People

Board of Directors

Jaimie Boyd

Jaimie Boyd works on open government at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. She manages the team responsible for coordinating and enabling open government initiatives that support transparency, accountability and responsiveness in the Government of Canada. Jaimie is one of the coordinators of Policy Ignite, a grassroots forum for debating public policy, and has served as the co-chair of the Youth Network of the Americas, an organization that mobilizes and empowers young leaders.

Jaimie has held several positions in the federal government, including as an economist working to advance internal trade at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and supporting Cabinet at the Privy Council Office. Prior to entering the public service, Jaimie led a support centre in Peru for businesses that relieve poverty and coordinated a variety of economic development initiatives, including Unu Design Workshop, a fair trade clothing company she founded to sustainably generate employment and poverty relief in the Peruvian highlands. She also worked in international business in Europe and did humanitarian work with street gangs in Nicaragua. Jaimie is passionate about improving governance outcomes, both in Canada and abroad.

Jaimie grew up in Victoria, B.C. She holds an honours BA in political science and economics from McGill University and a master’s degree in political economy from the University of British Columbia. She is a graduate of the Government of Canada’s Accelerated Economist Training Program and the Organization of American States’ Fellowship on Open Government in the Americas. She is a certified PADI Divemaster and an enthusiastic violinist.

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Aisha Bukhari

Aisha Bukhari is an engineer and entrepreneur. Born in Karachi, Pakistan she moved to Canada in her high-school years. She enjoys work that involves creating a positive social impact, leading change and developing integrative solutions. She is passionate about clean energy, innovation and social justice.

Aisha spent the formative part of her career at Toronto Hydro. In her engineering role she lead development of innovative technology solutions to facilitate integration of renewable energy in the power distribution grid. A career highlight includes leading the utility aspect of a consortium-based Community Energy Storage project - the first of its kind in North America – from concept to field installation. Subsequently, in her business development role, Aisha worked on the mergers and acquisitions portfolio. Aisha has been an active participant in shaping the energy storage policy and framework in Ontario. She has also served on the founding advisory board for Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE), a non-profit organization aimed at furthering education and awareness surrounding renewable energy development and policy.

Aisha is a co-founder of an EdTech startup, Attollo Social Enterprise, where she worked for two years. Attollo’s aim is to make Early Childhood Education accessible for underprivileged children worldwide. As a co-founder, Aisha worked on all aspects of starting the new venture including fundraising, product development, establishing partnerships and conducting field pilots in East Africa. A highlight includes participating in the Hult Prize challenge and pitching their innovation, Talking Stickers, at the Clinton Global Initiative for a chance to win $1M in seed funding. Her team placed 2nd amongst 5000+ teams that participated globally. The team’s work has also been recognized by UNICEF.

Aisha completed her undergraduate studies in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto. She received her Masters degree in Electric Power Engineering from the University of Waterloo and her MBA degree from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

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Sara-Christine Gemson

Sara-Christine is 2015 fellow and current member of the Board of Directors. She is Director of Communications at Teach For Canada, a non-profit that recruits, prepares, and supports teachers to work in First Nations communities in northern Ontario.

Before joining Teach For Canada, Sara-Christine worked for 7 years as a TV, radio, and web journalist, primarily for Radio-Canada in Toronto and Regina. While in Saskatchewan, she covered provincial and federal elections, the hostile takeover of Potash Corp, and two Grey Cups. She also produced special series on First Nations employment and on the challenges facing the fransaskois education system after 20 years of autonomy. In the Toronto newsroom, Sara-Christine also replaced as a radio host and produced the 6 o’clock news.

In 2012-13, Sara-Christine was an Aga Khan journalism fellow in Kenya, where she wrote for the Daily Nation, the most read newspaper in the country. She also contributed to the Globe and Mail, CBC, Radio-Canada, The Hamilton Spectator, and Monocle Radio on topics ranging from the Kenyan elections to food waste.

Sara-Christine completed a B.A. in Philosophy and Communications at the University of Ottawa. She also completed an M.Phil in Comparative Government at Oxford University. Between degrees, Sara-Christine taught English for two years in Japan, working in high schools for athletes, students with academic challenges, and students with severe mental and physical disabilities. Sara-Christine is a proud Franco-Ontarian from Mississauga.

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Adam Goldenberg

Adam Goldenberg is a 2010-11 Action Canada Fellow and Chair of Action Canada’s Board of Directors. He is an associate in the Litigation Group of McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto, and is currently on a one-year leave of absence to serve as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada. He has appeared as counsel at all levels of court, including in the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, and the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

From 2008-2011, Adam was chief speechwriter to the Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Canada. He subsequently served as a senior advisor in the Government of Ontario and, later, as a law clerk to the judges of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He is a Co-Founder and Director of Teach For Canada, a non-profit organization that works with remote First Nations communities to recruit, prepare, and support teachers.

Born and raised in Vancouver, Adam was named a “Leader To Be Proud Of” by Out On Bay Street in 2014. He holds a BA in Social Studies with High Honours from Harvard University, where he was a John Harvard Scholar, and received his JD from Yale Law School, where he was a Kirby Simon Human Rights Fellow.

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Steve Kuhn

Steve is an executive in the Government of Canada, where he has held various positions at the Department of Finance and the Privy Council Office focused on international finance and foreign policy. Before joining the federal government, Steve worked on infrastructure investment and public-private partnerships transactions for the Government of Ontario.

He serves on various boards of directors, including the Ottawa Mission Foundation and Action Canada. He is also a co-founder and former chairperson of Matthew House Ottawa, a local organization that provides shelter and settlement assistance to homeless refugee claimants and distributes quality used furniture to families in need. Steve has lived and worked in Mozambique, Africa, where he designed and implemented a community-based savings and loan initiative run by local workers.

Steve holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business, York University, and is married with two children.

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Erik (Rick) Nielsen

Rick was born and raised in the Yukon Territory and has made his home here ever since. He is passionate about learning and making a difference. His quest has taken him down an eclectic career path as a tradesman, commercial pilot and entrepreneur with businesses in both Yukon and Alaska. He has served as a director and chairman of both the Whitehorse and Yukon Chambers of Commerce and has been active on public policy initiatives. He is a staunch advocate for trades training for young Canadians and is the past chairman of the Yukon Apprenticeship Advisory Board and the Inter-provincial Alliance of Apprenticeship Board Chairs. Rick was a founding member of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum.

Rick has served as Chief of Staff to two Yukon premiers for a total of eight years and is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Air North, Yukon’s Airline – a Yukon company that now has over six hundred employees.

Rick also serves as a director of Northern Cross Yukon Ltd. - a Yukon company focused on the responsible exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources to meet the needs of Yukoners.

He lives with Maureen, his beautiful wife of 30 years and their three children Connor, Kai and Brooke on their farm just north of Whitehorse where they raise horses and grow forage crops.

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Annie Sabourin

Annie Sabourin has been working at Université de Montréal, Quebec’s largest university, since 2008. After a period of six years in the Office of the Rector, then in the Vice-rectorate for Academic Development and Institutional Transformation, she is now Assistant to the Vice-rector, Human Resources and Planning. Previously, she was a senior analyst at the Metropolitan Montreal Board of Trade, working on issues of economic development, international affairs, public finances and culture.

In 1999, Annie completed a bachelor’s degree in political science and East-Asian studies at the Université de Montréal. She received a master’s degree with distinction in international relations and economics from the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 2002, as a Canada-United States Fulbright fellow. During her studies, Annie focused on Canada-China relations, and worked for six months at the Canadian embassy in Beijing, China. Annie lives in Montreal with her husband and their daughter.

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