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Shaheen Rehmat

Slate: Member
Province: British Columbia

Candidate Statement

Dear CIRA Members,

I am pleased to express my interest in joining the Board of CIRA. I am a senior leader with a track record of establishing new functions and successfully driving change in the energy and telecommunications sectors. With a deep commitment to community, I have over 10 years of board and volunteer leadership experience, having previously served on the Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Advisory Board of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and the Governance, Risk and Compliance Committee of ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association). As Board Director of CIRA, I would bring my expertise in cybersecurity, compliance, risk management, and strategic planning as well as my passion for organizational development and environmental, social and corporate governance.

I recently had the privilege of being selected as a delegate of the 2022 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference aimed at broadening the perspectives of Canada’s emerging leaders. Over a two-week period, I met with community, political and business leaders to discuss issues and opportunities in Canada. This experience re-ignited my desire to give back to ensure the success and ongoing vitality of all Canadian communities.

My parents came to Canada from East Africa as immigrants in the hopes of a better education and quality of life for their children. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to reach my potential, first as one of the only female engineers in my graduating class at the University of British Columbia, to starting my own small business, and now as a senior leader in a respected utility. As CIRA Board Director, I would have the privilege to help CIRA realize their vision to empower individuals and organizations to achieve their economic, social and cultural potential. This directly supports my values and commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, and the power it has for building talent, driving innovation and improving decision-making by bringing together multiple voices.

I am looking forward to demonstrating how my diverse experience and leadership perspective would make me a valuable Board Director of CIRA.

Shaheen Rehmat

Mandatory Questions

1. Explain from your perspective what CIRA does and why it matters.

Through their goal of building “A trusted internet for Canadians”, CIRA plays an important role in building Canada’s social, economic and cultural capacity. CIRA’s .CA domain stewardship role, their registry, DNS and cybersecurity service offerings, as well as their advocacy work supports community access to vital services including education and healthcare. By providing secure access, particularly to remote communities, CIRA supports a more equitable and diverse Canada which has the power for building talent, driving innovation and improving decision-making.

2. Why do you want to be on CIRA’s Board of Directors? In responding, please indicate how you would contribute as a CIRA Board Member and what specific skills and experience you bring that makes you a qualified candidate.

Coming from an immigrant family, Canada has given me the opportunity to reach my potential, and I would like to pay it forward by being part of an organization which enables individuals and organizations to achieve their goals. As a CIRA Board member, I would bring my perspectives as a community leader, minority female, engineer, business leader, change maker and mother.

In addition, the following specific skills and experience would make me a qualified candidate:

– Stewardship – Working for BC Hydro has taught me the importance of stewardship, leaving assets in a better place than how we found them. This requires strategic thinking when balancing re-investment into foundational strengths while also investing in innovation.

– Product Management and Cybersecurity – My experience in the private sector in product management as well as my knowledge of cybersecurity threats and risk management would enable me to contribute to CIRA’s service strategy and expansion.

– Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) – With 10 years of board and volunteer leadership experience, having previously served on the Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Advisory Board of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and the Governance, Risk and Compliance Committee of ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), I understand all aspects of ESG. In particular, I am passionate about the importance of diversity and inclusion to drive business outcomes.

– Business Management and Capacity Building – I have extensive experience building new functions and strategies on improving performance, risk management, budget management, cross-company collaboration and resource capacity.

– Board, Stakeholder and Indigenous Community Engagement – Through working at BC Hydro, in particular as Senior Strategic Advisor to the Deputy CEO, I have first-hand experience with board governance, stakeholder engagement, and Indigenous community engagement.

3. What do you think are the top 3 challenges and opportunities facing CIRA in the next 3 to 5 years? What approach would you take to address these issues?

The top 3 issues and opportunities facing CIRA are:

1. Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) – Stakeholders, customers and employees will soon expect organizations to have transparency about their ESG practices to ensure values-alignment. This will be important to retain talent, customers, partners and community engagement. In addition, through CIRA’s ESG strategy, there is an opportunity to demonstrate how CIRA can advance Reconciliation.

2. Cybersecurity Threats – Trends indicate that cybersecurity threats will only increase so this will be an important risk to continue managing internally as well as for Canadians through CIRA’s service offerings.

3. Economic Uncertainty – The Canadian economy continues to be volatile which will impact the growth of the .CA domain. Careful attention and planning will be needed to ensure CIRA remains resilient and agile.

I believe CIRA can address these issues through a strategic planning framework. This framework would confirm CIRA’s mission, vision, values and goals and would provide regular performance and risk management on annual plans. This process would also be informed by engaging with diverse and representative groups including key stakeholders, customers, Indigenous communities, partners, employees and industry experts. With solid governance and planning, CIRA will be well-positioned to address challenges and take advantage of opportunities.

View Shaheen Rehmat’s CV