About Zahra

Zahra is the CEO and Co-Founder of Monumental. She is a public interest designer and strategist focused on deep, community-led approaches to policy, infrastructure, and service design. She is an established bridge-builder across grassroots and institutional spaces and is a leading practitioner in reforming institutions to be more human-centred and equitable.

She serves as an Executive Advisor to Deloitte on Cities and Design, and as a senior advisor to political and public interest initiatives across the country. Prior to this role, she built and led Doblin Canada (Deloitte’s Human-Centred Design practice), focusing on engaging diverse sets of stakeholders to use human-centred design to address complex organizational and industry challenges, largely focused on public sector and civic innovation. Before Doblin, Zahra led one of Canada’s first social design studios, working with communities to co-design towards better social outcomes and leading some of Canada’s most ambitious participatory infrastructure and policy programs.

Zahra has taught at OCADU, MoMA, and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Geography and Planning. She has served on the boards of Jane’s Walk, St. Stephen’s Community House, and is currently Vice-Chair of the Canadian Urban Institute, and the Board Chair for Park People. She serves as an advisor for a range of organizations including Toronto Public Library, Progress Toronto, and Code for Canada.

She was recently named Next City’s Vanguard “40 under 40 Civic Leader”, Ascend Canada’s Mentor of the Year, one of “Tomorrow’s Titans” in Toronto Life, and one of WXN’s “Top 100 Women in Canadian Business”.

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