Adel’s family settled in Coquitlam in 1987. His dad was born in Libya and was a chartered accountant. His mom is from Egypt. She is a schoolteacher and was a registered nurse who volunteered at Riverview Hospital. Fleeing political persecution and instability in Libya, his parents searched for a community that would provide lasting safety and opportunities for their kids. They found Coquitlam.
A proud product of SD43, Adel attended Ranch Park Elementary, Charles Best and graduated from Centennial in 1993. His first job was delivering the Coquitlam NOW near his home in River Heights. In high school, he played bass, saxophone, and rugby. He also worked at Chuck E. Cheese as a birthday host with singer Michael Bublé.
From an early age, Adel questioned how he could make a difference in the lives of others. Soon after graduation, he worked with autistic children and enrolled in Douglas College. Adel later went on to study at the University of Calgary where he earned a Bachelor of Education degree. He taught kindergarten and worked with young people experiencing behavioural and emotional difficulties. While studying at the University of Calgary, he met his wife Naomi, and they had their first two children.
Soon after graduation, Adel and Naomi moved their family to Dubai where Adel worked for the Canadian Education Centre Network—a non-profit operating with support from the Government of Canada. There, Adel led the English language department at an applied technology high school. Three years later, he would work for the College of the North Atlantic in Qatar where he taught and mentored young people to be job ready upon graduation.
In the aftermath of the Libyan revolution, Adel was recruited by UNESCO to develop national education policies and programs in collaboration with government and business leaders. This experience gave him an understanding of how policies impact the economy and people’s livelihood.
Wanting to learn more about how government policies can positively impact lives, Adel pursued a master’s degree in public administration at Harvard where he focused on leadership management and economic development. Upon graduation, he accepted a dual position as Policy Fellow at Harvard Law School and Head Teaching Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where he focused on constitutional law, public policy, and taught executive leadership development.
Driven to make a social impact and build capacity across sectors, Adel co-founded a boutique firm specializing in leadership, strategy and organizational effectiveness. Over the course of his career, Adel has advised and coached senior leaders of Fortune 500 companies, higher education, nonprofit organizations, and governments worldwide.
A passion for education and social development keeps Adel deeply involved in local postsecondary institutions, nonprofit and youth sports. He is a faculty member at the UBC Sauder School (Executive Education) where he teaches adaptive leadership to senior managers and executives from across the private, government and nonprofit sectors. He also serves on the Douglas College Board and mentors young emerging leaders from across SD43. Adel also serves on the Coquitlam Foundation Board and has coached girls’ basketball with the Tri-City Youth Basketball Association.
Adel and his wife Naomi are proud parents of five daughters.
Coquitlam is a wonderful city to grow up in. But for the last 10 years with the same mayor, it has become unaffordable and harder to live in for many of us.
People are finding it difficult living pay cheque to pay cheque. Families are unable to secure childcare so they can pursue their careers. Millennials are being squeezed out of the housing market and have lost hope in finding affordable rent. Local businesses are finding it tougher to maintain employees on living wages. Seniors are unable to retire with dignity and respect. Voters have lost confidence in the mayor to solve the current challenges of our city.
We cannot afford the status quo by sustaining approaches that don’t deliver on the much-needed services. Leadership is missing from the mayor’s office. We must insist on change.
We need leadership that is open to learning from other cities, taking the best ideas that achieve the best results for people. We need direction that is proactive and collaborative in working with all levels of government to ensure we deliver on affordable housing and childcare for young families. We need leadership that will support and grow small businesses in Coquitlam while remaining innovative and responsive to future demands. What we need is bold leadership to keep our city growing while building a strong and vibrant Coquitlam.
City government can do better for people. We must demand a mayor that brings people of diverse backgrounds and political persuasions together for the greater public good. Coquitlam can become a livable, affordable and sustainable community for its people.
Adel brings fresh ideas, unrelenting optimism and a deep commitment to serving the people of Coquitlam. Coquitlam raised him, and he is committed to making this city better for people.