Policy Community Conference 2022: Speaker Directory

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Feature speakers, moderators, and panelists:

Janice Charette

Janice Charette Interim Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet

Prior to rejoining the Privy Council, Ms. Charette was the High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and agreed to serve as Interim Clerk while Ian Shugart is on medical leave.

From October 2014 to January 2016, Ms. Charette was Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet. Previously, she was Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet (2013-2014), as well as Associate Secretary to the Cabinet and Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (2010-2013).

In addition, Ms. Charette has held several senior leadership positions in the public service, including:

  • Deputy Minister for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (2006–2010)
  • Deputy Minister for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (2004–2006)
  • Associate Deputy Minister for Health Canada (2003–2004)

Ms. Charette attended Carleton University, where she received a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and she was granted an honorary doctorate from Kingston University, United Kingdom. In March 2021, Ms. Charette received the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. The designation represents a commitment to excellence in the boardroom and the highest standards of leadership.

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Kristen Worley

Designer, Author and Professional Speaker

Kristen has lead two careers as a elite high performance athlete representing Canada on an off the field of play. As well, an extensive career across industry practice areas as a designer in the professional field of architecture, with a keen focus on human-centered design.

Kristen sees herself as a design steward by taking complex issues and developing applications through the power of design to create unique solutions, while enabling critical thinking and allowing for effective approaches and due diligence for meaningful stakeholder engagement. She helps organizations and businesses to transcend their traditional business boundaries and industry touch points, and re-imagine through the ‘power of design’ a comprehensive integrated approach through the lens of prevention, and a focus on individual health, well-being to elevate communities and cities.

In recent years, Kristen has been positioned as a global ambassador of social development, and inclusion, utilizing diversity as the central hallmark to her design principles. Her vision has landed her the international attention of International Olympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Federation. Kristen helps global multi-sport models recognize that they are no longer sustainable, utilizing their unique traits and reach. Pivoting from the position of leadership to stewardship – assisting and influencing global governments who are connected signatories by being proactive and stewarding conversations to empower communities, enabling people to reach their true potential as one integrated connected ecosystem – leaving no one behind.

Read about Kristen’s autobiography titled ‘Woman Enough’.

And honored in ‘Canadian Courage’ for her life’ story and commitment to diversity and inclusion within the Olympic and global sporting systems, beyond the field of play, worldwide.


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Yabome Gilpin Jackson Ph.D.

Author, Vice-President, People, Equity and Inclusion, Simon Fraser University

Yabome Gilpin-Jackson, PhD is an award-winning facilitator and organization development professional. She is a trusted partner for leaders and professionals working to develop people and build organizational capacity for change. She has proven expertise in the areas of leadership development, organizational development, facilitating strategic change and systematic organizing for social change and transformation.

She works, consults, teaches (undergraduate and graduate) and conducts research in the areas of leadership, human systems/organization change and development, transformative learning and posttraumatic growth. In addition to being Founder and Principal at SLD consulting, she is currently an Executive Leader for People and Culture within the British Columbia Public Sector and Adjunct/sessional faculty at Concordia University and Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business & the lifelong learning/Executive Education program.

Yabome was named an Institute for Social Innovation Scholar at Fielding Graduate University, CA for her published research and has a ground-breaking book that followed called, Transformation After Trauma, The Power of Resonance. She is a contributor to: Dialogic Organization Development: The Theory and Practice of Transformational Change and continues to write and speak on Grey Zone Change.


Blog posts:


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Bonnie Brayton

National Executive Director, DisAbled Women's Network (DAWN) Canada

Bonnie is the National Executive Director of the DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN), who recently celebrated 35 years in service. Bonnie is a recognized leader in both the feminist and disability movements in Canada and internationally.  Ms. Brayton is also a founding member of the Ending Violence Association of Canada  and served on the Steering Committee of La Maison Parent-Roback, from 2008-15.  Ms. Brayton serves on the Advisory Committee for the Jarislowsky Chair in Families and Work at Live Work Well Research Centre at the University of Guelph. She is also the Partner Liaison for a seven-year initiative based at the University of Guelph called “Engendering Disability-Inclusive Development” (EDID). From 2016 to 2021, Ms. Brayton served as a member of the Federal Minister’s Advisory Council on Gender-Based Violence (WAGE).  During 2020 and 2021, Ms. Brayton also served Disability Advisory Group the DAG for Minister Carla Qualtrough.

Bonnie has also contributed to several anthologies including A BOLD VISION and LIVING THE EDGES, a DisAbled Women’s Reader and the newest release (2021) from Inanna publications STILL LIVING THE EDGES.


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Angela Bains

Graduate Program Director, Assistant Professor, OCAD University, Strategic Director, TransformExp

Angela Bains is a designer, strategist, businesswoman and educator. She is Co-Founder and Strategic Director of TransformExp, an award-winning design firm. At the Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCAD U), Angela holds the position of Graduate Program Director of the Strategic Foresight & Innovation Master’s Program and is a professor in the Advertising Program specialising in the decolonisation of advertising. Throughout her teaching career Angela has been nominated for seven teaching awards of distinction including the nationally recognised, Canadian Design Educators Award of Excellence.

Originally from the UK, Angela has over 25 years of experience in the design industry working on social change, including the Free Nelson Mandela and the first World Aids Day Campaigns. Angela’s commercial accounts have included; BBC Television, Swatch Canada, Westinghouse Canada, and The Ritz-Carlton. She has been a speaker and host of many events including; the Design Management Institute, the International Council of Design (ico-D), Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC), Registered Graphic Designers of Canada (RGD) and Vancouver Design Week.


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Yves-Marie Abraham

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Author and Associate Professor, Department of Management, HEC Montréal

Yves-Marie Abraham is a professor at HEC Montréal, where he teaches sociology of the economy and conducts research on the theme of degrowth. After co-editing the publication of Degrowth versus Sustainable Development: Debates for the Future of the World (2011) and Digging Down to Where? Extractivisme et limites à la croissance (2015), he recently published a personal synthesis on degrowth, entitled Guérir du mal de l'infini (Healing the pain of infinity). He is also co-director of the specialization in social innovation management in the Master's program at HEC Montréal, where he has been offering a course on "sustainable degrowth" since 2013. Yves-Marie Abraham is also a member of the independent research collective "Polémos décroissance".

Publication: (Content only available in French)

Décroissance versus développement durable : débats pour la suite du monde

Creuser jusqu’où? Extractivisme et limites à la croissance

Guérir du mal de l’infini

Polémos décroissance
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Jean Teillet

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Author and Senior Counsel at Pape, Salter Teillet LLP, specializing in Indigenous right law

Ms. Teillet is an author, treaty negotiator, women’s rights advocate and an Indigenous rights litigator. She has appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada twelve times in Indigenous rights cases. Ms. Teillet’s popular history, The North-West is Our Mother: The Story of Louis Riel’s People, the Métis Nation was one of the Globe & Mail’s top 100 books of 2019 and won the Carol Shield’s and Manitoba Day awards. She is the author of Métis Law in Canada and has written for academic journals, the Globe & Mail and Macleans. A frequent public speaker throughout Canada and internationally, Jean has been awarded the highest honour of her people, the Order of the Métis Nation. The Indigenous Bar Association has awarded Jean it’s highest honour, Indigenous Peoples Counsel. She has three honorary doctorates (University of Guelph, Windsor University and Law Society of Ontario). In recognition of decades of work with midwives, Jean has been made an honorary lifetime member of the Association of Ontario Midwives. She is a member of the Manitoba Metis Federation and is the great grandniece of Louis Riel.


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Peter Flegel

Executive Director of the Government of Canada's Federal Anti-Racism Secretariat

Peter Flegel, a cornerstone of Canada's Anti-Racism Strategy. With his diverse team, Peter is driving whole-of-government systems change in the federal government from an anti-racism perspective. This has entailed reaching and engaging close to 4 million people across Canada to inform policymaking, helping shape new federal policies and legislation, collaborating with foreign allies and working with federal departments and central agencies to implement an anti-racism framework for the entire federal public service. Peter has a distinguished career as a social entrepreneur, fundraiser, columnist, community organizer and musician, with extensive Canadian and international experience working in multilingual and multicultural settings. He has a history of leadership in the government, NGO and philanthropic sectors, in areas including anti-racism, equity, human rights, innovation, culture, international affairs and entrepreneurship.

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Siobhan Harty

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Assistant Secretary to Cabinet, Privy Council Office

Siobhan Harty is Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Priorities and Planning, since October 2020. Over a 20 year public service career, she has gained broad experience in  policy areas ranging from economic and social to procurement and IT. She has also enriched her understanding of policy by working in parliamentary affairs and operational areas such as emergency management.

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Gail Mitchell

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Assistant Deputy Minister, Departmental Program and Operations, Department for Women and Gender Equality Canada

Gail Mitchell joined the public service in 1997 and has worked in the areas of program policy and delivery, strategic policy and corporate services across several departments.  Gail recently joined Women and Gender Equality as the Assistant Deputy Minister of Departmental Programs and Operations.

Previously, Gail Mitchell was the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Strategic Policy and Partnerships (SPP) sector at Indigenous Services Canada from March 2019. Prior to this Gail was Director General of Intergovernmental Relations at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). In that role, Gail was responsible for providing strategic advice on key social policy issues, and she represented Canada at various international meetings, including the G7, the G20, the OECD and the United Nations, on issues related to labour and employment. Gail also co-chaired the Canada–Mexico Partnership Labour Mobility Working Group, and the European Union and Canada Bilateral Dialogue on Employment, Social Affairs and Decent Work. Gail led the engagement on the domestic and international implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Prior to joining ESDC in 2015, Gail spent over 20 years at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada in a number of roles, including policy analyst, land claims negotiator, Director General of Community Infrastructure and Director General of Strategic Policy, Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs.

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Mark Schaan

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Mark Schaan is the Associate Assistant Deputy Minister for Strategy and Innovation Policy at the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED). In this role he is responsible for advancing the government's microeconomic policy agenda; supporting the development of the department's horizontal policy and strategic priorities, including by ensuring robust marketplace frameworks telecommunications policy, and the deepening of external relations; and, providing support to regional economic development, as the lead ADM for the Regional Development Agency of Northern Ontario.

Prior to becoming an ADM, Mark was the Director General, Marketplace Framework Policy Branch at ISED. In this role, Mark advised on the policy, legislative, and stakeholder issues relating to laws of general economic application, including privacy and data protection, patents, trademarks, copyright, competitions and insolvency, all in support of an innovative and high-functioning Canadian economy. Mark’s public service career has included roles across the policy spectrum, as well as leading on revitalizing the public service through innovative recruitment models.

Mark earned his BA (Honours) from the University of Waterloo in Political Science with an Honours Option in Peace and Conflict Studies in 2002, where he studied as a Loran Scholar. Mark earned his MPhil in Comparative Social Policy, conferred in 2004, and his DPhil in Social Policy, conferred in 2010 from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Mark has been awarded the Nathalie des Rosiers Audacity of Imagination Award, the Barnett Prize in Social Policy, and the University of Waterloo Young Alumni Award. Mark is also actively involved in his community: sitting on the board of the Ottawa Art Gallery; founding a new initiative at the National Gallery of Canada; active involvement in the Ten Oaks Project, including helping to launch Project Acorn, a community building space for youth of LGBTQ+ identities, families, and communities; and continued involvement with the Loran Scholars Foundation.

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André Loranger

Assistant Chief Statistician, Statistics Canada

André Loranger is currently the Assistant Chief Statistician for Strategic Data Management, Methods and Analysis.  He is also Statistics Canada’s Chief Data Officer responsible for the overall stewardship of the organization’s information data holdings.

André, an economist with an M.A. (Economics) degree from the University of Ottawa, began his career in the public service at Statistics Canada in 1997 where he spent most of his career compiling estimates of GDP.  Prior to his current position, André was the Director of Producer Prices Division from 2008 to 2012 and the Director General of the Macroeconomic Statistics Branch from 2012 to June 2013.  More recently, he was the Assistant Chief Statistician for Economic Statistics responsible for the key economic indicators (CPI, GDP, etc.) produced by Statistics Canada.

In recent years, André has been involved in international projects related to economic statistics.  He was a member of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting, the United Nations Expert Group on International Trade and Economic Globalization Statistics, the United Nations Expert Group on the Future of Economic Statistics and a number of international statistical working groups.  André is currently a member of the United Nations Global Working Group on Big Data.

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Béatrice Alain

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Executive Director of Chantier de l'économie sociale

Béatrice Alain is Executive Director of the Chantier de l’économie sociale. The Chantier is an autonomous organization whose mandate is to work with social economy stakeholders to promote and develop collective entrepreneurship in order to contribute to the emergence of a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable development model.

Actors in Québec’s social economy have long maintained relationships with partners in other territories in order to learn from best practices, share experiences that have contributed to the emergence of an internationally recognized ecosystem in the social economy in Québec and build alliances, where appropriate. In recent years, Béatrice has been particularly interested in ways and strategies to facilitate dialogue between actors from different sectors and different territories in order to support the emergence of a more democratic economic model and facilitate a just ecological transition.

Resources: (Content only available in French)

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Ella Saltmarshe

Writer and Co-founder of The Comms Lab and The Long Time Project

Ella Saltmarshe pioneers work at the intersection of culture and systems change. She has set up a number of renowned organisations, communities and campaigns.Trained as an anthropologist, Ella has worked in international development, the creative industries and public policy. Working internationally in places like India, Afghanistan and Latin America, opened her eyes to the impact climate change was having over 15 years ago and tackling it has been a driver of her work ever since.

Ella’s burning question is how, as a species, we can create long, flourishing futures for all inhabitants of earth.  And so, she has co-founded the Long Time Project - a movement inspiring individuals, organisations and industries to become better ancestors through collective action.


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Garima Talwar Kapoor


Director, Policy and Research, Maytree Foundation

Garima Talwar Kapoor is the Director of Policy and Research at Maytree. She previously spent several years with the Ontario Public Service, where she focused on policies and programs that could strengthen our social safety net. She holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management from Carleton University. Garima is also currently pursuing her Doctor of Public Health from the University of Toronto.

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Hayden King

Executive Director, Yellowhead Institute

Hayden King is Anishinaabe from Beausoleil First Nation on Gchi'mnissing and is the Executive Director of the Yellowhead Institute in Toronto, Ontario. Hayden has taught at McMaster and Carleton Universities as well as the First Nations Technical Institute, held senior fellowships at Massey College and the Conference Board of Canada, and served in senior advisory roles to provincial and First Nation governments and Inuit organizations. He is the co-founder of the language-arts collective Ogimaa Mikana Project, the co-host of the Red Road Podcast, and his writing, analysis and commentary on Indigenous politics and policy is published widely.

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Sean Mullin

Executive Director, Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Sean Mullin is the Executive Director at Brookfield Institute, an economist, public policy expert, leader and thinker. In 2015, he joined the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) as its founding Executive Director, where he provides strategic direction and leads the overall day-to-day activities of the institute.

For more than a decade, Sean has championed and shaped important public policy decisions with a particular focus on economic issues. Through this experience, he has become increasingly convinced of the importance of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship as conduit for economic growth and prosperity.

Prior to joining BII+E, Sean served as the Chief of Staff at a Toronto-based private equity firm, where he worked at the intersection of finance and management strategy. Sean also served for more than six years in senior advisory roles to the Premier of Ontario and Ontario’s Minister of Finance, where, among other responsibilities, he coordinated the development of the annual Budget for the Province of Ontario.

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Jennifer Ditchburn

President and Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Public Policy Research

Jennifer is the President and CEO of the IRPP. She is a not-for-profit sector executive and seasoned communicator with 25 years of experience working to make complex public policy issues and politics better understood by Canadians. From 2016 to 2021, she was the Editor-in-Chief of the IRPP’s influential digital magazine, Policy Options.

Prior to joining the IRPP, Jennifer spent two decades covering national and parliamentary affairs for The Canadian Press and for CBC Television. She is the winner of three National Newspaper Awards, the recipient of the prestigious Charles Lynch Award for outstanding coverage of national issues, and most recently received three Canadian Online Publishing silver awards for her columns. In 2015, she was named one of the 10 most influential Hispanic-Canadians.



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Alex Ryan Ph.D.

Author and Senior Vice-President, Partners Solutions, MaRS District Discovery

Alex Ryan leads partner solutions at MaRS, helping government and corporate partners accelerate the adoption of innovation in their organizations, markets and cities. He oversees teams that are helping decarbonize electricity grids, design inclusive smart cities, improve community health and well-being, employ thousands of NEET youth, strengthen the impact investing market, and grow Canada’s innovation economy. His writing on smart cities, data governance, policy innovation, social innovation, systemic design, and complex systems science has been published by the World Economic Forum, Fast Company, Axios, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Complexity.

Alex is also co-founder of Alberta CoLab, the first provincial government innovation lab in Canada. He is an executive-in-residence at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. And as a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, Alex previously helped introduce operational and strategic design into the U.S. Army, and established strategic design capabilities for U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, and U.S. Cyber Command. He serves on several advisory boards, including Participatory City and Energy Futures Lab. His dissertation in applied mathematics advanced a multidisciplinary approach to complex systems design.


Alex Ryan - MaRS Discovery District

Cool Collaboration Podcast

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Catherine Charbonneau

Director, Policy Community Partnership Office, Employment and Social Development Canada

Catherine brings energy and passion for policy interventions towards inclusive design, strategic alignment, and user-centered evidence sense-making. Catherine is a caring provocateur and crafty organizational designer deliberately engineering pivot moments to surface unarticulated needs for tangible impact. She holds an MPA from Carleton University, is a certified organizational development professional from the NTL Institute of Behavioural Sciences, a certified ACM Integral Canada Coach, and experienced bilingual facilitator.

Prior to joining the Policy Community, Catherine was the Head of Design at the ESDC Innovation Lab for 3 of 4 years. There, she formalized an internal consultancy practice leading a portfolio of projects and multiple horizontal teams across a range of policy innovation projects (e.g. applied design thinking approaches to Medium Term Planning, program operations, service policy, evaluation, executive strategic retreats, and regulation).

She also applied a social innovation mindset to F-PT relations and seniors policy leading an F-PT working group and F-PT Ministers’ agenda planning. At Health Canada, Catherine worked to integrate human resources management issues to corporate planning and reporting. Her passion lies in bringing edges to the core with grassroots empowerment, rebuilding organizations and restructuring them from the ground-up mixing human-centered design strategies, coaching techniques and change management principles. Catherine is a mom of three children, aged 6, 9 and 11.

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Rachel Wernick

Rachel Wernick Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Employment and Social Development Canada

As Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Skills and Employment Branch, at Employment and Social Development Canada, Rachel is responsible for a wide array of labour market policies and programs. Prior to taking on her current position, Rachel held executive positions with Canadian Heritage, the Privy Council Office, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and created and led the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat within Public Works and Government Services Canada.  Rachel is known for her passion for policy excellence and is Co-Champion of the Clerk’s Policy Community initiative, which aims to enhance supports for policy professionals across the Government of Canada.

Her experience holding a variety of roles has made her a strong proponent of the benefit of multi-disciplinary approaches and user-centric design. Before joining the public service, Rachel worked in the voluntary sector with several international development organizations, including working two years in a Vietnamese refugee camp in Malaysia. This experience working with people from around the world was formative in shaping her appreciation for diversity, intercultural understanding and global citizenship.

Neil Bouwer

Vice-President, Innovation and Skills Development, Canada School of Public Service

Neil Bouwer is currently the Vice-President of Innovation and Skills Development Branch at the Canada School of Public Service. He has also served as an Assistant Deputy Minister at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Natural Resources Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the Privy Council Office of Canada; and in executive positions at the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, Human Resources and Social Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada.

He has also worked at the Department of Finance and Western Economic Diversification Canada, and has Economics degrees from McGill University and St. Thomas University. Neil actively supports the Government of Canada policy and data communities, the Advanced Policy Analyst Program and the Free Agent HR Program.

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