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Featured speakers and facilitators

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Lynsey Addario [More Info]
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, New York Times bestselling author

Lynsey Addario is one of the brave photojournalists on the ground in Kyiv, covering the brutality of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. She travelled to Ukraine in the days before the Russian military began its assault and has been photographing the devastation as well as the stirring moments of Ukrainian resistance. Addario covers major conflict zones across the globe, including the Middle East, South Asia, Haiti and Africa. A Pulitzer Prize winner, she is a regular contributor to National Geographic, The New York Times, and TIME magazine.

In 2015, American Photo Magazine named Addario one of five “most influential photographers” of the past 25 years for changing the way we see world conflict. Most recently, she has covered the Coronavirus pandemic, the Syrian refugee crisis, the ISIS advance in Iraq, the civil war in South Sudan and the flow of African and Middle Eastern migrants into Sicily.

Using her powerful and evocative images, Addario brings audiences to the front lines of the geopolitical and human rights issues plaguing the world. Her presentations offer an intimate look at her perilous work and explain what drives her—despite having a family—to keep running toward the danger. With clarity, beauty and candor, Addario shares the complex lives of others in their most intimate moments.

Addario began her photography career in 1996 with no formal training or studies. She freelanced for the Associated Press in New York for several years before moving to New Delhi, India, to work in South Asia. In 2000, Addario first travelled to Afghanistan to document life and oppression under Taliban rule. She returned to Afghanistan numerous times before 9/11 and then covered conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur, Congo, and Libya, where she was among the four New York Times journalists kidnapped in 2011. Addario’s 2018 book, “Of Love & War,” is a collection of over 200 photographs that capture her commitment to exposing the devastating consequences of human conflict.

Her New York Times bestselling memoir, “It's What I Do,” chronicles her personal and professional life as a photojournalist coming of age in the post-9/11 world. It was praised in Kirkus Review as “a brutally real and unrelentingly raw memoir that is as inspiring as it is horrific.”

Addario has been the recipient of numerous international awards throughout her career, including a MacArthur Fellowship or 'Genius Grant' in 2009, the Overseas Press Club’s Oliver Rebbot award for her series “Veiled Rebellion: Afghan Women,” and the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for her photographs in the New York Times’ ‘Talibanistan.’

In 2010, she was named one of 20 women on Oprah Winfrey’s Power List for her “Power of Bearing Witness.” In 2011, she was named one of Glamour Magazine’s 20 women of the year.

In 2014, Addario was the official photographer for the Nobel Peace Center’s 10th peace prize exhibition, photographing winners Malala Yousefzai and Kailash Satyarthi at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway. Addario was part of the New York Times team nominated for an Emmy Award for the series, “The Displaced,” which documented the lives of three children displaced from war in Syria, Ukraine and South Sudan. She received a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Bates College in Maine and York University, England. She is also fluent in Spanish and Italian.

Kawser Ahmed [More Info]
Adjunct professor, University of Winnipeg and Executive Director of Conflict and Resilience Research Institute Canada (CRRIC)

Kawser Ahmed was an exchange officer with the Turkish Armed Forces and an observer-peacekeeper to the United Nations Missions in Western Sahara. He is also an alumnus at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in Washington.

Ahmed is a research fellow with the Center for Defence and Security Studies and a junior research affiliate with the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Safety.

He leads a Winnipeg-based not-for-profit organization called the Conflict and Resilience Research Institute, Canada. He received his PhD in peace and conflict studies from the University of Manitoba in 2017 and is a recipient of a post-doctoral fellow from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He is also a Rotarian.

Tasha Youngblood Brown [More Info]
US east higher education leader
Ernst & Young (EY)

Tasha is a higher education leader in the U.S. government and public sector practice of Ernst & Young (EY).

She helps state and local governments, higher education institutions, elementary school districts and non-profits transform their environments and optimize operations to achieve better outcomes, reduce costs and increase efficiency.

She also serves as a service quality assurance executive across various projects to monitor and make certain engagement teams deliver quality services that meet client expectations. Her specific expertise includes strategic planning, technology, security, enterprise risk management, internal audits and regulatory compliance.

Serving as an engagement executive, she leads teams to implement project and program objectives for senior higher education administration and non-profit entities and builds and manages executive-level relationships to support her clients.

Katherine Carre [More Info]
Borden Ladner Gervais

Katherine Carre is counsel in the corporate commercial group in the Toronto office of BLG LLP and a member of the charities and not-for-profit law group.

Carre regularly advises not-for-profit organizations, charities and private corporations on a wide range of matters, including corporate governance, commercial agreements and transactions.

She has been advising colleges on a wide range of matters for many years and has most recently been involved in updating the Leadership Excellence program’s governance manual for colleges.

Robyne Hanley-Dafoe [More Info]
Psychology and Education Instructor

Robyne Hanley-Dafoe is a multi-award-winning psychology and education instructor who specializes in resiliency, navigating stress and change, and personal wellness. She provides practical strategies – grounded in global research and case studies – that help foster people’s resiliency.

Hanley-Dafoe’s work is inspired by personal experience. She learned resiliency from the ground up as someone who has experienced significant obstacles throughout her life.

Combined with her more than 16 years of teaching and research experience at university, her work is both accessible and relatable. It provides realistic and sustainable strategies for understanding and practising resiliency and wellness.

Hanley-Dafoe is the author of the award-winning and bestselling book, Calm Within the Storm, which outlines a powerful and achievable path to everyday resiliency. It won the 2022 Silver Nautilus Award in the psychology/mental and emotional well-being category.

Graham Lloyd [More Info]
College Employer Council

Graham Lloyd was appointed as CEO for the College Employer Council on Aug. 1, 2019. He is a bilingual business leader and lawyer with over 25 years' experience.

Lloyd was previously with Ontario’s milk marketing board, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, where he held several senior leadership roles, most recently as its CEO. Lloyd was also the general counsel at a multinational insurer and prior to that was a litigator in Toronto.

As a bilingual business leader and lawyer, he brings a significant skill set in advocacy, strategic planning, governance and communications. His expertise includes managing complex negotiations and issues while regularly working with stakeholders, government and the media.

Amber Mac [More Info]
AmberMac Media Inc.

Considered by many to be the go-to expert on anything to do with technology, Amber Mac helps companies and audiences stay ahead of the curve. She is an industry veteran, renowned as a journalist, moderator, entrepreneur, consultant and bestselling author. Whatever the setting, Mac offers clarity and a passion for digital innovation in all forms.

In 2021, Mac was named one of Bay Street Bull’s “Women of the Year” for her leadership in the technology sector. She has also been named one of “30 inspirational women making a difference in tech” by DMZ.

Mac began her career in San Francisco and Boston during the dot-com boom. As a strategist for Razorfish and a director of marketing for an e-procurement software company, she spent four years in the technology startup trenches.

Today, Mac is the president of AmberMac Media, an award-winning content development agency. She has been a featured speaker at more than 500 events around the world and moderated sessions with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former FBI director James Comey, business coach Tony Robbins, author Malcolm Gladwell, astronaut Chris Hadfield and many other notable leaders.

Mac has also hosted and co-hosted a variety of television and radio shows and several podcast series. These have included The Feed on SiriusXM, The AI Effect, Marketing Disrupted, This is Mining and The AmberMac Show, which has led to more than five national podcast awards.

Mac is the co-author of the Amazon bestseller, Outsmarting Your Kids Online, and the author of the national bestselling business book, Power Friending. She is also a regular business host and expert for Fast Company, CNN, Bloomberg, CBS, BNN, CBC-TV, Global News, CTV, The Marilyn Denis Show and SiriusXM.

Leanna Marshall [More Info]
Indigenous Counsellor
Confederation College

Leanna Marshall (she/her) works as an Indigenous counsellor at Confederation College.

She is both Anishinaabe and English. She was born and raised in Thunder Bay. Her community and family roots are connected to Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, located in Treaty No. 9.

Marshall is a self-taught artist who tells stories of her ancestors and of the land through textile pieces, performance art and poetry. She is currently in her second year of the inaugural Indigenized art therapy diploma program at the WHEAT Institute in Winnipeg.

Marshall lives in Thunder Bay and is a mother to two vibrant daughters.

Bill McKibben [More Info]
Author, Educator, Environmentalist

Bill McKibben is the founder of Third Act, which organizes people over the age of 60 for action on climate and justice. He previously helped found 350.org, the first planet-wide movement to tackle climate change, which organized 20,000 rallies throughout the world.

His book, “The End of Nature,” was one of the first books to raise public awareness about climate change and has appeared in 24 languages.

The Boston Globe once said he was “probably America’s most important environmentalist.” He has written 20 books and his work appears regularly in periodicals from the New Yorker to Rolling Stone.

He has won the Gandhi Peace Prize as well as honorary degrees from 20 colleges and universities. He was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called the alternative Nobel, in the Swedish parliament. Foreign Policy named him to its inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers.

Nathalie Mejia [More Info]
Senior Consultant

Nathalie Mejia is a manager in Deloitte’s higher education transformation practice based in Toronto.

She is passionate about finding creative, unique and realistic solutions to address complex challenges in higher education. She brings a student-centric lens to ensure strategic recommendations and transformations are anchored in understanding and enabling student success at each stage of the student journey.

As a higher education professional with over 11 years of experience, she has expertise in international education, student recruitment and admissions, strategic enrolment management, institutional planning and assessing core institutional functions, including teaching and learning.

Mejia has worked with key educational partners across Canada, the U.S. and the globe, bringing a comparative and international lens to her work. She holds an MEd from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education focused on higher education administration, policy and leadership.

Scott Murray [More Info]
Canada higher education leader
Ernst & Young (EY) Canada

Scott Murray is the national higher education leader for Ernst & Young (EY) Canada. He has spent recent years supporting higher education institutions in modernizing and taking a people-centric approach with technology.

Murray is passionate about improving student outcomes while supporting institutional resiliency with technology. He strongly believes there is untapped potential in aligning the student experience with the technology experience.

He brings more than a decade of experience supporting organizations through major transformation projects with a focus on design thinking and innovation.

Lori Nemeth [More Info]
Digital HR Project Lead
Fanshawe College

Lori Nemeth is an organization development and change champion. For over 30 years, she has held roles as internal organization development consultant in business, health care and education.

Nemeth joined Fanshawe College in 2006. She has recently moved into a role as change lead for the college strategy to bring digital innovation to HR, finance and student information functions. She is also leading the digital transformation of HR functions.

She holds undergraduate degrees in business and education, a master’s degree in education and a PhD in organization development and change from Fielding Graduate University. Her areas of research are multi-disciplinary, contributing to areas such as the social sciences.

Michael E. Parent [More Info]
Director, Consulting, Higher Education Transformation Advisory, Ontario Regional Leader

Michael Parent is a director in the consulting practice. Over a 17-year consulting career, he has delivered projects across all industries namely focused on higher education, business services and consumer business organizations.

Parent is a leader in the higher education transformation team, a group of professionals focused on examining the future of higher education, specifically in the areas of student experience, strategic enrolment management and operations transformation.

Parent has extensive expertise in strategy design and execution, growth planning, innovation, scenario planning and operating model design. Prior to joining Deloitte, he held administrative leadership roles at two Ontario post-secondary education institutions.

Victoria Prince [More Info]
Borden Ladner Gervais

Victoria Prince is a partner in the corporate commercial group at Borden Ladner Gervais and is the national leader of the law firm’s charities and not-for-profit law group.

Together with an experienced team, she advises clients – including many colleges – on a wide range of issues, including governance and strategic initiatives, regulatory compliance, board orientation, legal audits of operations and a myriad of other matters.

Prince serves as a volunteer director on several charities and is active in the charity and not-for-profit law sections of both the Ontario Bar Association and the Canada Bar Association.

Catherine M. Raso [More Info]
CMR Consulting

Catherine Raso is an internationally recognized practitioner, consultant, author and speaker on board governance.

She has more than 30 years of experience in the non-profit sector—as a CEO, a board member and as a highly skilled facilitator who has consulted with more than 600 boards around the world.

Her most popular governance book, “The OnTarget Board Member: 8 Indisputable Behaviours,” is in its 5th edition with over 15,000 copies sold worldwide. She has co-authored books such as “The Board Administration Handbook,” “The Policy Governance Fieldbook” and others. Raso always receives very high ratings for informative, valuable and engaging presentations that make a difference.

Eric Sloat [More Info]
Organization Development and Learning Consultant
Fanshawe College

Eric Sloat began his management career nearly four decades ago and demonstrates a well-rounded expertise in leadership. He’s developed a strong reputation for teaching, training and consulting.

Sloat holds a master’s degree in leadership and over the years has taught part time at Fanshawe College, Lambton College and Western University.

Since 2013, he has contributed to leadership development and management practices as an organization development and learning consultant at Fanshawe College. He’s committed to the belief that both the transfer of knowledge and continuous education are critical elements to any successful business environment or organization.

Gary Watanabe [More Info]
Principal Trainer
Third Factor

Garry Watanabe is an expert on coaching and performance psychology with a wealth of experience working under the peak of pressure in both business and sport.

He spent five years in the world of corporate law before a passion for coaching led him to switch careers to become a professional swimming coach. He then spent the next eight years directing elite swimming programs, first in Canada and then in Southern California—arguably the most competitive swimming environment in North America.

As principal trainer for Third Factor, Watanabe has helped thousands of leaders apply the principles of coaching, collaboration and resilience in their professional and personal lives. His corporate clients include Deloitte, Toyota, RBC and the USGA.

As Third Factor’s sport lead, Watanabe oversees many partnerships with sport organizations. His contributions to sport include working with athletes and coaches in Alpine Canada’s men’s and women’s downhill and ski cross teams and extensive consulting work with the Canadian Olympic Committee.

In addition to his corporate work, he is an affiliate faculty member at the University of North Carolina. He is also an instructor in the full-time MBA and executive leadership programs at Queen’s University.

Watanable hold a doctor of law degree from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in sport psychology from the University of Ottawa and a certificate in principled negotiation from the University of Windsor.

Mark Weber [More Info]
Business School Director
University of Waterloo

Mark Weber is the Eyton director of the Conrad school of entrepreneurship and business at the University of Waterloo.

Prior to his current role, he was the inaugural director of the graduate diploma in social innovation at UW and served on the faculty of the Rotman school of management and UTM at the University of Toronto.

He also taught courses at Northwestern University, INSEAD and the Ross school of business at the University of Michigan.

He earned his PhD in management and organizations at the Kellogg school of management, Northwestern University and holds a master’s degree in social psychology and an MBA.

Weber is an award-winning teacher and researcher. He consults extensively and has provided training and coaching to executives and professionals in the financial services, professional services, technology, telecommunications, broadcast media, entertainment, automotive, pharmaceutical, health-care and education sectors. He has also provided training and coaching to government at all levels.

As well, he facilitates strategic planning for not-for-profit and for-profit organizations alike. His early achievements included both national and international awards for public speaking and debating. His pre-academic professional experiences included managerial and leadership roles in municipal government, the financial services sector and in not-for-profit organizations.

Weber’s research focuses on leadership, cooperation, negotiations, decision-making and trust. His work has been published in outlets like Research in Organizational Behavior, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Psychology Review, Culture and Negotiation: Integrative Approaches to Theory and Research, Social Psychological and Personality Science, Trust and Distrust across Organizational Contexts: Dilemmas and Approaches, and Personality and Social Psychology Review.

Warren Weeks [More Info]
Media Trainer
Weeks Media

Warren Weeks sold his first newspaper to his grandmother when he was five. He was Wayne Gretzky’s PR handler for a day in 1998.

He did crisis-response work in Walkerton during the infamous E. coli crisis in 2000. And in 2010, he started the viral social media campaign to get former NHL coach Pat Burns into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Today, he’s one of Canada’s most in-demand media training coaches, having delivered more than 1,500 sessions to clients from companies around the world, including Shopify, RBC, Manulife and Gymshark.

Kathy Woods [More Info]
Partner in Consulting and the National Future-ready Organization Leader

As a partner in Deloitte’s Canadian human capital consulting practice, Kathy Woods leads Deloitte’s future-ready organization offering. She is focused on working with leaders, their organizations and their people to build the resilient organizations with the people and talent they need to thrive in this new environment – quickly and successfully.

With over 30 years of experience, Woods has expertise in change management, leadership, strategy development, diversity and inclusion and culture. She brings her experience as a global HR executive and line business leader to help organizations build their own strategic agendas and drive transformative change – all from a pragmatic perspective with a strong results focus.

Fareed Zakaria [More Info]
Bestselling author and host of Fareed Zakaria GPS

Fareed Zakaria is the host on CNN of Fareed Zakaria GPS – a weekly program on international and U.S. affairs. He is also a columnist for The Washington Post and a bestselling author.

His CNN program has included interviews with former U.S. president Barack Obama, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Other past guests have included military officials, corporate leaders and public figures such as Bono.

The program earned the prestigious Peabody Award in 2011 and an Emmy Award nomination in 2013.

Zakaria has regularly hosted prime-time specials for CNN, such as “Blindsided: How ISIS Shook the World,” “Why Trump Won” and “Putin: The Most Powerful Man in the World.”

Zakaria is the author of several highly regarded New York Times bestsellers, including “Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World” and “The Future of Freedom.”

Prior to his tenure at CNN, Zakaria was the editor of Newsweek International, the managing editor of Foreign Affairs, a columnist for Time magazine, an analyst for ABC News and the host of Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria on PBS.

In 2017, he was awarded the Arthur Ross Media Award by the American Academy of Diplomacy. Previously, he was named a “Top 100 Global Thinker” by Foreign Policy magazine and was once called “the most influential foreign policy adviser of his generation” by Esquire magazine.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, a doctorate in political science from Harvard University and has received numerous honorary degrees.