Our board members are a diverse group of Canadians who bring a wealth of experience and leadership in a wide range of areas that are beneficial to NCCAR and its mission.

PICT_20160204_113159David Comerford, Chair

David is an international development specialist with a focus on management and evaluation of technical and vocational education projects and programs. Since April 2013 he has been a Director at the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) and currently is Director of Business Development for the MENA Region and Sub-Sahara Africa.

Previously, David spent 7 years as sole proprietor of David Comerford & Associates securing and implementing contracts on educational, institutional capacity building, youth entrepreneurship and conflict resolution projects funded by a variety of donors including the Canadian International Development Agency, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, UNESCO, Youth Business International, International Alert and Canadian colleges, universities and non-governmental organisations.

He has also served as Director of External Relations at CUSO, a Canadian international volunteer placement organisation and as Senior Manager at CBIE responsible for management of education projects in Pakistan, the Middle East and Haiti. David has a graduate degree in International Development and Cooperation from the University of Ottawa, is fluently bilingual in French and English and has an intermediate level understanding of Arabic. He served as President of NCCAR in 2010-2011.

Rula Odeh, Vice Chair

rulaRula Odeh, a former Executive Director of the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations (NCCAR), has served on the NCCAR board for the past five years including as President in 2009-2010. She has played a leadership role is in several organizations advocating for Canadian policies in the Middle East based on human rights, equality and freedom.


sayedSayed M. Alaali, Treasurer

Sayed is an Associate at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) where he focuses on real estate private equity investments in the United States. Prior to that, Sayed was responsible for building CPPIB’s investment strategy in Latin America through assessing political and macroeconomic risks. Sayed obtained his International Baccalaureate Diploma in Bahrain, and is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a double degree in economics and actuarial science.
Since 2013, Sayed has been involved with Muppies, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to professional development, and is the President of the Toronto Committee for years 2016-2017. He has previously volunteered with the Munk School of Global Affairs and coauthored the 2011 Cannes G20 research report focusing on Saudi Arabia, China and Australia.

Tala Khoury, Legal Officer and Secretary

Tala is a lawyer at the Toronto office of the law firm Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP practicing in the areas of labour, employment, human rights, and white collar crime. Tala is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Toronto.

Tala has volunteered with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Parkdale Community Legal Services clinic, and the Kosovo Law Centre.  She has also previously worked at Ontario’s Pay Equity Commission and as a Congressional Intern in Washington, D.C.


taniaTania Jordan, Vice-Chair

Tania has over 16 years of experience in program management as well as monitoring and evaluation. Her areas of expertise include poverty alleviation, social development, youth empowerment and civil society development. Tania managed the poverty alleviation and social development project portfolios at UNDP-Jordan for over half a decade, supported Save the Children’s educational programs in Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan, and in her work with USAID was instrumental in establishing a USAID-funded not for profit organization for youth empowerment in Jordan.

She also worked as Director of Community Outreach for Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan for over two years. Tania holds a Master’s degree in Medical Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (UK), a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Anthropology and Development Studies from the University of Sussex (UK), and a certificate from the International Programme for Development Evaluation Training
(IPEDT) administered by Carleton University and the World Bank.