Alia Ali • Sharlene Azam • Neil Bouwer • Karen (Caputo) Nanji • Jan Stefan Eperjesi • David Helliwell • Richard Hoshino • Gabriel Jean-Simon • Diana Juricevic • Martin Lavoie • Peter MacLeod • Flavie Major • Ann McCann • Annamie Paul • Jamie Ross • Matthew Sullivan • Denise Taschereau • Léonie Tchatat • Janet Vertesi • Zenia Wadhwani
A major part of Alia Ali’s academic and work experience has been in Pakistan. She worked in legal awareness and health with Pakistan’s oldest women’s NGO for many years. Alia graduated with honours from a highly competitive medical school in Pakistan, specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She actively worked for patient welfare, with a particular focus in the area of blood services. Her experience in public-sector healthcare has included clinical, financial, training and management aspects. She has worked on projects with local/international NGOs, including UNICEF. She has also led surgical camps in remote areas in the Himalayas. Alia’s ambition to make a difference in healthcare/development policy motivated her to complement her skill set with financial, economic and management tools. While completing her MBA from the University of Oxford (UK) on scholarship, she worked on a strategy project with a successful UK Biotech company, and helped coordinate ‘The Oxford Business Forum’—inviting business leaders to mentor students. Alia is currently completing post-graduate work in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and compiling a report on women and discriminatory laws in Pakistan. She has been active in initiating the Toronto chapter of the Oxford Business Alumni, where Alia and her family are making their new home in Canada.
A writer, journalist, publisher and filmmaker, Sharlene Azam has focused her attention on youth and social issues in Canada for most of her professional career. One of her early projects, she founded Reluctant Hero, the first magazine in Canada written by girls for girls. She is also the publisher of Squeeze, an alternative career magazine for teens. Also a writer, in 2001 Harper Collins published her first book, Rebel, Rogue, Mischievous Babe. She was a columnist and the editor of the Toronto’s Star’s Boom! Section for two years, during which time she reported from Hong Kong, China and India. Sharlene recently directed Escaping Destiny, her first documentary with the National Film Board, which is about the education of youth in detention. In addition to her work, Sharlene has served on the boards of directors of the YWCA and the Canadian Institute of Child Health and in 1995 she represented Save The Children-Canada at the Beijing Conference on Women. In recognition of her work, in 1997 Maclean’s Magazine included her in their cover story, “One hundred Canadians to watch” and in 2001, The Body Shop named her “One of Twenty Women We Admire.”
Neil Bouwer is a passionate Canadian, devoted husband, and dedicated father of two. Neil was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where he was an active leader in public and undergraduate student politics, including through student council, the editorial board of the student newspaper, academic clubs, debating societies and athletics. Neil completed distinguished academic studies in economics at the undergraduate and masters level at St. Thomas University and McGill University, respectively. In 1992, he began a career with the Government of Canada where he has played a leadership role on a wide range of complex issues, including social inclusion, healthcare, public security, international issues, innovation at the national and regional levels, and sustainable development. Neil has provided advice at the most senior levels of government, including at the Privy Council Office, Department of Finance, and Treasury Board Secretariat. Neil and his family currently live in Ottawa, Ontario.
Karen (Caputo) Nanji
Karen Nanji is a resident physician specializing in Anesthesiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard University. She earned her M.D. and B.A.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto as well as her Masters of Public Health from Harvard University. Dr. Nanji is passionate about improving the quality and efficiency of Canada’s health care system. Through her academic research and management consulting experience at McKinsey & Company, she took a lead role in an initiative to integrate information systems and electronic patient records between hospitals across Canada. In response to the 2003 SARS outbreak, she created a risk management framework to reduce the spread of future infectious diseases. At Harvard University, Dr. Nanji has also spearheaded analyses of the implementation of various technologies to reduce patient medication errors. She has published her work in medical journals as well as presented at hospital Board meetings and national and international medical conferences, most recently at the 2010 American Society of Anesthesiologists’ conference and the American Medical Informatics Association 2010 Annual Symposium. Dr. Nanji has earned many academic awards at both Harvard University and the University of Toronto, including the Gold Medal for graduating at the top of her engineering class. During medical school, Dr. Nanji has served as Senior Editor of the Economics and Health Policy section of the University of Toronto Medical Journal and as the University’s International Health Liaison for the Canadian Federation of Medical Students. In 2005, Dr. Nanji received the Women’s Executive Network’s ‘Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award’.
Jan Stefan Eperjesi
Jan Eperjesi studied medicine in Mexico and Puerto Rico. He is currently a resident physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Duke University. From 2002-2004 he worked as a consultant in the Education and Culture sectors at UNESCO in Indonesia and East Timor. He subsequently joined the Department of Canadian Heritage as executive assistant to Canada’s Commissioner General for the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan. His professional interests include international medical education and health diplomacy as components of foreign policy, ethics, ethnography, management of high risk pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and infertility. He graduated medical school Summa Cum Laude and was recognized with several awards for clinical activities. He holds an undergraduate degree in Physiology from McGill University, and advanced degrees in Laboratory Medicine and Education from the University of Toronto. He is married and a proud father of one son.
Pulse Energy is led by its co-founder, David Helliwell, whose career has spanned 3 continents and has been focused on the energy sector since 1994. David has been an exploration geophysicist, a Paris-based management consultant to large multinational organizations and spent three years running the policy shop for a cabinet minister in the Canadian federal government. While with the Canadian government, David was responsible for reducing costs and improving environmental performance of 700 million square feet of office space across the country. Early in his career, David was a poorly-paid professional windsurfing racer.
Richard Hoshino holds degrees from the University of Waterloo (B.Math), Queen’s University (B.Ed), and Dalhousie University (M.Sc and Ph.D). He won a silver medal for Canada at the International Mathematical Olympiad in his last year of high school. While at Dalhousie, Richard founded the Nova Scotia High School Math League, as well as a professional development program for high school teachers across Atlantic Canada. He has given presentations at over twenty-five provincial and national conferences, and has coached at over twenty camps for the top high school mathematics students in Canada. Richard has also taught several undergraduate courses and has received university-wide awards for teaching excellence from two institutions. He spends his free time reading, running, and volunteering in outreach programs for those who live below the poverty line. Richard has recently moved to Ottawa, and works for the Canada Border Services Agency, hired under the federal government’s new Recruitment of Policy Leaders program. At CBSA, Richard uses mathematics to help improve the security and efficiency of the Canadian border.
Gabriel Jean-Simon holds a B.A in Political Science from the University of Montréal and a Master’s degree in Policy Analysis from Laval University. For his Master’s, he went to Lund, in Sweden, to specialize in social policy. During his university years, Gabriel took an active part in parliamentary models especially in the Quebec Youth Parliament, the National Model United Nations in New York and the European Parliament Canada-Québec-Europe Model for which he also chaired the board of directors. Gabriel’s social commitment did not stop there as, at that time, he was also the president of his undergraduate students’ association, a member of the executive board of the Student Federation of the University of Montréal and then, the president of his graduate students’ association. Thanks to his commitment and his academic achievements, he received the Québec Lieutenant-Governor’s Award as well as the “Graduate Student Personality of the Year” Award from Laval University. Before joining the federal public service, Gabriel completed a one-year parliamentary internship at the Québec National Assembly and worked as a project manager on the development of information society, for la Francophonie, in Madagascar, and for the Government of Québec. After several years working with Service Canada (in Nunavut among other places), Gabriel joined the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to tackle the issue of government critical services management during pandemics and other emergency situations.
Diana Juricevic is in her final year of a combined JD/MA Economics degree at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Diana acquired international experience as a journalist at the G8 Summits in Cologne, Okinawa, and Genoa, where she spearheaded research for the University of Toronto G8 Research Group. Her work on compliance and civil society has been published in the G8 and Global Governance series. As president of the University of Toronto Chapter of Amnesty International, Diana initiated human rights awareness programs and organized an annual art exhibit on freedom of expression. In addition to launching a program for Second Harvest to donate residence food to Toronto’s homeless, Diana was heavily involved with the Canadian Red Cross campaign to aid Kosovar refugees in 1999. Diana is currently conducting policy research for Medecins Sans Frontieres and served as editorial assistant for the Faculty of Law Review. As an elected student representative on Faculty Council, she has advocated for improved accessibility to legal education and financial aid. Diana has recently been elected to Trinity College Corporation and is a resident Junior Fellow at Massey College. She is also a commissioned artist, whose works have been published in several journals and exhibited at Hart House, University of Toronto.
Martin Lavoie is currently Director, Policies, for the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association (CEM), the largest association of private companies in the country. Martin is primarily interested in policies that foster innovation and public and private investments in research and development. Previously, Martin worked in government relations for private institutions enjoying Canada-wide recognition, such as the Canadian Bankers Association and Bombardier Inc. He also benefited from several experiences in the public sector, as a Policy analyst for Canadian Heritage and Elections Canada. He also was a parliamentary intern in Ottawa (2001-2002), which allowed him to work for MPs dedicated to protecting the public interest. Martin is President of the Parliamentary Internship Alumni Association, which brings together some 400 Canadian alumni of this prestigious program founded in 1969. He currently lives in the Outaouais with his wife Julie and their daughter Rosalie.
Peter MacLeod has worked with cutting-edge organizations in North America and Europe, including Fast Company magazine, Vancouver’s Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Britain’s Demos think tank and the Kaospilots, a Danish school for business design and social innovation. He now runs MASS LBP, a new kind of company that is re-inventing public consultation. A fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Queen’s University, he writes and speaks frequently about the citizen’s experience of the state, the importance of public imagination and the future of responsible government. In 2004 he spent several months traveling across Canada visiting almost 100 federal constituency offices as the basis for his doctoral studies at the London School of Economics. In 2006 he delivered the convocation address at the Alberta College of Art and Design. More recently he has advised Ontario’s Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform and worked with former Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson and John Saul to develop the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. He is the 2008 recipient of the Public Policy Forum’s prestigious Young Leaders Award.
Flavie Major was recruited by the federal Recruitment of Policy Leaders Programme in 2005 to work in the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). In the framework of her PhD program in political science at Université Laval, her research has focused on the norms and instruments for the collective defence of democracy in the Americas and on Canada’s role in the Hemisphere. Flavie previously obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Ottawa in 1999, and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, in 2000. In 2000-2001, Flavie worked at the Office of Summit Follow-Up of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC, in the framework of DFAIT’s Youth International Internship Program. Flavie is actively involved in the Atlantic Challenge, an educational program that brings together youth from many nations in an international sailing and rowing competition held every other year in one of the participating countries. She was first selected as a member of the Canadian crew in 1992 and 1994, and has since acted as Trainer in France in 2000, International Secretary and Translator from 2000 to 2002, and Team leader for Quebec in 2002. She is currently an active member of the Committee working to host the international competition in Québec City in July 2008, in the framework of the celebrations surrounding the 400th anniversary of the city. Flavie is fluent in French, English and Spanish, having studied and lived in Granada, Spain.
Ann is a person who thrives on change, and who chooses to live life with a positive attitude. She has a strong commitment to learning and growth, which is a characteristic crucial to her position as Program Director of the Brother T. I. Murphy Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Ann’s work at the Centre has included the facilitation and development of a wholistic framework designed to deliver academic, career, and lifestyle education services to people who want to affect positive change in their lives. Ann has also worked as a Special Education teacher at a senior high school. She received significant international training in student leadership and has worked with schools throughout Newfoundland and Labrador to implement leadership programs. Ann has received undergraduate degrees in Arts, Education and Special Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is presently enrolled in the Masters of Education Program at Memorial with a focus in Counselling Psychology. Ann believes in the whole person approach to learning and teaching and has been instrumental in developing training opportunities for both participants and facilitators. She has also designed and implemented projects such as “Using Journaling as a Literacy Tool”, “Creating a Learning Culture” and “Pictures of Successful Learning.” Ann believes in the importance of encouraging people to live from their “giftedness.”
Annamie is the founder and Director of the Canadian Centre for Political Leadership (CCPL). The CCPL provides women, visible minorities and Aboriginal Peoples with non-partisan training and resources to help them successfully pursue public office with the goal of increasing their political representation in Canada. Annamie attended Princeton University as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and received a Masters Degree in Public Affairs. She also holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Ottawa, and is called to the Ontario Bar. During her studies, Annamie served as a Senate Page, an Ontario Legislature Intern, and as Vice-Chair of Student Council. Annamie is the first Canadian Echoing Green Public Service Fellow. The Echoing Green Foundation supports innovative public policy initiatives by providing seed money and technical assistance to emerging social entrepreneurs. Annamie currently serves on the Board of Equal Voice, the Elizabeth Fry Society of Toronto, and the Toronto African-Canadian Planning Committee.
Jamie’s background spans academic research and management consulting. In 1997 he completed his MSc (Queen’s University), studying impacts of agriculture on soil erosion in central Nepal. He subsequently transitioned into management consulting, working in numerous industries on business process improvement and corporate performance management. During this time he continued his research activities, serving as Environmental Director for two research/cleanup expeditions to Mt. Everest (1998 & 2000). In 2002 Jamie started his Ph.D. (Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, UBC), with a vision of utilizing leading industry methodologies and tools to develop innovative solutions to emerging environmental issues. His research was a collaborative project with government and industry partners (BC Centre for Disease Control, Joule Microsystems) assessing nutrient and waterborne pathogen cycling in agricultural watersheds, and he is currently completing his dissertation. Jamie now works with the Environment, Health and Safety practice at Deloitte in Vancouver, providing consulting services to industry and government on the financial and strategic implications of environmental and sustainability issues. As a volunteer, he served on the Board of Directors for a Vancouver children’s charity and is a member of a local search and rescue organization.
Matthew Sullivan is a young lawyer in the Department of Justice with an interest in Canadian human rights. His early studies lay in theatre and creative writing, though he graduated with a B.A. from the University of British Columbia after specializing in religious studies and classical Latin. These disparate studies naturally resulted in a career in law. Matthew also attended the University of Glasgow and the University of Toronto, where he earned a Masters in criminology. Matthew’s passion lies in law reform—not simply reforming the laws we enact but revising the way we think about and practice law as a society dedicated to human rights. He explores the use of interdisciplinary approaches to constitutional litigation, as well as ways of promoting greater access to justice for all Canadians. During law school, he worked in a poverty law clinic and now hopes to apply these principles to government service and legal scholarship.
Denise Taschereau is Mountain Equipment Co-operative’s Social and Environmental Responsibility (SER) manager. She is responsible for strategic oversight and implementation of MEC’s national sustainability strategy. Denise’s priorities include developing energy conservation and zero waste management plans for MEC, creating a social and environmental management system and creating the policies that guide its ethical sourcing efforts. Denise started work with MEC in June of 2000 after a three-year stint as the Recycling Council of BC’s Policy and Communications Director. She is also the Vice President of BEST (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation), an environmental non-profit organization focussed on alternative transportation issues. Denise has a Masters in Resource and Environmental Management from SFU where her research focus was on the sustainable urban development proposed for Vancouver’s Southeast False Creek.
Executive Director of the Centre des Jeunes Francophones de Toronto, editor of the magazine Taloua and Ontario representative on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Steering Committee, Léonie Tchatat has been in Toronto since 1990. While she was a student, she encountered many difficulties that prompted her to become actively involved in the francophone community and especially in assisting young francophones from ethnocultural minorities. For over ten years, Léonie has been giving her time as a volunteer to work for social and cultural change. She also has a vast knowledge of the issues facing racial and ethnocultural minorities in the francophone community. In recognition of her leadership in both francophone and anglophone communities, Léonie was a recipient of the Youth Pioneer Award, given by Skills For Change for her accomplishments, actions and community leadership. An outstanding manager and communicator, Léonie always finds a creative solution that is appropriate to the situation, in order to provide assistance to young people.
Janet Vertesi is keen to change how Canadians think about science and stimulate informed debate about current technologies through public education and broadcasting. To this end, she has worked with radio, television, museums and high school programs, and pioneered internet safety workshops with Vancouver Police and the BC Crime Prevention Agency. In addition to running her own small business, Janet has held leadership positions with the first ever Imagine UBC orientation, the Leon & Thea Koerner Foundation, UBC’s Student Recruitment and International Programs offices, Point Grey Mini School, and Girl Guides of Canada. Janet is also an accomplished vocalist and jazz harpist, with a passion for travel and foreign languages. A former Commonwealth Scholar and BC Premier’s Award winner, Janet holds an M.Phil. in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge and a BA from UBC; she will begin a PhD in Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University this fall.
Zenia Wadhwani is the Director of New Markets at United Way of Greater Toronto. Much of Zenia’s career has championed the inclusion of children and youth in decision-making processes. In 1994, she wrote an influential report entitled Young Voices that not only garnered significant media attention, but also all party support in the Ontario legislature. At the age of 23, Zenia was asked to run as a candidate in the 1995 provincial elections by then Premier Bob Rae. She is a founder of the South Asian Professionals’ Networking Association; an editor of Bolo! Bolo! (2000) and Desilicious (2004), anthologies of writings by South Asian authors; and is currently working on two more publications scheduled to come out in 2006 and 2007 (see www.masalatrois.com for more details). Zenia is an active volunteer who gives her time and expertise to such initiatives as the Flare Volunteer Awards and the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation; in 2001 she coordinated the collection and shipping of 20 tons of relief goods for the victims of the Gujarat earthquake. Zenia’s interests include women’s issues, identity, diversity and citizenship, and the arts and culture scene. Zenia holds an MSW from McGill University, an Honours BSW from York University, an Honours BA in Psychology and Crime and Deviance from the University of Toronto, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Communication and Culture at York University.