Introducing Malika Dhanani, OUSA's New Executive Director

Hello everyone!


It feels like just yesterday I was writing one of these introduction blogs, but almost 2 years later, I’m back at it to re-introduce myself as Executive Director of this wonderful organization :)

Going into post-secondary, I thought I was going to do clinical counselling, but was quickly compelled towards systemic-level advocacy to elevate the voices of populations who were most affected by a given issue. That’s where my experience (so far) at OUSA has been incredibly enriching for my personal and professional growth. I have been a Research and Policy Analyst for the past 21 months and in that time, I have worked with so many intelligent, curious, and resourceful students, student leaders, and co-workers that have reaffirmed the importance of mobilizing and amplifying student perspectives, especially when they can often feel ignored and minimized.

Advocacy is not easy work - it’s a long game with many hurdles. But this is a place where we celebrate the little wins along the way, and in turn, feel motivated to continue fighting the good fight. OUSA is also undergoing some transformational pieces that I’m excited to support, with the goal of making this organization a more equitable, inclusive, and accessible place to interact with.

I want to give a quick shoutout to all the previous and current Steering Committee members and Home Office staff that I’ve had the absolute joy of working with up until now. Your insights, knowledge sharing, and mentorship have been invaluable to my learning and growth.

OKAY! Now for the fun parts:




Favorite way to relax?

Sitting around a campfire from dusk into the night (oddly specific I know)


Favorite camping spot?

Pinery Provincial Park, hands down! 


Best part about working in #ONpse?

The intersectionality of it all! Between the different stakeholders, policy issues, and research areas, there are so many diverse components to explore and learn from.


And randomly, the fictional character you relate to the most?

Donkey, from the Shrek series. Sings in the middle of sentences, sometimes emotionally dramatic, and can talk a bit too much.