Professor Poonam Puri, two Osgoode alumnae among Canada’s Most Powerful Women for 2023

Headshots of (left to right) Lily Pourzand ’10 (LLM), Professor Poonam Puri and Lisa Raitt '96.
Lily Pourzand ’10 (LLM) (left), Professor Poonam Puri and Lisa Raitt ’96.

Professor Poonam Puri and two Osgoode alumnae, Lisa Raitt ’96 and Lily Pourzand ’10 (LLM), have been honoured as being among Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women for 2023 by the Toronto-based Women’s Executive Network (WXN).

Celebrated in the Professionals category, Puri was cited for her achievements as an internationally recognized scholar of corporate law, corporate governance and capital markets regulation and as the York Research Chair in Corporate Governance, Investor Protection and Financial Markets. Among her achievements, she is co-founder and director of the Osgoode Investor Protection Clinic, she chairs the board of directors of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto and serves on the board of the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Raitt, a former federal cabinet minister and a member of Parliament from 2008 to 2019, currently serves as managing director and vice chair, global investment banking for CIBC. She is also co-chair of the Coalition for a Better Future, a collection of industry groups that promotes policies geared to prosperity and sustainability. She was previously president and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority.

Pourzand, who came to Canada as an aslylum seeker from Iran at the age of 24, was cited by WXN for her work as a director of support programs for women affected by violence and for her social services leadership in York Region. “Since 2021,” the citation read, “Pourzand began to share her life experience in the media to shed light on women’s challenges and braveries.”

Both Pourzand and Raitt were named in the Women of Courage category.

This is the second time Puri has won the prestigious award. In 2011, she was named in the Trailblazers and Trendsetters category.

“I am honoured to receive the award, and I want to thank everyone who has mentored me and offered me incredible opportunities over the past 26 years of my career,” she said. “With this recognition, I commit myself to moving forward in my career and continuing to mentor the next generation of young women in law, business and academia.”

The 2023 awards also mark the third time in recent years that Osgoode faculty and staff have been recognized among the most powerful women in Canada. Last year, Chief Law Librarian Yemisi Dina was recognized in the Professionals category and, in 2018, former dean and Professor Mary Condon was honoured in the Public Sector category.

The Women’s Executive Network, also known as WXN, is a national organization dedicated to propelling and celebrating the advancement of women of all ages, at all levels and in all sectors. The WXN Top 100 awards celebrate the accomplishments of professional women across the country, and winners are considered leaders in their fields.

Recipients of WXN’s Top 100 honour for 2023 will be celebrated at an awards gala on Thursday, Nov. 30 at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel.