Team Members


Our Advisors

Tor Mesoy

Tor Mesoy: A former Partner from McKinsey & Company Norway, Tor is a senior adviser for PurifAid. He has more than 25 years of experience as a consultant, working on business performance improvement with a primary focus on leadership development and business operations. He will be offering his personal insights and counsel to PurifAid.


Murray McCaig: Founded two successful startups – Spotnik Mobile and Evandec (formerly EnviroTower) – and recently led a global business acquisition strategy in the water sector. His extensive experience in international business development will not only help PurifAid gain quick and solid ground on the developmental scene, but also guide the realization of the organization’s long-term plans. Murray was ranked the world’s #2 windsurfer and is a former Olympic athlete.

Our Team


Shahreen Reza: Born in Bangladesh, raised in Norway and Canada, Shahreen is a screenwriter and social entrepreneur. A pursuit of Politics and Philosophy at the University of Toronto segued to a concentration in Security and Counter-Terrorism at the University of Cambridge. A Research Fellowship with CISDL at McGill Faculty of Law, and graduate work in Finance and Strategy at Sciences-Po Paris, led to the inception of PurifAid.


Jonatan Thompson: A Danish and British national, Jon works as an Academic Assistant at the EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies Department at the College of Europe in Bruges. He studied Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge, where he was on the Committee of Trinity College student union and President of Trinity Politics Society. Jon completed graduate studies in European Affairs at Sciences-Po Paris. His top interest besides work is playing jazz guitar with his band.


Minhaj Chowdhury: A Bangladeshi-American, Minhaj is a Fulbright Scholar and Johns Hopkins graduate in Public Health. He served as a Fellow at the US Senate, launched a clean-tech start-up on providing solar lighting to villagers in Bangladesh and India, then completed a Summer Venture Management Program at Harvard Business School. Minhaj has extensive experience implementing multi-stakeholder arsenic mitigation projects across Bangladesh since 2009 in partnership with Johns Hopkins, the US Department of State, ICDDR,B, as well as BRAC.

Dr Leigh Cassidy: An environmental toxicologist who has pioneered development of sustainable water treatment technologies for both developed and developing countries.  Currently a director at Epona Technologies Ltd which provides sustainable solutions for industrial waste water treatment, Leigh is passionate in her belief that the same low cost, sustainable solutions may be offered to those in developing countries.


Ben Jones: A doctoral student at the University of Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Ben researches human rights law. Before turning to the law he studied biological sciences at the University of Cambridge where he also obtained an MPhil concentrating on medical sociology. He has recently co-authored a major report on social, economic and cultural rights and has also researched for Chatham House’s Centre on Global Health Security.


Naureen Ali: A Chartered Accountant residing in Toronto, Canada currently working at Ernst and Young. She has graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, and is also a Teaching Assistant at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

Alyssa Rellstab

Alyssa Rellstab: A Canadian-Swiss medical doctor specializing in internal medicine, Alyssa obtained her M.D. from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and wrote her dissertation on the influence of extracellular ATP on the secretion from Interferon γ by natural killer cells. Dr. Rellstab has trained in public health with a focus on infectious diseases, managing care provision during natural disasters, and the implications of global warming for the developing world.  In 2010, Dr. Rellstab undertook a project on Organ Trafficking and engaged with individuals who were directly affected by organ trafficking.  Through the project, she gained an immense perspective on the interplay of power, poverty, culture, education and religion in the field of global health.  Dr. Rellstab is also trained in the profession of medical surgery.


Dia Bishop: A Toronto based geographer studying at the University of Toronto.


Sun-Min Kim: Raised between Germany and South Korea, Sunny completed her Master’s in International Affairs (International Security) at Sciences Po Paris in 2011. She then worked in Togo and Burkina Faso for the German Hanns-Seidel-Foundation and in Korea for the NGO Scientists and Engineers without Borders. Having gained first-hand experience in the field of development, she is now a Programme Analyst in the field of governance in Cameroon.

Eric Kim photo

Sung Soo (Eric) Kim: Born in Seoul Korea and raised between Korea, United States and Japan, Sung Soo (Eric) is a PhD student in Business at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) with MA and BS in Economics from University of Missouri. He has a balanced career in Professional Services, Academia and Government. Prior to the PhD program at KAIST, he worked at the Korean government as an economist researching tax policy implications and sovereign finance for 3 years. His earlier career started at KPMG as a strategic management consultant specializing in the utility industry, where he accumulated major project experience with expert consultant networks in the United States and Australia for 2 years.


Nazanin Rassouli: An Iranian Canadian, Nazanin holds a JD/MBA from the University of Toronto, where she specialized in corporate law. In addition to being a licensed lawyer in Canada, Nazanin is also licensed to practice law in California, U.S.A.


Vanessa Ciccone: A communications professional who has worked in various industries, including energy, nonprofit and finance. With expertise in corporate communications, media training, media relations and digital campaigns, Vanessa has often employed her skills in volunteer efforts and is a member of the National Committee of UN Women Canada. Born in Toronto and raised out West, Vanessa possesses a BA with distinction from the University of Alberta and a Public Relations Management Certificate from the University of Calgary. For several years in Alberta, Vanessa acted as a crisis counsellor and continues to have an active interest in social justice issues.

Harry Proudlove

Harry Proudlove: He previously worked for 3 years at NATO HQ and is currently residing in Brussels. Harry gained an Honours Bachelor of Philosophy from Stirling University, Scotland, and is now studying for a MSc in Management at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Alexander Pfeiffer

Alexander Pfeiffer: Born and raised in Germany, Alexander works as a consultant for McKinsey & Company since 2011. Between 2008 and 2011 he worked for a Stuttgart based consulting company with a strong focus on project and company valuation, business modelling and restructuring opinions. He holds a Diploma of business administration from the University of Mannheim and has relevant work experience from occupations at KPMG, Horváth & Partners, UBS Investment Bank and EMDS AG.


Hans J. Gangeskar: Hans works as an intellectual property and transactional lawyer for Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton. He attended Cambridge University where he studied Mathematics and Computer Science, with a particular focus on pure mathematics, including encryption, as well as data-structures and algorithms. He later attended George Washington University Law School. Hans has extensive experience negotiating and drafting complex intellectual property licensing agreements and other technology transfer and development agreements. Hans has also worked with a number of startups across technological fields.

Rachel Kolesnikov-Lindsey

Rachel Kolesnikov-Lindsey: born and raised in the United States, Rachel completed both an undergraduate and Masters Degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Materials Science and engineering.  She also completed a year at Cambridge University in this time studying the same.  She has worked with the Materials Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratories in Dayton, Ohio, and is now working as an exchange engineer in the Spanish National Laboratories, INTA, in Madrid, Spain where she focuses on Composite Materials.  Outside of work, Rachel enjoys traveling new corners of the globe, and it at 31 countries and counting.