Executive Team

Honorable Pierre S. Pettigrew, PC


Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew, PC is currently Executive Advisor, International for Deloitte, where he is a valued resource to senior Deloitte leaders in Canada and throughout Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu globally. In 2009 he chaired the Warwick Commission – an international commission of policy makers and researchers tasked with examining the global trading system and making recommendations about its future shape and direction. Hon. Pettigrew has led a distinguished career with success in both public and private sectors. He has led a number of senior departments in his 10 years as a minister in successive governments of Canada. From 1985-95, Hon. Pettigrew was an International Business Consultant with Deloitte. During his tenure, he emerged as a strong voice for business and an articulate analyst of GATT, World Trade Organization (WTO) & NAFTA negotiations. His visibility on international trade issues garnered an appointment to the federal cabinet prior to his election to Parliament. As Federal Minister, he chaired several working groups on tough international trade negotiations, and led trade missions to China, India, Russia, Germany, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Nigeria, Mexico and more. His international insight led to his appointment as Foreign Affairs Minister. One of his crowning achievements in this role was leading the nationally and globally lauded international policy review that provided the government of Canada with a fully integrated approach of diplomacy, defense, trade and development in international affairs.In acknowledgement of his many notable achievements and contributions in politics, public service, and international business and trade, U.K.’s University of Warwick recognized Hon. Pettigrew with an Honorary Doctorate of Law in 2008. Pierre is widely regarded as ‘India friendly’ and has built strong support within the ‘Indo-Canadian’ community.


Kam Rathee


Kam Rathee is a Special Adviser at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, working with the Firm’s India Practice Group. A leading authority on Canada-India business relations, he held the position of president and executive director at the Canada-India Business Council from 2004 to 2009. Earlier, from 2001 to 2004, he headed a Toronto-based international consultancy, assisting Canadian companies in India and Indian companies in Canada. From 1988 to 2001, as a top legal executive of Canada Life, Kam was senior counsel for its group insurance operations in North America, U.K. and Ireland, and later as chief counsel for their international operations, looked after their interests in India, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Macau, and the Caribbean. Kam relocated to India and, from 1983 to 1988, conducted a very successful international practice of law in New Delhi. This, coupled with his leadership role for Canada Life in India (1995 to 2001), gave him unmatched experience and widespread contacts in India. From 1970 to 1983, he was a senior in-house counsel for Crown Life in Toronto. In the social arena, he is the vice chairman of the Canada-India Education Council, a non-profit national association. In addition, he has served with United Way of Metropolitan Toronto, was chairman of Pickering’s Pine Ridge School Community Council, co-chair of Ajax-Pickering Transit Advisory Committee and a member of the City of Pickering Library Board, to name a few. Kam’s accomplishments to date speak to his being at home both in Canada and India and hence has a unique international persona.


Husain F. Neemuchwala

Chief Executive Officer

As past President and founder of International Center for Education (ICE), Husain F. Neemuchwala has been the recipient of various accolades for his work on international student recruitment. His areas of expertise include (1) Organizing fairs and recruiting events (2) Networking and Learning Events and (3) Education Consulting. As Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer, Husain continues to strive to promote education ties between Canada and India, including affiliations, partnerships, joint ventures & programming, conducting missions & delegations and other areas of collaboration which facilitate cross border education. Husain has facilitated networking and learning activities within Canada’s education community by delivering events such as the Synergy series, held every summer in Toronto. With Husain playing a key role at CIEC, the organization continues to play a critical role in the evolution of Canada’s education sector, especially in its ‘internationalization’ efforts, and has helped galvanize the ‘education corridor’ that exists between Canada and India. Husain is upbeat about how Canada is viewed around the world and works tirelessly in growing ‘Brand Canada’. He does, however, remind us that this work is a joint effort and all stakeholders need to work together to make Canada truly a desirable destination for international students and for education partnership. Husain has been actively championing Canada’s ‘internationalization efforts’ in India and is keenly following recent developments within the government’s policy in terms of the ‘opening’ of India’s doors.


Prof. Roseann O’Reilly Runte

Academic Advisor – Canada and President & Vice Chancellor, Carleton University

Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte is President & Vice-Chancellor of Carleton University and has been awarded the Order of Canada, French Order of Merit and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She has also been awarded several prizes for her work on the environment community and national service. In addition, Dr. Runte holds a number of honorary degrees. Dr. Runte is an ardent friend of India, having hosted numerous India centric events and after countless visits to India she has played an admirable role in bridging the academic divide between Canada and India and has led the way were others are now following. Dr. Runte has served on numerous boards and commissions in both Canada and the US. She was president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, president of the Humanities Federation of Canada, a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Foundation for International Training (FITT). She currently serves on the advisory board of SunGard SGT, National Bank of Canada, the executive of the Royal Society, LifeNet Health Board, Fulbright Canada-U.S. and the Ontario-Quebec Private Sector Advisory Committee. She is a member of both the European and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition, Dr. Runte is the author of numerous scholarly works in the fields of French, comparative literature, economic and cultural development, higher education, and the importance of research.


rbDr. Ragini Bilolikar

Academic Advisor – India

Dr. Ragini Bilolikar is a successful international higher education executive with more than 20 years of academic leadership in a university setting. Her extensive educational and professional experiences include areas such as multiculturalism, diversity, equity, first generation adult learners & underprivileged children. She has received Masters and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Toronto & is also an alumnus from Osmania University in Hyderabad where she received her B.S & M.S degrees. Ragini also received a Shastri Indo-Canadian fellowship to conduct research on women and teacher education in India. She is actively involved in nonprofits that strive to empower underprivileged students in developing economies to become global citizens through sharing of knowledge, learning, resources and technology networks across nations. She gives back to the community in any capacity including time, effort & in kind as well as financial contributions, sharing of knowledge and learning. She supports Feed My Starving Children Organization, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital & Isha Vidya and is a Member of Rotary Club of Lisle, and Chair- International Services Committee on the Board. Ragini also serves on Literacy DuPage Board of Directors, a community based nonprofit organization that provides accessible and customized tutoring in reading, writing, speaking & understanding English to help non English speaking immigrants achieve independence.


vjVijendra “VJ” Gairola

Senior Strategic Advisor – India

A graduate of the Schulich School of Business, VJ is an Indo-Canadian and has over 18 years of experience in Trade Creation and Banking in North America, South America and Asia where he held progressively senior positions, shaping and supporting business interests of various organizations. He spent the last five years holding the Diplomatic position of the Country Head-India of Export Development Canada, strategizing and growing the presence of EDC in India, thereby supporting Canadian and Indian business interests in India. Under VJ’s leadership, EDC grew its Indian portfolio to over USD $3B with India becoming the 3rd largest revenue contributor to EDC.

A well-recognized expert in Banking and Trade, VJ is a frequent speaker at gatherings of businesses organized by the Canadian Federal and Provincial governments and is often quoted by CBC Radio, The Globe and Mail and other trade magazines. VJ also sits on the Board of Indo-Canada Business Chamber as well as on the Advisory Board of Zone Start-up (a start-up accelerator that is a JV between Bombay Stock Exchange and Ryerson) as well as PE fund run by Zone Start-up.

VJ is strategic advisor and representative of Canadian organizations in India in Infrastructure, Building material and clean-tech sectors. He also advises large Indian companies in Healthcare, Education, Water and Mining sectors in expanding across various sectors and geographies and negotiating tie-ups between Canadian and Indian companies.


vivekVivek Savkur

President – CIEC Canada West Chapter

Vivek has a wealth of business experience in a variety of sectors spanning from automotive and fibre optics to education and engineering. He his the owner of Savkur International Agencies and also serves as the Managing Director of Anand Commercial Services Pvt Ltd in Mumbai. From 2011 to 2013 he was the President of the Canada-India Business Council while acting as an advisor for the Bennett Coleman Company Limited/Times of India Group from 2012 to 2013. Vivek became the Resident Director of the Indo Canadian Business Chamber in 2007, the Director of the Hope for Orphans Society in 2009 and a member of the Simon Fraser University Advisory Council in 2013. His accomplishments allow for a glimpse at his interests as he helped bring the Times of India Film Awards to Vancouver in 2013 and, as a member of the Indian Automotive Racing Club, helped organize the first and second Himalayan car rallies. In 2013, Vivek was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada for his service and dedication to his peers, community and Canada. For more information on the Canada West Chapter and a list of Canada West Founding Academic Members, click here.


sab2Dr. Sabrina Zúñiga

Academic Project Consultant

Sabrina Faust Zúñiga is an expert educator with a passion for student learning and is very skilled in research and problem solving. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Chemistry, a Master of Education Degree in Secondary Science, and a PhD in Higher Education, from the University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Sabrina was a teacher for more than 15 years teaching Biology, Chemistry and English as a Second Language, at both the High School and Adult Education levels. She co-founded and administered the Toronto Film College, and developed its curriculum. She has also designed an ESL curriculum that is currently used in Toronto schools. Sabrina has been active in Toronto schools as School Council Chair for two schools, and Chair of the Ward Council. She has mentored new teachers in Toronto schools and also mentored promising women scholars in two Ontario universities. Sabrina currently runs her own business in management consulting and volunteers in the community for various charities and organizations.


imgGauravGaurav Verma

Project Coordinator

As Project Coordinator, Gaurav manages the CARE Initiative, CIEC’s Agent membership category. Gaurav’s years of experience working in the Agent Market in India makes him uniquely qualified to uphold the CARE Standards and guide education agents through the CARE Process. He brings with him his vast experience working with students — the last 5 years of which were spent in the Canadian student market — and valuable, active, working relationships with over 40 ACCC colleges in Canada. He is accredited with a unique method of working with the Sub Associate Network for the Indian Market, keeping a student-centric approach to expand, generate and maximize results. His knowledge of Education Management, International Student Recruitment, and Marketing has proven a valuable contribution to CIEC and will have a lasting effect in serving and assisting Canadian and Indian education stakeholders.


PatriciaHPatricia Huang

Database Administrator

As Database Administrator, Patricia has a strong involvement in the planning, integrity, and development of CIEC’s existing and new databases. Patricia’s goal is to facilitate the expansion of the database to include new members and agents allowing for the growth of CIEC, with a determination to reflect CIEC’s mission when communicating with potential education agents. Patricia is a recent graduate with a strong science and psychology background. She holds a B.Sc (Honours) in health science from the University of Toronto. During her time in University, she volunteered for a non-profit organisation where she helped develop creative weekly science workshops for underprivileged middle school students to educate and empower them to lead healthier lives and change their communities. She has a proven track record of exceptional teaching skills as well as hands-on experience in customer relations. In 2010, she made great contributions to a partnership between her high school and a sister high school in Kenya and initiated fundraising efforts while maintaining cultural exchange.


CSAChristopher S. Anderson

Web & Digital Media Manager

Christopher works closely with members of CIEC’s Executive Team to effectively communicate their vision across the web in an efficient, user-friendly manner. His responsibilities range from website management, the preparation and coordination of the monthly DISHA newsletter, social media integration and marketing. With years of experience creating original web content and managing presences on different social networks, along with a B.Sc in Biology from Ryerson University and post-graduate diploma from Humber College for Global Business Management, he understands the strategies associated with successful project management. His goal is to use the web as a means to help bridge the gap between students hoping to pursue higher education internationally and institutions capable of shaping their future.