About the Speaker
  • speaker photo
    Ali Abbas Mehboob Hirji
    Lead, Cybersecurity Services at YES, and Professor

    With over 16 years of experience, Ali has been a driving force in team development and leadership across various phases of the IT development lifecycle. His career milestones include pioneering the expansion of Durham College’s Cybersecurity Innovation Center and the establishment of their cutting-edge AI and Cybersecurity labs. Ali's leadership was pivotal in deploying applications and infrastructure aligned with ISO 27001 and NIST frameworks, while also crafting processes for SOC 2 level clearances.

    Ali's career trajectory features senior roles at the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION). He spearheaded projects focused on remote connectivity, technical training implementation, and improved access to critical applications. Leading teams of up to 65 professionals, Ali's profound expertise in the cyber domain has earned him a province-wide reputation for his leadership and innovation.

    Notably, Ali's influence stretches beyond his professional roles. He is a distinguished host of various tech shows, including the renowned Power Hour, and a sought-after panelist for esteemed forums such as the CISO Forum Canada. Ali's instructional prowess is evident through his roles as a highly respected lecturer at numerous institutions throughout Canada, where he imparts his extensive knowledge.

    Ali's impact extends to his role in the cyber community. He has orchestrated the execution of tabletop exercises for the province of Ontario, showcasing his commitment to cyber preparedness. His reputation as an expert has led to consistent invitations to deliver bespoke cyber training programs across diverse sectors.

    In his most recent venture, Ali undertook the leadership of the cyber training division at Youth Employment Services. Here, he spearheaded programming aimed at nurturing and elevating the skillsets of budding cyber enthusiasts. Simultaneously pursuing his PhD, Ali finds fulfillment in lecturing at esteemed institutions such as Seneca College, Georgian College, Toronto School of Management, University of Fredericton, Computek College and Algoma University, solidifying his commitment to knowledge dissemination.

    Ali's remarkable journey culminates in his rich Durham College experience, where his pivotal role in advancing the Cybersecurity Innovation Center and steering AI and Cybersecurity labs stands as a testament to his enduring dedication to technological advancement and leadership excellence.