Board

Dignitas International Board of Directors

Jennifer Keenan
Chair – Dignitas International Board of Directors


Jennifer KennanJennifer is a lawyer who has been involved with issues of global health for more than a decade. She is past Chair of the Give a Day to World Aids Campaign which has raised more than $3.5 million in the legal and medical communities. She is also deeply involved in Canada’s immigrant communities having worked both as a lawyer and as an advisor in the not for profit sector that serves new Canadians. She has had the privilege of serving as a Bencher for the Law Society of Upper Canada and is the proud co-recipient of the 2011 Lexpert-Zenith Award for Philanthropy that Impacts Children. She also serves on the board of Royal St George’s College.

hughes2Pam Hughes

Vice Chair, Dignitas International
Chair, Governance & Nominations Committee
Senior Partner, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Pamela Hughes is a Senior Partner in the Securities Group at Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP. Her practice focuses on international corporate finance, capital market regulation, derivatives and mergers and acquisitions.

As part of her practice, Pam has also undertaken capital market regulatory reform work on behalf of the Canadian Securities Administrators, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency.

Phil_ArthurPhil Arthur

Chair, Finance & Audit Committee
Director, Dignitas International

Philip Arthur served with Ernst & Young for 38 years where he held senior level responsibility for several multinational financial institution clients until 2008. He has been a Director of the Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada since October 2009. He also currently serves as the Chair of the Insurance Accounting Task Force of the Canadian Accounting Standards Board. Phil previously served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bridgepoint Foundation and Advisor to the International Accounting Standards Board. He has also served on several other not-for-profit boards, including as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Trinity College at the University of Toronto. Mr. Arthur has Masters of Business Administration degree and is a Fellow Chartered Accountant.

devine3Carol Devine

Director, Dignitas International
Writer and Researcher, Global and Earth Health

Carol Devine is the former Program Director and Access to Essential Medicines Campaign Liaison with Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Canada, and worked as a Humanitarian Affairs Officer with MSF in Rwanda and Southern Sudan. She was involved in advocating for the implementation of the World Trade Organization’s flexibility for export of generic medicines to developing countries.

Carol was also Program Manager of the Diplomacy Training Program, a human rights training program for advocates in the Asia-Pacific region, based at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, Australia.

Dr. Michael Schull

Co-Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, Dignitas International
President & CEO, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto

Dr. Michael Schull is the President and CEO of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Professor in the Department of Medicine (Division of Emergency Medicine) at the University of Toronto. He is also a staff emergency physician at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a Faculty member of the hospital’s Clinical Epidemiology Unit. His involvement in international health grew out of his experience as a general practitioner in remote parts of Canada, and at the King Edward VII Hospital in Durban, South Africa. He joined Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in 1991, and subsequently worked in Iraq, Bangladesh, and Burundi, as well as assessing MSF projects in Rwanda, Uzbekistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He served on the Board of Directors of MSF Canada from 1997-2002, and as its President from 1997 to 2001. In 2003, Michael joined the Board of Dignitas International, In 2009 he and his wife Dr. Josée Sarrazin and their three kids spent a sabbatical year volunteering with the organization in Malawi.

Gospel-Kazako-150x150Gospel Kazako

Director, Dignitas International
Broadcaster, Entrepreneur, Poet

Gospel Kazako is a renowned media mogul in Malawi. He is the Founder and Managing Director of Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS). Zodiak is privately owned and has been voted the number one radio station in Malawi for the past eight years. The station has won multiple MISA (Media Institute of Southern Africa) awards and has received honours from CNN, the Elders and others. Prior to founding Zodiak, Gospel worked for Malawi’s state owned radio station, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) for 7 years. He left MBC in 1998 to set up his own production company Tiakalulu Media Production Studios. In 2007, Gospel introduced the Zodiak Girl Awards, recognizing the best female students in high schools. Gospel holds a Diploma in Journalism from the Malawi Institute of Journalism.

upshur2Dr. Ross Upshur

Co-Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, Dignitas International
Head of the Division of Clinical Public Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Ross is the Head of the Division of Clinical Public Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

In addition, Ross is the Canada Research Chair in Primary Care Research. At the University of Toronto he is a Professor at the Department of Family and Community Medicine and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Adjunct Scientist at the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences, an affiliate of the Institute of the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology and a member of the Centre for Environment. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences and Associate Member of the Institute of Environment and Health at McMaster University.

Lynda Kuhn

Director, Dignitas International
Senior Vice President, Maple Leaf Foods

Lynda Kuhn is Senior Vice President, Sustainability and Public Affairs at Maple Leaf Foods. She is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the company’s sustainability strategy, the objectives and commitments embedded in the Company’s culture, as well as corporate identity and business processes. She also leads Public Affairs, including internal and external communications and stakeholder relations.

In 2009, Ms. Kuhn founded Nyota, a home for orphaned and destitute children in Kenya and in 2012 worked with local educators to establish Wezesha, an education scholarship program that supports secondary and post-secondary education for 70 high potential, economically disadvantaged young people in the Nakuru region of Kenya.

Ms. Kuhn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) from Dalhousie University, Halifax and a Master of Arts degree in Economic Anthropology from McGill University, Montreal.

david_youngDavid Young

Director, Dignitas International
Playwright, Novelist, Screenwriter

David Young is the author of seven plays, two novels and numerous screenplays and teleplays. Two of his plays, Inexpressible Island and Glenn, have been nominated for multiple Canadian drama awards and have received productions around the world.

His play Fire received four Dora Mavor Moore Awards as well as the Chalmers/Toronto Drama Bench Award. He is a founder of the Writers’ Trust of Canada, and a trustee of the Griffin Prize for Excellence in Poetry. David is a long-time supporter of Dignitas International and spent four months as a volunteer in Malawi in 2014.

Cheryl Hudson

Director, Dignitas International
Managing Partner, Strategic Philanthropy
Michael Vukets & Associates

An acknowledged expert in strategic philanthropy, Cheryl collaborates with the firm’s clients in designing effective philanthropic strategies that shift from short-term, less meaningful charitable giving to sustained, focused and high impact philanthropy. In addition to her role with the firm, Cheryl currently serves as the Executive Director of the Michael and Karen Vukets Family Foundation.

Prior to joining Michael Vukets & Associates Cheryl was the Director, Corporate Engagement for World Vision Canada. She also enjoyed a 10-year career in senior management at TD Bank Financial Group. She is a frequent speaker on philanthropic issues across Canada, and is committed to transforming the lives of children, and creating societal and economic resilience for marginalized families.

Cheryl also serves on the Board of Directors of The Canadian Film Centre and The Art of Time. She is a volunteer on the fundraising committee for the Ontario Friends For The Canadian Museum For Human Rights.

Dr. Rajiv K Singal

Director, Dignitas International
Urologic Surgeon, Michael Garron Hospital
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto

Dr. Singal grew up in Bowmanville Ontario and eventually moved to Timmins where he graduated from high school. He went on to receive his medical degree in 1990 from the University of Toronto. He did his postgraduate surgical training in Toronto, obtaining his board certification in Urology with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1995. A fellowship from the University of Western Ontario in Minimally Invasive Surgery, Shock Wave Lithotripsy and Kidney Stone disease was completed in 1996.

He joined the surgical staff at Michael Garron Hospital (Formerly Toronto East General Hospital) in 1996 and served as Head of the Division of Urology from July 2001 until October 2012.  Currently, Dr. Singal leads the Surgical Robotics Program (jointly run by MGH and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre) and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He supervises the Clinical Endourology Fellowship program at MGH under the umbrella of the University of Toronto and also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate medical trainees. He works on Cancer Care Ontario initiatives related to prostate cancer care and is a member of the Board of the MGH Foundation.   

Dr Singal continues to spend most of his free time with his wife watching his three kids turn into amazing young adults.  

Joanne O’Hea

Director, Dignitas International
Director of Global Equity Trading at RBC Capital Markets

Joanne O’Hea is a Director of Global Equity Trading at RBC Capital Markets, where she is responsible for the sales and trading of equity securities for institutional and corporate clients, management of normal course issuer bids, and partnering with Sales, Trading, Research and Investment Banking in building deeper corporate relationships. Prior to joining RBC, Joanne held a series of progressively senior sales, marketing and asset management roles at TD, and more recently at TE Investment Counsel Inc.

Since joining RBC Capital markets in 2007, Joanne has made significant contributions to the firm’s success and workplace culture. She is one of the founding members of RBC Capital Markets’ RWomen, a globally expanding internal forum dedicated to fostering female development and career aspiration, and is a member of RBC’s Canadian Diversity Leadership Council, which plays an important role in driving diversity initiatives across the firm.

Joanne is actively involved with the Women in Capital Markets organization and was the recipient of the group’s 2011 Rising Star Award and 2016 Executive Coaching Award which recognize leaders in the capital markets industry. Joanne is also a member of the fundraising committee at the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation, and helps coordinate the fundraising efforts for SickKids at RBC.

Joanne is married and a proud mother of two young children.

Dignitas USA Board of Directors

Michael Young
Chair, Dignitas USA Board of Directors


young4Michael Young founded Quadrant Capital Partners, Inc. in  November 2003. From 1994 to October 2003, Mr. Young served as Managing Director and Head of Real Estate Investment Banking for CIBC World Markets. Mr. Young was appointed Global Head of Real Estate for CIBC World Markets in 1997. He serves as Lead Independent Trustee of SmartREIT (TSX), formerly Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust. Mr. Young is Chairman of the Board of Milestone Apartments REIT (TSX). He was a Director of Brookfield Residential Properties Inc. (NYSE/TSX) until it was privatized by Brookfield Asset Management. He serves as a Director of the Board of the American Friends of the Art Gallery of Ontario and is Chairman of the Board of Dignitas International (U.S.). Mr. Young holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Western Ontario. He is also a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

 

devine3Carol Devine

Director, Dignitas USA
Writer and Researcher, Global and Earth Health

Carol Devine is the former Program Director and Access to Essential Medicines Campaign Liaison with Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Canada, and worked as a Humanitarian Affairs Officer with MSF in Rwanda and Southern Sudan. She was involved in advocating for the implementation of the World Trade Organization’s flexibility for export of generic medicines to developing countries.

Carol was also Program Manager of the Diplomacy Training Program, a human rights training program for advocates in the Asia-Pacific region, based at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, Australia.

orbinski2Dr. James Orbinski

Director, Dignitas USA
Research Chair & Professor in Global Health, Balsille School of International Affairs, Wilfred Laurier University and Professor of Medicine, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Dr. James Orbinski is an internationally recognized humanitarian practitioner and advocate, as well as a leading scholar and scientist in global health.

After extensive field experience with Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF), James Orbinski was elected MSF’s International President from 1998 to 2001. From 2001-04, he co-chaired MSF’s Neglected Diseases Working Group, which created and launched the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi).

James joined St. Michael’s Hospital as a research scientist in 2003 and the University of Toronto as an associate professor of both medicine and political science in 2005. In 2004, he co-founded Dignitas International

James currently serves as the Research Chair & Professor in Global Health at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, a Professor with the School of International Policy and Governance at Wilfrid Laurier University and a Professor of Medicine with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

stephenson3Tom Stephenson

Director, Dignitas USA
CEO, LOOK Cinemas

Tom currently serves as CEO of LOOK Cinemas. Prior to founding Rave Motion Pictures, he served as President and CEO of Hollywood Theaters. He has previously served as Finance Director and Campaign Director for several US Senators.

He began his investment career with Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in 1978, later becoming the President of Inwood Capital. In 1987, he formed his own acquisition and advisory group, and has advised a number of corporations, including Parker Medical Associates, ReproGenesis, LLP and Wound Care Partners, LLC.

weaverVanessa Weaver

Director, Dignitas USA
President, Primus Vantage Inc.

Vanessa Weaver helps companies build long-term value through financial structures and relationships that drive growth, scale and profitability. She focuses on aviation and energy projects in the United States and in developing markets. Previously, Vanessa served as a governing director at the Export-Import Bank of the US.

She also served as a deputy assistant to the President of the United States in the White House, advising President Clinton on presidential appointments and related legislative and policy issues. Vanessa received her JD from Georgetown University.

hughes2Pam Hughes

Director, Dignitas USA
Senior Partner, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Pamela Hughes is a Senior Partner in the Securities Group at Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP. Her practice focuses on international corporate finance, capital market regulation, derivatives and mergers and acquisitions.

As part of her practice, Pam has also undertaken capital market regulatory reform work on behalf of the Canadian Securities Administrators, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency.

hoffman2

Marguerite Steed Hoffman

Director, Dignitas USA
Chair, Custom Food Group

Marguerite is the Owner and Chair of the Custom Food Group. She is an active board member for a range of nonprofits, serving civic, arts and health organizations throughout the United States and in Africa.

Marguerite currently serves on the boards of the Hockaday School the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and the Dallas Museum of Art. She is also on the Advisory Committee of the Art Museums at Harvard, the Dallas Women’s Foundation, Parkland Hospital and Planned Parenthood. Marguerite holds a BA from the University of Oklahoma and an MA from the University of Virginia.

victoriaBoard