TORONTO, November 10, 2006 - Andrée Ménard, the Acting Chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ayman Al-Yassini, a former Member and Coordinator of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), and Special Advisor to the Deputy Chair, as the new executive director of the Foundation.
Al-Yassini who holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from McGill University, specializing in international relations and the politics of developing areas, with a focus on the Middle East, has been with the Immigration and Refugee Board since 1994. Prior to joining the IRB, he was Executive Director of International Trade at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, with the primary responsibility for relations with Taiwan and the ASEAN countries. Dr. Al-Yassini has also served as Executive Director of the Social Science Federation of Canada; Director of Program Development with the Canadian Bureau for International Education , and Director of Policy and Corporate Affairs with the World University Service of Canada. He also taught political sciences for a number of years at Concordia and McGill Universities in Montreal, and was a visiting lecturer at the University of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
"The Board of Directors is pleased that the Minister of Canadian Heritage has accepted the Board's recommendation to appoint Dr. Al-Yassini as head of the Foundation. The new Executive Director comes to the Foundation with very impressive credentials which we believe are ideally suited for its next phase of development," said Madame Ménard in making the announcement. "As an organization with a national mandate we need to become more visible on the ground, across the country, working with organizations and institutions in combating racism. I am pleased to say that this process has begun in Québec, which will serve as a model for the other provinces and territories."
In addition to his expertise in international relations and politics of developing areas, Dr. Al-Yassini has written extensively on the relationship between religion and state in Islam and religion and development in the Arab world. Prior to joining the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, he was a frequent media commentator on Islam and the Middle East and participated in a large number of Canadian and international meetings and conferences. A resident of Québec for over 38 years, Dr. Al-Yassini is fluent in English, French and Arabic.