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President, The Belinda Stronach Foundation

By: Alison Palkhivala

Farah Mohamed has long had her feet firmly planted in the political arena. She started her political career in 1995 with the Honourable Paddy Torsney. From there she moved on to act as director of Communications for the Honourable Anne McLellan in her role as Minister of Justice, Minister of Health, and Deputy Prime Minister of Canada.

As president of The Belinda Stronach Foundation (TBSF), Mohamed uses her political and media savvy to highlight the needs of youth in Canada and abroad. TBSF provides opportunities for girls and young women, as well as aboriginal youth in Canada and youth in developing countries. Their mission is to advance human potential and achievement through individual empowerment and social change. They follow that mission by working in partnership with individuals, other foundations, NGOs, governments, and businesses both large and small to create opportunities for disadvantaged youth and women to better their lives through enhancement of basic health and education, improvements in economic and political independence, and promotion of civic involvement.

Mohamed’s achievements while president of the TBSF include the creation and launch of their flagship programs, The G(irls)20 Summit and One Laptop Per Child Canada. She also oversaw the Foundation’s work in Liberia with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and a humanitarian relief effort in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

Mohamed’s message of empowering women and youth can be heard around the globe. She is the anchor member co-leading the 2011 Action Network: Investing in Girls and Women at Home and Abroad for the Clinton Global Initiative (New York). She has been featured on the front page of The Globe and Mail about her views on the rights of women in Afghanistan. She currently writes a weekly column for the newspaper about giving back and socially conscious living. Her speaking engagements have included International Women’s Day in Canada, The Impact of Empowering Girls & Women in an Emerging Democracy in Sudan, Creating Safe Spaces for Girls in France, and the Empowerment of Girls in Scotland.

Prior to taking on her position at the TBSF, Mohamed was vice president of Public Affairs for the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), Canada’s largest national, not-for-profit, charitable home and community care organization. VON offers more than 75 different home care, personal support, and community services.

Mohamed does more than talk the talk. She also walks the walk – right up to the 19,340-foot summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, raising $21,000 for the Canadian Liver Foundation and the VON Canada Foundation.

Mohamed has served on 10 boards, including as a past board member of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and a member of the Executive Committee for the Brazilian Ball 2010 and Maharaja Ball 2010. She has also served as a member of the Board of the Fred Victor Centre and as a mentor to new Canadians. Currently she’s a committee member for the Canadian Club of Toronto, as well as Hope Live.

Mohamed has led or closed 37 deals this year and contributes directly to TBSF growth.

She received her bachelor of arts degree at Queens University and master of arts degree from the University of Western Ontario, both in the field of Political Science.

Farah Mohamed was a runner-up in our social media poll to select the woman to grace the cover of this special Top 25 Women of Influence™ issue! Congratulations!