Senior Management

Karen McBride

President and CEO

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Since joining the Canadian Bureau for International Education in 2009, Ms. McBride has strengthened CBIE’s role as both a catalyst for broader and deeper relationships between Canada’s education institutions and international partners and as a platform for ensuring the continued high quality of Canada’s international education efforts.  In so doing, CBIE has become the largest administrator of international scholarship programs in the country, allowing for unique insights into the benefits and challenges of internationalization. She writes and speaks frequently on what she calls “Canada’s Global Engagement Challenge” in an effort to increase the number of – and support for – Canadian students who pursue education experiences abroad.

Ms. McBride received her MA in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and her Honours BA in History and French from the University of Western Ontario, now Western University.

In recognition of her dedication to international education in Canada, in June 2012, Ms. McBride was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and she also received the prestigious 2012 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award.

Basel Alashi

Vice-President, International Partnerships

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Dr. Alashi leads the development and implementation of the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s (CBIE) international initiatives and over the last few years he led the implementation of many international partnerships such as the feasibility of creating Skills Acquisition Centres in Nigeria; multi-year scholarship programs sponsored by Libya, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; institutional design and leadership training in the K-12 sector (Ukraine, Egypt, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates & Kuwait).

Prior to his work with CBIE, Dr. Alashi spent three years with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in addition to several years leading projects financed by various bilateral and multilateral development agencies such as the World Bank, The European Commission, USAID, NORAD and Agence Française de Développement.

Dr. Alashi has a Ph.D. in Industrial Economics from the Université de la Méditerranée Aix-Marseille II (France) and a Master’s Degree in International Business from the Institut Supérieur de Commerce International à Dunkerque (France).

Larissa Bezo

Vice President, Corporate Relations and Operations

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Larissa Bezo currently serves as Vice President, Corporate Relations and Operations at the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE). Larissa is responsible for leading the corporate functions of finance and administration, human resources, communications, and information technology at CBIE. In addition, she also directs two Global Affairs Canada-funded projects: one supporting the institutional capacity building of the legal aid system in Ukraine (Quality and Accessible Legal Aid in Ukraine Project), and the other focused upon leadership and policy capacity development of young African scholars (African Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship Program).

Ms. Bezo is a public policy expert with over twenty years’ experience in machinery of government at provincial, federal and international levels. She graduated from the University of Regina with a Master of Arts in Political Science and has worked as a consultant in countries in transition on a host of public sector reform and public policy initiatives funded by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency, and the Pan American Health Organization in Ukraine, the South Caucasus, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Prior to joining CBIE in 2006, Ms. Bezo served in key advisory roles as Deputy Secretary to Cabinet and Deputy Clerk of the Executive Council with the Government of Saskatchewan and Senior Policy Advisor to the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada. Larissa also previously served as a Resident Advisor on public sector reform at the International Center for Policy Studies in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Daniel Graf

Director, International Scholarships

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Daniel Graf serves as a Director, International Scholarships at the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE). He is responsible for leading the support services for the Libya North American Scholarship Program.

Prior to joining CBIE in 2011, He worked in the New Brunswick Department of Education, on a Canada Millennium Scholarship funded program: Future to Discover. This program tested various interventions with the goal of increasing access to post-secondary education. He also served as a Grad Campus Director for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions in promoting classroom training courses, online courses, and private tutoring.

Dan is a graduate of University of Ottawa and University of New Brunswick.

David Comerford

Director, International Partnerships

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David Comerford is an international development specialist with 30 years of experience. Much of his work has focused on management and evaluation of technical and vocational education projects and programs and on civil society capacity building. In addition to Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) he has served in senior management at CUSO, UNAC, El Taller and Oxfam-Quebec where he has worked on a number of international education and capacity building programs in Central Asia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Middle East, the Maghreb, Sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil and Haiti.

David holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a graduate degree in International Cooperation from the University of Ottawa.

Debbie Grantham

Director, International Scholarships

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Debbie Grantham has held many positions at the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) since joining in 1981. For most of her career at CBIE she has worked directly with students, institutions and foreign government stakeholders in administering sponsored international scholarship programs. Over the years she has worked with students from Kuwait, Oman, Thailand, Nigeria, Lebanon, Brazil, Ukraine, Libya and more.

Ms. Grantham managed the Kuwait Undergraduate Scholarship Program from 2003 until 2015 and was instrumental in building partnerships between the Government of Kuwait and institutions in Canada.

In her current position as Director, International Scholarships, she leads a team of dedicated staff managing the day-to-day operations for approximately 2500 students through the Libyan-North American Scholarship Program.

Deidre Serrano

Director, International Scholarships

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Deidre Serrano joined the Libyan North American Scholarship Program (LNASP) at the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) in January 2010 and is currently the Director for its US ESL and Academic Unit, comprised of team members responsible for serving approximately 1000 Libyan students pursuing studies in the United States.

Previously, Ms. Serrano worked as an Adviser with the SABIC Saudi scholarship program in Houston, Texas, and served as a Designated School Official and International Student Adviser at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

Ms. Serrano earned her Master’s Degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and completed her Bachelor’s Degree from The Ohio State University with a double major in French and International Studies after studying abroad in Besancon, France and at Laval University in Quebec.

George Khoury

Director, Conference and Professional Development

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George Khoury currently serves as Director, Conference and Professional Development at the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE). He is responsible for leading professional development programs including the Annual Conference, workshops, webinars, certificate and custom training programs offered through the organization’s Learning Centre. In addition, George is a member of the corporate development team and leads collaborative projects and partnership initiatives in Southeast Asia.

Prior to joining CBIE in 2010, Mr. Khoury held senior positions in a number of membership based organizations including Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, the Conference Board of Canada; Director of Membership, the Institute of Public Administration of Canada; and Director of programs, the Alliance of Sector Councils.

Mr. Khoury has a B.Sc economics from the Université St-Joseph (Lebanon).

Jacquelyn Hoult

Director, Communications

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As Director, Communications at Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), Jacquelyn Hoult leverages her significant expertise in marketing communications and brand strategy to lead the evolution of the CBIE brand and enhance its profile both in Canada and internationally.

Prior to joining CBIE Ms. Hoult worked for the Canadian Red Cross and MD Financial (subsidiary of Canadian Medical Association) and the Canadian Bar Association. She has also taught marketing and branding at the graduate level at Algonquin College.

Jacquelyn has a degree in French Language, Literature and Translation from the University of Toronto, Trinity College and is a graduate of the three year Certified Advertising Agency Practitioner (CAAP) course run by the Institute of Canadian Advertising.

Karen Dalkie

Director, International Partnerships

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Karen Dalkie joined Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) in 1998 and over nearly two decades she has held numerous positions in the areas of scholarship management, peace education, technical-assistance capacity-building and most recently, strategic development. She is currently responsible for leading the development of innovative new collaboration models with international partners and CBIE member institutions and overseeing CBIE’s administration of the Government of Canada’s International Scholarship Program.

Ms. Dalkie has a strong command of French, Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian and has worked extensively across the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ms. Dalkie received her MA in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and her BA in History and Russian from the University of Manitoba. She also studied in Moscow at the Moscow State Pedagogical University and possesses a Certificate of Teaching English Language Certificate from Carleton University.

Leah Nord

Director, Board, Member and Stakeholder Relations

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Leah Nord joined the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) in 2012, and is currently the Director of Board, Member and Stakeholder Relations.

Leah has also worked for the federal (foreign affairs) and provincial (Ontario) governments, as well as the Canadian Red Cross and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

She received her MA in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and her Honours BA in Russian Studies from Dalhousie University.

Rob Moulson

Director, Finance

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Rob Moulson is the Director of Finance for Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE). In addition to CBIE’s accounting, investments and payroll, he is responsible for health and safety and risk management.

He began his career as an auditor with Price Waterhouse in 1981.  He held accounting positions at Morbern Industries, the Kraft Canada cheese plant in Ingleside and Coca-Cola Canada in Cornwall and the Canadian Cable Telecommunications Association to name a few.  Before joining CBIE Mr. Moulson worked as a Marketing Analyst with CARE Canada.

Mr. Moulson is a graduate of Concordia University (Bachelor of Commerce).  He achieved his CMA accreditation in 1986.

Tony Toufic

Director, Canadian Francophonie Scholarship Program

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Tony Toufic has 26 years of experience in numerous roles, from the higher education sector in Canada to managing international development programs in sub-Saharan Africa.

Tony’s role at Université Laval as a teaching assistant allowed him to deepen his knowledge of French-speaking higher education systems and to gain experience in educational program planning and academic monitoring.

Previous roles include:

  • Managing the Office of the support unit for the Canadian cooperation program in Senegal;
  • Implementing and managing an office of regional representation of Université Laval for West Africa;
  • Teaching for many years at Université Laval;
  • Managing the consular and immigration section of the Canadian embassy in Senegal; and
  • Ensuring operational and financial management of the office of the Canadian embassy in Niger.

Tony Toufic became Director of the Canadian Francophonie Scholarship Program (CFSP) in November 2014.