CSPS Digital Academy Events/Recognizing Data Bias - Speaker Biographies

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Date and time: March 30, 2022 | 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm (ET)

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Speaker Biographies

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Ima Okonny

Chief Data Officer, Employment and Social Development Canada
Ima, the Chief Data Officer at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), has over 21 years of experience in the field of data.

She has extensive experience with building the evidence base through the development of analytical databases and tools, implementing departmental data reporting and release strategies, data management, data privacy protocols and with forward-looking policy development and research.

Ima has an educational background in Mathematics, Computer Programming and Public Management and during her time with the Government of Canada, she has received several nominations and awards for her leadership and results.

She is passionate about helping organizations develop the capabilities required to ethically and intentionally unleash concrete business value from data.

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John Cheney-Lippold

Associate Professor, Associate Chair, Director of the Undergraduate Studies Program, University of Michigan
John Cheney-Lippold is a writer and associate professor of American Culture and Digital Studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of our Digital Selves (NYU Press, 2017).

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Rachel Zellars (Dr)

Assistant Professor, Department of Social Justice and Community Studies, St. Mary’s University
Dr. Rachel Zellars, M.A., J.D., Ph.D., is a lawyer, Senior Research Fellow, and Assistant Professor at Saint Mary's University in the Department of Social Justice & Community Studies. Her research and scholarship focus on the history of Black Canada beginning with the American Revolution; slavery in the Maritimes and the lives of enslaved women; and gender violence and transformative justice. Dr. Zellars is also a nationally recognized expert in critical implicit bias, a term that she coined in conjunction with her extensive, ongoing work with the federal government and numerous private institutions.

In addition to her legal background, Dr. Zellars also holds a master's degree in Africana Studies from Cornell University and a doctorate in education from McGill University. She is currently completing the Harvard Executive Leadership Program.

Since 2014, Dr. Zellars has facilitated dozens of critical implicit bias trainings for government leaders and management, both provincially and federally. She is recognized for her ability to centre local historical contexts, locate implicit bias within living histories of antiblackness, and address barriers to personal and structural change with pointedness and vision. She also regularly facilitates critical implicit bias trainings in a multitude of areas related to social identity and difference.

Originally a farm girl from upstate New York, Dr. Zellars has lived and worked in numerous US cities, as well as in Nigeria, the South Pacific and Montreal. She now lives and works in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her three teenage children.

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Robyn Rowe (Dr)

Staff scientist at ICES in Ontario and Chair of the Indigenous Data Team at Health Data Research Network Canada
Robyn K. Rowe is a mother of four, a member of Matachewan First Nation, and a hereditary member of Teme Augama Anishnabai. Robyn holds a Masters in Indigenous Relations and a PhD in Rural and Northern Health.

Robyn is a critical and qualitative social health scientist whose research interests converge in the areas of: Indigenous and Canadian health and policy; national and international Indigenous-led Data Governance and Sovereignty; social, environmental, and digital justice; and the intersections of decolonialism, anti-colonialism, and anti-racism.

She is also an Executive Member of the Global Indigenous Data Alliance (http://www.gida-global.org) and was involved in the co-creation of the ‘CARE Principles of Indigenous Data Governance’ with Indigenous partners from around the world through the International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group as part of the Research Data Alliance (www.rd-alliance.org). She is also the Indigenous Data Team Lead at Health Data Research Network Canada (www.HDRN.ca) and a Staff Scientist at ICES (www.ICES.on.ca).

To learn more about Robyn, visit https://robynkrowe.com/ or follow @RobynKRowe on Twitter