About CSSN

The Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN) is a national, not-for-profit, registered charitable organization with a mandate to reduce youth violence and make our schools and communities safer. CSSN was born of the Government of Ontario’s Safe School Task Force and was launched in 1997 by representatives from police, education and business communities. Since 1997, CSSN has expanded to provide supports and services that help keep youth safe all across the country.

Our Team


Bill Byrd

CEO and President

Bill Byrd assumed the position of President and CEO of the Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN) in 2017. Bill previously worked with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) as the Coordinator of Safe Schools and System Inclusion Administrator, a position he held since the creation of the department in 1999. Bill was previously the senior trainer for CSSN. Bill is a member of the faculty at Osgoode Law/York University staff development department where he presents workshops on safe schools, school climate development and equity. For many years prior to his graduate work, Bill was a member of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. Bill is a graduate of Memorial University in St. John’s, Guelph University (B.A.), McGill University in Montreal (B.Ed., M.Ed.), Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (Ed.D.) and the University of Toronto (Ph.D. in psychology – courses completed, thesis to be defended).


Nazanin Mirzadeh

Manager of Program Development and Communications

Having earned her BA degree in Communication and Psychology, Nazanin possesses a keen interest in the development and de-stigmatization of issues concerning mental health and addiction.

She has been a dedicated humanitarian from an early age; volunteering in places such as Dubai Centre for Special Needs, and CAMH have only further fueled her passion for mental health issues. After working as a community leader for international students at York University English Language Institution, she has decided to utilize her program development, leadership, and communication skills towards CSSN. She hopes her background and perspective on mental health will help CSSN tackle new social issues. By researching and surveying different youth groups, she aims to provide, through interactive social media, a platform that promotes safe and constructive dialogues for all youth.



Our Board of Directors


Alvin Chauhan

Alvin Chauhan is a consultant with Promontory Financial Group, an IBM Company and advises financial institutions on matters related to strategy, risk, and regulation.  He is a graduate of McGill University where he studied finance and economics.


Shima Heidari

Shima Heidari is a lawyer at Mason Caplin Roti LLP. Shima is all around international, raised in the UAE she received her Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of Wollongong. She further pursued her Masters in Applied Finance and Banking at the University of Wollongong in 2011. She then attended law school at the University of Windsor where she received her Juris Doctor in 2014 and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 2015.


Shane Lesley

Shane is a consultant at Promontory Financial Group, an IBM Company, a leading strategy, risk management, and regulatory compliance consulting firm focusing primarily on the financial services industry. Shane earned his B.Sc. in Mathematics and Finance from McGill University.


Yu Mai

Yu Mai is Senior Legal Counsel for the Ontario School Boards’ Insurance Exchange, where she is a civil defence lawyer working on behalf of school boards on various litigation matters across Ontario. She is currently pursuing her MBA from the Rotman School of Management.


Brian O’Connor

Brian O'Connor used to work as a Social Worker at the Children's Aid Society of Toronto before retiring at the end of 2015 and joining the CSSN board. The first half of his career was devoted to direct service operations, initially as an intake social worker in Scarborough, subsequently a team supervisor in downtown Toronto, and later as the district manager for the West Toronto and Etobicoke branches. 


Yevgen Pasternak

Yevgen grew up in North York and now resides in Toronto, where he works as an Actuary for Manulife Financial. Yevgen graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Mathematics,  and is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries. Yevgen is a mentor with the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment council where he helps newcomers with resumes and interviews. Yevgen was also a high school tutor with Pathways to Education in Regent Park.