Our Team

Board of Directors

Rod Barass

Board President

Bringing a passion to support and strengthen our community, Roderick (Rod) joined the board of MTML in 2018. He works in the field of organizational change and has helped the board develop MTML's 2020-2023 Strategy. As a president, Rod's focus is on continuously building the momentum of last year's developments and help MTML continue to understand and support literacy program providers' priorities. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two teenage children.

Jared Ross

Vice President

Jared Ross is an Instructor Coordinator for Frontier College’s Independent Studies Program, where he teaches and provides administrative support for adult learners with intellectual disabilities. He has been a member of the MTML board for three years. He has an M.A. in History from York University and an M.Ed. with a specialization in Adult Education from OISE.

Susan Lefebvre

Board Secretary

Susan has been in adult education since 1980. Her final ten years were as an LBS manager for the Toronto District School Board. Before joining the TDSB program, Susan was an assessor for the Toronto Catholic District School Board LBS program and coordinated their one-to-one tutoring program. Susan is committed to adult education and is passionate about supporting learners and practitioners to succeed.

Lindsay Newton


Lindsay Newton is a Chartered Professional Accountant with diverse experience in Public Accounting and Audit, Financial Planning and Analysis, and Treasury. Lindsay received her degree from University of Toronto and has worked extensively in the mining industry, and is currently the Corporate Controller at Harte Gold Corporation. Throughout her career, she has also dedicated time as a volunteer with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, at community income tax clinics, and as a Debt Management Counsellor and Facilitator at Woodgreen Community Centre

Jennifer Smart

Human Resources

Jennifer is an HR professional with her HR Diploma from McMaster University and her Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation from the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA).

She works as an Employee Experience Enablement Lead for Manulife. In this role, Jennifer works across HR pillars to design and implement systems and solutions to enhance the employee experience.

Jennifer sits on the Board of Directors of MTML and chairs the HR Committee. Outside of work, Jennifer volunteers on the Communications Committee for the HRPA. She is a new mom and loves spending time with her family.

Paul Haigh

Board Member

Experienced Metis Educator, Curriculum Developer and Community Worker, Paul believes in 'experiential' learning with over 8 years of experience in policy planning, delivery and development specific to Indigenous educational curriculums, community engagement, housing and job development for marginalized populations. He has experience working with First Nation, Metis and Inuit urban communities, new Canadians and homeless populations with psycho/social/physical, substance abuse, behavioral and emotional challenges.. He offers knowledge of Indigenous history/culture, literature and spirituality acquired through hands-on encounters and study within Indigenous communities.

Devra Abraham

Board Member

Devra is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with 15+ years of experience in the profit and non-profit sector. As a Senior Project Manager at KPMG Canada, she currently manages the implementation of large-scale IT infrastructure projects. She has a Hons. BA from University of Toronto and believes strongly in the transformative power of lifelong learning.

Paula Elias

Board Member

Paula is an instructor in Literacy and Basic Skills and pursuing her PhD in Adult Education and Community Development from University of Toronto. For the last 5 years, she has taught LBS at different sites across GTA. Before this, she worked with young adults in various capacities as a secondary teacher, community facilitator and research assistant in youth participatory research projects. She also worked in adult education as a Learn4Life instructor at the TDSB and as a Clear Language Writer at York University developing research summaries for the community and government stakeholders involved in knowledge mobilization. In her PhD research she is looking at the everyday experiences of young adults who try to access post-secondary through adult literacy programs like LBS

Charanya Thiyanavadivel

Board Member

With over 7 years of strategic marketing communications experience and a passion for civic engagement and empowerment, Charanya Thiyanavadivel brings with her a unique perspective on the nexus between business and social impact.

She is currently the Product Marketing Manager for The Institute for Health and Human Potential, a people development and training company. She also serves as Group Leader for the Scarborough group of Results Canada, a grassroots advocacy organization striving to end extreme poverty.

Charanya is dedicated to taking a holistic, innovative, and human-centered approach to making quality education more accessible. Leveraging her passions for writing, learning design, and creative storytelling, she has collaborated with organizations like UN Women, International Organization for Migration, and World Literacy Foundation to develop content and programming that reach global audiences. With her expertise in product development and marketing, she has also led projects geared towards rehabilitating child trafficking survivors, increasing workplace inclusion, and providing clean water in both her local community and internationally.

MTML Staff

Ambreen Ahmad

Managing Director

Ambreen has 20 years of experience in the education field. Possessing a Masters in English Literature and in Educational Planning and Management, she has maintained successful positions as an English Language Instructor, Manager HR, Communication Executive and Literacy practitioner. Her previous work experience and life-long learning certificates and diplomas bring a wealth of information to develop learning strategies, recruitment procedures and governance. Her dedication and determination in helping individuals grow and develop are highlighted in all her professional achievements. She is also passionate about volunteering and has been an ardent volunteer in many non-profits across GTA. She loves to cook and paint in her free time.

Georgina Dos Santos

Community Planner

Georgina dos Santos possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and Urban Studies. Georgina has over 15 years of experience in the education field. She holds certificates in TESL (Teachers of English as a Second Language), Curriculum Development and Adult Education. She has maintained successful positions as an English teacher, ESL/LINC Instructor, Program Coordinator, and Language Assessor. She has experience and roles in life- skills management, teacher trainer, career and academic advisor. Her dedication and passion in helping individuals grow and develop their own skills are highlighted in her professional and personal achievements. She is a certified Reiki practitioner, a Toronto Writers Collective facilitator, and volunteer in mentorship programs throughout the GTA. Georgina joined MTML June 2019, as the Community Planner Project Manager. Georgina is responsible for the planning, management, coordination, and advocating of Literacy and Basic Skills Programs and professional development of Practitioners in the Toronto and York Region.