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Distinguished Alumna Award

NILIMA GULRAJANI '95

Our 2016 Distinguished Alumna was honoured at the TOGA Reunion Dinner, Saturday, October 22, 2016.

Dr. Nilima Gulrajani ’95 is “an internationally-recognized expert on effective foreign aid management and public sector administrative reform in both developed and developing countries. She has fifteen years experience conducting research at leading academic institutions, including Cambridge University, London School of Economics and Oxford University.”

Nilima attended Trafalgar from 1990-1995 and was Head Prefect from ’94-’95. She earned an IB at the Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific (selected as Quebec’s scholarship recipient) then a BA (First Class Joint Honours) at McGill University in Economics and Political Science. She attended University of Cambridge in 2001, graduating with Distinction and earning a MPhil in Development Studies. Then, as a Bill Gates Scholar, Nilima earned her PhD in Management Studies in 2005.

Dr. Gulrajani “is currently Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute, UK’s leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues. In addition to her role at ODI, she is a Senior Research Associate at the Global Economic Governance Programme, University College, Oxford University. She has previously worked as an Assistant Professor at the London School of Economics, where she taught international public management and supervised graduate student research.” She has practical experience at the International Trade and Finance Group at the Canadian Ministry of Finance, the World Bank, and the International Development Research Centre.

A prolific writer, Nilima has published in leading academic and media outlets including The Globe and Mail and The Guardian. She is also Associate Editor of Public Administration and Development. She presents and lectures at policy conferences and universities worldwide.

Nilima writes, “I consider myself a conscientious “doer” who enjoys dealing with practical questions about organisational design, strategy and marketing, corporate governance and performance. I have the privilege of honing these skills in my role as a trustee of the charity Integrity Action.”

In 2012, Nilima was named one of the 125 Women of Trafalgar – Scholars & Explorers saying that her time at Trafalgar had a big influence on her, giving her “self-belief.”

On being named the 2016 Distinguished Alumna, Nilima, ever-modest, says, “I can’t help but feel it is undeserved, but I am truly honoured to have been nominated for this award.”

Sources: odi.org, globaleconomicgovernance.org

You can read more about Nilima in the 125 Women of Trafalgar: Scholars and Explorers Magazine.

Established in 2007, the Distinguished Alumna Award recognizes annually the achievements of a particularly accomplished Trafalgar Old Girl, a woman whose career or activities have made a difference in the world and can serve to inspire our students today. Based on nominations received from Traf alumnae, the award criteria are these:

  • She is a role model and inspiration to others;
  • She embodies the courage to break new ground and to reach for her full potential;
  • She is seen by others to have demonstrated excellence and/or has distinguished herself in her chosen field;
  • She has made a difference in the lives of others/has contributed to her local or the global community;
  • She has demonstrated leadership through her vision or acceptance of responsibility.


If you would like to nominate an alumna, please contact Sharon Cozens, Director of Advancement at (514) 935-2644, #237 or email cozens@trafalgar.qc.ca.

Past Recipients
2015 - Leticia Artola Cox '48
2014 - LCDR (Ret.) Sherry Daws-Knowles Richardson CD ’53
2013 - Lola Sheppard '88
2012 - Caryl Churchill '55
2011 - Lynne Echenberg ’89
2010 - Ruth Simons ’75
2009 - Rhona and Rhoda Wurtele ’40
2008 - Anne Wood '76
2007 - Cathy Ferguson Burrows ’75

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