DM Co-Chair of 2018 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.
DM Co-Chair of 2018 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.
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet
Michael Wernick became Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet on January 22, 2016. Mr. Wernick joined the federal public service in 1981. Since then he has worked in various departments and agencies, including the Department of Finance Canada, Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada, and the Privy Council Office.
He has held several senior leadership roles, including:
- Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet
- Senior Advisor, Privy Council Office
- Deputy Minister, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
- Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Plans and Consultations, Privy Council Office
- Assistant Deputy Minister and Associate Deputy Minister, Canadian Heritage
Mr. Wernick holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Economics from the University of Toronto. He is Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors of Carleton University. In 2012, Mr. Wernick received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Pam August is the Director Culture Activation at WestJet. She leads the organization’s culture roadmap to ensure that WestJet’s renowned culture continues to develop with strong vision and intention; by design not default. A passionate lifelong learner, Pam is completing her Masters of Arts – Leadership at Royal Roads University and is a yoga teacher and mindfulness practitioner. She has brought the practice of mindfulness to WestJet partnering with MindWell U and the 30-day Mindfulness Challenge. The initial launch of the program had significant positive impact and Pam is now leading integration of it into a number of development opportunities with the goal of supporting individual, team and organizational resilience. In her spare time she lives in the hockey rink cheering on her two boys.
With a career spanning five geographic regions, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia is a multilingual, award-winning entrepreneur, innovator and TEDx speaker with over 20 years of global experience within the ICT sector. Following senior executive roles at the headquarters of prominent multinational high-tech corporations, SMEs, and startups, Ulrike is now the President and CEO of Digital Nova Scotia (DNS). Ulrike has led DNS, the industry association for Nova Scotia’s digital technology sector to new heights, resulting in unprecedented growth, sustainability and increased regional and national visibility.
In recognition of her leadership with DNS and for her lifelong advocacy for equity, diversity, and inclusion, Ulrike has received numerous national awards and has been regularly featured as an inspiring role model for youth, women, and immigrants in STEAM. Married with a son and daughter, Ulrike moved from Israel to Nova Scotia in 2002. For Ulrike’s full biography and to learn more, please visit: https://www.digitalnovascotia.com/ulrike-bahr-gedalia
Dominic Barton is the Global Managing Partner of McKinsey. In his 31 years with the firm, Dominic has advised clients in a range of industries including banking, consumer goods, high tech and industrials. Prior to his current role, Dominic was McKinsey’s Asia Chairman from 2004 to 2009 and led the Korea office from 2000 to 2004.
He is the Chair of the Seoul International Business Advisory Council, the Chair of the Canadian Minister of Finance’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth, a Trustee of the Brookings Institution, a Rhodes Trustee and an adjunct professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing.
Marie-José Beaudin graduated from Bishop’s University with a BBA in Finance. She began her career on the trading desk of Wood Gundy Toronto ultimately spending 14 years in money markets, bonds and foreign exchanges, 9 of which as Vice-President and Executive Director of Derivative and Structured Products with CIBC World Markets in Toronto, New York and Montreal. She pursued her career in corporate strategy specifically in the middle and senior management recruiting field for seven years. Given her sound business experience, strong listening skills, and dynamic and enthusiastic approach, Marie-José clearly understands issues and quickly fosters solid relationships with her clients and stakeholders and as such was recruited to join joined McGill University’s Desautel Faculty of Management in 2007 where she is currently the Executive Director of their Soutar Career Services Centre. Under her leadership, the Career Centre, that serves over 2,600 BCom and 200 Masters students has strategically grown its staff, created more opportunities for students to connect with employers and alumni, implemented initiatives that foster effective career exploration and planning, innovative skill-development, and rigorous recruiting preparation.
Sema is a dynamic, fluently bilingual Diversity & Inclusion Expert armed with over 15 years of experience serving a variety of clients in both the public and private sectors. Born and raised in Quebec, Sema has always had a keen interest in diversity and cross-cultural management and has witnessed firsthand the changing face of our population. In 2010, she founded Burney Consulting with the goal of offering consulting services to Quebec and Canadian organizations seeking to leverage a diverse workforce and create an inclusive environment. As a Chartered Professional Accountant and a holder of a Masters in Business Administration from McGill University, Sema is a trusted advisor to her clients with a keen business sense and a solid understanding of the bottom line. She has worked across several industries and sectors ranging from education and government to financial services and retail. Her experience spans employment equity reporting, strategy development and inclusive leadership. As an experienced corporate trainer, she has facilitated workshops on a variety of topics including Unconscious Bias, Cultural Competence and Gender in the Workplace in both English and French. Throughout her career, Sema has been renowned for her positive attitude, her energy and her authentic approach. As a trainer, facilitator and an inspiring speaker, she is passionate about pushing participants outside of their comfort zone where true change can occur.
Mel Cappe O.C.
Mel Cappe is Professor in the School of Public Policy and Governance, 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. 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.
Brien Convery is an accomplished, results-driven executive professional with 28 years of diversified and progressive experience spanning a wide range of industries and disciplines both in the private and public sectors across the globe. As Director, Early Talent Acquisition, Attraction and Engagement, at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Brien leads the Canada campus recruitment teams to attract, engage, recruit and mentor top student talent into Capital Markets, Corporate Functions, Insurance, Wealth Management and Personal and Commercial Banking at one the world’s leading financial institutions.
As a champion for diversity and inclusion, Brien holds the title of Vice-Chair Recruitment and Mentorship for the RBC PRIDE Employee Resource Group focusing on the LGBTQ+ employees and community at-large. He promotes the importance of being one’s authentic self and encourages the importance of being active and involved in diversity groups as a means for personal and professional growth for all recruits.
Alistair helps early-stage companies improve their go-to-market strategies, and works with some of the world’s largest firms on business model innovation. 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 (Montreal), Strata, Cloud Connect, FWD50 (Ottawa), and Pandemon.io. Alistair is the author of four books on technology and entrepreneurship, including the best-selling Lean Analytics, which has been translated into eight languages and is in its tenth 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 is a visiting executive at Harvard Business School, where he teaches data science and critical thinking.
Rich is the CEO of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, a non-profit organization developed at Google that now offers Google’s mindfulness and emotional intelligence curriculum to communities and organizations around the world. Rich was previously the director of executive education and people development at Google, where he was also one of the first SIY teachers.
Rich also co-founded Wisdom Labs, an organization that brings the science of mindfulness, resilience and thriving into organizations.
Previously Rich served as the head of learning and organization development at eBay. Rich also has a decade of experience working as a learning and leadership development executive in the financial services sector, at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and at Bank of America.
Rich was trained as a psychologist and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Rich is also an author and frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, a neuroscience enthusiast and a long-time trained and certified mindfulness practitioner and teacher. Rich currently lives with his family in San Francisco, California.
Graham Fox is President and CEO of the Institute for Research on Public Policy. A policy entrepreneur, Graham’s research interests include parliamentary reform, democratic renewal, citizen engagement and federalism. Prior to joining the IRPP in 2011, he spent over a decade working in Canadian federal politics, as a senior advisor to political leaders and a government relations practitioner. He holds an undergraduate degree in history from Queen’s University, where he was a Loran scholar, and a master’s degree in political science from the London School of Economics. A frequent media analyst, Graham has appeared regularly on CBC News Network, Radio-Canada, CTV NewsNet, TFO and CFRA. His columns and articles have appeared in The Hill Times, the Globe and Mail, the National Post and Policy Options. He is co-editor, with Jennifer Ditchburn, of The Harper Factor (2016), an analysis of the policy impact of Canada’s 22nd prime minister.
JF Gagné is a veteran Artificial Intelligence (AI) entrepreneur and CEO of Element AI, a startup he co-founded with Yoshua Bengio, one of the three fathers of Deep Learning. Born out of an AI research lab connected to the world’s top academic institutions, Element AI develops transformative AI business applications for large corporations. With a global ecosystem that spans North America, Europe, and Asia, Element AI has unparalleled access to two of the scarcest talent pools: world-class entrepreneurs and artificial intelligence experts. JF is an outspoken advocate of AI for Good and is actively involved in guiding AI’s impact on business, people, and society.
As the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Leader at PwC Canada, Mona Ghiami is responsible for developing the overarching D&I strategy for the firm along with national programming and oversees the implementation of related market and people initiatives. Mona is also the senior advisor to the Chief Executive Officer/Chief Inclusion Officer and the Human Capital Leader on all D&I related matters. Prior to her current role, Mona was the Director of Career Information of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (CPAO), where she managed all aspects of branding, marketing and communication strategies for high school and university students in Ontario. Mona graduated with honours with a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia and first joined PwC in 2000, where she qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Mona’s commitment to diversity and inclusion extends to her personal life. She is the former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Ontario. Mona lives in Toronto with her husband and twin girls and is passionate about health and wellness.
Katie Gibbs is a scientist, organizer and advocate for science and evidence-based policies. While completing her Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa in Biology, she was one of the lead organizers of the ‘Death of Evidence’—one of the largest science rallies in Canadian history. Katie co-founded Evidence for Democracy, Canada’s leading, national, non-partisan, and not-for-profit organization promoting science and the transparent use of evidence in government decision making. Her ongoing success in advocating for the restoration of public science in Canada has made Katie a go-to resource for national and international media outlets including Science, The Guardian and the Globe and Mail. Katie has also been involved in international efforts to increase evidence-based decision-making and advises science integrity movements in other counties.
Tony Greco is a motivational speaker, celebrity trainer, radio host, life coach and founder of Greco Fitness Studios. He is Canada’s Leading Fitness Specialist and the Founder of Greco Fitness (www.grecofitness.com). In 1995, Tony won the IAKSA World Kick Boxing Championship title. In 2016, Greco Fitness merged his successful business model with the well-established New-York based Integrity Square, an early stage growth investor in the Health, Active Lifestyle & Outdoors (“HALO”) sector. Tony is frequently sought out by NHL hockey players. He has trained Claude Giroux (the Philadelphia Flyers), Dan Boyle (New York Rangers) and Mike Fisher (Nashville Predators). Tony has also created personal training programs for country star Carrie Underwood and former Supermodel Carol Alt. He is a top graduate from the Sports Performance Institute, whose certification exceeded the guidelines established by the National Fitness Leaders Advisory Council in personal training, strength training and aerobics instruction. His motto is: know who you are and what you want. That has always guided him through his business career, relationships, financial decisions and health choices.
Chadi Habib is Executive Vice President at Desjardins Group and serves on the boards of Zag Bank and Monetico International.
Consisting of nearly 4000 technology professionals, his organization is accountable for all technology solutions and operations to the banking and insurance sectors of the group. He is also responsible for the operations of the Desjardins Digital unit. This unit works with the business to accelerate the digitization of several customer facing services and support the group’s digital roadmap.
Prior to coming to Desjardins in 2011, he was the CIO and VP Shared Services for Rio Tinto Engineered Products in Paris, France. He completed a 5 year mandate to federate and optimize IT operations for the group as well as design and put in place finance and HR shared service capabilities. Before Rio Tinto, Chadi held several executive positions in Canada, US and Europe at SAP and EDS.
Chadi Habib has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business. He also is a member of the Quebec advisory board on the government’s Digital strategy which feeds the Government’s reflections on digital.
Martha Hall Findlay
Martha Hall Findlay joined the Canada West Foundation as President and CEO on September 1, 2016. Martha is a thought leader whose insight on issues such as pipelines, international trade, foreign investment and foreign affairs, energy and the environment, and supply management have framed the debate for decision-makers and everyday Canadians. Her career has been diverse, spanning law, technology, politics and public policy. Previously, Martha was the Chief Legal Officer of EnStream, a Rogers/Bell/TELUS mobile payments joint venture. As a lawyer, senior business executive and successful entrepreneur, Martha has more than 25 years of domestic and international experience with major multinationals as well as startups, primarily in telecommunications and technology.
As an Executive Fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, Martha focused on Canadian economic, social and environmental prosperity in a global context. She was a member of Parliament from 2008 to 2011, and served as a member of the House of Commons Standing Committees for Finance; Transport; Government Operations and International Trade.
Stephen Harrington is our National Leader for Talent Strategy in Deloitte’s Human Capital team. He is also the author of the recent paper on the topic of the Future of Work, The Intelligence Revolution: Future Proofing Canada’s Workforce. As part of this study, his second major paper on the subject, Stephen and his team conducted a year of research which included conversations with over 50 leading thinkers. Stephen’s client work has focused on building talent strategies that deliver not only improved employee engagement but also business benefits in the form of improved productivity and bottom line savings. Deploying talent strategies, he has worked in the fields of attraction and retention / employee value proposition, compensation, succession management, competency modeling, and leadership development.
Ted Hewitt was appointed president of SSHRC in March 2015. Prior to his appointment, he was SSHRC’s executive vice-president and chief operating officer. From 2004 to 2011, Ted was vice-president, research and international relations, at London, Ontario’s Western University, where he had been a professor of sociology since 1989. He was also a public policy scholar at the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. A leading authority on Brazil, Ted has published in monographs, edited works and a range of academic journals. In 2002, Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations named him a commander of the Order of Rio Branco. Ted’s recent research has focused on national and international innovation systems, with emphasis on the roles of universities, industry and government in promoting economic prosperity in the 21st century. He is the inaugural chair of the new Canada Research Coordinating Committee. He is also Canadian co-chair of the Canada-Brazil Joint Committee for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation, and a member of the board of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce. Ted holds a PhD in sociology from McMaster University.
Glen Hodgson, economist and author, has 36 years of experience in global and Canadian macro-economics, international trade and finance, fiscal and tax policy, and other “big picture” topics. Glen’s career has spanned The Conference Board of Canada, Export Development Canada (EDC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C., and the federal Department of Finance. He has travelled the world and Canada as an economic analyst, financial negotiator, and advisor to governments, businesses and international organizations. Topics of expertise include: global, U.S., Canadian and provincial economic performance; globalization, trade and disruption; managing catastrophic risk; the emerging low-carbon economy; fiscal and tax policy; and the business economics of sports. Glen has co-authored two books and over 350 reports, briefings and articles, with a regular commentary in the Globe and Mail, and has delivered many presentations to clients.
Daniel Leblanc has been a parliamentary correspondent at The Globe and Mail since 1998. He covers federal politics full-time, with an emphasis over the years on issues that affect Quebec, procurement, the RCMP and party politics. He has won a National Newspaper Award, a Michener Award and is the recipient of the Charles Lynch Award from the Parliamentary Press Gallery.
Patrick Leblond is CN – Paul M. Tellier Chair on Business and Public Policy, Associate Director, and Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He is also Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Research Associate at CIRANO, Affiliated Professor of International Business at HEC Montréal, Visiting Professor at the University of Barcelona (IELPO LL.M. program). Dr. Leblond is an expert on economic governance and policy with a particular focus on Canada, North America and Europe. He has published extensively on financial and monetary integration, banking regulation, international trade and business-government relations. Before embarking on his academic career, he worked in accounting and auditing for Ernst & Young as well as in corporate finance and strategy consulting for Arthur Andersen & Co. and SECOR Consulting.
Daniel Lessard was born in Saint-Benjamin, Beauce in 1947. After his classical course, he made his private radio debut in 1969 before joining CBC / Ottawa in 1972. In 1979, he became National Correspondent in Ottawa on Parliament Hill. In charge of covering Prime Ministers Trudeau, Mulroney and Chrétien, he has been at the center of major political events in recent years: repatriation of the Constitution, peace mission, party leadership convention, Meech Lake and Charlottetown negotiations, referendum, general elections, etc.
After being co-host of the morning show and host of the new RDI station in Ottawa, he became the Parliamentary Bureau Chief on Parliament Hill in 1998 and a co-announcer at Téléjournal / Le Point. In 2005, he took the helm of the show Les Coulisses du Pouvoir, devoted to politics. He retired in June 2011 after 39 years at Radio-Canada. He has published seven novels: Maggie, in September 2011, La Revenante in 2012, Maggie’s Destiny in September 2013, Le Puits in September 2014, Marie-Louise in 2015, Peril on the River in 2016 and La Louve aux abois in 2017. He is married to Debra Brown and father of two children, Christian and Charles-Adrien.
Meredith Lilly is an Associate Professor and holder of the Simon Reisman Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University. An award-winning researcher and public policy expert, Dr. Lilly previously served as foreign affairs and international trade adviser to Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister, overseeing within the Prime Minister’s Office completion of trade negotiations with Europe, Korea, the original Trans-Pacific Partnership, among others. Lilly’s current research focuses on labour mobility provisions in trade agreements, NAFTA and Canada-US trade relations. She is the academic advisor for the Canadian Centre for Trade Policy and Law, a senior fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and a frequent media commentator. She received a postdoctoral certificate in economics from McMaster University, a Ph.D. in health services research from the University of Toronto, and an Honours B.A. in international development from the University of Toronto.
Nicole Loreto is Vice-President of Health Promotion and Communications at The Royal, one of Canada’s foremost research and teaching hospitals in mental health care. She brings a wealth of experience in health promotion, communications, public affairs, and mental health advocacy, as well as in eating disorders and violence against women. Nicole spent more than two decades working with children, youth, and women to develop healthier life pathways through gaining new skills, confidence, and resiliency. A passionate speaker, Nicole is a fervent promoter of positive psychology, resiliency, and the mind—body connection. Nicole has designed award-winning initiatives that have inspired change in public attitudes, suicide prevention, and the need to care for one’s brain capital. Nicole created the Is It Just Me? mental health literacy program, which has reached more than 20,000 students, reducing stigma, and encouraging students to seek help when they need it. Nicole and her team also designed two apps, Healthy Minds and Game Ready, which foster mental wellness and coping skills. Nicole holds a Doctorate in Health Psychology, a Master of Science in Communications and Management and a Bachelor of Social Work. Nicole is also a recipient of Ottawa’s 40 Under 40 Award.
Stéfane Marion is Chief Economist and Strategist for National Bank of Canada and National Bank Financial, a position he has held since November 2008. Mr. Marion is a sought-after speaker on economic trends and their financial implications and is ranked among the leading economists in Canada according to Brendan Wood International. National Bank Financial’s Economics and Strategy team is regularly ranked among the top Canadian forecasters and has won recognition for the accuracy of its projections. In 2012, the C.D. Howe Institute appointed Mr. Marion to its Monetary Policy Council and to the newly established Business Cycle Council. He also sits on National Bank Pension Committee. Mr. Marion joined NBF’s Economics Group in 1999. Previously, Mr. Marion worked for several years in the federal departments of Finance and Industry in Ottawa, where, in addition to economic analysis and forecasting, he also worked on microeconomic policy impact studies. In particular, he participated in the development of forecasting models and the analysis of the FTA and NAFTA free-trade agreements with the United States and Mexico. Mr. Marion holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Economics from the Université de Montréal.
The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin
The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin was appointed Chief Justice of Canada on January 7, 2000. She is both the first woman in Canada to hold this position and the longest serving Chief Justice of Canada. She retired on December 15, 2017. Throughout her judicial career, she has covered countless areas of the Canadian legal system. In addition to her judicial duties at the Supreme Court, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin has chaired the Canadian Judicial Council, the Advisory Council of the Order of Canada and the Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute. She is the author of numerous articles and publications. Her debut mystery novel, Full Disclosure, is set to be published in the spring.
Kate Morican is a Consulting Partner with Deloitte Canada leading client services in Strategic Transformation and Change. Kate has over 25 years of experience advising CXO teams in private and public sector organizations on the alignment of talent programs to achieve strategic business objectives. Kate co-authored the Deloitte Canada Human Capital trends report in 2016 and 2017, and speaks regularly on Human Capital future strategies related to new ways of working and diversity and inclusion.
Linh Nguyen is a nationally recognized leader in organizational strategy, talent development, and change management. As the former COO at W.K. Kellogg Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States, Linh spearheaded the establishment of adaptable and networked organization models. Passionate about government, non-profit organizations, and higher education, Linh also has a diverse consulting background, with a focus on the US Federal Public Sector. In recognition of his expertise, Linh was selected in 2008 to serve on the Obama Presidential Transition Team as transition co-lead for the Office of Personnel Management. He has recently transitioned back to consulting, with a focus on serving clients in the areas of strategic planning, organizational change and capacity building.
Glen Orsak is the Director of Executive Programs at the Telfer Centre for Executive Leadership at the University of Ottawa. Glen is passionate about leadership and personal development and brings this passion to the community of clients, faculty and associates that work with Telfer to create world-class leadership development programs and interventions.
Prior to his role at Telfer, Glen was a Partner at Deloitte Consulting where he developed his talent and expertise in organization development and transformation over a 20-year career. One of his most rewarding roles at Deloitte was as the National Dean of the training and development program for new consultants where he got to provide mentorship and guidance to hundreds of new practitioners entering the consulting profession.
Dan Pontefract is Chief Envisioner at TELUS, a Canadian telecommunications company, where he heads the Transformation Office, a future-of-work consulting group that helps organizations enhance their corporate cultures and collaboration practices. Previously as Chief Learning Officer at TELUS, Dan introduced a new leadership framework–called the TELUS Leadership Philosophy–that dramatically helped to increase the company’s employee engagement to record levels of nearly 90%.
He is the best-selling author of The Purpose Effect and Flat Army. A renowned speaker, Dan has presented at multiple TED events and also writes for Forbes, Harvard Business Review and The Huffington Post. In 2018 Thinkers 50 placed Dan on its “On the Radar” list. Dan and his wife, Denise, have three young children (aka goats) and live in Victoria, Canada. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria. His next book, Open To Think, will publish on September 11, 2018.
Amir Rahnema leads Deloitte’s organization design service line globally as well as in Canada. He focuses on operating model design, corporate restructuring, and workforce transition as part of large-scale business transformations, typically associated with shifts in strategy, merger and acquisition scenarios, and new technology/process transformations. Amir’s work has spanned numerous industries, including significant reorganizations across many of Canada’s major financial institutions as well as regulators, public-sector organizations, energy firms, consumer and media companies. He has also helped lead numerous efforts to enhance cross-border integration for global firms operating in the Americas. Having led or contributed to over 30 organizational redesign projects over the last decade, he is a deep subject matter expert in the field and is an author / key contributor on Deloitte’s global organizational design and adaptable organization methods.
Althia Raj is HuffPost Canada’s Ottawa bureau chief. She manages the Ottawa and Quebec City political bureaus. Prior to joining HuffPost in 2011, Althia worked as a national political reporter for Postmedia News. She has covered Parliament Hill since 2006, working for Sun Media, CTV and CBC. She is an alumna of McGill University. Frequently cited as one of the top 100 most influential people in Canadian politics, Althia is a regular “At Issue” panelist on CBC-TV’s The National, “Power Panel” panelist on CBC News Network’s Power & Politics, and CPAC guest. Her work has been nominated for several awards and in 2012 she wrote an e-book on Liberal hopeful Justin Trudeau titled Contender: The Justin Trudeau Story which garnered national and international headlines.
Bill Robson took office as President and CEO of the C.D. Howe Institute in July 2006, after serving as the Institute’s Senior Vice President since 2003 and Director of Research since 2000. He has written more than 230 monographs, articles, chapters and books on such subjects as government budgets, pensions, healthcare financing, inflation and currency issues. His work has won awards from the Policy Research Secretariat, the Canadian Economics Association, and the Donner Canadian Foundation. He is a Senior Fellow at Massey College and holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is a member of the Panel of Senior Advisors to the Auditor General of Ontario and the Ifo World Economic Survey expert group, and a Big Picture Panelist on the CBC’s On the Money. Bill taught public finance and public policy at the University of Toronto from 2000 to 2003, and currently teaches a Master’s level course in public finance at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance.
Hadiya Roderique is a lawyer, writer, speaker and the co-host of Commons, a political podcast produced by Canadaland. As a writer, she has bylines in The Walrus, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, writing about race, inclusion, and politics. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, and also has a Master’s degree in Criminology from the University of Toronto. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Organizational Behaviour at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Her research broadly examines gender and racial diversity in the workplace, and her work is funded by the Institute for Gender and the Economy. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and is a sought out speaker on this topic.
Shauna Shapiro, PhD, is a professor, author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in mindfulness and compassion. Dr. Shapiro has published over 100 journal articles and chapters, and co-authored the critically acclaimed texts, The Art and Science of Mindfulness (2017), and Mindful Discipline: A Loving Approach (2009). She was an invited TEDx speaker, her 2017 talk rated in the top 10 TED-talks on Mindfulness, and has over 700,000 views in the first year. With twenty years of meditation experience studying in Thailand and Nepal, Dr. Shapiro brings deep personal practice of mindfulness and compassion to her scientific work. Dr. Shapiro is the recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies teaching award, acknowledging her outstanding contributions to graduate education, as well as a Contemplative Practice Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, co-founded by the Dalai Lama. Dr. Shapiro has been invited to present her work to the King of Thailand, the Danish government, Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Executive Committee, and the World Council for Psychotherapy in Beijing, China. She is on the Academic Board of Axialent Conscious Business, and has brought mindfulness to Fortune 100 Companies including Procter and Gamble, Cisco Systems, Genentech and Google. Her work has been featured in Mashable, Wired magazine, USA Today, Shape, Dr. Oz, the Huffington Post, Yoga Journal, and the American Psychologist.
Dr. Supriya Sharma became Health Canada’s Chief Medical Advisor in August 2015. She added these responsibilities to those in the role of Senior Medical Advisor in the Health Products and Food Branch, a role she has had since March 2013. The Health Products and Food Branch has the responsibility to regulate pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biologics, vaccines, natural health products, veterinary medicines and food. Prior to that, Dr. Sharma has held a number of positions in Health Canada over the past decade in both the pre-market and post-market health product regulatory areas including most recently Director General of the Therapeutic Products Directorate, which had the regulatory responsibility for pharmaceuticals (prescription and non-prescription) and medical devices. She has also worked as a Senior Policy Advisor as part of the National Pharmaceuticals Strategy in Health Canada. Recently, she has returned to Health Canada following a leave of absence to work in an academic research group focusing on health innovation adoption in the Canadian Health system.
Trained as a pediatrician in both Canada and Australia, Dr. Sharma was a research fellow in hematology focused on clinical research relating to thalassemia and sickle cell disease and has worked on a number of large multi-center clinical studies, including research in collaboration with Oxford University on a project in Sri Lanka. She then went on to complete a Masters of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health with a concentration in International Health and an interest in Health Policy.
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.
Geoffrey Soloway, PhD
Geoff Soloway has been creating and researching innovative trainings in the area of mindfulness and wellbeing for almost 20 years. He is currently Co-founder and Chief Training Director of MindWell U, offering bilingual online and in-person evidence-based mindfulness trainings in the workplace. Geoff has worked as an Instructor at University of Toronto, University of British Columbia and the University of Fraser Valley, and as a consultant in the area of mindfulness for diverse organizations such as WestJet, Coca-Cola, Loblaw, and the Privy Council Office. Geoff completed a PhD and Master’s of Education in the area of Mindfulness from the University of Toronto as well as a certificate in Organizational Coaching from the University of British Columbia.
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.
Born in Hamilton and daughter of a proud steelworker, Filomena chose to enter into a life of public service after six years as a corporate lawyer. Filomena developed her passion for youth and social justice during two decades as a chaplain at a local high school where she mentored youth and families. As a life-long learner and school board trustee, Filomena has always had a passion for education. She co-created an experiential leadership program for youth in the Hamilton Catholic Board. A number of graduates from this program have entered professions of international development and missionary work. Filomena entered politics to fulfill her passion for service to others. For her, the challenge to make the lives of others better is motivating and energizing. Filomena credits her parents for instilling in her the importance of viewing each person with dignity and respect. She is a life long Hamiltonian who is proud to represent the people of Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas as their Member of Parliament. Filomena currently serves as Deputy Government Whip.
Scheherzade van Aarle
Scheherzade is the Founder of INNERSPACE Mindfulness and Meditation. Her mission is to educate on the connection between mindfulness and compassion, with happiness, leadership and world peace. She teaches mindfulness (trained in Mindful Self-Compassion from the University of California). Her talk Mindfulness for Big Thinkers: Innovation, Inclusivity and Happiness was featured at the federal government’s first Inclusiveness Symposium. She served as advisor for the 2018 APEX Symposium and the 2017 Mindful Leader Symposium. Scheherzade has also spent several decades as public servant with the Government of Canada, as an economist. In 2017 INNERSPACE held the first mass meditation on Parliament Hill on the International Day of Peace and a meditation session with Members of Parliament (in partnership with Jon Kabat-Zinn). The Hill event was attended by over 2000 people and featured on the front page of the Globe and Mail.
Peter Weng is the Chief Business Officer for the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI) and also a Search Inside Yourself teacher. Previously, Peter was a director at Google and led various organizations including global search quality evaluation as well as online sales and operations for Greater China. Prior to joining Google in 2007, Peter worked at Dell in sales, operations and marketing roles in the United States, Europe and Asia. Peter also held sales management and engineering positions with Rohm and Haas and Argo Scientific.
Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University, and a Master’s in Environmental Engineering and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has worked on mindfulness and meditation programs in various settings including corporations and prisons. Peter served on the board of Insight Santa Cruz and is also involved in work supporting wildlife conservation and sustainable transportation.
Dave Wilkin, Founder of TenThousandCoffees.com (10KCoffees), is helping organizations match and build diverse relationships between colleagues to drive high performing and happy teams. An international and award winning speaker and expert in millennials, innovation, mentoring, and networking, Wilkin and his team are at the forefront of the mentoring and networking movement. Their thesis is simple: employees with diverse networks and relationships are more innovative, higher performing, happier, and better leaders. 10KCoffees is relied upon by the largest organizations and schools to help their employees and students build diverse networks – from Pepsico, UPenn, Hearst, Royal Bank of Canada, and hundreds of other leading organizations. Wilkin and his team are helping organizations – from companies to schools – to help everyone build the diverse networks they need to be innovative, successful, and happy.