Karim Bardeesy

Co-Founder of the Ryerson Leadership Lab/Distinguished Visiting Professor/Special Advisor to the President of Ryerson University


Karim has worked at the intersection of public policy, politics, journalism and academia for the past 15 years. He served as Deputy Principal Secretary to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and as Executive Director of Policy for Premier Wynne and Premier Dalton McGuinty. He was also an editorial writer for the Globe and Mail. Karim has a BA from McGill University and an MPP from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Shoaib Ahmed

Co-Founder of the Ryerson Leadership Lab


Shoaib has been helping executives, students and change-makers develop their leadership potential at Ryerson University since 2011. He led Strategic Projects in the Office of the President of Ryerson and served as Special Projects Assistant to the VP of University Advancement. Shoaib has an MBA in Global Management and a BCom in Management and Entrepreneurship from Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management. He has also completed an Executive Education course at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Sam Andrey

Director of Policy & Research, Ryerson Leadership Lab


Sam has advanced equity and inclusion through Ontario’s public education system for the past nine years. He served as Chief of Staff and Director of Policy to Ontario’s Minister of Education from 2014 to 2018. He also worked in the Ontario Public Service and in not-for-profit organizations advancing equitable access to postsecondary education and student financial assistance reform. He teaches about public leadership and advocacy at Ryerson University and George Brown College. Sam has a BSc from the University of Waterloo.

Josie Verrilli.jpeg


Operations Lead, Ryerson Leadership Lab


Josie Verrilli has led operational initiatives and transformation agendas throughout her career within the Ontario Government. She has served as Director of Operations to the Minister of Health & Long-Term Care and President of the Treasury Board from 2014-2016. And most recently, as Chief of Staff to the Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care from 2016-2018. Josie Verrilli leads operations and planning at the Ryerson Leadership Lab.