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Spotlight: Shamez Mohamed

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Shamez MohamedShamez Mohamed
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Shamez Mohamed (ISP 87-88) is the Executive Officer of Imara (Wynford Drive) Limited and Imara (Sussex Drive) Limited in Toronto, Ontario.  He has a BS in Engineering from Harvard and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario.

The Imara companies are responsible for the design and construction of four high-profile projects of the Aga Khan Development Network and the Ismaili Imamat in Canada. Reporting to the Boards of Directors, Shamez leads a team of volunteers and staff in the management of these projects which include the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, and the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat and Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa.

The path to this job included many steps, such as work as a construction engineer, manager and development worker.  Shamez was born and raised in Nairobi where he attended Aga Khan schools and pursued undergraduate studies in Engineering at Harvard, specializing in Civil Engineering.  During his studies, he  took several courses at MIT, where he discovered a particular interest in construction.  During one of his summer vacations, he worked for a civil engineering firm in Nairobi spending his days at the construction site of the then new Nation Centre building.

After graduation from Harvard, Shamez moved to Canada and participated in the International Development Management Programme sponsored by Aga Khan Foundation Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). As a part of the fellowship, Shamez spent six months in a remote village in Gujarat, India, and travelled extensively in the region to evaluate the impact of a local development agency’s extension activities.

On his return to Canada, he spent four years with a small construction company specialized in the building of roads and sewers, followed by two years doing an MBA course at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. On finishing his MBA, he did not take up a job immediately but participated in LEADER, an international teaching initiative managed by the students at Ivey. He taught business skills in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to mid-level managers and entrepreneurs using Ivey-developed business cases, and took the opportunity to get to know the region by travelling through Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkey.

After this rich experience in Central Asia, Shamez returned to Toronto to work for Mercer Management Consulting, working on projects ranging from developing new business ventures in Pennsylvania to improving organizational effectiveness in New Jersey, and from operational improvements in Omaha to strategic sourcing in North Carolina and South Africa. In 2004, he was promoted to the position of partner.

During his time at Mercer, Shamez took an 18-month leave-of-absence to work with FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance USA to establish FOCUS’ activities in India. He moved to Mumbai with his family and led the establishment of Focus Humanitarian Assistance India, a not-for-profit disaster management agency, by serving as its first honorary Executive Officer.

In October 2004, Shamez left Mercer to pursue his current employment and the opportunity to work once again with the Aga Khan Development Network.  In Shamez’s words, his  “current role leverages his broad experience in project management, construction management, operations analysis and review, and business and strategic planning”.

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