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Our Team

The Institute for Sustainable Finance is led by a team of Canada’s foremost experts and academics in areas of business and sustainable finance. With passion, drive, and determination, the leadership team is committed to helping Canada become an innovator shaper.

Ryan Riordan

Ryan Riordan, PhD
Director of Research

Ryan is a Professor and Distinguished Professor of Finance at Smith School of Business and a recent recipient of the Bank of Canada Governor’s Award. He is the Research Director for the Institute for Sustainable Finance and was recognized by the Globe and Mail as a Changemaker for his work on climate finance. Ryan is also the head of the newly established Institute of Financial Innovation and Technology at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich Germany. Prior to joining Smith, Ryan was an Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and an Assistant Professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. His work has been published in all of the leading academic finance journals including the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, and Review of Financial Studies.

Maya Saryyeva, MA
Interim Executive Director

Maya Saryyeva joined the Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) in December 2018 to support the implementation of the Institute’s core programs and outreach efforts. Prior to joining ISF, Maya worked in the international development sector, leading a number of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded governance and economic development initiatives in Eastern Europe as well as South and Central Asia. Maya is also pursuing a PhD in global development with a focus on sustainable finance. She researches the efficacy of global governance frameworks surrounding green bonds and sustainable initiatives.

David Watson
Associate Director, Communications

David is an experienced professional in public policy, media and the non-profit sector. Before joining ISF he held senior positions at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, an Ottawa think tank, and the Ottawa Citizen, where he was the Editorial Pages Editor. David began his journalism career at the Globe and Mail. He is a graduate of Bishop's University and Ryerson University.

Yingzhi Tang

Yingzhi Sarah Tang
Senior Research Associate

Yingzhi Sarah Tang joined the Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) in November 2022. Before joining the team, Yingzhi worked with both the private and public sector in Europe, Asia and North America to accelerate their climate and biodiversity ambitions. Over the past three years, Yingzhi led research on green finance and energy transition for emerging markets at the International Institute of Green Finance (Beijing, China), supported the insurance and banking sectors’ climate risk assessment projects at the UNEP Finance Initiative (Geneva, Switzerland) and the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (Waterloo, Canada). She holds both a research-based Master’s degree in Environmental Studies (Sustainability Management) and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Nanjing University of Finance and Economics (China).

Shuyi Hui

Will Hamilton
Research Associate

William has a mathematics degree from Dalhousie University and worked in radiomics and computer aided diagnosis before moving into sustainable finance. At the Institute for Sustainable Finance, he develops machine learning models to help process and understand large datasets, and provides assistance with research-related software development and writing tasks.

Yingzhi Tang

Apoorva Hegde, PhD
Research Associate

Apoorva holds a PhD in Finance from the Indian Institute of Management Mumbai. Her thesis focussed on the dynamic adjustment of capital structure within the Indian manufacturing industry. With expertise in econometric modeling and data analysis, she has authored several publications in reputable international journals. Passionate about sustainability, Apoorva's research is centered on sustainable finance and ESG-related issues, demonstrating her dedication to integrating sustainability into the future of finance. Currently, at the Institute for Sustainable Finance, Apoorva lends her support to various research initiatives focusing on sustainable debt markets, voluntary carbon markets, and projects related to natural assets.

Yingzhi Tang

Tarq Aziz
Research Associate

Tariq is an Environmental Economist/Scientist passionate about sustainable resource management. He drives impactful initiatives by combining skills in environmental modelling, economic valuation, and policy analysis. With experience in both public and private sectors, Tariq has contributed to diverse projects such as the Watershed Security Strategy, Nature Agreement, Water Sustainability Act, and Canada1Water. During his academic career, Tariq worked on renowned projects such as Global Water Futures—the largest water science collaboration worldwide among Canadian universities. At the University of Waterloo, his Ph.D. and postdoc work largely focused on integrating water and other natural resources into economic accounts. He earned his master’s in water resources management from five European universities (in France, Germany, the UK, Spain, and Hungary), funded by the European Commission.

Yingzhi Tang

Paris Malakian
Communications and Marketing Intern

Paris is currently a second-year Commerce student at Smith School of Business, Queen's University. Actively involved in a variety of student organizations, Paris serves as the Sponsorship Coordinator for the Queen's Marketing Association and a Business Competitions member for the Queen's Hyperloop Design Team. Passionate about marketing and communications, Paris is currently a summer student at the Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF), where she contributes to various marketing and communications initiatives.