Downtown in the heart of the City of Calgary where AAISA's offices are located

Who We Are

Representing, advocating, & developing

The Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA) is a non-profit umbrella organization representing agencies that provide resettlement, settlement, and integration services to newcomers in the province of Alberta. Since 1980, we have been working to build the sector’s capacity to better serve newcomers by fostering collaboration, professionalization, and member-driven research and policy work.

Facilitate collaboration and leadership within the settlement serving sector.
An inclusive, welcoming, and engaged society.

Board of Directors

Beba Svigir

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association

Beba Svigir is the Chief Executive Officer of the Calgary Immigrant Women's Association. She came to Canada 17 years ago, following the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. CIWA has thrived under her leadership through implementing & diversifying the programs that address language, health, employment & parenting. She oversees 150+ staff members & 900 volunteers all working to help immigrant women become the foundation of their families’ success.

Anila Umar Lee Yuen

Centre for Newcomers

Anila Umar Lee Yuen is the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Newcomers. Previously, she has worked with Junior Achievement, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth, DeVry Institute of Technology, & the Government of Alberta. She has received a Governor General's Award and an Alberta Centennial Medallion for Community Service for her work advocating for immigrant and minority women and children rights.

Aftab Khan

Action for Healthy Communities

Aftab Khan is the Executive Director of Action for Healthy Communities. Over the last 10 years, he has worked with several immigrant serving agencies in Alberta. Before moving to Canada, he spent 15+ years as a manager, consultant, advisor, & director with various non-profits, UN agencies, & multilateral donor funded initiatives focused on social justice, community capacity building & infrastructure, & capital development projects in Pakistan.

Hyder Hassan

Immigrant Services Calgary

Hyder has held positions in various leading financial institutions and most recently was Head of Wealth Management at First Calgary Financial/Qtrade before joining Immigrant Services Calgary in February, 2019 as their CEO. Hyder and his wife, Christina, moved to Calgary in 2013. It did not take long for Hyder to become involved in the local community, including Rotary, Junior Achievement, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and Alberta Health Services. In addition, Hyder has also volunteered with Immigrant Services Calgary where he organized several newcomer client seminars and he hopes to see this initiative continue. Following a visit to Uganda, Hyder and Christina started a non-profit charity – FullSoul – an organization supporting maternal health in Uganda. As a recognized strong community leader, Hyder received an Immigrants of Distinction Award in 2018, 2017 University of Waterloo Young Alumni Award, 2018 Calgary Top 40 under 40 award, 2016 Global Runner-up Plan Plus Financial planning awards, & 2019 Compelling Calgarian.

Frank Bauer

Central Alberta Refugee Effort

Coming soon

Désiré Kiana

Association Francophone de Brooks

En 1998, il quitte son pays natal pour l'Ouganda et, une année plus tard il sera réinstallé au Canada, dans la ville de Sherbrooke, au Québec, le 09 septembre 1999. En avril 2005, il quitte Sherbrooke pour Brooks en Alberta et se joint aux fondateurs de l'Association Francophone de Brooks, AFB, la même année. De 2006 à 2008, il est Président du conseil d'administration de l'AFB tout en travaillant chez Lakeside Parckers comme agent d'emballage. Il quitte cette compagnie de viandes pour se concentrer sur le Projet d'intégration des Jeunes Immigrants à Brooks et ses environs depuis 2009 jusqu'à nos jours. Désiré Kiana est l'un des principaux acteurs du film "De Sherbrooke à Brooks" du professeur Roger Parent sorti en 2016.

Carol Gil

SPEC Association

Born and raised in Piura-Peru, Carol moved to Canada in 2010. Carol completed a BSc with a Major in Business Administration and has almost 20 years of experience in a senior leadership and executive management roles. Her background includes working with expansion projects with multi-disciplinary teams in a very dynamic and goal-oriented organization. Carol speaks three languages: Spanish, English and French.

Barhet Woldemariam

HIV Edmonton

Barhet Woldemariam currently serves as the Director of Programs for HIV Edmonton. Her previous work includes working with the Canadian Red Cross with the Safety and Wellbeing team supporting the recovery operation after the Wildfires in Fort McMurray and BC. She brings experience from both the business world, working with TD Canada Trust and community organizations. Her roles have allowed her to work closely with community partners to help address the needs of individuals, families and the community. Her academic background in Sociocultural Anthropology along with her personal experience and community work provide her with the acumen to deeply understand the importance of equity and advocacy.

Bruce Randall

Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council

Coming soon



Sarosh Rizvi

Leslie Cramer

A series of concrete overpasses weaving between one another

Business Development
& Administration

Raeesa Farooqi

Nada Starcevic

Programs & Services

Kevin Thome

Sami Khiami

AAISA Opportunities


Member Opportunities