About me.

Hi. I’m Sameer Vasta, a snail-mail boy living in an email world, and over-user of the discretionary comma.

After spending most of my life in Toronto, New York, and Washington DC, I now live with my incredible wife, my wonderful daughter, and our adorable cat in our beautiful home in London, Ontario.

I’m a public policy and public affairs professional with an academic background in cultural anthropology, and have worked on various projects in the areas of public sector transformation, digital government, open data, energy conservation, healthcare transformation, international development, and organizational change.

I was one of the co-founders of the Ontario Digital Service, and spent many years there until its dissolution recently. I’m now working in the Ontario Public Service, focused on people, specifically employee experience and organizational design.

Until a few years ago, I taught the Government in a Digital Era” course in the University of Waterloo Masters of Public Service program and served on the Board of the Community Knowledge Exchange, and the Urban League of London. I’m also an advisor for a few small non-profit organizations and social enterprises, and a mentor to a handful of early-career public servants. Once my daughter grows up a little, I’m hoping to get back involved in non-profit governance and teaching, and would love to chat.

I pass my time reading my never-ending stack of library books, writing letters to penpals, and exploring the urban landscape on foot. I find beauty in the mundane and joy in the small things. If you’re ever in the area, come join me on my aimless strolls around the city, or for an espresso and conversation; I love making new friends.

A photo of me from my wedding day.

About this site.

flashing palely in the margins is a collection of essays, marginalia, and miscellaneous musings that pass through my mind from time to time. I’ve been operating this space online, with various names over the years, since 1998. Sadly, I lost all my archives when I forgot to back up my server in 2005, so what you’ll find here is whatever I managed to save after that.

The title, flashing palely in the margins, is taken from an article published by Dustin Illingworth in LitHub on December 2, 2015. Dustin’s article was on finding book titles; the passage resonated with me because it reminded me that so much of what I find joyful and beautiful in life is hidden in the margins, flashing palely, waiting to be discovered.

This blog is published from southwest London (Ontario), Treaty 2 Territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Attawandaron people; I recognize and am grateful for the stewardship of this land by those who came before me and those who continue to call this land their home.

This website is published using blot.im, with a theme adapted from Sebastian Rumberg. All photos on this site were taken by me, unless otherwise indicated. All content is licensed under a Creative Commons license.