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Krishan Mehta Named AFP Distinguished Fellow for Commitment to Education, IDEA Within the Charitable Sector

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Krishan Mehta(Arlington, Va.) Krishan Mehta, Ph.D., associate vice president for engagement at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, and a leading voice for building greater inclusion, diversity, equity and access in the fundraising profession, will be recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) at its 2022 International Conference on Fundraising (ICON), May 2-4, in Las Vegas, Nev. 

The AFP Distinguished Fellows Program recognizes individuals who have made significant leadership contributions to the association, philanthropy and the fundraising profession, and who will continue to advance ethical and effective fundraising through their volunteer and advisory work. The designation represents the pinnacle of service to the profession and the AFP fundraising community, as well as to the tenets of giving, volunteerism and philanthropy. Dr. Mehta joins three other fundraisers as 2022 Distinguished Fellows, bringing the total number of Fellows to 20.

Dr. Mehta’s professional work has always spoken to his commitment to advancing human rights, providing access to education, and propelling innovation. Throughout his career, he has connected diverse philanthropists with a wide range of issues: ground-breaking research opportunities, gender studies, anti-racism, food security, mental health programs, a national center on cybersecurity, and a first-in-class program to support Black tech entrepreneurs. 

Committed to advancing inclusion, diversity, equity and access, Dr. Mehta also worked with leaders from the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada to secure a $300,000 government grant to curate 12 conferences bringing together diverse philanthropists, NGO leaders, fundraisers and volunteers to discuss the nuances of giving across cultures, communities and regional backgrounds. Over two years, Dr. Mehta organized gatherings focused on Chinese, South Asian, African, Caribbean, Hispanic, Indigenous and LGBTQ+ philanthropy, as well as other dimensions of diversity, including faith, gender and disability. These events engaged over 3,000 participants and was the precursor to the AFP Fellowship in Inclusion and Philanthropy, a ground-breaking program which provided education, professional development and mentorship to mid-level and emerging nonprofit professionals from across Canada, representing a wide range of cultural backgrounds and interests.

“I am chuffed to receive this award,” said Dr. Mehta, “It’s not just a recognition for me but for all of us who are dedicated to seeing our sector thrive and succeed.”

In 2016, Dr. Mehta completed his Ph.D. on immigrant philanthropy in Canada. His resulting research was the first of its kind in the country and offered a revealing and inside glimpse into all the ways immigrants are changing the face of giving and philanthropy. He has shared his research through publishing over 20 articles and op-eds, presenting at over 15 conferences, participating in podcasts, and speaking with various news outlets. He is one of five professional fundraisers in Canada who hold a doctorate degree that focuses on charitable giving.

As a former board member and president of the AFP Greater Toronto Area Chapter, Dr. Mehta has given countless hours to support the fundraising community in the region and across Canada. He helped create AFP Insights, a knowledge translation platform for chapter members; initiated a process to support the staff leadership at the chapter; and served on the steering committee which eventually led to the creation of AFP Canada.

Outside of AFP, Dr. Mehta is involved in many other charitable endeavors. Currently, he serves on the board of, where he is developing governance training programs. He serves as a member of the TELUS Friendly Futures Foundation and has been an active volunteer and advisor to local grassroots charities as well, including Working Women’s Community Centre, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, and the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention.

“Few fundraisers are more well-respected across Canada and indeed all of North America than Dr. Krishan Mehta, and all of us at AFP are looking forward to honoring him as a 2022 Distinguished Fellow at our AFP ICON conference in Las Vegas,” said Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, president and CEO of AFP. “His vision of philanthropy of what can be—and how it must change to reflect the changing makeup of our people—is informing and driving so much of the fundraising profession. We must continue to better support the communities that we work in and serve every day, and Dr. Mehta’s commitment is leading the way, helping us to become better fundraisers through education, research, and inclusion and diversity.”

More information about the Distinguished Fellows program and the AFP International Conference on Fundraising can be obtained by contacting Michael Nilsen, vice president of communications, at

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15 Aug 2022 President's Perspective Blog
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