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Action Canada Seeks Nominations of Promising Young Canadians

VANCOUVER, 7 December 2010 – Canada’s foremost leadership program, Action Canada, is seeking nominations of promising young Canadians in their early career years to participate in our 2011/2012 national fellowship program. more…

Public Service Announcement – Deadline Extension – Action Canada Fellowship

VANCOUVER, Feb. 24, 2010 – Canada’s foremost leadership program, Action Canada, is seeking nominations of exceptional young Canadian leaders to participate in a fully funded 11-month fellowship program. The nomination deadline has been extended to 8 March 2010. more…

Nominate a Young Canadian Leader

VANCOUVER, Jan. 6, 2010 - Canada’s foremost leadership program, Action Canada, is seeking nominations of exceptional young Canadian leaders in their early career years to participate in our 2010/11 fellowship program.

Cancellation of 2009/2010 fellowship year

23 February, 2009 – The Board of Directors regrets to announce that due to funding uncertainty in the current economic environment, Action Canada will not be able to offer a 2009/2010 fellowship year. The Board and Founding CEO are committed to working towards a longer term future for this important leadership building initiative for Canada.

We sincerely thank those who have stood as candidates and those who generously supported nominees this year. We also thank the many Canadians, coast to coast to coast, who have been an important part of the success of Action Canada in its first mandate.

We hope the program is offered in 2010/2011 so that our network of 86 outstanding Fellows continues to grow and work to make Canada the best it can be.

Public Service Announcement – Nominate a Young Canadian Leader

Vancouver, Nov. 17, 2008 - Action Canada is seeking nominations of candidates who are in their early career years or pursuing post-secondary studies, who have the promise to be future Canadian leaders and who would benefit from studying leadership and public policy issues. more…

2007/2008 Fellows

Tim CoatesRebecca ComleyJustin FerbeyBen FineMarc FournierNicholas GafuikJane McDonaldOliver Madison Shauna MullallyTayor Owen Emily Paddon Benjamin PerrinTom RandGino ReevesAndrew SnidermanIrvin Studin

Tim Coates
Raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Tim Coates is the Executive Director of 21inc, an action tank that is creating the capacity for change in New Brunswick by incubating new leaders and engaging provincial stakeholders in a process that translates ideas to action. In 2007, Tim completed a master’s degree in public policy with a concentration in political advocacy and leadership from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He received his BA in economics from St. Thomas University. Tim’s experiences are wide-ranging. They include working with an emerging network of grassroots organizations and NGOs that are trying to revitalize New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; working on regional economic development with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency; publishing research and advocating on refugee policy; and participating in a Canada International Development Agency internship in India to evaluate micro-finance projects. He also spent one summer as a tree planter. In 2005 Tim was named one of New Brunswick’s 21 leaders for the 21st Century. He moonlights as an occasional print journalist, with work appearing in The Boston Globe, The Daily Gleaner and The Telegraph Journal. A music lover, traveler, athlete and political junkie, Tim also enjoys playing volleyball and guitar and listening to funk.

Rebecca Comley
Physician Rebecca Comley’s medical practice experiences in remote Nunavut communities and inner-city Vancouver left her with a keen interest in public health and health care delivery in Canada’s remote and Aboriginal communities.

Rebecca grew up in Smithville, a small agricultural community in southern Ontario. She earned a BSc in biochemistry at Queen’s University before completing an MD at McMaster University. After completing her residency in family and emergency medicine, she worked in a variety of clinical settings, including urban emergency medicine, general practice in the Canadian Arctic, and out-post medicine in Antarctica. Her most rewarding experience was her clinical work in Nunavut, where she became increasingly aware of population health issues and the impact of public policy on communities’ health. This interest motivated her to complete a Masters of Public Health at Harvard University, where she specialized in health policy and management. She has acted as a consultant to the Public Health Agency of Canada regarding pandemic planning in remote communities in Nunavut.

She is an emergency physician currently living in Hamilton with her husband and very energetic daughter.

Justin Ferbey
Justin Ferbey is passionate about implementing legislation based on traditional virtues and values that he believes will regenerate aspects of his inland Tlingit and Tagish culture. A Ganaxtedi clan member of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation in the Yukon, Justin returned to his community to help lead the establishment of Canada’s latest self-governing First Nation. He chaired a federal and territorial committee to bring the Final Agreement to a ratification vote and is also the First Nation’s senior government official/executive director. He oversees the negotiation of programs and services, taxation, impact-benefit agreements and other business-related activities, while also advising the Council of Yukon First Nation Leadership on the development of treaty-related fiscal architecture. He assisted in restructuring the entire First Nation Government and Development Corporation, and engaged in many community consultations to ensure that a foundation of good governance was reflected in the renewed organizations. He is currently the chair of a First Nation advisory circle struck to encourage investment and create a stable environment for economic development. He serves on the Native Education College Board of Governors in BC, and also sits as a director on two investment committees. Justin previously worked as a fiscal advisor to a number of chief federal negotiators at the Federal Treaty Negotiation Office. Justin holds a BSc in neuropsychology from the University of Lethbridge. He also spent some time studying martial arts, Korean and Japanese in Asia before returning to Vancouver to earn a certificate in commerce from the Institute of Indigenous Government. He will soon complete a certificate in dispute resolution at the Institute of Justice in BC, and is pursuing an MBA at the University of Liverpool.

Ben Fine Ben Fine 07
Ben Fine is a social entrepreneur and engineer-turned-physician. He is currently a Resident in Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Toronto with an interest in improving the way healthcare is delivered. As a medical student he helped redesign various patient-care processes in radiology departments and on general medicine wards, and he has published lessons of Canadian hospitals implementing Toyota-inspired improvements for health care leaders.

During his engineering studies at UWO and MIT he founded and led Stand Canada (, a national student organization which makes it easy to act against genocide in Darfur. Ben learned about Darfur’s plight in summer 2004. It reminded him of the Polish concentration camps he visited in high school and he decided to act, founding STAND in February 2005. In his advocacy for Darfur since 2005, Ben helped create 1-800-GENOCIDE, a toll-free hotline that has connected thousands of Canadians to political leaders. In addition, he has met with MPs, cabinet ministers, senators and former Prime Minister Paul Martin, authored op-eds in the Toronto Star and National Post, spoken at rallies and appeared on MTV Live. Six years after its founding, Ben continues to be involved in Stand as it works on 25 university campuses and 40 high schools across the country.

Marc Fournier Marc Fournier 07
Marc Fournier obtained his PhD degree in computer science from Strasbourg European University in France in 2008. Since then, he is an assistant professor of electrical engineering at l’École de technologie supérieure in Montreal. His research addresses the improvement of reconstruction techniques from three-dimensional scanned objects acquired with specialized scanners. Marc obtained research grants and fellowships from organisations such as the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Marc carried out research projects at l’Institut national d’optique, l’Institut de recherche en électricité du Québec and l’Institut national de la recherche scientifique. His research has been published in international conferences and journals. He received distinctions such as the best paper award at the 2007 Computer Graphics International Conference, the young researcher award from l’Association francophone pour le savoir and the applied science and technology award from Forces Avenir organisation. Before starting his PhD, Marc worked as project manager at the Centre de photonique de Montréal. Marc also holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in computer vision systems technology. For his Master’s thesis, he received the Academic Gold Medal from the Governor General of Canada and the university’s annual best master’s thesis award.

Nicholas Gafuik Nicholas Gafuik 07
Nicholas Gafuik is the Managing Director for the Manning Centre for Building Democracy. He holds a MA in history from McGill University, where his thesis focused on Canadian cold war foreign policy and the origins of peacekeeping. He also holds a BA in history (first class honours) from the University of Calgary. His interests include Canadian identity and historical memory and Canadian federalism. He is also interested in developing conservative approaches to social justice, education, and the environment. He was a founding director of the Alberta Environmental Stewardship Coalition, which worked to advance stewardship as a principle and in practice for government, business, and private citizens in Alberta. Nicholas was a 2007-2008 Action Canada Fellow, and a 2003 finalist in Magna International’s As Prime Minister competition. He served as an international election observer for the Ukrainian parliamentary elections (March 2006), the Ukrainian presidential elections (December 2004), and the Cambodian parliamentary elections (July 2003). Nicholas is a contributor to The Mark news, and has been published in the National Post and Calgary Herald. Nicholas lives in Calgary with his wife and daughter.

Jane McDonald
Jane McDonald is a Senior Business Analyst at Manitoba Hydro. Before that, she was the Executive Director of the environmental economics think-tank Sustainable Prosperity and a negotiator for the Canadian government delegation to the UN climate negotiations. She was recruited to government from her role as Associate Vice-President of international carbon brokers—Cantor Fitzgerald. She has served as Adjunct Professor of Environmental Finance at the University of Toronto and as a board member for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Clean Air Canada and the Research Network for Business Sustainability at the Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario. Jane holds a BA in North American studies from McGill University and an International MBA from York University and l’École Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales in Paris.

Oliver Madison
Oliver Madison is president of Me to We Style Inc., a social enterprise committed to providing ethically manufactured, quality apparel for socially-conscious consumers. It also financially supports a charity partner, Free the Children. Oliver was previously a principal at Octavian Capital, a Toronto-based, boutique corporate finance firm specializing in small to mid-size enterprises. His responsibilities included business development, raising equity and debt capital, and advising management on growth opportunities and business strategy. Prior to Octavian Capital, Oliver worked in corporate finance at Brown Brothers Harriman’s New York office, where he advised the principals of private and closely held public companies about mergers and acquisitions and analyzed potential investments for the firm’s mezzanine and private-equity funds. Oliver graduated cum laude from Harvard College with an AB in economics and a citation in German. He completed his Level III Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams in 2004.

Shauna Mullally
Shauna believes passionately in engineering’s capacity to drive positive social change. She is pursuing a master’s degree in biomedical engineering with a focus on international development policy. For her master’s thesis she is developing a model for the sustainable acquisition and diffusion of medical technology in developing countries. As part of this experience, she worked at the Medical Research Council (U.K.) in the Gambia, West Africa in the summer of 2006. Shauna, who is co-president of the Carleton chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), also served on the executive committee for the 2006 EWB national conference, the largest, annual, international development gathering in Canada. She represented Carleton at the 2006 United Nations conference on youth and UN reform, and participated in the African Union Summit 2006 Women’s Forum on gender-responsive governance in post-conflict societies. As part of her work in the engineering community, Shauna co-founded the Engineering Outreach and Recruitment program at Carleton. Building on this, she founded and chaired the Go Eng Girl! event, which connects young girls with female role models in engineering. She also helped design a new course at Carleton about technology and international development. A powerful role model to youth, Shauna frequently presents her views on engineering and international development to elementary and high-school students. She has also tutored at-risk, pregnant teens. In 2006 she was a YMCA Women of Distinction Young Trailblazers award nominee. In 2007 she received the Carleton University Board of Governors’ award for Outstanding Community Achievement. Shauna is happiest when travelling and meeting new people, and spending time at her cottage on Prince Edward Island.

Tayor Owen
Taylor Owen is a doctoral candidate at the University of Oxford where he is both a Trudeau Scholar and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Scholar. Prior to this he was a Graduate Fellow in the genocide studies program at Yale University and holds an MA from the University of British Columbia. He has been the co-editor, and is currently on the editorial board of Security Dialogue, is associate editor of the St. Anthony’s International Review, and has worked as a researcher at the International Peace Research Institute, the International Development Research Centre and the Liu Institute for Global Issues. He has served in numerous policy advisory roles and authored policy reports on issues that include small arms, landmines and peace-building. His academic work focuses on the definition, measurement and implementation of human security policies and initiatives. He writes widely on the causes and consequences of conflict and peace-building, and on Canadian, American and European foreign policy. He writes online daily at, ranked the second-best blog on international affairs by the Washington Post.

Emily Paddon
Emily Paddon is a graduate student in international relations and Trudeau Scholar at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Her interest in international relations, and specifically, Canada’s role in the world, stems from a concern for human security and its relationship with social, political, and military power in the modern world. Her current research explores the limits and validity of the principle of impartiality in UN-authorized interventions. Emily is the former managing director of The St Antony’s International Review, Oxford’s graduate journal of international affairs, and a tutor of international relations at Exeter College’s Oxford Academy. She holds a BA from Brown University where she concentrated on the history of art and architecture, and international relations. In addition to her studies, she has worked at Goldman Sachs, the International Crisis Group, The Watson Institute for International Relations, and World Affairs Television. Her interest in human security and development also led to research projects and volunteer work in West and North Africa. In September 2007 Emily will begin a year at McGill University in Montréal as a Sauvé Scholar.

Benjamin Perrin Benjamin Perrin 07
Benjamin Perrin joins the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law as an assistant professor in August 2007. His teaching and research interests cover domestic and international criminal law, international humanitarian law, comparative constitutional law and human trafficking. A member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Madam Justice Marie Deschamps of the Supreme Court of Canada, and was senior policy advisor to the Hon. Monte Solberg, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. He was the assistant director of the Special Court for Sierra Leone legal clinic which assists the Trial and Appeals Chambers, and completed an internship in Chambers at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. Benjamin founded The Future Group, a non-governmental organization that combats human trafficking. He served as its executive director from 2000-2006 and led its inaugural project in Cambodia.The organization works with victims overseas, assists with the extraterritorial prosecution of offenders, and conducts public policy research. Benjamin holds an LL.M. (honours) from McGill University, a J.D. from the University of Toronto, and a B.Comm. (with distinction) from the University of Calgary. He is the recipient of the Governor General’s Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the YMCA International Peace Medal, the “Graduate of the Last Decade” award from the University of Calgary, and was named one of Canada’s “best and brightest” by Maclean’s magazine. Benjamin enjoys camping, canoeing, and cooking.

Tom RandTom Rand 07
Tom Rand is a venture capitalist, author, and currently acts as Lead Cleantech Advisor at the MaRS Institute, in Toronto, Canada. MaRS acts to support commercialization of Canadian research and development.
Prior to this position, Tom had a strong and successful entrepreneurial history, including the founding of Voice Courier Inc. – a telecommunications software company – in 1991 and leading its expansion to more than 100 employees in three countries. In 2005, he founded VCi Green Funds, a private venture fund to provide angel and venture capital to companies developing emission-reduction technologies. This included taking hands-on leadership roles in Cleantech companies ranging from geothermal to wind to green buildings to hydrogen. Tom remains as Director.
He has Board experience on leading Cleantech organizations (currently Board member of Morgan Solar) and was the manager for the Green Bonds public policy team, a high profile initiative that was part of the Federal Liberal party’s platform in the last election.
Tom is co-developer of The Planet Traveler, North America’s ‘greenest’ hotel, located in Toronto, Canada.
Tom has a BASc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, an MSc from the University of London, and MA and PhD Degrees from the University of Toronto.
Tom has recently published a book in Canada, the US and UK entitled “Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit: 10 Clean Technologies to Save Our World”.

Gino Reeves
Gino Reeves is managing director of Place aux Jeunes du Québec (PAJQ), an organization that seeks to counter the exodus of young Québeckers by helping them to find employment or establish businesses in regional Québec. Today, PAJQ has 70 service points throughout the province and its activities extend to the Yukon, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It has also inspired similar initiatives in several regions of France. Originally from Gaspé, Gino has a master’s degree in regional development. He is very interested in youth entrepreneurship and wrote his thesis on the subject of developing youth entrepreneurship for endogenous regional development. His past work experience includes stints as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Québec in Rimouski, as a researcher at the Service d’Aide aux Jeunes Entrepreneurs in Rimouski, as a rural development officer for the MRC La-Côte-de-Gaspé, and as a development officer for the Fondation de l’Entrepreneurship. He has also been involved in a number of committees, including a working group on community school development, the advisory committee for the Québec government’s Défi de l’Entrepreneuriat Jeunesse; the Alliance de Recherche Universités-Communautés; and the INRS’s Insertion et Participation des Jeunes en Région. His principal areas of interest include youth issues, land use, the environment, ethical consumption, entrepreneurship, globalization and information technologies.

Andrew Sniderman
Andrew Sniderman co-founded the Washington-based Genocide Intervention Network (GI-Net) to provide citizens with tools to prevent and stop genocide. GI-Net aims to change the way the United States and the international community respond to genocide by creating an active and powerful political constituency. While working for GI-Net, Andrew delivered speeches across the United States and helped oversee a national lobbying, mobilization and fund-raising effort. In the fall of 2005, Andrew interviewed executives of private military firms and researched the option of private intervention in Darfur. Andrew was born and raised in Montréal and graduated with a BA (highest honours) in philosophy and political science from Swarthmore College, Philadelphia. Andrew is also a two-time provincial badminton champion, an avid Argentinean tango dancer, and a balloon artist. In 2007/08 Andrew will work in Ottawa as a Fellow in the Parliamentary Internship Programme. Andrew is currently studying International Relations at Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship.

Irvin Studin Irvin Studin 07
Irvin Studin spent several years as a policy strategist and senior policy analyst for the Prime Minister at the Privy Council Office in Ottawa. He also worked as a senior policy advisor in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra, Australia, and as a director in the Canadian Department of Public Safety. Studin has advised on issues as diverse as foreign policy, democratic governance and national security — and was a key developer of both the Canadian and Australian national security policies. Irvin holds degrees from the Schulich School of Business at Toronto’s York University, the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship. In 2000, Maclean’s magazine named him among 50 Canadians under 30 to watch. He is the editor of What is a Canadian? Forty-Three Thought-Provoking Responses (Douglas Gibson Books, McClelland & Stewart, 2006). In his past life, Irvin was an all-Canadian university athlete and dabbled in professional soccer in several countries. He and his wife recently celebrated the birth of a baby boy, Noah.

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