

ExpandTamara Augsten

Tamara AugstenTamara is passionate about addressing issues of equity and diversity in urban policy. She holds a BA from McGill University in Economics and East Asian Studies, and has recently graduated from the University of Toronto’s Master of Science in Urban Planning program. During her Masters’ degree, Tamara completed a major research paper on social equity considerations in bicycle planning. During this project, Tamara learned about the complexities of both defining and applying equity in planning and policy processes and outcomes.

Tamara also co-developed a Neighbourhood Integration Framework for Toronto Community Housing (TCH) which informed and assessed community engagement and social cohesion in the current Regent Park revitalization. During this project, she co-facilitated large public consultations with both market and social housing tenants, and presented report findings back to TCH staff, local politicians, community agencies, and the community.

Tamara has a wealth of experience using mapping software such as GIS to create visual representations of quantitative data in order to expose spatial inequities. This past summer, Tamara worked as a research associate on a SSHRC-granted study that examined the long-term socio-spatial impacts of racial segregation in cities facing economic decline in North America.

Tamara has contributed to publications related to alternative transportation for the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) and Dandyhorse magazine. For TCAT, she assessed the Niagara Region’s Complete Streets policy framework, and for Dandyhorse, she created a map that visualizes spatial gaps in Toronto’s cycle path network in relation to socioeconomic variables across the city.

Tamara is currently working with the Complete Streets team in Transportation Services to develop a "complete streets" approach to performance measures and building a business case for filling the gaps between existing and improved scenarios.

ExpandRuss Brownell

Russ BrownellRuss is an energetic government administrator with a passion for urban policy, operations, and community development. He is a graduate of Dalhousie University’s Master of Public Administration program and holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Urban Studies from the University of Toronto.

Russ has worked on several projects at the municipal and provincial levels of government. In 2014 he completed a work term with the Government of Nova Scotia’s Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism (ERDT) where he was responsible for supporting the International Commerce Division through the preparation of research briefings and the development of strategic policy files. At ERDT he examined the economic potential of exporting geriatric goods and services to South Korea and China and the potential of Foreign Trade Zones as a catalyst for the provincial economy. Prior to graduate school he completed an eight-month internship with Toronto City Councillor Joe Mihevc. Through case study research and interactions with senior officials Russ was able to gain a better understanding of the relationship between City Councillors and administrative departments.

During his time at Dalhousie Russ demonstrated an interest in performance metrics for municipal protective services. He co-wrote a paper on domestic and international best practices in police performance measurement that was well received by Halifax Regional Police and is published in the Public Safety Canada online library.

Russ was a teaching assistant for a graduate-level course in public economics at Dalhousie. He brings a strong understanding of economic theory and how these methods can be applied to policy decisions at the municipal level. Russ also completed a five-year varsity hockey career as a goaltender for the University of Toronto and Dalhousie University. He was awarded with Academic All-Canadian status for the 2012/2013 academic year.

ExpandSafiah Chowdhury

Safiah ChowdhurySafiah Chowdhury is a community advocate with experience in organising, research, writing, project design, and facilitation. She holds a BA (Honours) in Political Studies and Global Development from Queen's University and an MPhil from the University of Oxford. She is interested in the intersection of ground knowledge and policy making.

Most recently, Safiah was a Studio Y Fellow at the MaRS Discovery District, where she worked primarily on the Future of Government. Through social innovation and design thinking approaches, she co-created initiatives to encourage electoral engagement and participation among groups with low voter turnouts. Originally piloted in Scarborough, one project connecting political candidates with local youth has been scaled across Ontario.

While at the University of Oxford, Safiah's thesis explored community as a site of political authority in Islamic thought. Outside the classroom, she assisted with various access and equity schemes to support underrepresented students at Oxford, including with admissions. While at Queen's, Safiah was elected President & CEO of the Alma Mater Society, the undergraduate student government. She represented over 15,000 students to various stakeholders and managed a budget of over $14 million in government and corporate services. Prior to this, Safiah interned with the Ethnicity and Democratic Governance Project, researching global policy responses to ethnic diversity.

Safiah is involved in a number of community and City-building initiatives. She is a founding member of the Outburst! project which addresses violence experienced by young Muslim women in the Greater Toronto Area. She also teaches introductory Islamic history, translates Arabic texts, assists with mentorship programs, and is currently working on a historical video-series based on her recent travels to the Middle East. She has appeared in print, radio, and television on matters related to community advocacy. As a Toronto Urban Fellow, Safiah looks forward to creatively utilising user-centred approaches in areas of policy and program development.

ExpandSarah Corey

Sarah CoreySarah comes to the Toronto Urban Fellows program with a diverse background in policy analysis and development, strategic analysis, project management and stakeholder engagement. She is a graduate of the Masters of Science in Planning Program at the University of Toronto, where her research focused on how urban planners can enable emerging forms of commercial activity, such as urban agriculture, co-working spaces, and innovation hubs.

Sarah’s research at the University of Toronto connected her with the Toronto Food Policy Council and the Toronto Food Strategy (Toronto Public Health), where she worked on a variety of projects following the completion of her degree. Sarah performed research, data analysis and stakeholder engagement for Food Strategy projects such as the Mobile Good Food Market, Healthy Corner Stores and Food Desert Mapping projects. With the Toronto Food Policy Council, Sarah coordinated the writing and development of the GrowTO: Urban Agriculture Action Plan and the Guide to Growing and Selling Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Toronto.

Following her work with Toronto Public Health Sarah shifted into the private sector, working for FGMDA Architects, a Toronto architecture firm that specializes in heritage preservation. Sarah’s work at FGMDA was centered on leading project teams in the development of Heritage Conservation District studies and plans, including the forthcoming Heritage Conservation District Plan for the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood in Toronto. These projects involved extensive built form surveys, historical research, critical analysis and trend identification, as well as the comprehensive review of existing policy frameworks and the development of urban design policies and guidelines to manage change and growth within the historic districts. As a Planning Analyst, Sarah took on a lead role in project management, policy development and stakeholder engagement, planning and facilitating numerous public meetings and key stakeholder interviews.

As a Toronto Urban Fellow, Sarah is looking forward to applying her diverse interests and interdisciplinary skill-set to new projects and challenges. She is particularly interested in continuing to explore her passion for stakeholder engagement, and further developing her policy analysis and policy development abilities.

ExpandWendy Dobson

Wendy DobsonAfter a lengthy career in music, Wendy recently decided to pursue another passion -- improving the health of Canadian communities by addressing the social determinants of health. To achieve this goal, she completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Health Studies and Human Biology and a Master of Public Health majoring in Health Promotion and Community Development at the University of Toronto.

Wendy’s current career path was inspired by her volunteer work, including the Daily Bread Food Bank, Mount Sinai Hospital and Toronto Rehab, where she connected with many of Toronto’s diverse populations. She has also been a member of several Toronto working groups addressing issues around youth homelessness and mental health. She collaborated with Toronto youth to create an LGBTQ homeless youth video project which she presented at the World Pride Human Rights Conference in 2014; a compilation of policies, best practices and resources she assembled for this project is being used as a foundation piece for a national toolkit. In her desire to support these community partners Wendy founded a working group at the University of Toronto to increase engagement between the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and community organizations, leading to applied uses for school assignments which benefit both the students and resource-strapped community programs and services.

The partners, audiences and methodologies Wendy has engaged with have been diverse, including working with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care where she designed and implemented evaluation surveys and collected, synthesized and analyzed data culminating in consultations, options papers, tools, presentations, recommendations and reports. For a Social Planning and Policy course, she partnered with East Scarborough Storefront to investigate community-business partnership opportunities; this research was used by the community within a month of completion. Most recently she worked at Reconnect Mental Health Services as a project manager and as the projects team privacy lead. Here Wendy helped implement the Community Business Intelligence project (CBI) on behalf of the Toronto Central LHIN and approximately 120 community health agencies. She also led the linkage of CBI’s data to the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences (ICES) which houses most of Ontario's health-related data. This is the first time that community health data has been linked to clinical data in Ontario, providing a more complete picture of client journeys through the health care system. These journeys will now be used to guide policy development and program planning, including informing Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.

Wendy’s first placement with the Toronto Urban Fellows program is with Children’s Services (Special Services) and includes designing an implementation plan for recommendations resulting from a recent review of the Every Child Belongs program. This program ensures that all children in the City of Toronto, including those who may need additional supports, are able to fully participate in licensed child care programs. This implementation project also includes working with community stakeholders on training, guidelines and policies, designing and implementing communication plans, and developing logic models and outcome measures to ensure the implemented changes achieve their desired goals and objectives.

ExpandAnika Harford

Photo of Anika Harford, Toronto Urban Fellow

Anika is a Toronto Urban Fellow with an educational background in business, global affairs, social policy and environmental studies. She holds a Master of Global Affairs with Collaborative Program in Environmental Studies degree from the University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs and a Bachelor of International Business with a minor in French from Carleton University.

Prior to joining the Toronto Urban Fellows program, Anika worked as a Research Assistant to Michael Ignatieff at the University of Toronto where she provided research support for lectures, debates and papers presented on multiple themes, including humanitarian intervention in Syria, the War Powers Act, civil courage and the moral imagination. She also supported the redesign of a Climate Change and Sovereignty lecture taught by Professor Ignatieff at Harvard University. Locally, Anika has also worked with the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing where she explored how social financing tools could be applied in Canada to deliver improved outcomes and potential savings for federal and provincial government. She provided in-depth analyses of social policy issues such as Adult Recidivism, Early Childhood Development and Children in Care by mapping existing interventions, associated costs and outcomes, researching jurisdictional best practices, engaging key stakeholders, and writing briefings and reports on select issue areas.

Internationally, Anika has worked with the private sector (financial institutions), international non-governmental organizations and think tanks. As a research analyst with the Crisis Prevention and Recovery team at UNDP's Asia Pacific Regional Centre in Bangkok, Anika managed a research project on climate risk management (CRM) interventions across 23 countries in Asia Pacific. The results supported senior management in selecting 10 country office interventions to finance from a $1M Fund. She also worked as a Consultant for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; a non-profit policy institute based in Washington, where she researched and wrote on the human rights situation in Iran, namely around gender issues, restrictions on freedom of speech, political freedom, and torture.

Anika's first rotation was with the Food Strategy team at Toronto Public Health. She provided extensive research, policy and project management support on built environment issues namely healthy food access. Anika coordinated a TPH-wide cross directorate working group aimed at better articulating the vision for food across TPH and identifying areas of alignment for internal, cross-directorate (or program) collaboration. During the rotation, Anika also led research and stakeholder engagement on social financing tools to support and scale the Food Strategy's portfolio of projects.

Currently on her second rotation with the City Manager's Office, Executive Management team, Anika is leading the review and progress update of the City of Toronto's 26 Strategic Actions.

ExpandChristopher Hubbarde

Christopher HubbardeChristopher comes to the Urban Fellows program with a diverse mixture of academic and work experience. Initially intending to be an elementary school teacher, Christopher did both his BA and BEd—and briefly did some teaching—before deciding to dive further into research and policy.

In his initial Masters degree in Sociology at the University of Guelph, Christopher’s work focused on the intersection of labour and social movements, and what lessons labour could learn on a global scale to maintain relevance in the 21st century. After graduating he took a position at cStreet Campaigns, a digital strategy and campaigns firm, where he helped to establish a digital presence and execute campaign strategy for a wide variety of non-profits and labour organizations.

During this time Christopher also completed a Masters in Public Policy and Administration at Ryerson University, spending nearly two years immersed in policy, strategy, and engagement both at work and school. His research allowed him to explore his interests relating to civic engagement and government accessibility, particularly in developing structures and services that are more open to citizens.

Christopher's first Urban Fellow rotation is within Solid Waste Management Services, where he's working to develop and implement a common terminology framework across the Division.

ExpandMatthew Kelling

Matthew KellingMatthew Kelling is a creative city builder with a passion for community-based planning, public engagement, and urban policy. With a BA (Honours) in Political Studies from Queen’s University, a post-graduate certificate in Interdisciplinary Design Strategy, and a MSc in Planning from the University of Toronto, he has significant experience at the intersection of policy, design and planning.

During his graduate studies, Matthew engaged in a diversity of applied research projects in the realm of civic affairs. He interned at Toronto City Planning, where he assisted staff with a secondary plan process and area specific policy review.  While co-developing a neighbourhood integration framework for a social housing redevelopment, work that included the design and facilitation of public consultations, he drafted an equitable long-term governance model with the mixed-tenancy community. Working in a period of fiscal austerity and citizen dissatisfaction, Matthew participated in a yearlong project with Dublin City Council to reimagine their delivery of public services. A new service delivery and collaboration framework was the final outcome, shared in both a publication and a travelling exhibition. Engaging in the broader Toronto community for his major graduate research project, he assessed the feasibility of a community land trust’s land acquisition opportunities, work that has guided subsequent expert charrettes and overall organizational direction.

Professionally, Matthew has held roles as a university research assistant investigating youth participation in community development, a special projects associate at a design strategy consultancy, a facilitator at a planning firm, and a design intern at an international non-profit. He currently volunteers with the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust as research committee member and with Open Streets Toronto as a Programming Coordinator.

ExpandDilya Niezova

Dilya NiezovaDilya is a passionate city builder and advocate interested in issues of social justice, urban policy and community development. Dilya holds a BA in International Development, a post-graduate certificate in Food Security and recently completed her Masters in Environmental Studies (Planning) at York University. She comes to the Urban Fellows Program with a diverse background in education, policy analysis, community organizing and research.

After completing her undergraduate degree in International Development, Dilya spent the next few years travelling and working abroad in teaching and curriculum development in South Korea and Mexico, micro-finance in Bolivia and infrastructure development in Nicaragua. In Toronto, Dilya has worked on various projects including Parkdale Activity and Recreation Centre’s Food Flow Project focused on how local social service organizations procure and deliver food to those in need in an attempt to develop and strengthen their collective purchasing power and improve service delivery. She has also supported the work of Toronto Food Policy Council in mapping food assets by ward in order to provide a useful resource for councillors, community organizations and the public while recognizing opportunities for improvement. In 2014, Dilya worked for a City Councillor supporting constituents through casework, outreach and working with City staff.

For the last three years, Dilya has been volunteering as the Chair of the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council working toward mobilizing the youth voice in decision-making on food issues in Toronto. As the Chair, she has been supporting and mentoring young people, delivering educational workshops and advocating for food systems change.

In her first placement as an Urban Fellow, Dilya is working with the Cycling Infrastructure and Programs unit in Transportation Services to develop a business case for the operation of long-term, secure bicycle parking in Toronto.

ExpandStephanie Oakes

Stephanie OakesStephanie holds a BA in International Relations from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Toronto's School of Public Policy and Governance. During her Master’s degree she developed skills in research and evaluation as well as policy analysis and development. She was also involved in numerous student initiatives including pro-bono consulting for a nonprofit organization through the Public Good Initiative, promoting accessible policy discussions on Behind the Headlines radio show and organizing numerous workshops on gender issues and innovations in nonprofit management. This academic experience was enriched by completion of a semester at the Hertie Institute of Governance in Berlin where she gained expertise in comparative politics.

Stephanie is passionate about issues relating to social policy, vulnerable populations and cross-sector collaboration. After finishing her bachelor’s degree, she was fortunate to travel, work and volunteer abroad for a couple of years during which she volunteered in rural Zambia for Restless Development promoting youth-led advocacy on the issues related to financial literacy, civic participation and safe sexual health. This experience helped foster skills in stakeholder engagement and community development.

Prior to joining the City of Toronto, Stephanie interned at Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) within the Resident Access and Support Unit. At TCHC, Stephanie helped research and develop innovative and feasible strategies to address the key challenges facing its large and diverse seniors population especially focusing on securing the tenancies of the most vulnerable residents. She also aided in the development of a Vulnerability Index as part of a comprehensive process to implement repairs and community transformation prioritized by highest need.

ExpandChris Peppin

Chris PeppinChris holds an MA in Political Economy from Carleton University. While at Carleton, he  researched a wide variety of topics including resource politics, communication theory and the political economy of finance. His major research paper focused on the role of credit rating agencies in the 2008 financial crisis and analyzed the political implications of authority and governance in finance.

He also holds a BA, Honours Specialization degree in Media, Information and Technoculture, from the University of Western Ontario, where he focused his research on Canadian telecommunications policy and medium theory. He held positions as a teaching and research assistant in the communication studies and media studies departments of Carleton and the University of Western Ontario.

Chris developed his passion for community involvement and urban issues during his five summers at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). While at the CNE he worked on advance sales, community relations and social media. Engaging with the different communities that the CNE brings together was one of the most rewarding elements of his position. Recently, Chris returned to the 2015 CNE as a roving reporter for the CNE’s social media team.

As a researcher, Chris brings a strong multidisciplinary academic background and the methodological tools of political economy to the table. His ability to blend social research, policy analysis and practical data generates novel insights. He is dedicated to producing actionable, results-based research that positively affects diverse communities.

For his first TUF rotation Chris is working with the Business Performance Management team in the Chief Corporate Officer Organization (CCOO) on a client services framework, updates to the CCOO business plan and an implementation plan for the Innovation Roadmap.

ExpandDonna Saleh

Donna SalehDonna comes to the Urban Fellows program as a trained epidemiologist with a diverse background in research and education. She holds an MSc in Epidemiology from Queen’s University, a Bachelor of Education (I/S Mathematics & Science) from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) from McMaster University.

Before her involvement in research, Donna began her career working as a teacher in the Peel District School Board. It was then that she became increasingly interested in the social determinants of child health and decided to pursue a degree that would provide her with the strong research methods needed to make evidence-based health policy decisions.

Her graduate research was in the area of physical activity epidemiology and explored the interrelationships among sedentary time, sleep duration and the metabolic syndrome in adults. During this time, she gained extensive experience in population health assessment, statistical data analysis, manuscript preparation, and project management. Her work has been published and cited.

Prior to entering the TUF program, Donna was a health services research analyst at the University of Toronto’s department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences. During this time, she worked on a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) study exploring the vision loss gap between low- and high-income elderly individuals in Canada using data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS).

Donna also volunteered as a project coordinator at a global health organization with the goal of achieving better health outcomes for mothers, newborns and children in rural Upper Egypt and Ethiopia. She identified potential intervention programs to reduce maternal and child mortality and developed a plan to implement the course of action using a program evaluation framework.

As a Toronto Urban Fellow, Donna is looking forward to gaining experience outside of her field and applying her research and analysis skills in the development and implementation of public policy. Her first rotation is in the Transportation Services Division where she is reviewing the management of right-of-way fees.

ExpandDesi Simova

Desi SimovaDesi is trained as an urban planner and has a background in real estate, urban design and public space planning, and transportation and infrastructure planning and financing.

Desi completed a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Planning, co-op program), with specializations in Land Development Planning and Urban Design, from the University of Waterloo. She then completed a Master of Science in Planning from the University of Toronto. In the final year of her graduate program, she completed a major research project which examined challenges associated with risk prioritization, allocation, and management in public-private partnership (P3) infrastructure projects and explored ways to improve infrastructure performance and project agreements through more effective management of various financial and other risks.

As part of her co-operative education experience, Desi has worked in a variety of public and private sector organizations. Over the past two years, she worked as a summer student in the City of Toronto's Real Estate Services Division and City Planning Division. Prior to joining the City, she worked at MHBC Planning, where she assisted in the preparation of an appeal of the Region of Waterloo’s developable land budget to the Ontario Municipal Board and helped develop an alternative growth scenario and land budget on behalf of a large developer. She has also worked at the Region of Waterloo, Metrolinx, and Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, where she was involved with the development of planning and growth policies, guidelines, and various project proposals.

Prior to moving to Canada, Desi grew up in both Europe and Africa but she has spent most of her time in the Greater Toronto Area. Given her international upbringing, she is excited to be immersed in Toronto's amazingly diverse environment and to help guide the City of Toronto's future decision-making processes and project implementation.

Desi's first Urban Fellow placement is in the Transportation Services Division, where she is working on reviewing and expanding the StreetARToronto Program, a unique program that establishes partnerships with local community organizations and artists to enhance the public realm, prevent graffiti vandalism, and harness the cultural and economic potential of street art.

ExpandAlison Stanley

Alison StanleyAlison is a research analyst with a Master's degree in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University, the only graduate program in Canada to focus on the impacts of human mobility as it relates specifically to our country. Alison completed her thesis on the role of remittances in the dichotomy of migration and development, examining issues of an exploitable migrant workforce though a critical examination of neoliberal development strategies. Alison also holds a Bachelor's in International Development and Globalization from the University of Ottawa. During her undergraduate degree, Alison completed an international internship in Cape Town, South Africa, where she was responsible for developing a research study on the situation of Early Childhood Development programs within the Western Cape province. Through her academic career, Alison has developed extensive knowledge and firsthand experience in issues of immigration and settlement, development policies, conflict studies, power dynamics, ethics, and human rights.

In addition to her Master's thesis work, Alison has conducted extensive research focusing on newcomer health with a specific focus on uninsured residents in Toronto. Working for a Local Immigration Partnership, Alison developed and led a research study focused on the current service landscape of health services for uninsured residents in Toronto. In addition, Alison completed both a placement with Toronto Public Health focusing on newcomer health equity initiatives, as well as worked as a Research Assistant for a Ryerson professor, drafting a chapter on newcomer health equity for a forthcoming publication focused on Canadian immigrant families. Throughout this research, a large focus was placed on the importance of Toronto's role as Canada's first Sanctuary City.

Prior to joining the Toronto Urban Fellows Program, Alison worked as a research analyst at Deloitte, playing a pivotal role within the Quality and Risk Management group as one of a very small number of researchers in Canada. Completing both conflict check and background check analysis, Alison's role was to ensure that the firm was not in conflict with existing clients or legal requirements or that the firm was not at risk of accepting new clients who would pose a reputational risk to the firm. The work experience Alison gained at Deloitte rounded out her professional experience in all of the employment sectors, adding private sector experience to her previous public and non-profit sector positions.  Alison has previously held positions with Toronto Public Health, the Canadian Healthcare Association (now known as HealthCareCAN), and Oxfam Canada, among others. While originally from Ottawa, Alison is passionate about living in Toronto and about contributing to the city's vibrant diversity.

ExpandTiffany Vong

Tiffany VongTiffany is city builder who is passionate about making Toronto a more vibrant, thriving and sustainable place. She holds a BA (Honours) from the University of Toronto, where she studied architectural design and urban studies, and recently completed a Master of Urban Planning degree at McGill. Her Master’s capstone project explored the roles of different stakeholders in building urban resilience to climate change and extreme weather events, which involved developing a strong understanding of the Canadian regulatory framework for environmental issues, as well as local stakeholder dynamics.

Tiffany began her professional career as a Project Officer at the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance (CivicAction), where she helped build effective collaborations across stakeholders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors to drive several key projects. Her contributions included supporting regional summits that engaged city leaders, coordinating the Emerging Leaders Network, and helping to drive the Race to Reduce, a commercial building energy reduction challenge. For the Race to Reduce, she engaged landlords and tenants in nearly 200 commercial buildings across the GTHA, and developed tools and platforms to help them achieve their energy reduction goals. In three years, Tiffany helped participating stakeholders reduce energy use in their buildings by 9%. Last summer, Tiffany joined EllisDon Corporation, where she helped spearhead the development of the company’s first corporate social responsibility (CSR) report and provided recommendations for an ongoing CSR program.

Tiffany has also led architectural tours of the city’s cultural renaissance with the Toronto Society of Architects, helped guide Project Neutral (a neighbourhood carbon neutrality project), supported the Canadian Urban Institute’s Toronto Ward Boundary Review, and consulted for nonprofits tackling social equity issues.

In her first TUF placement, Tiffany is working with Parks, Forestry & Recreation to develop a skateboard plan framework to help support and advance the growth of skateboarding in Toronto.

ExpandVictoria Wood

Victoria WoodVictoria holds a Masters of Public Administration from Queen’s University where she focused her research on environmental and economic policy issues, including how economic sustainability can be used to strengthen environmental performance. Based on her interests, she conducted a comprehensive analysis of the future of solar energy development in Ontario.

Victoria has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Victoria, where she concentrated her studies on environmental psychology and quantitative research methods. During her time as a student in psychology, Victoria wrote an Honour's thesis that examined the likelihood of participants’ engagement in pro-environmental behaviours based on a variety of factors and scores on a number of psychological scales.

After finishing school, Victoria began her government career as a Senior Safety Research Advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. In this role, Victoria used her extensive quantitative experience to provide advice for policy and marketing initiatives. While at the Ministry, she co-led the streamlining and production of the Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, and also led the coordination and collection of data crucial to the program evaluation of a comprehensive senior driver road safety program.  

Throughout her academic and professional career, Victoria has developed a keen interest in environmental issues and has also volunteered her research and policy analysis skills to projects that focus on youth engagement and environmental well-being.

For her first Urban Fellows placement, Victoria is working with Toronto Water to develop a status update of the Wet Weather Flow Master Plan, which is the City's strategic plan for stormwater management.

ExpandStephen Young

Stephen YoungStephen comes to the Toronto Urban Fellows program with a background in municipal governance, community engagement and facilitation, and intergovernmental project management. While managing special projects for the Town of Kingsville, he researched and implemented policies to generate greater transparency, and improve committee functioning. Additionally, his research and consultation with election experts played an instrumental role in implementing electronic voting (Internet & Telephone) for the 2014 municipal election. The AMTCO and numerous municipalities have invited Stephen to present his findings, as well as consulting with him on best practices in the field. He has also conducted academic research into the committee/public engagement reforms being implemented by municipalities across Ontario. Stephen has a passion for municipal governance issues and enjoys consulting with stakeholders to develop effective solutions to governance challenges.

Recently, Stephen managed an intergovernmental project to preserve local history in the Town of Tecumseh. As manager at the Town of Tecumseh, he worked with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to implement an Employment Ontario Job Creation Partnership (OJCP). By coordinating and working with the University of Windsor and several local historical organizations, he oversaw the development of accessible online archives. Additionally, five participants on the project moved on to outstanding employment opportunities. Stephen also has a keen interest in employment policy and the challenges policymakers face when trying to get people back to work, particularly youth and postsecondary graduates.

Having joined the City of Toronto, Stephen is currently working with Children's Services to develop an Implementation Plan for a customer service multiple channel strategy. This project entails research, business process analysis, stakeholder consultation, and strategic planning in order to devise a long-term channel management strategy, and to align with the Division's human services integration initiatives.

Stephen holds a Masters in Political Science from the University of Windsor, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Windsor, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University.