York University appoints Executive Director, Community Safety

TORONTO, Dec 1 2015 – York University has appointed a leader with a deep commitment to safety initiatives to the position of Executive Director, Community Safety.
Samina Sami will lead York’s Community Safety department.  Ms. Sami will support the University on matters related to campus safety, one of the University’s key institutional priorities.
Ms. Sami, who will become the inaugural Executive Director, Community Safety on January 4, comes to York after a 23-year career in public and community service. Most recently, she led initiatives under the provincial Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment, while at the Ontario Women’s Directorate. In that role, she supported programs for women’s equality, including leading the organization of a provincial summit that brought leaders from around Ontario and the world together to address sexual violence and harassment, and supporting the development of the high-profile #whowillyouhelp bystander campaign.
“We are very pleased that Ms. Sami will be joining York to take on the leadership of our Community Safety department,” said York President and Vice-Chancellor, Mamdouh Shoukri.  “Ms. Sami has demonstrated strong leadership in safety related initiatives and in the field of sexual violence awareness and prevention.  Sexual violence is an important societal issue and I am confident that Ms. Sami will build on York’s commitment to addressing this issue and help establish our practices and processes as a leader in the sector.” 
Ms. Sami also has a diverse background with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.  She has worked on a broad range of justice initiatives including services for survivors, justice policy, human rights, gender-based violence, crime prevention, policing programs, and emergency measures. She has engaged with communities across Ontario, including Indigenous Peoples, youth groups, women’s organizations, newcomers, persons with disabilities, Francophone and LGBTQ+ communities. Ms. Sami has also worked closely with police services and the justice sector as a manager of crime prevention and policing programs and as an Instructor at the Ontario Police College. In addition to her work with the provincial government, she has led community-based programs and taught at the post-secondary level.
Ms. Sami holds a B.Sc. and M.Ed. from the University of Toronto and is pursuing a Ph.D. with a focus on public education. She has a long-standing commitment to education and justice issues and these interests have taken her internationally to China and India. In 1995, she was a Canadian Non-Governmental Representative at the NGO Forum as part of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women.
Ms. Sami looks forward to working collaboratively with York’s diverse communities to support a strong, inclusive mandate for community safety.
“York has been actively engaged with our students, faculty and staff in developing safety initiatives for a number of years, culminating in the creation of our Policy on Sexual Assault Awareness, Prevention and Response earlier this year,” said Gary Brewer, Vice-President Finance and Administration. “As a leader who has collaborated with many groups and helped to develop policy and programs in Ontario, Ms. Sami has the experience and commitment needed to bring members of our community together to develop a holistic and integrated strategic approach to community safety at York.”
NOTE: Ms. Sami is currently employed by the Province of Ontario. She will be available for media interviews when she joins York University in January.

York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our 52,000 students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 24 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide.

Media Contact:
Joanne Rider,  York University, 416 736 5593 / jrider@yorku.ca