Press Kit

TalentLift transforms workplaces and lives.

TalentLift is a non-profit international recruitment agency supporting Canadian employers to recruit and relocate talent from within refugee populations as a solution to skills shortages in Canada and displacement worldwide.

There are more than 35 million people living as refugees around the world who have fled conflict or persecution. Many have skills needed by companies and communities across Canada. By hiring with TalentLift, employers can find talented new team members while making a major impact in people’s lives. TalentLift candidates are living in more than 100 countries and represent a competitive but underleveraged talent pool.

Canada is home to the world’s largest pilot supporting this work, called the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP), which aims to see an increasing number of skilled workers relocate to Canada from refugee circumstances. TalentLift is among a select group of NGOs supporting the EMPP in partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

What We Do

Talent Search

We shortlist candidates with the skills employers need, who happen to be living as refugees around the world.


We prepare and submit visa applications for the candidates organizations hire and their families.

Relocation and Settlement

We coordinate relocation and settlement. We work closely with employers to create an effective, welcoming, and supportive arrival experience for the organization and its new team members.

Points of Interest

Our candidates are living displaced in more than 180 countries worldwide.

More than 10,000 candidates have registered on the TalentLift talent platform, and our partner UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and NGO teams support many more in the globally-displaced talent pool.

Our employer partners are based across Canada with candidates relocated or soon relocating to British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Employers find candidates with in-demand skills, adaptability, creativity, and a long-term commitment to the team and community.

Candidates who have relocated include women and men principal applicants working in manufacturing, hospitality, tech, and healthcare, with national backgrounds from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Cuba, Eritrea, Iraq, Myanmar, Pakistan, Palestine, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela.

Candidates relocate from refugee situations where they may have no rights and in some cases no citizenship, and arrive in Canada with permanent residence or a pathway to permanence and a salary that can be as high as nine times their pre-arrival income.


Dana Wagner

Co-Founder & Managing Director
+1 647-609-2654

Dana Wagner is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of TalentLift, a non-profit international recruitment agency supporting employers across Canada to recruit and relocate talent from within refugee populations worldwide. She was formerly Canada Director with Talent Beyond Boundaries, a Policy Advisor with Independent Senator Ratna Omidvar, and is the co-author of Flight and Freedom: Stories of Escape to Canada. She was named a 2022 emerging leader in social impact by The Peak. Dana has worked in Toronto, Ottawa, Hanoi, and Nairobi. She holds a Master of Global Affairs from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University.

Nasser Alkhellow

Software Engineer and TalentLift Ambassador

Nasser Alkhellow is a Software Engineer with Thinkific, based in Vancouver. Thinkific helps entrepreneurs create, market and sell online courses. Before he relocated to Canada, Nasser was living in refugee circumstances. He is originally from Syria and during the war he sought refuge in neighbouring Turkey. Nasser learned to code while he was living as a refugee with the bootcamp Re:Coded. He began working remotely with the Thinkific team while in Turkey before relocating with TalentLift’s support. Nasser has been in Canada now for more than one year and is a volunteer ambassador with TalentLift.