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Northeastern appoints new regional dean, CEO for Toronto campus

Aliza Lakhani has been appointed as the new regional dean and CEO of Northeastern-University-Toronto, effective Monday, Dec. 11. Photo by Cole Burston for Northeastern University

Northeastern University has appointed Aliza Lakhani as the new regional dean and CEO of its Toronto campus, effective Monday, Dec. 11.

Lakhani has a diverse range of business and leadership experience. She comes to Northeastern from the DMZ, a Ryerson University-based leading business incubator for Canadian tech startups. She served as the director of business development and international, a role in which she built a business development team and led efforts to expand the organization internationally.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity to build upon what Northeastern has established in Toronto and create new ways to be entrepreneurial in leading this campus within the university’s global network.”

Aliza Lakhani Newly appointed regional dean and CEO, Northeastern University-Toronto

Under Lakhani’s leadership the DMZ tripled annual revenue by developing corporate partnerships with Canadian and global corporations—including Fortune 500 companies—across all sectors.

“Northeastern is a very forward-thinking institution that is disrupting the traditional model of higher education,” Lakhani said. “I’m very excited about this opportunity to build upon what Northeastern has established in Toronto and create new ways to be entrepreneurial in leading this campus within the university’s global network.”

Toronto is Northeastern’s first international campus, and part of the university’s network of campuses across North America—each serving as a platform for lifelong learning and industry partnerships that support research and experiential education. The educational programs offered at each hub are industry-aligned and tailored to meet the specific needs of learners and employers in the region.

The Toronto campus offers master’s degree programs in fields the region’s employers increasingly demand: project management; information assurance and cybersecurity; and regulatory affairs for drugs, biologics, and medical devices. Northeastern recently selected First Canadian Place—the city’s tallest building—as the Toronto campus’s physical site in the heart of the city’s financial district. It is expected to open in the first quarter of 2018.

Aliza Lakhani comes to Northeastern from the DMZ, a Ryerson University-based leading business incubator for Canadian tech startups, where she served as the director of business development and international. Photo by Cole Burston for Northeastern University

At the DMZ, Lakhani also oversaw the organization’s expansion to New York this past summer, spearheaded efforts to expand into other international markets including Asia, advised tech startups on commercialization, and managed an 18-member advisory council consisting of C-suite leaders.

Prior to the DMZ, she worked for seven years at BMO Financial. She ascended through the company to senior roles in which she was responsible for building strategic capacity, generating new revenue streams, executing large-scale transformation, and improving operational efficiency. She began her career at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto and New York in investment banking and then on the trading floor in fixed income derivatives sales and trading.

She grew up in the Toronto area, and holds an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with distinction from the University of Waterloo.

Lakhani succeeds John LaBrie, who has served as principal and interim dean of Northeastern University-Toronto since April 2016.

Northeastern’s growing global university system leverages the university’s leadership in global experiential education, including its signature co-op program. A network of more than 3,000 employer partners provides students with real-world, professional experiences in 136 countries and on all continents.