Sara Asalya

Sara Asalya

Founder and Executive Director, Newcomer Students' Association

Sara Asalya is an award-winning leader with more than 13 years of experience working internationally and in Canada in various sectors including not-for-profit, NGOs, think tank and higher education institutions. Sara received many awards for being a champion for immigrants’ rights and for her leadership and dedication to advancing their economic resilience and civic, and political engagement. She is the recipient of the leaders in Learning award from Ryerson University for two consecutive years recognizing her academic excellence, leadership, and outstanding contribution to the Ryerson community, and she was named one of Canada’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants in 2018, and one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence in 2021.

Sara is the Executive Director of Newcomer Women's Services Toronto; a multi-service non-for-profit agency with operations in two Toronto locations serving 800+ Immigrants and Refugees annually. Sara is also the Founder and former Executive Director of the Newcomer Students' Association; a national not-for-profit organization working at the intersection of migration, higher education and social justice.

Sara has collaborated and worked on different research and policy development projects and has published editorials on national media outlets focused on refugee displacement and resettlement, gender-based violence, unemployment and deskilling of immigrants, labour market trends and issues impacting skilled newcomers, foreign credentials and childcare policies, and refugees’ access and pathways to higher education. Sara holds a Master’s in Education in Higher Education from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature, a post-graduate certificate in Community Engagement, Leadership and Development, and in Immigration and Settlement Studies. Sara’s lived experience as an immigrant woman to Canada inspired her passion and work with many immigrant communities, as well as her advocacy on key issues impacting this community.