Moving to a new country — whether it's for work or travel — is exciting but it can be intimidating, too. The Global Ambassador Program provides alumni contacts who can help you adjust to your new location.
Currently, you can find Global Ambassadors in fifteen countries. Our goal is eventually to expand the program around the world. So wherever you go, you'll always find a Waterloo connection.
Click on the regions below to learn more:
Devashish is a graduate of the Computer Engineering program from the University of Waterloo and is a graduate of the Next36 leadership program at the University of Toronto. Currently, he is working on growing CoHo.in - a startup pioneering Co-living in India. Devashish moved back to Delhi in 2014 and has been actively involved in the booming startup ecosystem.
He is a voracious reader and is a big fan of intelligent movies and theatre. Devashish loves meeting new people and often hosts small meetups with Canadians who have connections in Delhi.
My name is Joyce and I graduated from UW in Fall 2011 with a degree in Bachelor of Mathematics.
I have dedicated my time outside of classes towards volunteering with the University; through orientation week and several different clubs. From those experiences, I hope to be a good global ambassador for UW in Indonesia.
Indonesia is the country where I grew up in, so I hope to be of help for anyone who's an alumni or wanting to know more about the university. I hope to re-connect with all alumni and reminisce the times we spent over staying up late for assignments or studying for exams as well as connect with UW alumni of southeast asia. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions that they would like to bring up, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Avi has lived in Israel for the past three years. His experience living in Israel, Canada, US, Switzerland, and travelling throughout Europe and Asia has given him the opportunity to meet diverse peoples living in different situations with differing outlooks on life. As a proud Waterloo alumnus, Avi likes to keep in touch with the university and with Tamer Ozsu, the former head of the school of computer science.
An avid mountain biker and road cyclist, Avi also likes to drive his Jeep off-road. Avi volunteers with StandWithUs fellowship, a non-profit program that teaches young Israelis about the ongoing Middle East conflict, and how to speak about it. Avi looks forward to helping alumni who are visiting Israel to get the best of what the country has to offer.
Israel - Shmuel Bowman (DGOGY '89, Gerontology)
Shmuel Bowman has helped Israeli causes since 1993, by strategically transforming ideas and vision into concrete and tangible results.
Shmuel hails from Toronto, Canada. He studied at University of Waterloo, and received a Diploma in Gerontology in 1989. As a Gerontologist by profession, his priorities have always been to lift barriers to improve quality of living. Shmuel’s career in senior positions at notable organizations in Israel has brought him to work closely with an array of leaders in politics, education, security, and faith.
Bowman is an Experiential Jewish Educator, and communicates on a broad spectrum of topics related to current, relevant issues. As a Torah Scribe (Sofer STaM) he teaches on the wisdom of the sacred letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
Shmuel joined Operation Lifeshield at the time of it’s founding in 2006. As Executive Director of Operation Lifeshield (and the Canadian sister organization, Project Life Initiatives), Shmuel raises funds and awareness globally, supervises an international network of volunteer pro-Israel activists, and is responsible for OL activities in Israel – including placement of accessible bomb shelters, as well as briefings with mayors & security chiefs of towns & cities threatened by enemy rockets. Hundreds of shelters have been deployed under his watch, and thousands of Israeli lives protected. Shmuel Bowman is regarded as an expert in the field of passive defense and humanitarian NGO relief efforts.
Shmuel and his wife Leah (a licensed Israeli Tour Guide) have five children and a cat.
Hi I'm Logen. I graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2012 with a Bachelor of Mathematics, majoring in Actuarial Science. I was born and raised in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia and currently work in Malaysia. As University of Waterloo becomes more popular in Malaysia, I hope to be of help to students looking to attend Waterloo. I am also hoping to meet and connect with fellow alumni in Malaysia.
In my free time, I love to watch movies, play badminton and the violin.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or, are looking to re-connect with the alumni in our area.
Mahmood is a brand strategist and management systems consultant. In 2011 he set up his own small business consultancy to work with high potential startups and SMBs to develop amazing products and scale business. In parallel, Mahmood spends a lot of time mentoring and coaching young founders and CEOs.
Mahmood is a founding member of the Insaf Professionals Forum - a global network of Pakistani professionals focused on building a more peaceful and prosperous Pakistan. He is also co-founder of "The Good News" - a community driven news website that aims to spread positivity and optimism in and about Pakistan.
He is also involved with several non-profit ventures working in education, health and community building.
Mahmood was born in London, UK and grew up in Karachi, Pakistan. He went to school at the prestigious Karachi Grammar School from 1985-2000. He re-settled in Karachi after graduating from the University of Waterloo (2000-2004) with a honours degree in Operations Research (B.Math) and a minor in Computer Science.
Mahmood is easily accessible and happy to help with advice and connections. He enjoys connecting with high school and university students as much as he does with professionals and entrepreneurs. He is committed to developing a thriving UW alumni community in Pakistan and to leverage the Waterloo brand for the betterment of Pakistan and Pakistanis.
Qatar - Salman Shaban (BA ’11, Liberal Studies)
Salman Shaban is a 3rd generation (G3) family business owner and the senior business operations manager for Lucky Group, a leading metal recycling group established in 1973 with global headquarters in Dubai, UAE. A truly global businessman, Salman has visited more than 75 cities, in over 25 countries around the world and has lived in six different countries, including Pakistan, Oman, New Zealand and Qatar.
His business specialties include project management, business development, quality control, marketing collaterals, IT systems implementation, material processing and commercial management.
Salman applied to become a Global Ambassador because he wanted to add value to the international community by sharing his Waterloo experiences and discussing opportunities with alumni and students.
He is also looking forward to reminiscing about his Waterloo days. “This program gives me an opportunity to give back to Waterloo in whatever small way possible and return to the memorable life experiences that Waterloo has given me,” he said.
He currently shuttles between his home base Dubai (UAE) and new venture in Doha (Qatar). Salman hopes to bring alumni living in his region together to network and enhance each other’s careers and businesses.
Dubai, UAE- Karim Jaffer (MAcc 2004, Accounting)
Karim has been living in Dubai for over 12 years, having escaped Toronto and Waterloo’s frigid winters and looking for international experience! Following just over 3 years with PwC in Dubai, he has been the regional Finance Director for both public and private companies in the UAE, where he has been responsible for business strategy and led successful business turnarounds.
Karim loves the dynamism, potential and opportunities of the MENA region and being able to meet talented and enthusiastic expatriates and locals, including UWaterloo Alumni. He is keen to build the UWaterloo brand in the region and its network of alumni.
Philippines -Elvin Madamba (BES '17, Environment, Resources and Sustainability)
Elvin is a sustainability professional whose current role is Project Manager at Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc. A dual citizen of Canada and the Philippines, he has chosen to be a “balikbayan”, a Filipino returning to the Philippines after a period of living in another country. Elvin migrated to Canada from the Philippines in 2007. He graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2017 with a degree in Bachelor of Environmental Studies, major in Environment, Resources and Sustainability, minor in English Language and Literature, and option in International Development. He spent three co-op terms in the Philippines, one term in 2014 at My Heart Corporation as a Social Enterprise Researcher in Human Geography, and two terms in 2016 as a Social Investment Intern at Shell Philippines. His thesis was on the linkage between moral renewal and sustainable development through social enterprises in the Philippines. Elvin moved back to the Philippines in October 2017.
Elvin is a Filipino who has “malasakit” or compassion for his motherland. His growing expertise is in sustainable development through social investment. He believes in harnessing energy from human relationships to fuel progress and development, particularly in the Philippines.
He became a University of Waterloo Global Ambassador because he wanted to showcase all things wonderful the Philippines has to offer to Waterloo alums, co-op students, and visitors whether that be: culture, history, art, natural treasures, food, or people. As well, he wants to connect Filipinos to the University of Waterloo as a means to realize their potential.
Feel free to shoot Elvin an e-mail with inquiries about the Philippines or the University of Waterloo.
Themis, who earned both a BA and MA in Economics at the University of Waterloo, has lived in Cyprus since 1988. As a result of his desire to help people where he can, he has become an active member of the group Innovative Financing for Development. His hobbies include swimming, hiking and gardening.
As a Global Ambassador, Themis hopes to share his affection for the university and Canada as a Global Ambassador, welcoming Waterloo alumni to Cyprus. "University of Waterloo is always on my mind," he says.
France -Patricia Gauthier (BMath '87, Joint Honors Math/Computer Science)
Anyone visiting or relocating to France, please don't hesitate to contact me! I would love to meet you and help you with any advice on travelling, settling or business in France!
I have been in Paris for 18 years now following a few years as a financial software consultant on London trading floors and a brief one year working in Sydney. I have 20 years' experience in providing software solutions for financial markets and am currently COO and founder of the startup company Phoenix Financial Services in central Paris, providing financial software for asset management and private banking institutions. My husband is French; we have three children, and enjoy lots of sports, travelling, wine tasting and cinema. As a Global Ambassador, I am looking forward to assisting Waterloo alumni in connecting with each other, sharing leisure and business ideas and building a stronger international University of Waterloo community.
Germany - Tracie Marquardt (BA ‘89, Chartered Accountancy Studies)
Tracie has lived in Germany for 10 years. She has extensive experience travelling within Germany, and she is happy to share what she has learned with visiting alumni or those moving to Germany. Tracie has also travelled to London and Paris many times, and has visited Prague, Krakow, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Rome, and Florence, to name a few cities.
As an Ambassador, Tracie hopes to help UW build a network of alumni in Germany. In the process, she would like to exchange knowledge and experience about Germany with those alumni who are here and with those who might come in the future.
To find out more about Tracie, check out her profile on Linkedin and Xing, or take a look at her photos.
Switzerland - Cordelia Fox Wälle (BES '90; BArch '92, Architecture)
I came to Basel with my husband, having worked as architects in Toronto, Berlin, and New York. We started Fox Wälle Architekten SIA, an architectural practice to address a need for good architectural services for residential projects.
My husband is also a partner at Otto Partner Architekten. We have school-age children, are passionate about sports, and enjoy the local and ex-pat cultures.
Italy, Rome- Taylor Imrie (BA '16, English Language & Literature)
I am a native Torontonian who decided to go on an adventure at 20 years old and move to Rome, Italy! I moved here in May 2011 and, after a few years teaching at and managing an English school, I currently work at one of the most prestigious Business Schools in the country, LUISS Business School.
As much as I love Rome and the big city, I currently divide my time between big city living and island life, spending some of my free time in Cagliari, Sardinia. I mean, with its white sand beaches and turquoise waters who could blame me?! Although I have grown quite accustomed to the Italian culture, I always try to bring a little bit of Canada to every place I go – I’ve learnt Italians LOVE maple syrup and Reese’s Pieces!
I studied English Language and Literature at Waterloo, completing my degree through distance learning. I decided to become a Global Ambassador because I wanted to give back to the University that gave me the opportunity to get an education while not having to give up the great life I’ve had in Rome. I’m really hoping UWaterloo will be able to continuing growing their distance programmes as I really believe it is the future of post-secondary education.
I know that the UWaterloo Alumni community in Italy is not huge, but feel free to contact me if you need any help navigating this insane and insanely beautiful place!
Hello fellow Waterloo Alumni!
I moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in January 2012 when I accepted the Student Leadership Coordinator position at the University of Manitoba. Before that – I earned a BA in History at uWaterloo and worked there in Student Life for the last 5 years. My professional background is in Student Affairs and Volunteer Management which ties in nicely with my passion to help others achieve their true potential. In my spare time, I enjoy long distance running, cooking and volunteering.
As a Global ambassador, I hope to get to know as many of the 600+ alumni in the Winnipeg area and to connect them to one another. I look forward to meeting new and “seasoned” Winnipeggers alike.
If you’re an alumnus, or a student, new to Winnipeg, or have lived here for a while – please feel free to contact me. I’m excited to get to know you and the city better!
Connect to me on LinkedIn
United States - Chicago - Fiona Kopeny (BMath '99, Mathematics)
Hello, my name is Fiona and I am a graduate of UWaterloo’s Bachelor of Math ’99 program. When my husband was transferred to Chicago because of his job, I moved there with him. I have now been living in the Chicago suburbs since 2007. That doesn’t mean I have forgotten about the place I grew up in. I am very proud to have a UWaterloo educational background. I have found that people here know what a Waterloo education means. It makes me happy to say I have one.
There are many interesting things to explore in Chicago. My years of experience in this city have allowed me to gain insight on where to go and what to see. Sometimes I like to stay indoors and read or crochet. My other hobbies include music, specifically handbells, watching my kids' games and watching baseball and hockey. I also have a keen interest in Scottish culture. My children have kept me busy over the years, and I love seeing them. I would be more than happy to assist any Alumni who come to Chicago – we can reminisce about our time at the University over a coffee!
Steve is a Health IT Executive and Nancy is a stay-at-home Mom.
Since graduating from Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Steve has held executive leadership roles with industry-leading technology and consulting firms, including Ernst & Young, Hewlett-Packard, PeopleSoft, McKesson and CGI. Steve’s passion is working with healthcare providers to apply technology to improve the delivery of patient care and improve population health. Over the past 11 years he has built and implemented software solutions used by clinicians and patients.
He also holds an Executive MBA from Emory University's Goizueta Business School with a concentration in Healthcare Management.
Steve and his family attend North Point Community Church. In his spare time he also enjoys cycling, traveling, home building/renovation projects and spending time at the beach.
Steve's experience living and working in various cities around the world, and the network of Canadians he has established living in Atlanta for the past 20+ years, make him well suited to be a Global Ambassador. One of Steve's passions is mentoring and coaching people with their career development. He is available to assist alumni in getting oriented and acclimated to Atlanta. His wife Nancy serves as the local alumni representative for the University of Toronto. The couple have lived in and experienced different parts of Atlanta. Their children were born and raised in Atlanta, so they are also knowledgeable about local healthcare providers, schools and professional/business associations. As a Global Ambassador, Steve's role is to help establish a strong social network of University of Waterloo Alumni in Metro Atlanta that increases your affinity with and support of the university.
United States - Missouri -Fazila Patel (BMath '06, Mathematics)
Fazila has lived in Missouri, USA since 2010.
Fazila says she "likes to be involved in things that will help students have a better future, especially through education. Having worked and trained as a teacher, I am always around students who look up to me. I feel that by being an ambassador I can show students the possibilities that could be available to them."
As a member of her current university's teacher association, Fazila helps spread the word about math contests offered by Waterloo's Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, drawing, watching anime and various arts and craft projects.
United States - Virginia - Lynnette Madsen (BASc ‘86 Electrical Engineering, BA ‘04 Psychology)
Hello Virginians and Visitors!
My name is Lynnette and I have lived, worked and volunteered in Northern Virginia (NoVa) since 2000. I am also familiar with Charlottesville and Shenandoah National Park. I have visited some of the rest of Virginia, but certainly not all. The maximum point-to-point distance from Virginia’s non-contiguous Eastern Shore to the western extremity is 756 km, about the same distance between Waterloo and Montréal.
I am a member of the National Geographic Society, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Washington Academy of Sciences. I am involved with the Society of Women Engineers Baltimore-Washington Section (SWE-BWS) and Women in Technology (WiT).
As a Global ambassador, I hope to get to know other Waterloo alumni, co-op students, and future students. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, or are looking to re-connect with alumni in this area.
Greetings from sunny Los Angeles! I first moved here in August 2011 to get my Master’s degree in Urban Planning at the University of Southern California and I stayed after graduation because I was offered a full-time job. I work for FE Design & Consulting, a small consulting firm which specializes in the hospitality sector. We help LA’s newest restaurants, bars and boutique hotels get the permits that they need to open their doors – which means I’m a good contact if you want to know the best places to eat and drink in the city of angels!
Originally from Toronto, I've always had a sense of adventure which pushed me to do exchange programs in high school (to France for 3 months) and as an undergrad (to Australia for a year). I began my UW adventure in the fall of 2004 and I finished up in December 2009 with a Joint Honours in Environment and Resource Studies and Political Science with an option in Environmental Economics. I was also a part of the co-op program, which is how I discovered the field of urban planning. I decided to move to LA for my Master’s degree because, as a student of urban planning, the city fascinates me. At USC, I founded the parliamentary debate team (based off the UW Debating Society) and helped grow the USC Canadian International Association. I have kept up with figure skating, my favourite sport, and I even took up roller skating! I also love to go hiking and hang out in downtown.
I am excited to be a Global Ambassador and represent my Alma Mater in southern California. As proof that I am loyal to Waterloo, I have hosted an Oktoberfest party every year since I moved to LA! If you’re coming for a co-op, grad school or a job – or even if you’re just visiting – feel free to get in touch. I live, work and play mostly in and around downtown but I’ll brave the traffic for a fellow Waterloo-ian. I’m hoping that this program will be a stepping stone to an alumni association so please be in touch if you’re anywhere in Southern California. I want to host both professional and social events to build friendships and professional networks that will benefit all.
United States - Washington DC -Karima Ladhani (BMath '10, Math & Business)
Hello DC! My name is Karima and I am a 2010 graduate of the double degree math & business program. I come from a family of Waterloo graduates and even lived in the same residence that my dad lived in 20 years before me (REV South C!)
Since graduating, I earned my MPH & PhD in global health from Harvard University and currently work in the intersection of public policy & human development with the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program. In my spare time, I serve as the Founder & CEO of Barakat Bundle, a social enterprise that provides life-saving care and education bundles for mothers and newborns in need in South Asia, as well as the National Vice Chair of World Partnership Golf which raises money to fight global poverty with the Aga Khan Foundation Canada.
As a Global Ambassador I hope to help forge a stronger Waterloo community among alumni, co-op students, and prospective students in the DC area so that we can all grow stronger together and make our presence known!
Trinidad - Sinead Deokiesingh (BMath 2015 - Statistics)
Sinead Deokiesingh is a graduate of the Co-op Math in Statistics program at the University of Waterloo.
During her time at UWaterloo she had the privilege of working in the Waterloo Store and Write Stuff center where she was able to interact with UWaterloo students and staff, as well as parents and prospective students. In addition, Sinead was the President of the UWaterloo Tennis Club for two terms, and volunteered in various activities, including the SHADOW Program (an international peer mentorship program). With these diverse experiences, Sinead hopes to be a great global ambassador to UWaterloo.
She hopes to connect past, present and future UWaterloo students from Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean at large, to make a positive impact on our islands, and have a notable presence at UWaterloo.
So if you are Caribbean, West Indian, “Trinbagonian”, or just visiting and want to lime1 with UW alumni, or want to find out more about University of Waterloo, she is here to help!
A Torontonian, Janet graduated in ’85 from the Faculty of Math and went to Sydney Australia in 1988 for “4-6 months” on a business assignment – well, she loved it so much she made it her home and has lived there for over 20 years now.
Her background is mostly in Financial Services and Technology. She has held various senior management and executive roles (e.g. Senior Management Consultant at Price Waterhouse, Assistant Vice President at Manulife, General Manager at KAZ Group Ltd, National Manager Information Technology at Australian Administration Services, Manager Platform Investment Implementation at MLC/NAB). She currently works in Sydney but keeps her hand in globally – for several years she has been on the International Judging Panel for the Stevie Awards for Women in Business.
There are already about 400 Alumni in Australia, so if you are joining the UWaterloo ranks “down under” feel free to get in contact with Janet - she is happy to point you in the right direction to help you get the most out of the experience.