Renowned for her insightful dialogue on cultural change, Samra Zafar combines scientific research with her corporate experience and hard-earned life lessons to shift our understanding of wellness and illustrate the transformative benefits of belonging. A bestselling author, physician-in-training, and leading corporate consultant, she specializes in DEI strategy, mental health, and authentic leadership, and shares valuable tools for building authentic human connection and fostering inclusive spaces.
After escaping a decade of abuse living as a child bride in Canada, Zafar has become a beacon of hope for those facing exclusion and abuse. She is a four-time TEDx speaker and the bestselling author of A Good Wife: Escaping the Life I Never Chose, named one of CBC’s Best Books of 2019 and a top 2019 read by The Washington Post. She is currently writing her second book, Unconditional, which explores science-based strategies to unlearn limiting beliefs and live a fuller, unconditional life.
Previously an executive in financial services, Zafar is currently pursuing a medical degree at McMaster’s DeGroote School of Medicine, specializing in psychiatry. She is also the founder and executive director of Brave Beginnings, a registered charity that provides mentorship to survivors of abuse. Her work has been featured in several national and international media outlets, including The Huffington Post, Harvard Medical School’s Primary Care Review, CTV, CBC, Global News, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and more.
A sought-after keynote speaker and DEI consultant, Zafar’s past clients have included UNICEF; United Way; Yale University; HRPA; Amnesty International; TD; Adidas; Art of Leadership; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and several other non-profits, corporations, government agencies, and universities around the world. She has been recognized twice as one of Canada’s “Top 100 Most Powerful Women” and named one of the “Top 25 Most Inspirational Women” in Canada and one of the “Top 25 Canadian Immigrants”.
Zafar is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in economics. She currently sits on the board of Women’s College Hospital Foundation and is a celebrated ambassador at Plan International Canada.