Speaker Profiles

Farah Mohamed M.S.M

Farah Mohamed M.S.M

Founder, FORA (formerly G(irls)20)

Chief Operating Officer, Canada's Forest Trust

A seasoned senior executive with extensive and broad national and international experience in government, social profit and for-profit sectors. For the past twenty-five years, Farah has worked alongside politicians, entrepreneurs, business leaders, philanthropists and change-makers, including Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai. Today she serves as Chief Operating Officer for Canada’s Forest Trust Corporation.
Having travelled to over 64 countries spanning 6 continents, she offers a rich global perspective on different cultures, nuances and how to navigate and negotiate with governments, private and social profit entities in Canada, USA, United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Turkey, China, Germany, Pakistan, Brazil and Iraq.

Farah’ areas of expertise include:
• Stakeholder & external relationships
• Strategic planning & execution
• Building entities and teams big and small
• Devising and executing innovative approaches to problem solving
• Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Strategy
• Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Strategy
• Governance & Board Development
• Private sector partnerships & fund development
• Communications, Branding & Public speaking

Highlights from her previous roles include:
As CEO, Malala Fund, Farah led an international team to deliver on Malala’s mission to see every girl in school. She brokered partnerships with Apple, Citi Bank, Starbucks, Air BnB and other private and public sector partners. Farah negotiated and managed the Yousafzai family’s first trip home to Pakistan since the attack on Malala’s life. Among her memorable moments was sitting at the table with G7 Leaders in 2018 to make the case for a $3.8 billion investment to support quality education for women and girls living in crisis and conflict-affected and fragile states.

As Founder & CEO of G(irls)20, Farah was among the first to elevate the argument for increasing female labour force participation with an increase in a country’s GDP. The organization cultivates a new generation of female leaders while working with G20 leaders to keep their commitment to create 100 million new jobs for women by 2025. She is also the creator of Girls On Boards.

At the, Toronto Region Board of Trade, Farah led the organization through its response to COVID-19 on behalf of its 10,000 members, transitioned the Board’s summit series to be a revenue generator, ushered in a new policy framework and restructured and expanded the Public Affairs department.

During her time in Canadian politics Farah served as the Chief of Staff to the Honourable Paddy Torsney (Justice, Finance and Environment) and then as Director of Communications for the Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan who was also Minister of Justice, Health. She assisted with the adoption of same sex benefits; Canada’s post 911 response, navigating SARS and Environmental protection legislation.

Farah is a passionate volunteer and was recognized for her service to Canada with a Meritorious Service Medal from Canada’s Governor General & Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She was recognized by the Public Policy Forum (2019), London’s Top 1000 Most Influential People (2018), BBC (Top 100 Women), Women of Influence (Top 25 Most Influential Women in Canada), SALT (100 Most Inspiring Women in the World), EY (Nominee for Social Entrepreneur of the Year) and Diversity 50. Farah graduated from Western University with a Master of Political Science and Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Political Science. She was conferred with an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from Western and received a Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy. She currently serves as a Member of the Board for Music Canada and Refuge Point. She was a Board Member for G(irls)20, The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, the Ontario Science Centre, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Canadian Club of Canada and the Co-Anchor, Clinton Global Initiative’s Network on Investing in Girls and Women. Farah was born in Uganda and came to Canada at the age of 2 as a refugee.

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