Staff

Our expert cadre of in-house program directors oversee the development and delivery of Toronto Centre’s programs with support and guidance from the rest of Toronto Centre's team.


Babak Abbaszadeh, President and Chief Executive Officer

Babak Abbaszadeh, President and Chief Executive Officer

Babak Abbaszadeh joined Toronto Centre as President and Chief Executive Officer in June 2010.

He is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s strategic, capacity development, and operational activities. He builds relationships with the leadership of central banks, supervisory authorities globally, as well as international standard setting bodies.

With more than 25 years of experience in public policy and stakeholder relations in the private sector, government agencies, and NGOs, Babak has held leadership roles in highly regulated sectors such as financial services, energy, and natural resources.

Prior to joining Toronto centre, Babak held leadership positions in major internationally oriented Canadian financial institutions such as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Sun Life Financial. Babak was also chief of staff to two senior cabinet ministers.


Hooi Eng Phang, Program Director

Hooi Eng Phang, Program Director

Hooi Eng Phang has been with Toronto Centre since July 2007. She assists the chief executive officer with the design and implementation of leadership programs, strategy development, and project planning. Before joining Toronto Centre, she was the executive director representing 12 countries in the South East Asia Voting Group at the International Monetary Fund. Prior to that, she was the senior director of the Economics Department of Bank Negara Malaysia, where she had worked since 1984. She is the author of numerous economic papers and recipient of several economic scholarships and awards.


Juan Pablo Arango, Program Director

Juan Pablo Arango, Program Director

Juan Pablo Arango joined Toronto Centre in the summer of 2016. Prior to joining, Juan worked at the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia (SFC) for 6 years, as Deputy Superintendent for Institutional Supervision. His work responsibilities included overseeing the Supervisory work of the different industries under the SFC´s Supervision. He also was in charge of developing SFC´s Supervisory Framework and associated guidance and tools; training supervisors in using supervisory methodology; and, coaching and managing supervisors in conducting supervisory work. Prior to joining the SFC, he worked at FOGAFIN and Banco de la Republica.


Demet Çanakçı, Program Director

Demet Çanakçı, Program Director

Demet Çanakçı joined Toronto Centre in 2014 and has solid professional experience in both supervision and central banking for more than 25 years. Before joining Toronto Centre, she served as deputy head in the Financial Sector Assessment division of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT). She was responsible for both financial stability and international regulations. She has covered financial stability, macroprudential surveillance, macro stress-testing, Basel II and III, Basel core principles, contingency planning, banking sector restructuring, and crisis management topics in a range of publications. Before returning to the CBRT, she was a deputy head in the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency of Turkey, and an economist at the IMF. She holds a Master of Economics degree from North Carolina State University, was a research scholar at the Kiel Institute for World Economics, and a visiting scholar at George Washington University.


Salvador Chang, Program Director

Salvador Chang, Program Director

Salvador Chang is a former strategy and finance manager and economics professor with experience in the analysis of global financial markets, banking, and international economics. He worked in the areas of strategy, economic analysis, and finance at Royal & Sun Alliance Canada, Mercantil Servicios Financieros (a leading financial services provider in Venezuela), and Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. He was also a research professor in economics at Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales, a non-profit economic and social studies think tank of Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, Venezuela, where he published extensive research on external debt, financial crises, and economic stabilization plans in Latin America.


Calvin Johansson, Program Director

Calvin Johansson, Program Director

Calvin joined Toronto Centre in May 2016. Prior to joining, Calvin worked at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions – Canada (OSFI) for over 20 years, where his most current position was as a Director in the Supervisory Practices Division. His work responsibilities included: developing OSFI’s Supervisory Framework and associated guidance and tools; training supervisors in using supervisory methodology; and, coaching and managing supervisors in conducting supervisory work. During his career at OSFI, Calvin was also responsible for the supervision of two conglomerate banks with significant international operations and has conducted numerous presentations and training sessions on OSFI’s supervisory methodologies to Canadian and international regulators, such as Financial Institutions Commission of Ontario, People’s Bank of China, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Korea Financial Supervisory Service, UK Financial Services Authority and Norwegian Financial Supervisory Authority.


Phang Hong Lim, Program Director

Phang Hong Lim, Program Director

Phang Hong Lim joined Toronto Centre in March 2015. Phang Hong has worked in both the banking sector and as a banking supervisor for close to three decades. His banking experience has focused on various aspects of risk management in global and regional banks, among them Deutsche Bank as a risk management MD, and CIMB Group, where his work as the group Chief Risk Officer was peer-recognized in the region. Phang Hong has also worked at the Monetary Authority of Singapore in division head roles covering banking supervision, specialist risk supervision, and internal risk management. He has also led cross-functional work on areas such as stress testing and cross border supervision.


Shelina Visram, Program Director

Shelina Visram, Program Director

Shelina recently joined Toronto Centre in May 2017. Prior to joining, Shelina worked for nine years at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) where her primary responsibilities were leading risk assessment and supervisory activities of life insurance companies. She has an in-depth understanding of and has worked with the OSFI risk based supervision methodology and its application. During her career at OSFI, Shelina worked with international regulatory authorities to supervise an internationally active insurance group, including organizing Supervisory Colleges, and she led the team responsible for implementing changes to OSFI’s supervisory framework. Before then, Shelina worked for several life insurers in a range of actuarial roles including valuation, product development and sales force training. She is an Associate of both the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries.


Colleen MacLean, Manager of Finance and Operations

Colleen MacLean, Manager of Finance and Operations

Colleen joined Toronto Centre in 2013, and is responsible for our organization’s financial operations. Colleen holds a CPA/CA designation from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario and has a MBA from the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. Prior to joining Toronto Centre she worked in various roles in finance and compliance for a major Canadian bank. She also worked at the University of Toronto and articled with Ernst & Young. She has served as a member of the board for several not-for-profit organizations.