Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
Before becoming Governor General, Julie Payette was an astronaut, engineer, scientific broadcaster and corporate director.
From 1992 to 2013, Ms. Payette worked as an astronaut and flew two missions in space. She also served many years as CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) at NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas, and was Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency.
She is well respected for her work in developing policies to promote science and technology. From 2011 to 2013, she worked as a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and was appointed scientific authority for Quebec in the United States. Between July 2013 and October 2016, she served as Chief Operating Officer of the Montréal Science Centre.
Ms. Payette is active in multiple facets of the community. She has produced several scientific outreach short programs on Radio-Canada and is a member of McGill University’s Faculty of Engineering Advisory Board. She has served on the boards of the Montréal Science Centre Foundation, Robotique FIRST Québec, Drug Free Kids Canada, and the Montreal Bach Festival. She has long served on the board of Own The Podium, a granting organization dedicated to high performance sport in Canada, and was recently appointed to the International Olympic Committee Women in Sport Commission. She has served as a director of Développement Aéroport Saint-Hubert de Longueuil and of the National Bank of Canada.
Ms. Payette is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and a fellow of the International Academy of Astronautics. She obtained an International Baccalaureate from the United World College of the Atlantic in the United Kingdom, a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from McGill University and a Master of Applied Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto. In addition, Ms. Payette can converse in six languages, holds a commercial pilot license and is an administratrice de sociétés certifiée (ASC is equivalent to the Institute of Corporate Directors, Director [ICD.D] designation).
The recipient of many distinctions and 28 honorary doctorates, Ms. Payette was first invested into the Order of Canada in 2010, and is a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec.
Kathleen Taylor, Conference Chair
Kathleen (Katie) Taylor is Chair of the Board of Royal Bank of Canada. She has served on the Board since 2001, where she has chaired the Human Resources and Corporate Governance Committees, and served on the Audit and Risk Committees.
Ms. Taylor is a distinguished business executive with extensive community involvement. She is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and is Chair of the Sick Kids Foundation and a Trustee of the Sick Kids Hospital of Toronto. She is also Vice Chair of The Adecco Group (based in Zurich) and a Director of Air Canada and of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Ms. Taylor holds an MBA and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the Schulich School of Business, a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Toronto. Her many accolades for business achievement include the Schulich School of Business Award for Outstanding Executive Leadership and the inaugural Medal for Career Achievement from the Hennick Centre for Business and Law at York University.
She has been inducted into the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends and was named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) in 2011, 2014 and 2016. In 2016, Ms. Taylor was made a Member of the Order of Canada.
Ian Shugart, Vice Chair, Government
Ian Shugart became Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet on April 19, 2019.
Prior to joining the Privy Council Office, he was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from May 2016 to April 2019.
From July 2010 to May 2016, Mr. Shugart was Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada and chairperson of the Canada Employment Insurance Commission.
Before that, he served as Deputy Minister of the Environment and Associate Deputy Minister of the Environment.
Prior to joining Environment Canada, Mr. Shugart held several senior positions in the Health Portfolio, including:
• Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Policy Branch, Health Canada (1999-2006)
• Visiting Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Protection Branch, Health Canada (1997-1999)
• Executive Director, Medical Research Council (1993-1997)
While working at Health Canada, Mr. Shugart also served as chair of the Global Health Security Action Group and the Health Task Force of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and as a director on the World Health Organization’s executive board.
Prior to this, Mr. Shugart served as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Social Policy and Programs in the Federal-Provincial Relations Office of the Privy Council Office. He spent several years on Parliament Hill in senior advisory roles to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, the Minister of National Health and Welfare and the Leader of the Opposition.
He is a graduate in political economy from Trinity College at the University of Toronto.
Roberta L. Jamieson, Vice Chair, Community
Roberta L. Jamieson is a Mohawk woman from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario, where she still resides. In November of 2004, she was appointed CEO and President of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation.
In February 2012, the Foundation changed its name to Indspire and incorporated its new tag line, “Indigenous education, Canada’s future.”
Under Roberta’s leadership, Indspire is flourishing. Bursary and scholarship funding has dramatically increased to over $49 million to 14,000 students, more than doubling since Roberta’s 2004 appointment.
She has extended Indspire’s career conferences to all regions of Canada. Roberta is leading the development of the Indspire Institute, an online laboratory of learning focused on increasing high school completion rates and K-12 success.
Roberta has enjoyed a distinguished career of “firsts.” She was the first First Nations woman to earn a law degree; the first non-parliamentarian appointed an ex-officio member of a House of Commons Committee; the first woman Ombudsman of Ontario; and in December 2001, she was the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.
Roberta was also Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario and for ten years, Ombudsman of Ontario.
She has earned numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award
(Law and Justice 1998), the Indigenous Bar Association’s highest award, Indigenous Peoples Council Award (IPC) and 22 honorary degrees. She has been named three times to the Women’s Executive Network’s Top 100 list. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Hassan Yussuf, Vice Chair, Labour
Hassan Yussuff was re-elected for a second term as President of the Canadian Labour Congress in May 2017. He was first elected to the position in May 2014, becoming the first person of colour to lead Canada’s union movement.
Since his election in 2014, Hassan has led Canada’s unions to a number of significant victories. It was under his leadership, for example, that the CLC launched an unprecedented and innovative digital and community-based campaign that put labour’s issues front and centre in the 2015 federal election, and helped defeat the Conservatives.
At the heart of the CLC’s federal election campaign was the call for a stronger Canada Pension Plan, a struggle that has been Hassan’s passion for almost a decade. After the election, the CLC redoubled its retirement security campaign efforts, while Hassan worked with the new federal government and with provincial and territorial leaders to gain their support. That campaign and lobby work led to victory in November 2016 with the tabling of Bill C-26, legislation that expanded the CPP for the first time in its history.
Making workplaces and public spaces safer has been another key priority for Hassan. He was exposed to asbestos as a mechanic in his early working life, and as a union activist learned that asbestos-related diseases are the number one cause of workplace-related deaths in Canada. As CLC President, Hassan campaigned hard for a comprehensive ban on asbestos, a ban we won in December 2016.
As well as his work in Canada, Hassan is a prominent international activist. In 2016, he was elected for a second term as president of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, an organization uniting 56 national organizations representing more than 60 million workers in 23 countries.
Determined to build a better world for future generations, Hassan is committed to the fight against climate change and to ensuring a just and fair transition for the workers and communities affected by the evolution to a green economy.
The CLC is the voice of Canada’s labour movement, representing 3.3 million workers.
David was elected president of MoveUP in 2011. He previously served as MoveUP’s vice-president for the ICBC group, starting in 2005. Prior to that, David sat on the MoveUP executive board since he was appointed by the executive council in 2001. He was also elected as the COPE-SEPB National President in June of 2016.
David first became a member of MoveUP working at ICBC Head Office in 1995. His current workplace of record is the ICBC 5th and Cambie Claims Centre in Vancouver. In addition to MoveUP committees, David also sits on the BC Federation of Labour Political Action Committee and Canadian Labour Congress Canada Council. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Sustainable Communities Initiative and a former delegate to the Vancouver and District
David is also a former member of the Board of Directors for the United Way of the Lower Mainlandand in 2012 was awarded the Joe Morris Labour Community Service Award by that organization. In the past David has sat on the board of directors for both the Vancouver Foundation and the Margaret Mitchell Fund for Women.
Art historian Nathalie Bondil is the Director General and Chief Curator of the MMFA since 2007. Her original multidisciplinary exhibitions are successfully exported internationally (35 cities in ten years). Under her leadership, attendance has doubled over the last ten years (1.3 million visitors in 2017, making it the 8th most visited art museum in North America and 49th in the world) while surface has increased by 30 % with the opening of two buildings: The Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion for Quebec and Canadian Art (2011), and The Michal and Renata Horstein Pavilion for Peace (2016). Au urban agora, the MMFA features a professional concert hall presenting 150 concerts annually and a Cinema. The Stéphan Crétier and Stéphany Maillery Wing for World Cultures and Togetherness will open in 2019.
The author of a Manifesto for a Humanist Museum, Nathalie Bondil has tripled the educational spaces with the opening of the Michel de la Chenelière International Atelier for Education and Art Therapy (2016), one of the largest in a North American art museum. A Pioneer in community-based programming, the MMFA collaborates with over 450 partners (schools, universities, associations, hospitals and medical research institutes…). It launched the Art & Health Committee chaired by Quebec’s Chief Scientist and several pilot projects: eating disorders, autism, Alzheimer… and the very first medical prescriptions in 2018.
Vice-Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts, Nathalie Bondil was awarded two honourary doctorates (McGill University and Université de Montréal) and appointed Member of the Order of Canada, Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, and Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French Republic.
Assunta Di Lorenzo
Ms. Assunta Di Lorenzo was appointed Secretary to the Governor General and Herald Chancellor of Canada in January 2018. She received her commission as Deputy of the Governor General on January 23, 2018.
Ms. Di Lorenzo was born in Montreal, Quebec, to Italian parents, where she grew up with her sister and two brothers. She was awarded a scholarship to the United World College – Lester B. Pearson of the Pacific, in Victoria, British Columbia, where she earned an International Baccalaureate. She then pursued her studies in political science at McGill University and in law at the University of Ottawa. She later obtained an advanced management certificate and an executive development certificate from McGill University. Ms. Di Lorenzo is a member of the Law Society of Ontario as well as of the Barreau du Québec.
Ms. Di Lorenzo is a corporate lawyer and businesswoman with extensive experience in leading teams and providing strategic advice to heads of organizations, be it governmental, public or private, both locally and internationally. She practised law with some of Canada’s largest and most prominent law firms, starting the first ten years of her career as a securities and mergers and acquisitions lawyer with Stikeman Elliott and Ogilvy Renault (now Norton Rose Fulbright). Later, she became a partner of the law firms Fraser Milner Casgrain (now Dentons) and of McMillan, where she provided advice on corporate governance and regulatory issues.
Ms. Di Lorenzo also spent more than twenty years as an executive of private and public entities. First, she was First Vice-President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer of TAL Global Asset Management, the then investment management arm of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
She then held executive positions with federal and provincial governmental organizations: first, as First Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP), a federal Crown corporation investing pension fund assets worldwide and, until most recently, as Corporate Secretary and Executive Director, Corporate and Legal Affairs, of the Réseau de transport métropolitain (formerly, l’Agence métropolitaine de transport), a provincial public transit government agency providing rail and bus services to the greater Montreal area.
Ms. Di Lorenzo served as board member of the Montreal Sacré-Coeur Hospital Foundation for numerous years and is an alumna of Catalyst WomenOnBoard.
Ms. Di Lorenzo enjoys playing golf with her son who is studying law at the University of Montreal. Her interests include music, history and travel. She is fluent in English, French, Italian and Spanish, and she can also speak some Polish.
John is Deputy City Clerk for the City of Toronto. He is responsible for the City’s governance and legislative processes, by-laws, public appointments and registry services.
John’s professional interests include democratic renewal and citizen engagement. His municipal career includes posts in culture, intergovernmental relations, strategic planning and corporate policy. Before joining the public service, John worked as an arts administrator. He contributes his time as an official and technical committee member for swimming in Ontario.
John was a member of the 2008 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference and served as Chair of the Toronto Committee for the 2012 Conference and Chair of the Ontario Regional Committee in 2015.
As CGI’s Global Chief Information Officer, Mr. Forman is responsible for guiding the company’s enterprise IS/IT strategy, setting global standards and policies, and driving value through increased quality, shared services and global delivery. Mr. Forman leads a global team focused on supporting CGI’s business units in achieving high-quality, high-value delivery for our clients.
Prior to this role, Mr. Forman held the position of Regional Chief Information Officer focused on CGI’s North American operations. He also was responsible for leading the transformation of CGI’s internal infrastructure delivery team, resulting in improved services, reduced duplication and cost, and the optimization of processes and models for the delivery of these services within CGI.
Mr. Forman began his career at Bell Canada/BCE in the early 1990s where he was responsible for business and systems analysis and consultation services related to the organization’s financial systems, processes and procedures. With more than 20 years with CGI and the BCE family, Mr. Forman has held leadership positions in ERP systems implementation and support, systems integration, systems analysis and development, project management, human resources, process engineering, financial systems analysis, facilities management, business planning and quality systems implementation and support.
Biography to follow
Kathy Kinloch is President of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Canada’s premier polytechnic institution, a position she has held since January 2014.
Kathy is recognized for leading organizational renewal in complex environments. Through a number of senior leadership and executive roles, she has spearheaded change initiatives in the post-secondary as well as government and health care sectors.
At BCIT, she is focusing on broadening and deepening partnerships with business, industry, and community here in BC, across Canada, and globally.
Acknowledgements of Kathy’s accomplishments include Top 100 Public Sector Leaders, WXN ranking of Canada’s Top 100 Women for the past three years, Most Influential Women in Business – BC Business magazine, Influential Women in Business Awards – Business in Vancouver magazine, Top 50 Power List –Vancouver Magazine, Woman of Distinction – YWCA Metro Vancouver, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Royal Roads University.
Kathy’s board positions include Business Council of BC, Polytechnics Canada, Surrey Hospital and Outpatient Centre Foundation, and Telus Corporation. She is also a member of the Business Council of Canada’s Business Higher Education Roundtable.
Aluki Kotierk is the president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., an Inuit organization that ensures that promises made under the Nunavut Agreement are carried out. Previously she worked at the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Pauktuutit and Nunavut Sivuniksavut. She has also worked for the Government of Nunavut as deputy minister in several departments.
Lili-Anna Pereša, C.Q., President and Executive Director, Centraide of Greater Montreal
Lili-Anna Pereša is an engineer and a graduate of the École Polytechnique de Montréal (1987). Since 2013, she has been the president and executive director of Centraide of Greater Montreal, which supports a wide network of community agencies that fight social exclusion and poverty.
From 2009 to 2012, Ms. Pereša led ONE DROP, which manages a project providing access to safe water in Burkina Faso. Prior to that, she directed community and humanitarian organizations, including les petits frères des Pauvres, the YWCA of Montréal and Amnesty International France.
She had her first experience as a volunteer aid worker at the age of 25 when she taught with the World University Service of Canada in Malawi. Following that, she was a management consultant to Oxfam-Québec’s Burkina Secours in Burkina Faso. In 1994, Ms. Pereša joined CARE Austria as head of the Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina Mission, during the armed conflict that was affecting the region at that time. She also supported women’s entrepreneurship efforts with the Bureau d’Appui aux Micro Entreprises (BAME) in Bobo-Dioulasso in 1995.
Ms. Pereša holds a graduate degree in management from McGill University and a master’s degree in political science—with specialization in international co-operation and humanitarian aid—from the Sorbonne in Paris.
Ms. Pereša’s involvement in humanitarian aid has earned her various distinctions, including the title of Chevalière from the Ordre national du Québec, an honorary doctorate from the Université de Montréal, and an Engineers Canada fellowship.
Ms. Peresa is a member of the Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments. She is currently a board member of the Domaine Forget and of the Mobile Giving Foundation Canada, and was also a board member of the École Polytechnique de Montréal.
Cory has an eclectic mix of community involvement and professional development.
Cory attended the 1991 Conference and has since served as Alberta Chair, Chair, Program Chair, Membership Chair and Organizing Committee Member for the last six conferences, including the 1998 Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conference. She currently sits on the Conference Board of Directors.
Cory has been active in the community since first volunteering for the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary. During her four-board term with the Canadian Paraplegic Association, she spent one day working while confined to a wheel chair.
As Chair of the Calgary Grey Cup Committee for five years, she has ridden horses into numerous downtown hotels, and as a committee member of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, she has flipped her share of complimentary pancakes, all topped with a smile.
Cory’s work career began in the banking sector with Scotiabank in Ottawa and later for Telesat Canada. She became involved in the oil and gas industry after her transfer to Calgary and currently works as President for privately-run Guardian Protective Clothing. She continues to enjoy tennis and golf and is very happy that all three of her boys have carried on the family passion for volleyball.
Linda Silas has been the President of the 200,000-strong Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) since 2003 and is the foremost advocate on behalf of nurses in Canada.
Linda has fine-tuned her skills as a union leader at the local, provincial, national and international levels over the course of two decades. Starting her tenure as a full-time labour activist as the single mom of a 13-month-old son has shaped Linda in a very distinctive way.
Linda has earned a reputation for being a caring listener who is focused and solution-oriented in everything she does.
Linda champions greater understanding and action on the social determinants of health and key policies that will enhance socio-economic equity, including a national pharmacare program and justice for Indigenous communities.
Linda was previously the President of the New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU) for 10 years.
Linda is a graduate of l’Université de Moncton, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and has practiced in in ICU, emergency, and labour & delivery.
Martin Thibodeau is responsible for carrying out RBC Royal Bank’s strategic objectives and managing business priorities in British Columbia.
Mr. Thibodeau joined RBC Royal Bank in 1989 and has worked in most regions of Canada. Most recently he held senior management positions as Regional President (Quebec), Regional Vice President, Eastern New Brunswick and P.E.I.; Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Quebec Headquarters; Regional Vice-President, Commercial Financial Services, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Ontario; and Vice-President, Canadian Banking, National Office, Toronto.
Recently, he became a member of the Young President Organization (YPO).
A native of Joliette, Mr. Thibodeau has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and an MBA from Université du Québec à Montréal. He also holds the Fellow, Institute of Canadian Bankers designation.
Mr. Thibodeau is actively involved with community service, including sitting on the board of Canadian Cancer Research Society and serving as honorary president of the Canadian Red Cross 2013 gala fundraising event in Quebec. He is an Associate of the Asper School of Business in Manitoba, on the board of directors of Manitoba’s Bilingual Trade Agency (ANIM) and the St. Boniface Hospital, and served as chair of the board of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
Victor Thomas is Vice-President, Prairie Region, of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, responsible for Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. He also works part-time as Strategic Advisor to the President at the University of Regina. Victor has a Masters of Administration in Leadership from the University of Regina, a Chartered Director designation from McMaster University and the reciprocal designation of Administrateur de Sociétés Certifié from Laval University. Over the past 15 years, he has held various leadership roles including Chair of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Chair of SaskEnergy, and Chair of the Banff Forum. Victor currently serves as Vice-Chair of Saskatchewan’s Innovation Place, member of the Rideau Hall Foundation Board and chairs its Innovation Council. Victor is an alumnus of the 2012 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.
Daniel Watson is a proud public servant who is passionate about the role that public institutions play in shaping Canada and the lives of Canadians. His appointment at Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Affairs is his fifth appointment as a Deputy Minister, having been Deputy Minister (and previously Associate Deputy Minister) of Western Economic Diversification, Chief Human Resources Officer for the Government of Canada and Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada.
Much of his career has focused on work with Indigenous peoples and issues, having been the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy and Strategic Direction at the former Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Director General of the Aboriginal Justice Directorate at the federal Department of Justice, and Director of Aboriginal and Territorial Relations at INAC’s Northwest Territories Regional Office. With the Government of British Columbia, he was Director of Treaty Implementation and Settlement Legislation where he led the development of the Nisga’a Final Agreement Act (British Columbia) among other major initiatives and, with the Government of Saskatchewan where he was responsible for first negotiations between provincial Department of Education and what was then the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.
In the context of these positions, he played key roles in the negotiation of modern treaties, specific claims and many other agreements and processes. He was also the lead for several key legislative initiatives, litigation files and alternative justice programs. He has worked with Inuit, Métis and First Nation governments, communities and entities in every jurisdiction across Canada, and has lived in British Columbia, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.
Beyond this experience, Daniel has significant background in economic development and innovation issues, federal-provincial-territorial relations, labour relations and human resources issues, and cultural and ecological heritage matters. He has represented Canada on numerous issues at forums around the world and has represented the federal government in several national federal-provincial-territorial forums.
Daniel is a pilot, sang for a time with the Regina Philharmonic Choir, has taught firearms safety and hunting courses, and has represented Canada in French, English and Spanish. His record for riding a Harley-Davidson from Ottawa to Edmonton is 46 hours and 10 minutes, one he intends never to repeat or beat.
Gina Wilson was appointed Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada effective May 6, 2019.
Gina Wilson is Algonquin and began her career in her First Nation community of Kitigan-Zibi as Executive Director of Health and Social Services and as Director of the Wanaki Treatment Centre. Ms. Wilson was a Senior Manager with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), a national Aboriginal organization representing First Nation communities in Canada when she joined the Federal Government in 1996 and for five years served as Director General, Aboriginal Affairs at Correctional Service Canada. In 2003, she became Director General at Human Resources Skills Development Canada, before moving to the Privy Council Office (PCO) in 2005 as Director General of Engagement, where she organized a First Ministers’ Meeting.
Ms. Wilson was appointed in 2006 as Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) with Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada and was a partner in the implementation of a settlement agreement for approximately 80,000 survivors of Indian Residential Schools in Canada. Her office oversaw the co-ordination of events leading to the Prime Minister’s historic Apology on June 11, 2008. She then was named Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Regional Operations, at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and was responsible for the implementation of operations and programming in seven regions. She was also a participant in the Advanced Leadership Program (ALP) in 2009.
Ms. Wilson was Assistant Deputy Minister of Emergency Management and Regional Operations at Public Safety Canada in 2011-2013, where she lead a national emergency management system and strategies to reduce and mitigate disasters in Canada and then was Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Treaties and Aboriginal Government at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada focused on reconciling Aboriginal and Crown interests through the negotiation and implementation of modern treaties.
Ms. Wilson was then appointed as Associate Deputy Minister at Employment and Social Development Canada in March, 2014 where she served the Minister of State for Seniors and the Minister of State for Social Development, while tackling departmental efforts to reduce the backlog at the Social Security Tribunal. In addition, Ms. Wilson led initiatives such as “Job Bank/Job Match” – a national website to match employers and job seekers and several additional corporate and workplace initiatives. From 2015 to 2017, she was Associate Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada where she focused her efforts on transforming the department to a healthy and caring workplace, and led files such as cannabis legislation, firearms and criminal justice reform. Ms. Wilson was appointed as Deputy Minister for Women and Gender Equality, formerly Status of Women Canada, on May 23, 2017.
Sean Wiltshire hails from Newfoundland, but is rarely there, as an award-winning diversity expert and international speaker. Sean has been working with businesses, crown corporations, governments, and communities to help them diversify their workforce and be more innovative. From St. John’s to Bombay, from Vancouver to Kathmandu Sean has been helping audiences see diversity as part of a business solution.
Professionally, for the last 26 years Sean has been the Chief Executive Officer of Avalon Employment Inc (AEI). – An employment agency for individuals with disabilities. Sean has also build a large social enterprise that does over $5 Million Dollars a year in payroll for other not for profits and local businesses.
Sean is a past President of the Provincial Regional Economic Development Association and was a member of the Ministerial Committee on Regional Renewal for the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador.
Sean has also been a member of two Federal Ministerial Advisory Committees; is an Alumnus of The Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference (2000), and currently is a member of the National Executive Board.
In 2017 Sean was at the United Nations in Vienna; Austria to accept the “Zero Project Award” as part of the team From York University working on employment and diversity issues in South East Asia.
Sean’s commitment and vision has been celebrated with numerous awards and accolades, including being named one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEO’s by Atlantic Business Magazine, and nominated for the Top 40 Under 40 in Canada.
As well as being the inaugural recipient of the Canadian Association of Supported Employment’s “Wiltshire Award of Excellence in Supported Employment”; an award named in his honour.