• Announcements
June 02, 2022

CRRF welcomes new Board Members

The CRRF is pleased to welcome the following individuals to the Board of Directors, appointed through Governor-in-Council.  

Dakota Kochie 

Dakota Kochie (he/him) is currently the Director of Government and External Affairs at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. Dakota most recently wrapped up his role as Chief of Staff for the Assembly of First Nations, Canada’s largest advocacy organization. Dakota is a humble advocate for First Nations issues and continues to advise First Nations leaders on intergovernmental, budget, and economic development issues. He was appointed by the Minister of Environment to the Canadian Environment Domestic Advisory Group (CEDAG) for the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Dakota has also worked for a Member of Parliament and worked on a number of federal, provincial, and municipal political campaigns. In Dakota’s free time, Dakota is an avid kayaker, football fan, and a passionate advocate for Indigenous inclusion. Dakota is a proud Anishinaabe man from Pinaymootang First Nation (Treaty Two).

Reyhana Patel

Reyhana Patel is currently the Director of Communications and Government Relations at the international NGO Islamic Relief Canada. Reyhana is a former BBC News journalist and lifelong advocate and champion for change in civil society and minority communities on issues around gender-based violence, racism, and women’s rights. She leads the gender-based violence portfolio at Islamic Relief where she specializes in developing policy, research and advocacy campaigns on tackling religious and cultural norms used to carry out acts of gender-based violence. Reyhana writes regularly for mainstream media outlets and her work has been featured on the BBC, CBC, Huffington Post and Toronto Star.

Reyhana was born in Barbados where she lived for most of her life before moving to the United Kingdom and then later on to Canada.

AnneMarie Pham, MPA 

Anne-Marie (she/her) is a first generation immigrant who has worked with diverse communities and workplaces for over 25 years. She has a deep understanding of community and workplace issues related to racism and discrimination, and specializes in mobilizing, educating and sharing the latest research and promising practices to support attitudinal and systemic change. 

Anne-Marie Pham is currently the Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion, a national charity that supports workplaces, schools and communities to be equitable, inclusive, diverse and accessible, and to view diversity as an asset and not an obstacle.

Anne-Marie is an avid community builder and speaker on anti-racism, cultural competency, equity, inclusive leadership and allyship. She is a current member of the City of Calgary’s Anti-Racism Action Committee.  She co-founded the Calgary Vietnamese Youth Association, the Calgary Diversity & Inclusion Network and the Asian Professional Network of Calgary, with the goals to identify needs, remove barriers, and build networks and allyship towards change. She received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee award for her community service in 2013 and the Government of Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005.   

This is Anne-Marie’s second term as a CRRF Board member.

Dany Assaf

Dany is a partner at Torys LLP and Co-chair of the firm’s Competition and Foreign Investment Group. Dany is a globally recognized lawyer with deep and broad international business experience advising and helping businesses grow worldwide and has advised on some of the largest and most complex global and Canadian mergers and investigations over the last 25 years. Dany’s international business experience includes opening the first offices for a major Canadian law firm in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Dany has taught and lectured on competition and foreign investment law at major Canadian universities and written and been a commentator on business and social issue on almost all major Canadian media platforms including the Globe and Mail, the Star and, the National Post newspapers and the CBC, CTV, BNN Bloomberg, and Global television networks.

Dany has also been involved in many community initiatives and projects over the years including been President of the Canadian Club of Toronto and he and his wife Lisa also co-founded the annual Fast in the 6 event held on Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square bringing Canadians of all backgrounds together to celebrate its motto: Diversity. Unity. Prosperity. Dany sits on the boards of the Unity Health hospital network, Toronto Club Committee of Management, and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. 

Dany is the author of the book, “Say Please and Thank You & Stand In Line: One Man’s Story of What Makes Canada Special, and How to Keep It that Way” (Published by Sutherland House Books).

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