Zahra Esmail

Ask Zahra about best board games for kids, travel plans, or her famous masala chai recipe!

Zahra Esmail

Chief Executive Officer

Zahra joined the Vantage Point team as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in December 2021. She has worked in the non-profit sector for over 15 years with experience in international development, housing and homelessness, community development, youth entrepreneurship, fundraising, and microfinance. She has a master’s in globalization and international development from the University of Ottawa, a bachelor’s in history from UBC, and an associate certificate in fundraising management from BCIT.

Zahra sits on the board of Lookout Foundation, Cuso International and Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society, and is a member of the Honorary Governor’s Council of Vancouver Foundation. She is the Chair of BC’s Poverty Reduction Advisory Committee, an independent committee that advises government on policy developments related to poverty reduction and prevention. Zahra was recognized as one of Business in Vancouver’s Forty Under 40 in 2019 and was nominated for a Women of Distinction Award in the Non-Profit category in 2022. She gratefully resides on the traditional, ancestral, stolen, and unceded lands of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) peoples with her husband and school-age daughter.

She’s passionate about social justice and equity, and believes in the power of the non-profit/social purpose sector. She understands that our sector is well positioned to create positive change and needs better conditions to thrive. Outside Vantage Point, Zahra loves hiking, yoga, swimming, and dancing. If she had to choose one word to describe herself, it would be curious because she asks a million questions, always wants to understand the “why” behind what we do (and what we don’t do), and is always game to try new things.

Ask Zahra about the best board games for kids, her upcoming travel plans, or her famous masala chai recipe!

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