Our Board of Directors

 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.

David Comerford, Chair


Mr. Comerford is an international development specialist with 30 years of experience. Much of his work has focused on management and evaluation of technical and vocational education projects and programs and on civil society capacity building. He has served in senior management at the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), CUSO, the United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC), El Taller and Oxfam-Quebec where he has overseen the development and implementation of international projects in Central Asia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil and Haiti. David has lived and worked for a total of 7 years in Egypt and Tunisia and has travelled extensively throughout the MENA region including Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

In addition to his employment with NGOs, David spent seven years as an international development consultant securing and implementing contracts on educational and institutional capacity building, improved livelihoods and youth entrepreneurship projects funded by a variety of donors including the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the World Bank, the African Development Bank, UNESCO, Youth Business International, International Alert and several Canadian colleges and universities. Since August 2017, he has worked at Director of Programs and Partnerships at Canadian Leaders in International Consulting (CLIC) in Ottawa. He is fluently bilingual in French and English and has an intermediate understanding of Arabic. David holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a graduate degree in International Cooperation from the University of Ottawa.

Rula Odeh, Vice Chair


Rula 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.

Tania 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.


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.


IMG_1234 2Adil Skalli, Board Member

Adil Skalli is a Program Manager at the United Nations Association in Canada (UNA-Canada) where he oversees the International UN Internship program as well as a variety of youth-oriented educational programming in diplomacy, entrepreneurship, negotiation, climate change action, and other professional skills. Adil is a graduate of Carleton University in Communications and Political Science and is passionate about the work of the United Nations, notably in terms of youth engagement and capacity building. The majority of Adil’s work experience is in project management and strategic communications, but he is also known for his work leading training workshops and giving presentations on the issues he is most passionate about.