our people

Our board of directors

Governance, leadership and public accountability. Establishing priorities and acting as a trustee on behalf of Canadians.

A message from the co-chairs of our board of directors

We are honoured to take on the role of co-chairs of the Canadian Cancer Society, working with the board of directors, staff and volunteers nationwide to drive our important mission to work for and serve those affected by cancer.

For more than 2 years, COVID-19 has been an unrelenting presence that has affected people and communities across the country, our healthcare system and the way we work. Thanks to the determination and boundless support of volunteers, donors and partners, we have implemented innovative solutions allowing us to continue our mission to help save and improve lives.

Together, we have much to celebrate. Through the opening of our Centre for Cancer Prevention and Support  last September and our new partnership with the Creative Destruction Lab, we are accelerating the movement of research discoveries from the lab to real-world application, helping to bring the most promising cancer advances to the people who need them most. We also recently announced the world’s first proposed federal regulations to require a health warning on every cigarette. These are bold steps to take control of cancer for the benefit of everyone in Canada. Through it all, we continue to provide compassionate support and trustworthy cancer information through our programs and services so that no one faces cancer alone.

We encourage you to review our strategic plan to 2025 to learn more about our ambitious vision and how we’ll get there with your support.

Our sincere thank you to the many donors, researchers, patients, volunteers and partners who work with us every day to bring our mission to life. Your support for people facing cancer is essential. Together, we can make life better today and transform the future of cancer forever.

Shachi Kurl & Christopher Wein



Shachi Kurl

Shachi Kurl (co-chair)

Vancouver, BC

Shachi Kurl is president of the Angus Reid Institute, Canada’s non-profit foundation committed to independent research. She works with public opinion data to further public knowledge and enhance the national understanding of issues that matter to Canada and the world.

Ms Kurl is often found offering analysis on CBC’s “Power and Politics”, in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, and on the editorial pages of the Ottawa Citizen, among other places. In 2020, she moderated BC’s only televised provincial election debate. Ms Kurl also moderated the 2021 English language leaders debate during the 44th federal election in Canada.

She spent the first part of her career as political reporter and holds a degree in journalism and political science from Carleton University, where she is now adjunct research professor at the Carleton University School of Journalism.

Ms Kurl is a recipient of the prestigious Jack Webster Award for Best TV Reporting and the Industry Marvel Award from Darpan Magazine. Along with former Australian and UK Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and Margaret Thatcher, she is an alumnus of the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

Christopher Wein

Christopher Wein (co-chair)

Toronto, ON

Christopher Wein is currently chief operating officer of Lanterra Developments and president of Lanterra Construction Management. Mr Wein has over 25 years of experience in the real estate development industry, including executive positions in largescale development companies operating throughout Canada and the United States. He is an innovator in utilizing new technologies, sustainable eco-friendly building solutions and engineering ingenuity within the development and construction industries. As an entrepreneur, Mr Wein is also involved in various healthcare initiatives.

Mr Wein’s commitment to CCS comes from a strong belief in giving back to the community and endeavouring to “leave the campsite, better than he found it.” Cancer is one of society’s biggest challenges and he believes that we can all make an effort, big or small, to reduce its impact on all of our lives.

Mr Wein is currently on the board of Elevate and The Community. His recent past appointments include chair of the Design Exchange, chair of Prostate Cancer Canada and a governor of the North York General Hospital Foundation as well as a long history of service as a member of many other health, philanthropic, arts and community boards. He was also the recipient of Calgary Inc.’s Top 40 Under 40 award in 2004.

Diane Gosselin

Diane Gosselin (vice-chair)

Saint Sauveur, QC

Diane Gosselin has over 25 years of experience in financing innovative biomedical research. She is currently president, chief executive officer and a co-founder of CQDM, a biopharmaceutical research consortium. CQDM’s mission is to support and facilitate multi-stakeholder collaborative research and development that accelerates the translation of leading-edge discoveries into vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics addressing unmet medical needs while generating significant benefits for Canadians.

In fulfilling her mandate at CQDM, Ms Gosselin has demonstrated the relevance CQDM’s model by building a network of 2,000 researchers across Canada and by supporting the development of over 110 world class technologies for a total of 290M$ in funding.

Prior to CQDM, Ms Gosselin worked for the Fonds de solidarité and PROCREA BioSciences, where she led the research team that developed the first non-invasive diagnostic test for endometriosis and the world’s largest tissue bank for endometriosis research.

Ms Gosselin sits on the boards of various research and science organizations. She holds a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of Montreal as well as an executive MBA from Université du Québec à Montréal and Université Paris-Dauphine. More recently, she completed a university certification program in corporate governance from Université Laval.


Donna Carbell

Toronto, ON

Donna Carbell is responsible for the individual insurance business at Equitable Life of Canada. She is a collaborative leader who brings a wealth of financial services industry knowledge, with more than 25 years of experience in progressively senior roles. Prior to joining Equitable in 2021, Ms Carbell spent 20+ years with Manulife and most recently was the head of group benefits in Canada as well as the international group program, a global business that supports multinational employers across 50+ countries.

Ms Carbell is passionate about all aspects of health including financial, physical and mental. She develops financial solutions to protect the health of Canadians by connecting people with technology and creative products and solutions during critical life events.

Ms Carbell is on the board of directors of Special Olympics Canada and holds an MBA in finance from Wilfrid Laurier University and a degree in political science from Carleton University.

Dr Nadine Caron

Prince George, BC

Dr Nadine Caron is a member of the Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation. She is a practising surgical oncologist in northern BC, where she provides cancer screening, diagnosis and surgical care for mostly Indigenous people in rural, remote and northern BC. Within BC Cancer, Dr Caron is the sole Indigenous physician as well as a senior scientist at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre. At the University of British Columbia (UBC), she is the only Indigenous member of the faculty of medicine. She is also the inaugural First Nations health authority chair in cancer and wellness and a professor in its northern medical program and department of surgery. Dr Caron is a founding co-director of the UBC Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health and a consultant in the development of BC’s first-ever Indigenous cancer strategy to improve Indigenous cancer outcomes and experiences in BC. Dr Caron currently leads the development of the Northern Biobank Initiative and is a co-lead investigator on the Silent Genomes project.
Philippe Couillard

Philippe Couillard

Saint-Félicien, QC

Philippe Couillard is currently a consultant. He practised neurosurgery for 20 years before serving as minister of health and social services in Quebec from 2003 to 2008. In 2014, Mr Couillard became the 31st premier of Quebec, a position he held until his retirement from politics in 2018. During his political tenure, he led important structural reforms, banned smoking in public places and significantly improved Quebec’s public finances and economic outlook.

Mr Couillard holds a doctor of medicine and diploma in neurosurgery from the University of Montreal. He also holds specialist certificates from the Quebec College of Physicians and from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Dr Chen Fong

Dr Chen Fong

Calgary, AB

A radiologist by training, Dr Chen Fong is currently a professor emeritus of the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary. He is also the co-chair of the global strategy board of the Creative Destruction Lab, a platform for mentoring young entrepreneurs. Dr Fong has 18 years of experience building start-ups. He has also participated in philanthropic boards in the healthcare sector.

Dr Fong holds an MD from the University of Manitoba and an honorary doctor of laws from the University of Calgary. He was invested into the Order of Canada, inducted into the Junior Achievement’s Alberta Business Hall of Fame and elected a fellow of the American College of Radiology.

Board Member Stephen Forbes

Stephen Forbes

Toronto, ON

Stephen Forbes is executive vice president, purpose, brand and corporate affairs at CIBC. In this role, he is responsible for CIBC’s brand, marketing, digital sales and overall client experience. In addition, he leads CIBC’s corporate communications, media relations and community investment activities.

With over 21 years of service at CIBC, including his most recent mandate in leading the bank’s national client and sales functions, he brings deep industry knowledge and a passion for clients, employees and communities.

Prior to joining CIBC, Mr Forbes held executive roles at Moore Corporation and Rogers Communications. He is active on several boards of directors, including SickKids Hospital and Special Olympics.

Arthur Heinmaa

Toronto, ON

Arthur Heinmaa is the chief executive officer and chief information officer of Cidel Asset Management. He is responsible for Cidel’s asset management operations and chairs the investment committee. He oversees the trading, research, operations and compliance activities of the firm.

In addition to his duties at Cidel, Mr Heinmaa was a director of several Canadian mutual fund companies, a member of the University of Toronto’s governing council, chair of the Integra Foundation and past director of the CFA Society Toronto.

Mr Heinmaa is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) with a 30-year career in the financial services industry. He frequently lectures on capital markets at seminars and has been a contributing subject matter expert for industry textbooks.

He currently serves on the board of the Scarborough Health Network Foundation, is a member of the investment committee at the Terry Fox Foundation and chairs the financial services program advisory committee at George Brown College. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto.

Chan Hon Goh

Chan Hon Goh

West Vancouver, BC

Chan Hon Goh is the director of the Goh Ballet Academy and has spent over 20 years on stage as a principal dancer for the National Ballet of Canada. She is also a founding member of Vancouver’s Arts and Culture Policy Council, which advocates for the creative arts community.

Ms Goh has received several prestigious awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal and the YWCA Women of Distinction award. In 2019, she was appointed a member to the Order of Canada for her excellence in ballet as a principal dancer, artistic director and cultural ambassador.

Dr. David Huntsman

Dr David Huntsman

Vancouver, BC

Dr David Huntsman is a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of British Columbia, where he is the Canada research chair in molecular and genomic pathology. He also directs OVCARE, BC’s multidisciplinary ovarian cancer research team, and conducts his research at the BC Cancer Agency and Vancouver General Hospital. Dr Huntsman leads several Canadian and international collaborative networks and founded Contextual Genomics to increase the clinical and economic impact of his work. He has an MD from Memorial University.

Dr Jonathan Irish

Toronto, ON

Dr Jonathan Irish is professor and division head of the head and neck oncology and reconstructive surgery division at the University of Toronto. He is a surgical oncologist and reconstructive surgeon with a particular expertise in oral cancer, melanoma and skin cancer, and thyroid cancer.

Dr Irish served as the chief of the department of surgical oncology at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre from 2000 to 2016. Since 2004, he has been a major health policy advisor and responsible for access to care, quality improvement and healthcare funding for the surgical oncology program at Cancer

Care Ontario. In 2008, Dr Irish was appointed as the provincial head of the surgical oncology program at Cancer Care Ontario and is currently vice president, clinical, cancer care at Ontario Health.

As the Kevin and Sandra Sullivan chair in surgical oncology at the University of Toronto, Dr Irish leads a multidisciplinary program in guided therapeutics, developing novel nanomedicine-based contrast agents, which, in combination with near real-time navigation and tracking systems, can create innovative solutions for minimal-access surgical approaches in cancer therapy.

Yolande James

Yolande James

Beaconsfield, QC

Yolande James is a political commentator for various CBC-Radio Canada programs and a lawyer-mediator. She also gives frequent public talks on various topics such as immigration, diversity and gender equality in society and in politics.

Ms James was elected to the Quebec National Assembly in 2004. She was its first Black female member as well as Quebec’s first Black cabinet minister.

In 2007, Ms James was appointed Quebec’s minister of immigration and cultural communities. In 2010, she was appointed minister of families. During her tenure, she overhauled the governance for subsidized daycare, a service that is critically important to working families. She was also deputy house leader for the official Opposition from 2012 to 2013.

Ms James founded the valorisation jeunesse program, which offers young people access to professional job opportunities and ensures companies have a more diverse workforce.

Ms James has a degree in civil law from the University of Montreal and a degree in common law from Queen’s University.

Rex Lee

Rex Lee

Toronto, ON

Rex Lee is the chief information officer of Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC), accountable for all aspects of technology strategy, architecture, development, operations and cyber security. Before joining CTC in 2012, Mr Lee held senior technology leadership roles at BlackBerry, Bell Canada and Bell Mobility, leading efforts in innovation, digital transformation, e-commerce, advanced analytics, social computing, enterprise resource planning (ERP), automation and architecture.

Mr Lee has a passion for continuously advancing technology systems, agile processes and operating models and has been featured in various publications including the Wall Street Journal. He holds an MBA in marketing and technology management from McMaster University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario.

Virginia McLaughlin

Richmond Hill, ON

Virginia McLaughlin has had extensive experience in governance in the not-for-profit and crown corporation sectors for more than 35 years. She currently serves as the chair of the board of trustees at the University of Guelph and vice chair of the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope, Ontario. Recent positions include chair of the Cancer Quality Council for Ontario, member of the board of trustees of the Museum of Science and Technology and honorary colonel of the 25 (Toronto) Field Ambulance.

Ms McLaughlin is a past chair of the board of directors of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, the Governance Leadership Council of the Ontario Hospital Association, Trinity College at the University of Toronto and several other organizations. In 2016, she was awarded an honorary doctor of sacred letters from Trinity College for her services to the college and to the community and for philanthropy.

She is also the president of Helmhorst Investments Limited and Ferdinand Holding Limited, 2 family-owned investment companies.

Susan McPeak

Susan McPeak

Verdun, QC

Susan McPeak is co-founder of the McPeak-Sirois Group for Clinical Research in Breast Cancer, a unique private initiative bringing together public health institutions. Today it is one of the most important breast cancer clinical research consortiums in Canada.

Ms McPeak is a breast cancer survivor who participated in a life-saving clinical trial. Capitalizing on her 10+ years of experience in key management positions in marketing and business development, she decided to get involved in making clinical research more accessible in Quebec.

In 2019, Ms McPeak was recognized for her contributions to breast cancer research by the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer at the University of Montreal. The same year, she was named personality of the week by La Presse+. In 2018, she received the prix innovation dans la communauté from the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation.

She has an MA in German literature from the University of Montreal.

Hilary Pearson

Hilary Pearson, C.M., LL.D. 

Westmount, QC

Hilary Pearson has over 20 years of experience in foundation philanthropy in Canada. She currently serves on the advisory committee to the masters in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership program at Carleton University.

From 2001 to 2019, Ms Pearson was the founding president of Philanthropic Foundations Canada. She also served on the governor general’s advisory committee on volunteerism and philanthropy and co-chaired the advisory committee on the charitable sector, advising the federal minister of revenue on charitable policy and regulatory issues.

In 2018, Ms Pearson was appointed a member to the Order of Canada for her contributions to building the field of philanthropy in Canada. In October 2020, she became chancellor of Brock University.

She holds a BA and an MA in political economy from the University of Toronto and was awarded honorary doctorates from Carleton University and the University of New Brunswick.

Board Member Robin Speer

Robin Speer

North Battleford, SK

Robin Speer is a public policy and communications professional with more than 20 years of experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors in Canada, with extensive experience in the agriculture industry.

For more than a decade, Mr Speer has been actively involved in numerous volunteer capacities to help improve outcomes for those touched by cancer. He currently serves as chair of the Saskatchewan Provincial Advisory Council and vice chair of National Council with the Canadian Cancer Society. In 2019, he received the Local Hero Award for his contribution and dedication to Prostate Cancer Canada.

Mr Speer is a lifelong lover of literature and creative writing. His first work of fiction, Saint Lazarus Day and other stories, was published in 2020. Beyond being an author, he is also involved in the publishing industry as an acquisitions editor.

Mr Speer holds a BA from the University of Saskatchewan, a MA from the University of York, and a postgraduate certificate from the University of Edinburgh.

Valerie Steele

Valerie Steele

Toronto, ON

Valerie Steele is an audit, IT and risk executive capable of leading strategy and driving change. She currently heads the professional practice centre of the corporate audit function for a major Canadian financial institution. Before joining the bank, she spent 6 years building and leading the risk department for a Canadian regulator. She began her career with an international professional services firm, where she became a partner.

Ms Steele is recognized as a trusted advisor to C-level executives, audit committees, boards and regulators. She was on the board of directors of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) from September 2009 until January 2017. In 2017, when she served as CBCF’s chair of the board, she helped facilitate the amalgamation of CBCF and the Canadian Cancer Society.

Board Member  John Trang

John Trang

Toronto, ON

John Trang is a partner at Persistence Capital, a private equity fund exclusively focused on investing in high growth Canadian healthcare companies. With almost 20 years of experience building some of Canada’s leading companies, Mr Trang focuses on the development and execution of strategic plans, effective change management, and creating value. Prior to joining Persistence Capital, he held positions at TorQuest Partners, Lloyds Banking Group, and UBS.

Having many friends and family affected by cancer, Mr Trang joined the Canadian Cancer Society’s (CCS) Ontario Council in 2019 to support the progress CCS continues to make in supporting Canadians impacted by cancer. He is currently the chair of the Ontario Council and National Council.

Mr Trang also serves as board chair for MCA Dental Group, a rapidly growing dental support organization, and MedSpa Partners, North America’s leading group of medical spas. He is a graduate of Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business and an active member of Young Presidents’ Organization.

Ontario Board

  • John Trang (Chair), Toronto, ON
  • Kal Amery, Toronto, ON
  • Mathieu Lupien (Research Representative, ex-officio), Toronto, ON
  • Sandra Aversa, Toronto, ON
  • Lauren MacDonald, Burlington, ON
  • Adriana Bitonte-Recourt, Markham, ON
  • Garth Matheson (Cancer Care Ontario Representative, ex-officio), Toronto, ON
  • Sharon Chandler, Toronto, ON
  • Laura Money, Toronto, ON
  • Nancy Drynan (Regional Representative), Oshawa, ON
  • Brian Rosen, Brampton, ON
  • Jonathan Fraser, Toronto, ON
  • Roxana Sultan (Vice-Chair), Toronto, ON
  • Joseph Kirk, Oakville, ON
  • Cola Xia, Markham, ON