Staff and Volunteers

Michelle Keast

…is the Director of the Centre of Research, Policy & Program Development. She is also the Management Team Lead for the John Howard Society of Ontario. She began her career with the Centre in 2007. Michelle holds a honours B.A. in Child and Youth Studies with a minor in Criminal Justice from Brock University and a M.A. in Criminology from the University of Toronto. She is responsible for the supervision and facilitation of all Centre activities, including research and policy initiatives, public education and communications, as well as program evaluation and development functions within the John Howard Society of Ontario.

Safiyah Husein

…is a Policy Analyst at the Centre of Research, Policy and Program Development. She joined the Centre in 2018. She participates in the Centre’s research and policy activities, supports the public education activities of the Society, and liaises with local offices and community partners on reform initiatives. Safiyah holds a BSc in Psychology from York University and a JD from the University of Windsor Faculty of Law. Safiyah completed her articles at the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman and was called to the Ontario Bar in June 2018. While at Windsor Law, Safiyah received the Saul Nosanchuk Social Justice Fellowship in Criminal Law. During her legal studies, Safiyah pursued opportunities to learn about Indigenous law and criminal law, and participated in research on the over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system.

Sunny Dhillon

…is a Researcher and Program Evaluator with the Centre of Research, Policy & Program Development. He joined the Centre in 2014. He is involved in the evaluation of a variety of local office programs, and provides support to current research projects. He has completed an MSc with Distinction in Criminology and Criminal Justice Research Methods at the University of Oxford, as well as an MA in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto. He has also worked as a Senior Statistics Officer for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. During his graduate studies he focused on the operation of the criminal justice system, access to justice, and emerging methodologies in criminological research.

Reza Ahmadi

…is a Researcher and Program Evaluator at the Centre of Research, Policy & Program Development. He joined the Centre in 2013. He is the project lead for a number of diverse research and evaluation projects including the SSHRC-funded Association for Effective Reintegration in Ontario (AERO). He is also responsible for providing the Centre with ad hoc data management, analysis and IT support. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in History from York University and the University of Toronto respectively, as well as a Research Analyst Postgrad certificate from Humber College.

Jonathan Robart

… is a legal program developer at the Centre of Research, Policy & Program development. He joined the Centre in 2019 and is the project lead for the Centre’s Unmet Civil Legal Needs Project. Jonathan holds an BA(hons) in Political Science and Early Modern Studies from the University of King’s College, Halifax and a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School. Prior to joining the Centre, Jonathan practiced poverty law in Ontario’s Community Legal Aid Clinic system with a focus on tenant’s rights and eviction/homelessness prevention.

The Centre would like to acknowledge the dedication and contributions of its current volunteer team –  Andrea, David, Colleen, Meaghan, Brandon– as well as the commitment of our Research Ethics Board members.

Current Research Ethics Board Membership

Voula Marinos (Chair)

Jane Sprott

Kim Varma

Nathan Innocente

Marianne Quirouette

Nicole Myers