GSA Executive Board of Directors

Roles and Responsibilities

Saaka Sulemana Saaka

The President is the chair of the GSA's Board of Directors and enforces the by-laws of the organization. They are the official spokesperson of the GSA. The President sits on the Board of Governors as the GSA's representative.

The VP Student Life is generally responsible for all matters that pertain to the GSA and internal organizations of the university that relate to non-academic matters of the student experience. Some aspects of their portfolio include: DGAs, social events and discounted ticket sales, and overseeing the graduate newsletter.

The VP Finance and Services is responsible for overseeing the general operations of the GSA and the services it provides such as the health and dental plan. Some aspects of their portfolio include: overseeing the Finance Standing Committee and organizing GSA workshops.

The VP Academic is responsible for all academic matters that affect graduate students at the University of Calgary including awards, bursaries, and grants.

The VP External is generally responsible for all matters that pertain to the external relations of the GSA. They maintain an awareness of current issues and developments related to all levels of government. The VP External, along with the President, are responsible for the participation in student advocacy organization.

Thinking about running for an Executive position?

Learn more details about GSA Elections by emailing the GSA President or visit the Elections page by clicking the button underneath.

GSA Elections


Saaka Sulemana Saaka • President

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science. My dissertation explores the gendered patterns of cabinet ministerial appointments in Sub-Saharan Africa. I grew up in a small town in Northern Ghana and I hold an Honour's degree in Political Science from the University of Ghana. In 2016, I moved to Canada to pursue a MA degree in Political Science (with a specialization in Public Policy) at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. I joined the University of Calgary in the Fall of 2019. In my spare time, I like to talk with family and watch/play soccer.

Send An Email
Cameron Armstrong • VP Finance and Services

Cameron is a pseudo-international student, originally from outside of Toronto but moved to Calgary from Colorado. He is an MBA candidate specializing in Global Energy Management and Sustainable Development. He has undergraduate degrees from Michigan State University in hospitality business and investment management. Until the beginning of the pandemic, he worked all over North America in various roles relating to finance and revenue management. Having moved to Calgary to pivot his career into clean tech and renewable energy, he’s become involved with the Hunter Hub and Office of Sustainability on campus. Outside of school, he enjoys all things outdoors: skiing, backpacking and cycling being a few favourites.

Send An Email
Masume Akbari • VP Student Life

Masume began coordinating events at a young age, when she used to play outside with her pals. "Let's get together!" she'd say, "and let's play Hide and Seek!"
Before moving to Canada, Masume was a professional land surveyor in her homeland, Iran. In 2016, she moved to Calgary to start a master’s degree at UofC. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Geomatics Engineering with a focus on lithospheric flexure modelling. Throughout 2020-2022, Masume volunteered for various GSA committees, including the Student Experience and Events Committee as the Vice Chair. She also served as the President of Iranian Graduate Student Association (IGSA) in 2019-2020. Masume is extremely passionate to assist graduate students feel connected and included in the University community; the feeling that was deeply developed in her through volunteering for different GSA committees.
A fun fact about Masume is that she has watched the sitcom “Friends” seven times and counting. And, as much as she likes to be a “Phoebe”, she is more of a “Monica”: organized, competitive, and always the hostess!

Send An Email
James Steele • VP Academic

Bio to come

Send An Email
Alex Cameron • VP External

Bio to come

Send An Email