Kheira Issaoui-Mansouri

Poste occupé:
Philanthropic Advisor / Consultant
Arabella Advisors
Type de formation (1):
Formation universitaire (Maitrise)
Programme de formation (1):
Masters in Political Science at UdeM
Types de professionnel-le:
Professionnels-les dans les entreprises et les cabinets de conseils
Secteurs d'organisation:
Types d'organisation:

Can you present yourself?

I am a Quebecoise / daughter of Moroccan immigrants / proud French speaker / mother

What brought you to work in the philanthropic sector?

My interest started when I was doing my master’s in political science; I took a class on social movements. This got me interested in power outside of government or politics.

Can you define and explain what your activity and/or position consists of within your organization?

As a philanthropic consultant, I work with a wide range of foundations to help them make the most impactful philanthropic investments. Sometimes that means investing in a specific region, sometimes it means investing in a social movement, or focusing on a specific population. I focus on strategy development and evaluation of philanthropic investments.

What is your professional education? Is it relevant in the context of your philanthropic involvement? Why?

I have a Bachelor’s in Economics from Laval University and a Masters in Political Science at UdeM. I do feel that my education helps me in my day-to-day at work. Particularly when it comes to critical thinking, data analysis, logic and writing.

Talk to us briefly about your professional background?

Prior to working in philanthropy, I worked for the Quebec government Office in Chicago, working as a public affairs officer. I also worked as a research associate for Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. At Kellogg I did research on reputation management, which means thinking about how corporations think about their role within society and how they can manage their reputation and actions to make sure they are perceived as responsible citizens. It is not the same as philanthropy, but I think they are very related fields.

What are the challenges and issues related to your position in philanthropy?

As a consultant, sometimes there can be a tension between what we think is right and how our clients might want to approach a question. It’s important to be able to push our clients but at the same time, meet them where they are, and be respectful of their perspectives. Another challenge is elitism and whiteness. I am a person of colour and I went to Canadian universities that no one heard about in the United States. That can be a challenge on many levels: finding a job, negotiating salary, making your place in the field.

How would you define philanthropy today? How does this definition influence your working methods?

Personally, I want to move away from the term philanthropy and move towards what I am really after which is social justice. To me the word philanthropy implies an act of goodness but I prefer to think about this work as a reparations.

What advice would you give to someone who wishes to pursue a career in your profession/activity?

Get to know people in the field and understand the lexicon and thinking because it is not an field that is very open, it is actually very hard to get into. Educate yourself, learn about the field, the terms used, and networking is just as important as in any other field.

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