Board of Directors

Board of Directors2019-02-26T14:00:26+00:00

Jessie Thomson
President

Jessie Thomson is currently the President and Chair of the OCISO Board of Directors. Jessie joined the Board in October 2014. She is currently a Senior Director with CARE Canada and has worked in the Federal Public Service, for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and for the International Committee of the Red Cross. Jessie has been working on issues related to refugees and forced migration since the beginning of her career and is passionate about newcomer welcome and integration.

Christopher Braeuel
Vice President

Chris Braeuel is currently the Vice-President and Vice-Chair of the OCISO Board of Directors. Chris joined the Board in October 2015. He is the Founder and President of CHB International, an international affairs and development consultancy, and is currently on assignment as a Senior Advisor with the Federal Public Service. As a committed international development practitioner, Chris has served in various leadership roles in both the public and non-profit sectors in Canada, Afghanistan, Tanzania and Nigeria along with numerous missions across the globe. A native of Ottawa and the son of immigrants, Chris is an active community volunteer who enjoys engaging with newcomers in their next chapter of life.

Kathy Liu
Treasurer

Kathy Liu is currently the Treasurer of the OCISO Board of Directors. Kathy joined the Board in October 2017. She is currently a manager in the Valuations group with PwC LLP and has worked with Deloitte LLP and Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners. Kathy is a Chartered Business Valuator and a Chartered Professional Accountant. As an immigrant, Kathy is dedicated to giving back to her community by helping others with integration and career development through activities such as mentoring and consulting.

Gorav Chaudhry
Secretary

Gorav Chaudhry serves on OCISO’s Board of Directors and is a member of OCISO’s Executive and Finance Board Committees. He joined the Board in October 2013 and currently works as an Economist in the Federal Public Service. Gorav is a second-generation immigrant who grew up in the city of Ottawa. After spending several years living abroad, Gorav returned to Ottawa with an interest to volunteer on issues related to international development and immigration.

Noah Arshinoff
Member at large

Noah joined the OCISO Board of Directors in September 2015. He is currently a lawyer with a crown corporation and previously spearheaded the Canadian Bar Association’s advocacy efforts in the areas of corporate ethics and business law. Noah has worked with newcomers to Canada for well over a decade, including providing mentorship and welcome services to international students at the University of Ottawa and has been involved with several associations promoting cross-cultural business opportunities.

Daljit Nirman
Director

Daljit Nirman is past Vice-President and currently a member of the OCISO Board of Directors.  Daljit joined the Board in 2013.  He is author, former adjunct lecturer of law and President of Nirman’s Law Professional Corporation and possess diverse legal experience for the past 25 years.  Daljit is committed to advocacy in immigration and refugee law and does much volunteer work with charities and non-profit organizations in Ottawa.  His community involvement and professional profile could be seen at www.NirmansLaw.com.

Rohit Samaroo
Director

Rohit is a director with the federal government in the area of results-based management, and a champion of diversity in the workplace. Prior to this Rohit worked at the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto and in the private sector as well. Rohit holds degrees in Engineering and Political Science.

He has an interest in assisting immigrants to reach their full potential in Canada.

Eric Agyemang
Director

Eric Agyemang has been a member of OCISO’s Board of Directors since October 2017. As an international trade professional, specializing in global business development and trade finance, Eric presently works with Export Development Canada (EDC) as an Account Manager, dedicated to helping Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises expand their businesses into foreign markets.

Eric has been an active Career Mentor and Connector with OCISO since 2014, and as a first-generation newcomer who now calls Ottawa home, he also has a unique understanding of some of the challenges faced by immigrants in our community.

Luz Maria De-Regil
Director

Luz Maria De-Regil joined OCISO’s Board of Directors in October 2018.  She currently is the Founder & Managing Director of SHE BIZ and a Senior Advisor in Global Health and Nutrition to diverse organizations. Previously, she worked for Nutrition International, The World Health Organization, the National Institute of Perinatology and the Iberoamerican University.

An immigrant herself, Luz Maria landed in Canada 5 years ago to work in International Development. She is passionate about women’s empowerment and newcomer integration.

Melissa J. Pang
Director

Melissa Pang is a Senior Policy and Programs Analyst with the federal government, specializing in workplace wellbeing and mental health issues.  Prior to joining the core public service, Melissa worked as a lawyer for a private immigration law firm, as an analyst for the Parliament of Canada and as an executive of a non-profit organization.  Melissa obtained her Common Law and Civil Law degrees from McGill University, and her Honours B.Sc. in Psychology at the University of Ottawa.

Melissa joined the OCISO Board of Directors in 2017.  Born in Ottawa to immigrant parents and having studied at an international high school, Melissa has always been fascinated by cultures and languages, as well as challenges faced by immigrants to Canada.  Her own family includes members of Chinese, Mauritian, Lebanese, Indian and Peruvian descent!  Melissa can often be found exploring the NCC trails with her family or dancing along in Zumba classes.

Robyn Aaron
Director

Robyn Aaron is currently a member of the OCISO Board of Directors.  Robyn joined the Board in October 2017.  She is currently on leave from the Government of Canada, where she works as a specialist in the area of human rights, child rights, and governance.  Robyn has also worked for UNICEF Canada and as a consultant to various organizations in the area of international development.  Robyn has worked on issues related to child protection, human trafficking, and public health throughout her career, and is passionate about newcomer integration, mental health, and youth engagement.

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Our Mission!

OCISO supports immigrants through the journey of making Canada their home by providing creative and responsive programs that are culturally and linguistically appropriate, by building community through mutual respect and partnerships, and by fostering healthy and inclusive spaces for open dialogue and healing.

What we do 🙂

We are community based non-profit organization that has been providing services in Ottawa since 1978. We are motivated by the stories of new immigrants, and we are there every stage of the journey. OCISO directly serves over 10,000 immigrants and refugees every year. Our work is augmented by the generous efforts of our enthusiastic, caring and talented staff, volunteers, both established and new Canadians.