Symposium Speakers

Chris Forbes

DM Co-Chair of 2019 APEX Symposium

Deputy Minister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

On May 29, 2017, Chris Forbes was appointed Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).  Prior to returning to AAFC, Mr. Forbes served as Associate Deputy Minister of the Department of Finance from November 2016 to May 2017. He was Associate Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada from January 2015 to November 2016. From May 2013 to January 2015, Mr. Forbes was Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Branch and Regional Directors General Offices at Environment Canada. From November 2010 to May 2013, he was Assistant Deputy Minister, Federal-Provincial Relations and Social Policy Branch at the Department of Finance.

Mr. Forbes joined the federal government in 2000, and has held several senior positions in the areas of policy development, economic analysis and regulations and managed a range of regional programs. He has also worked for the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Toronto Dominion Bank. Mr. Forbes holds a Masters in Economics from McGill University.

Christiane Fox

DM Co-Chair of 2019 APEX Symposium

Deputy Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs and Youth, Privy Council Office

Christiane Fox was appointed Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Youth in June 2017. She previously held the position of Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Communications and Consultations at the Privy Council Office (PCO) from March 2015 to June 2017. Prior to that, she had been Director of Operations, Policy, in the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Relations Secretariat and Director General of Communications at the Privy Council Office.

Prior to her arrival at the PCO, she had spent 10 years at Industry Canada, now Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. She worked in Communications, in the Deputy Minister’s Office, the Minister’s office and in Science Policy. She also spent a year with the Competition Policy Review Secretariat, as the Director of Communications and Consultations.  Christiane started her career as a Communications Advisor at Industry Canada in 2002.  Christiane has a BA in Mass Communications and Psychology from Carleton University, and is a graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Masters Certificate Program in Public Administration.

Ian Shugart

Ian Shugart became Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet on April 19, 2019.

Prior to joining the Privy Council Office, he was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from May 2016 to April 2019.

From July 2010 to May 2016, Mr. Shugart was Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada and chairperson of the Canada Employment Insurance Commission. Before that, he served as Deputy Minister of the Environment and Associate Deputy Minister of the Environment.

Prior to joining Environment Canada, Mr. Shugart held several senior positions in the Health Portfolio, including:

  • Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Policy Branch, Health Canada (1999-2006)
  • Visiting Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Protection Branch, Health Canada (1997-1999)
  • Executive Director, Medical Research Council (1993-1997)

While working at Health Canada, Mr. Shugart also served as chair of the Global Health Security Action Group and the Health Task Force of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and as a director on the World Health Organization’s executive board.

Prior to this, Mr. Shugart served as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Social Policy and Programs in the Federal-Provincial Relations Office of the Privy Council Office. He spent several years on Parliament Hill in senior advisory roles to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, the Minister of National Health and Welfare and the Leader of the Opposition.

He is a graduate in political economy from Trinity College at the University of Toronto.

Catherine Abreu

Catherine Abreu is an internationally recognized, award-winning campaigner whose work centres on building powerful coalitions to advance transformative action on climate change. One of the world’s 100 most influential people in climate policy as named by Apolotical in 2019, she has over 15 years of experience campaigning on environmental issues including 7 years in the heart of the global climate movement.

Catherine is the Executive Director of Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada. Canada’s primary network of organizations working on climate change and energy issues, CAN-Rac is a coalition of more than 100 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. For 30 years, CAN-Rac has been the only national organization with a mandate to promote the interests of the Canadian climate movement as a whole, rather than any one individual organization. Catherine joined CAN-Rac Canada in July 2016, after five years leading the  energy and climate programs at the Ecology Action Centre, Atlantic Canada’s longest-running environmental advocacy organization. She is also the former Coordinator of the Atlantic Canada Sustainable Energy Coalition (ACSEC).

Catherine is committed to work that confronts climate change head-on, wielding bold and creative strategies. She thinks a lot about citizenship, community, and beauty, and does her best to incorporate these values in all that she does.

An accomplished public speaker, Catherine has been honoured to share the stage with some of Canada’s leading environmental thinkers including David Suzuki and Maude Barlow. Her commentary has featured in many news outlets including the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and the Financial Post. She appears frequently on CBC, CTV, Global and other current affairs television and radio programs.

Catherine is a dedicated collaborator and community organizer. In the last decade, she has founded and/or supported the work of nine distinct coalitions in the realms of environmental and arts advocacy.

Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew is the Senior Director of International Policy at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. He is responsible for managing the Canadian Chamber’s international work, including trade policy, the B7 and B20 summits, as well as Business at OECD. Prior to starting at the Canadian Chamber, he worked for the UK government on trade and economic policy issues at the British High Commission in Ottawa for seven years. In that role he was responsible for leading UK work in Canada pertaining to Brexit, the EU-Canada CETA.  He has also worked for the Canadian government in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, as well as at Parliament. Mark attended Carleton University, where he specialized in international trade policy during his graduate studies.

Shelby Austin

Shelby Austin is the National leader of Omnia AI, Deloitte Canada’s AI practice, a team that includes AI strategists, machine learning engineers and data scientists and risk specialists. She also chairs the Global Innovation Council for Deloitte’s Financial Advisory practice. Shelby joined Deloitte through the acquisition of a business she founded after having been a Partner at a large Bay Street law firm.

Ms. Austin has a proven track record of helping businesses drive significant growth through the use of technology and data-driven decision-making. Shelby is also the recipient of several awards, including, the Risings Stars award given by Lexpert Magazine, and the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 award given by The Women’s Executive Network (WXN). Shelby’s previous company was also named one of Canada’s Hot 50 companies by Profit Magazine.

Jim Balsillie

Jim Balsillie’s career is unique in Canadian business. He is a former Chairman and co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), a Canadian technology company he scaled from an idea to $20 billion in sales globally.

He is a co-founder of the Institute for New Economic Thinking based in New York City, the Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) based in Toronto and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) based in Waterloo. He currently chairs the Board of Directors of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), CCI and CIGI.  He is also the founder of the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Arctic Research Foundation and founding co-chair of the CIO Strategy Council. He is a member of the Global Advisory Board of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Mr. Balsillie was the only Canadian ever appointed to US Business Council and the sole private sector representative on the UN Secretary General’s High Panel for Sustainability.  He is the only Canadian member of the US Council on Competitiveness and an internationally renowned voice on innovation strategy, competitiveness and international economic policy. He testified to the US Senate on America Innovates Act, a landmark legislation for management of intellectual property.

His awards include several honorary degrees, Canadian Business Hall of Fame, Mobile World Congress Lifetime Achievement Award, Time Magazine’s World’s 100 Most Influential People and three times Barron’s list of “World’s Top CEOs.”

Baya Benouniche

Baya Benouniche is a Partner in the Consulting practice at PwC Canada’s Montreal office. She leads PwC Canada’s Organizational design practice and PwC’s global Agile organizational design service offering. Specialized in organizational transformation, she has 19 years of experience in organizational design and implementation that require large-scale transformation roadmaps.

Baya received a Masters degree in Management from HEC Montreal. She is certified Scaled Agile Framework for Enterprise (SAFe).

Shereen Benzvy Miller

Shereen Benzvy Miller is the Deputy Chairperson of the Refugee Protection Division, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

A lawyer by training, Shereen joined the federal public service in the late 1990s when she was recruited by the Correctional Service of Canada for her experience as a human rights advocate. In 2008 she became the Director General responsible for the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises and Client Engagement at Public Works; where she was instrumental in the introduction of e-Strategy initiatives including the launch of She brought this experience with her to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, As the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Small Business, Tourism and Marketplace Services Sector, she founded the first Service Innovation Lab in the Government of Canada to help federal programs use design thinking to develop user-centric service delivery.

In May 2017, Shereen joined the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada as Deputy Chairperson of the Refugee Protection Division, taking on the challenge of leading the largest tribunal division of the IRB at a time when refugee determination is front and center in Canada’s priorities.

A mother of two, a champion for the rights of persons with disabilities and a dedicated mental health advocate, Shereen is the recipient of the WeConnect International Canada Champion of the Year for 2016 award.  In 2015, Shereen was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network, she received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal (2013), the Public Sector Leadership in Advanced Technology Award (2010) and the “Justice for Everyone” Breast Badge for her great personal contribution to the reform of the Latvian Prison System (2000).

Jocelyn Bérard

Jocelyn Bérard is National Practice Leader, Leadership Assessment and Development at Optimum Talent.

Jocelyn has extensive Canadian and international experience in the areas of human resources and business management in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia, in a variety of industries such as telecommunications, auto manufacturing, health care, government, retail, aerospace and banking.  His interventions focus on Talent Management, especially in the area of leadership assessment and development, performance management, succession management and selection best practices.

Fluently bilingual in French and English, Jocelyn holds undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Human Resources, a Masters degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and an Executive MBA.  Jocelyn’s book, titled “Accelerating Leadership Development”, was published by Wiley and focuses on leadership assessment, leadership development and succession management.

Mel Cappe

Mel Cappe is Professor in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. From 2006-2011 he was President of the Institute for Research on Public Policy. Prior to that for four years he was High Commissioner for Canada to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Before that he served as Clerk of the Privy Council, Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Public Service. Earlier in his career he held senior economic and policy positions in the Departments of Finance, and Industry. He was Deputy Secretary to the Treasury Board, Deputy Minister of the Environment, Deputy Minister of Human Resources Development, Deputy Minister of Labour and Chairman of the Employment Insurance Commission. He is a Commissioner on Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission. He is Chair of the Health Research

Foundation and Chair of the Board of Canadian Blood Services.

Mr. Cappe is a Mentor for the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation. He has graduate degrees in Economics from the Universities of Western Ontario and Toronto and honourary doctorates from both. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond and Golden Jubilee Medals.

Claire Citeau

Claire Citeau is the Executive Director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA). In her role, Claire advocates for trade liberalization and competitive market access for Canadian agriculture and agrifood exporters through bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements such as the TPP, the CETA, the CKFTA or the WTO. Claire has a background in international trade, policy and government relations.

Claire’s interest in international trade stems from having lived in Senegal, Western Africa and witnessed firsthand how global events have a tremendous impact on economies and agriculture sectors around the world.

Prior to joining CAFTA, Claire held positions with Alberta’s Ministries of Agriculture and International Affairs, RBC Dominion Securities and the Canadian Encyclopedia.

Claire holds a double MBA in international business as a graduate of the University of Alberta and the Montpellier Graduate School of Business in France. Claire is national sailing champion. She lived in Senegal and France before making Canada her home.

Catherine Clark

Named one of Ottawa’s Forty Under 40 by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Catherine Clark is a nationally respected broadcaster, emcee, writer and the President of Catherine Clark Communications Inc. Through her work in television, radio and print, Catherine has interviewed Canada’s most influential people, and is currently co-host of Before the Bell, a live journalism series featuring top decision makers discussing major issues of the day.

She has hosted and co-produced The Residences, a documentary series offering an unprecedented look behind the scenes at Rideau Hall and 24 Sussex Drive, and Inside Centre Block, a five-part series examining the history, art and architecture of Parliament’s Centre Block.

Catherine is the Giving Back columnist for Ottawa at Home Magazine, serves as a member of the Board of Directors of CARE Canada and the Ottawa Community Foundation, Secretary of the Board of Directors of CARE International in Kenya, Vice Chair of the Board of The Writers Trust of Canada, Honourary Chair of Queensway Carleton Hospital’s Women in Philanthropy campaign and co-chair of the organizing committee of the Politics and the Pen Gala.

The Right Honourable Joe Clark

The Right Honourable Joe Clark served as Canada’s youngest Prime Minister and as Secretary of State for External Affairs from 1984 to 1991, then becoming Minister of Constitutional Affairs. At home and abroad, he earned and maintains a reputation for integrity and principle. Joe Clark played a key role in some of the defining accomplishments of our recent history. He connects Canada’s past to our future, and speaks passionately of the potential of modern Canada to make a real difference in today’s complex and challenging world. Today, he applies that experience in promoting democracy and encouraging innovation and practical reforms in the developing world He is President and founder of Joe Clark and Associates, an international consulting firm based in Canada.

Dan Couture

On December 29, 2016, Mr. Dan Couture was appointed to the position of Assistant Commissioner and Chief Human Resources Officer, Human Resources Branch (HRB) at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Mr. Couture began his career in the federal public service in 1990 with the CRA. He spent the earlier part of his career in various operational positions in client services, revenue collections and field investigations. From 1997 to 2000, he was the Executive Assistant to the Commissioner. Mr. Couture has then held various executive positions in both Corporate and Program areas including the Public Affairs Branch, the former Assessment and Collections Branch, and the Human Resources Branch. He was appointed as Director General, Executive Personnel Programs Directorate, HRB in October 2006 and Director, Ottawa Technology Centre, Ontario Region, in November 2009. Since July 2013, Mr. Couture was the Deputy Assistant Commissioner for HRB.

Mr. Couture holds a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations from McGill University and is a graduate of the University of Ottawa, Public Service Leadership and Governance Certificate Program, the Management Trainee Program and the Living Leadership Program.

Mr. Couture was also the recipient of the 2016 APEX Leadership Award.

Alistair Croll

Alistair helps startups grow and shows big companies how to innovate. He also helps governments understand the impact of technology on society, ethics, and resiliency.

As an entrepreneur, Alistair co-founded Coradiant; the Year One Labs accelerator; and a variety of other startups. He has also launched and chaired some of the world’s leading conferences on emerging technology, including Startupfest, Strata, Cloud Connect, FWD50, Scaletech, Pandemonio, Bitnorth, and more.

Alistair is the author of four books on technology and entrepreneurship, including the best-selling Lean Analytics, which has been translated into nine languages and is in its fourteenth printing in China. He speaks internationally on topics such as data science, innovation, scaling startups, digital government, AI, and applying critical thinking to technology. A graduate of Dalhousie University, he has also been a visiting executive on data science and critical thinking at Harvard Business School.

Wendy Cukier

Dr. Wendy Cukier is a professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at the Ted Rogers School of Management. She is one of Canada’s leading experts in disruptive technologies, innovation processes and diversity and is coauthor of the bestseller “Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Java to Jurassic Park.” She leads Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute, which she founded in 1999 and has led projects aimed at promoting the participation and advancement of underrepresented groups. She is leading, in collaboration with Ryerson’s Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship and the Ted Rogers School of Management, the newly-announced Women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, which is funded by the Government of Canada and will create a diverse, nation-wide and committed network of key ecosystem stakeholders to create a more inclusive and supportive environment and grow women’s entrepreneurship in Canada. She also helped lead Ryerson’s bid to host the Future Skills Centre, with 150 supporting organizations, in partnership with Conference Board of Canada and Blueprint-ADE.

Wendy chairs the Board of Women’s College Hospital, and the Information and Communications Technology Council’s Diversity Committee, and serves on the board of several other organizations.  She is a recipient of the Governor General’s Meritorious Cross, one of Canada’s highest civilian honours. She was named one of the University of Toronto’s 100 Alumni Who Shaped the Century, was selected in 2013 as one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence and in 2010 was selected as one of 25 Transformational Canadians by The Globe and Mail, La Presse and CTV. She received the Black Business Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Diversity Award, the Canada Pakistan Business Council’s Female Professional of the Year, and most recently the 2019 Metropolis Research Award. She holds an MA, an MBA and a PhD, and honorary doctorates from Laval and Concordia.

Jennifer Ditchburn

Jennifer Ditchburn is the editor-in-chief of Policy Options, the award-winning online magazine of the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP).  A longtime journalist, she spent more than two decades covering national and parliamentary affairs for The Canadian Press and for CBC Television. She is a three-time winner of a National Newspaper Award, the recipient of the prestigious Charles Lynch Award for outstanding coverage of national issues, and most recently two Canadian Online Publishing silver awards for her columns.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University, and a Master of Journalism from Carleton University, where she is a fellow with the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management. She has been inducted into the Hall of Distinction at CEGEP John Abbott College. Jennifer is the co-editor with Graham Fox of the 2016 book The Harper Factor: Assessing a Prime Minister’s Policy Legacy (McGill-Queen’s University Press). Jennifer’s research on the history of the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery appeared in the 2016 book Sharp Wits & Busy Pens (Hill-Times Publishing).

Gabrielle Fayant

Gabrielle Fayant originates from Fishing Lake Métis Settlement in Alberta and identifies as a proud Michif woman. She currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario on the traditional territory of the Algonquin peoples. Gabrielle is the cofounder and co-CEO of a youth-led, youth driven non-profit organization called Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G).

Gabrielle is also part of a womens hand drum group called Ogimaakwewak Singers. Gabrielle has been learning and helping take care of songs for the last 10 years. Gabrielle is also the recipient of the 2015 Indspire Award for Youth – Métis.

Nicole Foster

Nicole Foster is Head of AWS Public Policy (Canada), where she leads public policy efforts in support of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) business in Canada, including the federal and provincial levels of government. In this role, she focuses on issues such as cloud computing, cyber security, data protection, government procurement and acquisition issues, and renewable energy policy.

Prior to joining Amazon in 2018, Nicole led the Toronto office for Global Public Affairs, providing senior public affairs counsel to clients. Before joining Global in 2004, Nicole worked for a number of years in political roles in Ottawa.

Nicole is currently the National Chair of Equal Voice, a multi-partisan group dedicated to raising the issue of women’s under-representation in Canadian legislatures and creating a climate in which more women will be elected.  She also currently serves on the steering committee for the GTA Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce. Nicole has a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Culture Studies with an extended minor in Political Science from Simon Fraser University.

Jonathan Fried

Mr. Fried is the Personal Representative of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the G20, and Coordinator for International Economic Relations at Global Affairs Canada, with a horizontal mandate to ensure coherent policy positions and government-wide strategic planning in international economic organizations and fora regarding e.g., Canada-Asia and other international trade and economic issues. He is Canada’s representative to APEC’s eminent persons “Vision Group” on the future of that forum.

Mr. Fried served as Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO from 2012-2017, where he played a key role in multilateral trade negotiations, including as Chair of the WTO’s General Council in 2014 and chair of the Dispute Settlement Body in 2013. He was the co-Chair of the G20’s Trade and Investment Working Group with China in 2015, and the “Friend of the Chair” for Germany in 2016. Formerly Canada’s Ambassador to Japan; Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean at the IMF; Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister; Senior Assistant Deputy Minister for the Department of Finance and Canada’s G7 and G20 Finance Deputy. Mr. Fried has also served as Associate Deputy Minister; Assistant Deputy Minister for Trade, Economic and Environmental Policy; Chief Negotiator on China’s WTO accession; Director General for Trade Policy; chief counsel for NAFTA; and Counsellor for Congressional Affairs at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC.

Mr. Fried is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on Trade and Investment, and of the Steering Committee of the e15 initiative on Strengthening the Global Trading System. He serves on Board of Directors of the Health Standards Organization (formerly Accreditation Canada), and the Advisory Boards of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, the World Trade Symposium, and the Central and East European Law Institute. Mr. Fried was named in 2015 as the inaugural recipient of the Public Sector Lawyer Award by the Canadian Council on International Law to honour his service and contribution to public international law.

Monica Gattinger

Monica Gattinger is Director of the Institute for Science, Society and Policy, Full Professor at the School of Political Studies and Chair of Positive Energy at the University of Ottawa. Professor Gattinger’s research and engagement focus on the energy and arts/cultural policy sectors, exploring how to strengthen governance, public policy and regulation in the context of fast-paced innovation, technological change and markets, fundamental social and value change, and lower public trust in government, industry, science and expertise.

Gattinger is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and serves on the International Advisory Board of the DC-based think tank the Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies, the Advisory Council of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, the Learning Council for Pollution Probe’s Energy Exchange, and the Editorial Boards of the University of Ottawa Press and the journal Canadian Public Administration. She holds a Ph.D. in public policy from Carleton University.

Edward Greenspon

Edward Greenspon is President and CEO of the Public Policy Forum, a 31-year-old think tank that partners with governments, the private sector, academia, unions, Indigenous groups and civil society on pressing policy issues. He wrote PPF’s landmark report on news, democracy and trust in the digital age, The Shattered Mirror, which was released just over a year ago.

Mr. Greenspon is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Globe and Mail, where he was also founding editor of and Ottawa Bureau Chief. He was senior editor for Bloomberg News, and was Vice President of Strategic Investments at Torstar Corp.

The author of two books and numerous articles, Mr. Greenspon was awarded the Hyman Solomon Prize for Public Policy Journalism and the Douglas Purvis Prize for economics writing. He is a graduate of Carleton University and the London School of Economics, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar.

Melissa Hathaway

Melissa Hathaway is a leading expert in cyberspace policy and cybersecurity. She served in two U.S. presidential administrations, spearheading the Cyberspace Policy Review for President Barack Obama and leading the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) for President George W. Bush.

As President of Hathaway Global Strategies LLC, she brings a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional perspective to strategic consulting and strategy formulation for public and private sector clients. Having served on the board of directors for three public companies and three non-profit organizations, and as a strategic advisor to a number of public and private companies, Melissa brings a unique combination of policy and technical expertise, as well as board room experience to help others better understand the intersection of government policy, developing technological and industry trends, and economic drivers that impact acquisition and business development strategy in this field.  She publishes regularly on cybersecurity matters affecting companies and countries. Most of her articles can be found here.

Roberta Jamieson

Roberta Jamieson is a Mohawk woman who has enjoyed a distinguished career of firsts. She was the first First Nation woman in Canada to earn a law degree; the first non-parliamentarian appointed an ex-officio member of a House of Commons Committee; the first woman Ombudsman of Ontario; and the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, where she continues to reside with her family. An accomplished expert in alternative dispute resolution, Roberta also served as Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario.

Under Roberta’s leadership, Indspire has flourished. Raising funds from government, corporate and private sectors, Indspire’s annual disbursements of bursaries and scholarships to support Indigenous students in post-secondary education have increased sevenfold. Since 2004, Indspire has provided over $100 million in financial support to 35,000 students and on average, 90% of students who have received funding have graduated from a post-secondary institution. Roberta is also the Executive Producer of the annual Indspire Achievement Awards.

Roberta, a long time advocate for greater diversity on corporate boards, is a former member of Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 Presidency and Hydro One’s Board of Directors.

She has earned numerous awards, including, most recently, YWCA’s President’s Award and Women’s Executive Network’s “Canada’s Most Powerful Women” Hall of Fame, as well as 26 honorary degrees. In 2015, Ms. Jamieson was recognized by the Public Policy Forum for the outstanding contributions she has made to the quality of public policy and good governance.

She is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Thupten Jinpa

Thupten Jinpa is a former Tibetan monk who holds the Geshe Lharam degree, as well as a B.A. in philosophy and a Ph.D. in religious studies, both from Cambridge University. Since 1985, he has been the principal English translator to H.H. the Dalai Lama and has translated and edited numerous books by the Dalai Lama, including the New York Times Bestsellers Ethics for the New Millennium and The Art of Happiness.

Jinpa’s own publications include works in Tibetan, English translations such as Mind Training: The Great Collection and books, including Self, Reality, and Reason in Tibetan Philosophy, Dispelling the Darkness: A Jesuit’s Quest for the Soul of Tibet (co-authored) and A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives.  Jinpa is the main author of CCT (Compassion Cultivation Training), an eight-week formal program developed at Stanford University. He is the founder and president of the Compassion Institute, the Chair of Mind and Life Institute, founder of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, and an adjunct professor at the School of Religious Studies at McGill University. Jinpa lives in Montreal and is married with two daughters.

Shachi Kurl

As Executive Director of the Angus Reid Institute, Shachi Kurl can be found offering analysis on CBC’s “At Issue,” Canada’s most-watched political panel, in the Wall Street Journal, the New York times, the Globe and Mail, and on the editorial pages of the Ottawa Citizen, among other places.

At the Institute—Canada’s non-profit foundation committed to independent research —she works with public opinion data to further public knowledge and enhance the national understanding of issues that matter to Canada and the world. She spent the first part of her career as political reporter and holds a degree in Journalism and Political Science from Carleton University.

Kurl is a recipient of the prestigious Jack Webster Award for Best TV Reporting. Along with former Australian and UK Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and Margaret Thatcher, she is an Alumnus of the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Her expertise has been sought by policymakers who have invited her to testify before parliamentary committees at the House of Commons.

Yazmine Laroche

Yazmine Laroche was appointed Deputy Minister, Public Service Accessibility on August 7, 2018.

She was previously the Associate Deputy Minister, Infrastructure and Communities.

She began her public service career at Transport Canada and has held progressive leadership responsibilities in areas such as public policy, program design and delivery, communications, strategic planning and corporate management.  She has served in a number of federal departments, including Communications, Canadian Heritage, the Canada Information Office, Privy Council Office and the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Ms. Laroche is the Deputy Minister Champion for Federal Employees with Disabilities. She is also the Deputy Minister Champion for her alma mater, Carleton University and is the past Chair of the Board of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Her Excellency Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque

Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque has been Britain’s High Commissioner to Canada since August 2017.

Her 30-year diplomatic career has taken her to three continents, and exposed her to issues from the EU, to nuclear non-proliferation, anti-narcotics work and the corporate challenge of the Foreign Service’s HR policies. She has lived through a coup in Venezuela, and the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote in her last post as Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the UN organisations in Vienna. A career highlight was taking part in the negotiations which led to the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran.

Susan speaks French, German and Spanish and is married to Stéphane a former journalist and teacher. They have two grown-up sons.

Julie Leese

Julie Leese, a federal public servant with a career spanning 33 years, is Transport Canada’s first Chief Digital Officer, leading the Digital Services and Transformation Office.

Julie has been with Transport Canada since May 2016 as their Chief Information Officer and has been leading the modernization and renewal of the department’s national IM/IT program and has facilitated the co-design of Transport Canada’s Digital Strategy in collaboration with her colleagues across the department.

Just this past January, Julie took on additional responsibilities in her new role as Chief Digital Officer, essentially bridging the Digital Strategy in with the department’s broader Transformation efforts.

In this context, Julie and her team are driving the adoption of design thinking practices to redefine how the department works, how it engages, and how it embeds ‘digital’ into its business and its services for its clients.  Working with her colleagues, Julie and her team are driving transformation in key areas such as online services delivery, mobilizing the inspectorate, building capacity in BI and advanced data analytics, experimenting with new and disruptive technologies, and ensuring that transportation data is open and accessible.

In addition to her work at Transport Canada, Julie is also an active member of the Government of Canada’s CIO community, the Canadian CIO Association of Canada, and has also established a Womens CIO Forum and other Women in Technology events to advance dialogue and action in promoting women in technology.

Michael Linklater

Michael Linklater has established himself as one of the Fiba 3×3 World’s top professional basketball players and is a Team Canada member. He is a proud Nehiyaw (Cree) descending from the Thunderchild First Nation, located in Treaty 6 Territory. He led the University of Saskatchewan Huskie men’s basketball team to its first and only CanWest Conference Championship and CIS National Championship in 2010. He is the founder of the International Campaign “Boys with Braids”.

He is a trained yoga instructor. He owns Prime Basketball Development which teaches players how to become champions on and off the court. He has won numerous awards, as an advocate for Indigenous youth and for his community involvement. To name a few; Indspire, 3×3 World Tour Most Spectacular Player, the Saskatchewan CBC future 40 under 40, the Chief of Police award for community service, and the Circle of Honour award. In the past eighteen years, Michael has delivered hundreds of keynotes addressed to tens of thousands of youth and adults across Canada and the USA. Most importantly, Michael is a proud father who understands the significance of his culture and passing it down to his children.

Rhonda V. Magee

Professor of Law, the University of San Francisco and internationally-recognized for integrating Mindfulness into Higher Education, Law and Social Justice. Trained as a mindfulness teacher through the Oasis Teacher Training Institute of the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. Teaches Mindfulness-Based Interventions awareness and compassion practices. Former President of the Board of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Professor Magee and a Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute. Member of the Board of Advisors of the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.

Professor of Law for twenty-one years and experienced in interpersonal dynamics-informed small group facilitation, including Stanford University’s Interpersonal Dynamics Facilitator Program and the Gregory Kramer’s Insight Dialogue.

Author of numerous articles and book chapters on mindfulness in legal education and teaching about race using mindfulness, Educating Lawyers to Meditate, Resources for Teaching Mindfulness: An International Handbook, Community Engaged Mindfulness and Social Justice: An Inquiry and Call to Action and the Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement. Presently writing her  first book, The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming our Communities Through Mindfulness.

Deputy Grand Council Chief James R. Marsden

Was elected as Councillor of Alderville First Nation in 1995 and served for 8 consecutive years. Elected Chief in 2003 and retired in 2018 after serving 15 consecutive years. During the 15 years as Chief of Alderville First Nation, he also served as a part-time Deputy Chief for the Southeast Region of the Anishinabek Nation. This policy changed in 2018 and the Deputy positions in the 4 regions turned into fulltime positions to take some of the load off the Grand Council Chief.

As Chief of Alderville First Nation, the community was successful in securing and building a 5.7 mw Solar Farm, the first owned by a First Nation in Canada. This project has a 20-year agreement with the Province of Ontario to produce solar generated power and sell back to the province. The project will still be turning out at least 90% of the projected 5.7mw after the 20 years which can be sold back to the province or Alderville can produce its own for the community and surrounding area.

Besides the Alderville Solar farm project was instrumental in securing a grant to do a feasibility study on Internet Service owned by the community. The tower was installed with the internet and licence components and the community was business selling this service locally with a vision of installing more towers to expand this service.

DCC Marsden is also happily married for 46 years to Jane and have 4 grandkids by their 2 daughters Carey and Melanie, both Carey and Melanies families all live in the community of Alderville First Nation. DCC Marsden is also an active musician and has been playing the Doghouse in a bluegrass band call The SweetGrass Band, which received the 2014 Most Promising Group by the Central Canadian Bluegrass Awards. Playing music gives James and his family a well-deserved balance in life during the jamboree season as many times Jane and the family will take part camping at these various sites.

Gordon McBean

Professor Emeritus since 2015, Gordon McBean PhD, is in the Department of Geography, Western University and Chair in Policy, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. He came to Western in 2000 as a Professor of Geography and Political Science.  He has been very involved with international science and was President, International Council for Science (2014-18), Co-Chair, Future Earth Program Governing Council (2016-18) and Chair, Science Committees for Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (2006-11) and the World Climate Research Programme (1988-94).  From 1994 to 2000, he was the Assistant Deputy Minister, Environment Canada, responsible for weather, climate and air quality sciences and services, including advising Ministers for Kyoto Protocol and related issues.

Previously, he was Professor, Atmospheric-Oceanic Sciences, University of British Columbia (1988-94); and Senior Scientist in Environment Canada.  He is a: Member, Orders of Canada and Ontario; Fellow: Royal Society of Canada, American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union and Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society”.  He was awarded: 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, for his contributions to the IPCC; 2015 University of British Columbia Alumni Award of Distinction; 2015 American Geophysical Union Ambassador Award; and 2015 American Meteorological Society Cleveland Abbe Prize; and the 2017 International Meteorological Organization Prize.

Colin McKay

Colin is responsible for setting strategy and implementing advocacy campaigns for Google in Canada on issues related to innovation, internet regulation, data protection and trade policy, among many others.

He previously worked on privacy, innovation, transportation and immigration policy with the Government of Canada, including head of communications at Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

He is Vice Chair of the Board of MediaSmarts, the national digital literacy organization, and is on the Executive Committee of the Board at the Information Technology Association of Canada, as well as the board of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian American Business Council.

Ry Moran

As the first Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), it is Ry Moran’s job to guide the development, growth and reach of the NCTR. Ry came to the centre directly from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) where he served as the Director of Statement Gathering and the National Research Centre. On the TRC’s behalf, he facilitated the gathering of nearly 7,000 video/audio-recorded statements of former Residential School Students and others affected by the Residential School system. He was also responsible for gathering the documentary history of the Residential School system from more than 20 government departments and nearly 100 church archives – millions of records in all. Ry’s professional skills have earned him many awards, including a Governor General’s Meritorious Service Cross and a National Aboriginal Role Model Award. Prior to the TRC, Ry was active in many areas including indigenous language preservation and the arts. Ry is a proud member of the Red River Metis.

Joyce Napier

Joyce Napier is Ottawa Bureau Chief for CTV National News.

Born in Montréal and fluent in English, French, Spanish, and Italian, Napier spent her childhood in Rome before returning to Québec to study journalism at Concordia University.

She began her career as a print journalist, working as a Montréal correspondent for The Globe and Mail and The Canadian Press before becoming a reporter for La Presse.

She joined CBC as a television reporter in Montréal in 1989 when she reported on the massacre at l’École Polytechnique in Montréal, beginning her near 30-year career in broadcast journalism.

Napier first joined Radio-Canada in 1992, reporting on the 1995 Québec referendum before being named Radio-Canada’s Middle East Correspondent in 1998. While in the Middle East, Napier covered the second Intifada, the Israeli pullout from south Lebanon, and the death of Syrian President Hafez Al Assad.

In 2003, Napier moved to the U.S. and was subsequently named Washington Bureau Chief for Radio-Canada, a position she held until 2014. During that time, Napier covered the U.S. Military base in Guantanamo Bay, the consequences of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and the Newtown massacre. In 2008, Napier stood across from the stage in Chicago’s Grant Park, reporting live as Barack Obama accepted the presidency of the U.S., a highlight during her post.

In what was to be her most memorable career moment, Napier reported from Rome on the death of Pope Jean-Paul II in 2005. Also that year, she landed the only media interview of Karla Homolka, who had just been released from prison.

In August, 2015, Napier returned to Canada after 17 years abroad, becoming Radio-Canada’s Senior Political Correspondent for the network’s parliamentary bureau.

Tom Nichols

Tom Nichols is a professor at the Naval War College with deep expertise on Russia and the role that warfare plays in international affairs. With his new book, however, he looks at expertise itself. In The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters, he argues that too many of people have embraced the idea that experts should have no more standing in government or society than they themselves do. He makes the case that experts do matter and that this kind of false egalitarianism is dangerous. The Death of Expertise has been published in eleven foreign editions of the book: Chinese (complex and simple), Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Russian, Ukrainian, Finnish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian.

Tom Nichols is a professor at the Naval War College and at the Harvard Extension School, as well as a Senior Associate of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York City and a Fellow of the International History Institute at Boston University. He is also a USA Today Board of Contributors. Previously he was a Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, and served on Senator John Heinz’s defense and security affairs staff. Tom is also a five-time undefeated Jeopardy! champion who played in both the 1994 Tournament of Champions and the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions.

Sukhvinder S. Obhi

Dr. Sukhvinder Obhi is an award-winning Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior and Director of the Neurosociety Lab and the Social Brain, Body and Action Lab at McMaster University in Canada. Dr. Obhi earned his PhD from University College London in the UK and was a visiting graduate fellow at Harvard Medical School. His research is well supported by multiple federal grants, and he has a strong history of industry research collaboration.

He is internationally renowned for his work on the psychology and neuroscience of power, non-verbal communication and social interaction. His work has been covered by media outlets such as the Atlantic, CNN, the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, NPR, TVOs the Agenda, and Canada’s Globe & Mail, to name a few. Academic contributions include over 70 articles, three books and membership on multiple editorial boards for psychology and neuroscience journals.

Dr. Obhi is a sought-after speaker at leadership and diversity and inclusion events around the world, and he consults and speaks for numerous Fortune companies across the financial services, technology, pharmaceutical, healthcare and automotive sectors, as well as for Canadian federal government ministries. Finally, Dr. Obhi serves as an Academic Advisor to the Korn Ferry Institute on topics relating to power and leadership, diversity and inclusion, and human social behaviour in organizations.

Candy Palmater

Candy is a recovered lawyer turned feminist comic. She is an, actor, writer, columnist, international speaker, activist, comedian and multiple award-winning TV and radio personality, and has executive produced three films on Mi’kmaw culture.

Candy is the creator and star of her own national, multiple award-winning TV series, The Candy Show (APTN).  She has a role on the Trailer Park Boys S10 (NETFLIX), appeared in Call Me Fitz (HBO Canada) and Sex and Violence (OutTV), and received a Screen Nova Scotia nomination for her role on Forgive Me (Superchannel). She’s a Broadcaster with CBC Radio One where Candy has hosted: The Candy Palmater Show, Q, DNTO and appears on Because News and The Next Chapter. You can hear Candy’s voice as the Narrator of CBC TV series True North Calling and was a Panelist on Canada Reads 2017.

Candy has written and hosted many broadcasts including Ab Day Live, the Indspire Awards, and the imagineNATIVE Film Fest Awards Show. She was valedictorian of her class at Dalhousie Law School and went on to practice Labour and Aboriginal law in a large corporate firm until show biz came knocking.

Before pursuing entertainment full time, Candy directed First Nations education for the Nova Scotia Department of Education for a decade.  She is currently working on a Master of Education at St. Francis Xavier University and has taught in the Transition Year program at Dalhousie University.

Candy spends most of her time in airports and airplanes as she travels the globe speaking to audiences, large and small, about the power of love, kindness and self-acceptance.  Candy believes we are more alike than different and that you can NEVER have too much Candy.

Candy has just signed a deal with Harper Collins. They will be publishing her first book in the spring of 2020.

Candy is currently taping Season One of her Podcast, Sweet Talk with Candy Palmater, that will be available on iTunes and on website by spring 2019.  Be sure to subscribe to the website to not miss out on the first episode.

Jaqui Parchment

Jaqui Parchment is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mercer Canada, where she leads 1,000 employees from coast to coast. Jaqui’s goal is to empower Mercer’s diverse workforce to provide industry-leading service and innovative solutions to clients across the Health, Wealth and Career businesses.

Before becoming CEO, Jaqui led more than 500 employees as Mercer’s Toronto Office Leader for nearly two years, also acting as a Senior Consultant within Mercer Canada’s Wealth business. Jaqui has more than 30 years of experience in the retirement savings and investment areas.

Jaqui actively supports several non-profit organizations that assist youth and newcomers to Canada. She is a passionate advocate for diversity and is a frequent speaker on issues relating to Women and Finance as well as Women in the Workplace. She also sits on a number of investment committees relating to pension and endowment assets.

Alina Polonskaia

Alina Polonskaia is a Global Leader of Diversity & Inclusion Solutions at Korn Ferry. Ms. Polonskaia specializes in diversity & inclusion, organizational design and large-scale organizational transformation.

As part of her role she helps clients synchronize strategy and talent to drive superior performance. She works as a trusted advisor by leading organizations in a variety of geographies and industries to help them build data-driven diversity and inclusion strategies and design work in a way that enables structural and behavioural inclusion.

Prior to Korn Ferry, Alina was a Global Leader of Mercer’s Diversity and Inclusion Executive Peer Client Networks where she engaged senior HR and Diversity & Inclusion executives from Fortune 500 companies in dialogue and collective problem solving on critical issues around Diversity & Inclusion and Talent Risk Management.

Prior to Mercer, Alina was part of the Organizational Transformation practice at Oliver Wyman, a leading management consulting firm and a sister company of Mercer.

Ms. Polonskaia holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Irkutsk State University, Russia.

Alina is fluent in Russian, English and speaks basic Portuguese. She resides in Toronto, Canada with her husband and two children.

The Honourable Bob Rae

Bob Rae is Senior Counsel at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, a law firm that focuses on indigenous issues, and also teaches at the University of Toronto as a Professor of Public Policy in the Munk School, the Faculty of Law and Victoria College. Elected eleven times to the House of Commons and the legislature of Ontario, he served as Ontario’s 21st Premier as well as Interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Mr. Rae is the author of 5 books and three government reports, most recently on the Rohingya Refugee crisis, where he has served as Special Envoy for the government of Canada. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario, a Privy Councillor and a Queen’s Counsel. He is a Senior Fellow of Massey College and of the Forum of Federations, an international NGO which he co-founded in 1998. He received a Lifetime Parliamentary Achievement Award in 2018 and has received many other honours in Canada and internationally. Mr. Rae lives in Toronto with his wife Arlene Perly Rae. They have three children and five grandchildren.

Her Excellency Kareen Rispal

Minister Plenipotentiary First Class Kareen Rispal was named Ambassador of France in Ottawa by decree of the President of the Republic on April 20, 2017. She assumed her duties on June 22, 2017.

Holding a master’s degree in Law and an alumnus of the Institut d’études politiques and the École nationale d’administration, she joined the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1986. She began her service in Paris with the department responsible for atomic and space-related affairs before moving to the Economic and Financial Affairs Directorate. International and European Affairs Counselor with the Minister for Industry and Regional Development, she then joined in 1991 the staff of Bernard Kouchner, the Secretary of State responsible for humanitarian aid, as his technical advisor.

From 1993 to 1997, she was head of the External and Commercial Relations Department of the Secretariat-General of the Interministerial Committee for European Economic Cooperation before becoming the European Affairs Policy Officer at the Centre d’analyse et de prevision (CAP).

As Deputy Director of European Community Law and International Economic Law at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Legal Affairs Directorate from 1997 to 2000, she was then named First Counsellor at the Embassy of France in London.

In 2002, Noëlle Lenoir, Minister Delegate for European Affairs, chose Ms. Rispal to lead her staff. Ms. Rispal was then named Deputy Director of European Cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She moved to New York in 2006, first as First Counsellor at France’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, then as Cultural Counsellor of the French Embassy and Permanent Representative of French universities in the United States.

Upon her return to France, from 2011 to 2014 she served as Director of Sustainable Development and Public Affairs with the Lafarge Group.

Serving as Director for the Americas and the Caribbean from 2014 to June 2017, Ms. Rispal is also the Senior Officer for Gender Equality with the Ministry of Affairs of Foreign Affairs and sits on the High Council for Equality between Men and Women.

As an Officer of the National Order of Merit, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and Chevalier of the Order of Agricultural Merit, Ms. Rispal presented her credentials to His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, on June 22, 2017. Ms. Rispal is married and has four children.

Laurie Sargent

Laurie Sargent is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio. A 1998 graduate of the McGill University Faculty of Law, Laurie was called to the bar in 2001. Laurie joined the Department of Justice in 2002 and has worked on a wide range of domestic and international human rights law and policy files. Laurie has also participated in workplace initiatives in support of departmental and government priorities, notably as past co-chair of the Advisory Committee on Persons with Disabilities. Prior to joining the Department, Laurie clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada. She also worked in Bolivia and Guatemala to advance the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples in those countries.

Laurie leads the Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio team working closely with others across Justice to provide integrated legal and policy advice during this time of transformational change toward a renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.

Aaron Shull

As managing director and general counsel at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Aaron Shull acts as a strategic liaison between research programs and other departments while managing legal affairs and advising senior management on a range of legal, operational and policy matters. A member of CIGI’s executive team, Aaron provides guidance and advice on matters of strategic and operational importance, while working closely with partners and other institutions to further CIGI’s mission.

Prior to joining CIGI, Aaron practised law for a number of organizations, focusing on international, regulatory and environmental law. He has taught courses at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, and the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and was previously a staff editor for the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. He received his LL.M. from Columbia Law School.

Don Stephenson

Don began his Public Service career in 1979, working for ten years in cultural policy at the Department of Communications. He moved into economic policy, at Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Industry Canada and Western Economic Diversification, before returning to cultural policy, as Director General, Cultural Industries, Heritage Canada, where he led the negotiations with the US on the WTO split-run magazine dispute. He was appointed Director General, Trade Policy at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and served for two year as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Economic and Regional Development Policy, Privy Council Office. In 2004, he was appointed Ambassador to the World Trade Organization, serving as Chair of the Goods negotiations in the Doha Round until 2008. Don returned to become Assistant Deputy Minister, Trade Policy and Negotiations, until his retirement in 2011 and continues to serve as Chief Negotiator for the Canada-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Don lectures frequently on trade policy, trade negotiations and public policy development. He is married to Jocelyne Béland, has two children and [two] grandchildren.

Alyson Surveyer

As Hub Manager in Montreal at Future Earth, Alyson Surveyer oversees the development of initiatives that are rooted in Canada and elevated at global scale by Future Earth. On the global scale, her work is focused on governance of Future Earth and on the overall coordination of Future Earth’s work within the Secretariat.

Alyson Surveyer holds a Bachelor’s degree with honours and Master’s degree in chemical engineering from École Polytechnique de Montréal. Her Master’s was completed at the International Reference Center for Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services (CIRAIG), in collaboration with Rolls-Royce Canada. Her thesis

investigated alternative fuels for gas turbines in a 2020 global electricity generation perspective. Following her Master’s degree, she worked as a consultant in sustainable development for clients in the private and public sectors. Before joining Future Earth, she was Coordinator of the Inter-university Research Center in High Performance Polymers and Composites, where she worked to heighten industry-university collaborations and increase the reach and visibility of its members. Concurrently to her work at Future Earth, Alyson was also course lecturer at HEC Montréal in sustainability and operations management.

Scheherzade van Aarle

Scheherzade is a mindfulness, compassion and meditation teacher, coach, speaker and activist. She educates and speaks on the connection between mindfulness, compassion, leadership and world peace. Her formal trainings include trained teacher in Mindful Self-Compassion (University of California) and Ottawa’s only teacher of the Google-born neuroscience-based Search Inside Yourself Leadership program. Her signature “Modern Mindfulness Bootcamp” is designed to make meditation accessible and even fun for all. She was a speaker at “The Kindness of Strangers” event for Refugee613 (National Arts Centre, 2018), she hosted “A Mindful Woman” in support of the Women’s March Ottawa (2019) and she guided meditation at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s “Crush It” event (2019). With the support of a dedicated team Innerspace also hosts the historic annual “Big Sit” mass mindfulness meditation on Parliament Hill marking the United Nations’ International Day of Peace – September 21st. Over 1000 people meditated on the Hill at the 2017 inaugural “sit” and it was even featured on the front page of the Globe and Mail.

Scheherzade, also a trained Economist, served in the public service (including in an Assistant Deputy Minister’s office) for over two decades across many departments. Having herself experienced numerous concussions and serious disease, she can testify to the power of mindfulness and compassion in rebounding from life’s inevitable setbacks. For her mindfulness and compassion practise is about tapping into what is already there to live your best life right now.

Jeff Warren

Jeff Warren is a meditation instructor and journalist, celebrated for his dynamic and accessible style of teaching. He is co-author of The New York Times bestselling Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, author of The Head Trip, and founder of The Consciousness Explorers Club, a non-profit meditation adventure group based in Toronto. Jeff has taught meditation to police officers, social workers, Google executives, among many others. His passion is democratizing meditation and other mental health practices for a world that need them.

Wayne Wouters

The Honourable Wayne G. Wouters is a Strategic and Policy Advisor with McCarthy Tétrault LLP.  Before joining the private sector, Mr. Wouters was the Clerk of the Privy Council, Secretary to the Cabinet, and Head of the Public Service.  Appointed by Prime Minister Harper, Mr. Wouters served from July 1, 2009 until October 3, 2014, at which time he retired from the Public Service of Canada.

From 1997 to 2004, Mr. Wouters served as the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Labour Canada.

From December 2004 to June 30, 2009, Mr. Wouters was Secretary of the Treasury Board.

In 2012, Mr. Wouters received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Saskatchewan and in 2016 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Manitoba.  In 2014, Mr. Wouters was inducted as a Member of the Privy Council by the Prime Minister.  Mr. Wouters was recently made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Mr. Wouters has been a committed and longstanding volunteer, chairing the Government of Canada Charitable Workplace Campaign in 2004 and the City of Ottawa United Way Campaign in 2007.  In 2013, Mr. Wouters received the André Mailhot Award for lifetime achievement, United Way Canada’s highest distinction.  He currently sits on the United Way Worldwide Board of Trustees.

Elizabeth Zarpa

Elizabeth Zarpa is Inuk and she was born and raised in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. She is currently a Master of Laws candidate at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie, where she is writing her thesis on Inuit legal orders and chapter 17 of the Labrador Inuit Settlement Agreement. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Victoria and a bachelor’s degree from Dalhousie University. Much of her legal experience has been focused on advancing the rights of Indigenous people, with a specific focus on Inuit. She is passionate about education, Inuit rights and experiencing the lifestyles of the 21st century world as an Inuk woman.