People

2003/2004 Fellows

Alia Ali

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.

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Sharlene Azam

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.”

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Neil Bouwer

Neil Bouwer is the Assistant Deputy Minister of Science and Policy Integration at Natural Resources Canada, where he provides advice on federal policies related to energy, mines and forests. Neil was previously Senior Vice-President, Agency Transformation for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, where he led the modernization of the Agency’s food safety legislation, regulation, business processes and major systems in support of better outcomes for consumers.

He has also served as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Social Development Policy at the Privy Council Office of Canada and in senior positions at the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, Human Resources and Social Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada. Neil is an Action Canada fellow who originally hails from Fredericton, New Brunswick.

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David Helliwell

As Vice President of Utility Solutions, David is responsible for EnerNOC’s business with grid operators, utilities, and retailers. Prior to EnerNOC, David was Founder and CEO of Vancouver-based Pulse Energy until its acquisition by EnerNOC in December 2014, and has been focused on the energy sector since 1994. Before starting Pulse Energy in 2006, David was an exploration geophysicist, a Paris-based management consultant to large multinational organizations, and director of policy 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. David is an Action Canada Fellow, a member of the Selection Committee for the Canadian Merit Scholarship, a member of the BC Cleantech CEO Alliance, and is on the Imagine BC advisory board.

David studied undergraduate Geophysics, Physics, and Astronomy at Harvard and the University of British Columbia. He also earned his MBA from the ENPC School of International Management in Paris. He enjoys most watersports and travelled the world as a professional windsurfer earlier in his career. He loves to discover new things, especially on the ocean or in the mountains, with his wife and two daughters.

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Richard Hoshino

Richard Hoshino teaches mathematics and computer science at Quest University Canada, an innovative liberal arts and sciences university located in Squamish, British Columbia. He recently published his first novel, "The Math Olympian". Prior to his arrival at Quest in 2013, Richard was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo (2010-2012), where he helped the Japanese professional baseball league reduce their carbon emissions through scheduling optimization. Richard was also a mathematician for the Government of Canada (2006-2010), leading the mathematics and data exploration section at the Canada Border Services Agency, reducing border wait times and increasing the effectiveness of their risk-scoring algorithms.

Richard holds a B.Math. from the University of Waterloo, a B.Ed. from Queen's University, and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in mathematics from Dalhousie University.

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Gabriel Jean-Simon

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 (UL). During his university years, Gabriel played an active role in parliamentary models (PJQ, NMUN, SPECQUE, etc.) while holding several positions in the student movement. 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 UL. Before joining the federal public service, Gabriel worked at the Québec National Assembly, for la Francophonie, in Madagascar, and for the Government of Québec. After working several years with Service Canada (in Nunavut among other places), Gabriel joined the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to tackle the issues emergency situations management and then, governance in the federal apparatus.

Gabriel now works at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) where he is a member of the team negotiating the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union. He is also a volunteer member on DFATD’s rapid deployment team (in the event of an international crisis). As a volunteer, Gabriel continues to endeavour to breaking silos in his workplace, and between economic sectors in his Ottawa-Gatineau region. After being co-president of a group of young federal public service leaders in the National Capital Region, he became Chair of Ottawa-Gatineau chapter for artsScene (a Business for the Arts program). Having worked with artsScene for several years, Gabriel is convinced that arts and culture are among the best tools to bring people together and to develop creativity, including professional creativity.

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Diana Juricevic

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.

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Martin Lavoie

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.

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Peter MacLeod

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.

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Flavie Major

Flavie Major is a foreign policy professional at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD). She is currently on maternity leave, after having completed a posting at the Canadian Embassy in Paris as Counsellor (Political Affairs), where she was based since March 2011. Prior to her posting in Paris, Ms. Major held various positions at the DFATD in Ottawa, including: Deputy Director for Human Rights (2009-2011), and Deputy Director for Regional Policy in the Americas (2007-2009). Ms. Major joined the public service through the federal Recruitment of Policy Leaders Programme in 2005, after completing her PhD in Political Science at Université Laval (2008). Her doctoral research focused on the norms and instruments for the collective defence of democracy in the Americas.

She previously obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Ottawa (1999), and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of British Columbia (2000). In 2000-2001, she worked at the Office of Summit Follow-Up of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC. Ms. Major is an Action Canada Fellow (2003-2004).

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Ann McCann

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.”

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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’.

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Annamie Paul

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.

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Jamie Ross

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.

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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.

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Matthew Sullivan

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.

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Denise Taschereau

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.

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Léonie Tchatat

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.

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Janet Vertesi

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.

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Zenia Wadhwani

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.

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