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 privileged to continue our role as co-chairs of the Canadian Cancer Society and work with the board of directors, staff and volunteers across the country to advance our mission to save and improve the lives of people affected by cancer.

Thanks to the unwavering support of volunteers, donors and partners, we’re making profound progress. Over the last year, we continued to evolve our fundraising approach and reach new audiences by leveraging digital solutions. We were also thrilled to be back in person with many community fundraising events for the first time in 2 years, galvanizing thousands of supporters across Canada.

Simultaneously, we pursued innovative strategies to increase our impact. Through initiatives such as CDL Cancer and the MaRS innovation challenge, and the historic funding for low-survival cancers through the CCS Breakthrough Team Grants, we’re supporting new solutions to save even more lives in Canada and beyond. We championed important policy changes that make life better for people with cancer, including the extension of the Employment Insurance sickness benefit to 26 weeks. Through it all, we consistently provided compassionate support and reliable cancer information through our programs and services to help people manage life with cancer.

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 heartfelt thank you to our committed, generous and growing network of donors, researchers, patients, volunteers and partners. Together, we are transforming the future of cancer through investing in world class research, transformative advocacy and compassionate support services.


Shachi Kurl & Christopher Wein



Board member 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.


Board Member Manon Boisclair

Manon Boisclair

Montreal, QC

Manon Boisclair is an entrepreneur and founder of InnovID B2, a boutique firm in impact consulting in life science and artificial intelligence. She has over 20 years of international experience in executive management roles with NASDAQ-listed biopharmaceutical companies in the US, Canada and Europe. She has extensive global strategy and operations expertise, launched various hemato/oncology drugs and worked on early pipeline compounds in rare diseases. Involved in private investing, Ms Boisclair is a seasoned angel investor supporting a number of trailblazing early-stage life science companies and is also involved as a board director.

Active in the startup ecosystem, she mentors several entrepreneurs affiliated with Creative Destruction Lab and partners with organizations promoting women entrepreneurs and fosters early-stage companies focused on rapidly bringing their life science innovations across geographies. Ms Boisclair is a healthcare clinician with a master from University of Montreal and an executive MBA from McGill/HEC. She is a certified corporate board director from Harvard Business School, the Institute of Corporate Directors, and obtained her ESG designation from Competent Boards.

Ms Boisclair has been a member of the Canadian Cancer Society Governance and Nomination Committee for 4 years and is former chair of the Quebec Provincial Council.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Board Member Dr Kumar

Dr Eshwar Kumar

Saint John, NB

Dr Eshwar Kumar is currently a medical officer at the New Brunswick Cancer Network (NBCN) and served as co-CEO at NBCN’s department of health from 2005 to 2016. He practiced as a radiation oncologist in Saint John, New Brunswick since 1984 and retired from active clinical practice in 2018. He was head of the Saint John Cancer Center from 1994 to 2009.

A graduate of St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore University, India, he obtained his Fellowship in Radiotherapy and Oncology from the Royal College of Radiologists, London, UK.

Dr Kumar is a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies. He served on the board of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership) and is on advisory and steering committees of several initiatives of the Partnership.

Dr Kumar has been involved with the Canadian Cancer Society for over 20 years and was president of the New Brunswick division from 2007 to 2009. He previously served on the national board of directors and on the New Brunswick divisional board.

He is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. He has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Canadian Medical Association and the New Brunswick Medical Society.

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.

Board Member Lauren MacDonald

Lauren MacDonald

Toronto, ON

Lauren MacDonald is a global marketing executive who has worked on blue chip brands like Pepsi, Gatorade, Walkers Crisps and IKEA. Ms MacDonald is the former chief marketing officer of IKEA Canada and currently serves as the head of marketing for IKEA, globally. Ms MacDonald has oversight over marketing activities across the IKEA network. She is responsible for marketing strategy and deploying marketing tools, frameworks and competency programs across the franchise network to drive long-term sustainable growth of the IKEA brand in every market across the globe.

Ms MacDonald holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from Queen’s University. She sits on the Ontario Provincial Council of the Canadian Cancer Society and also volunteers her time mentoring young women who are starting out in the field of marketing.

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.

Board Member Cindy Morton

Cindy Morton

Victoria, BC

Cindy Morton recently retired from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, where she served as CEO since 2017. Under her leadership, the 10-year Canadian strategy for cancer control was developed through nationwide consultations and international expert advice on the future of cancer care.

In her previous roles, Ms Morton served as CEO at eHealth Ontario, and has extensive background in public service leadership, holding numerous deputy minister portfolios in Ontario and in British Columbia. She also served as senior vice-president and general counsel of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and was on the board of directors at the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada in 2014. Currently Ms Morton is a member of the board of directors for British Columbia Infrastructure Benefits and is a former member of the Canadian Cancer Society's Strategy Committee.

Ms Morton is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and practiced administrative law before joining the public service. She is a graduate of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

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 Tony Ritlop

Tony Ritlop

Montreal, QC

Tony Ritlop leads the technology risk consulting group of EY Canada for Eastern Canada and co-leads the quality & risk management function for the consulting practice of EY Canada. His nearly 30 years of professional experience includes information technology consulting and auditing, enterprise risk management, service organization reporting, cyber security and enterprise resource planning application advisory services.

Mr Ritlop has a particular focus on technology-based risk management and the development of strategies that assist clients in creating value from IT investments and better managing high risk technologies and projects. While Mr Ritlop’s has primarily worked in Canada, he has also lived and worked in the US and Europe.

Mr Ritlop has been vice chair of the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee since 2021, and a member since 2018. He is also former chair of the CCS Risk Management Committee from 2019 to 2021.

Board Member Stephen Robbins

Dr Stephen M. Robbins

Montreal, QC

Dr Stephen M. Robbins is the director of the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of the Jewish General Hospital, and Glaxo Smith Kline chair in pharmacology and professor in the Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology at McGill University.

Prior to this, he spent most of his career at the University of Calgary in the departments of oncology and biochemistry and molecular biology. He is also committed to teaching and supporting the education of graduates and has won several awards with respect to these activities. In 2013, he was appointed as the scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Cancer Research and served 2 terms (2013-2022).

In addition to teaching, Dr Robbins has had a long-standing interest in understanding the biochemical circuitry that controls cellular proliferation and differentiation and how this circuitry goes awry in cancer. During his research career, he has taken a more translational approach including defining new therapies for malaria, has discovered a novel class of anti-inflammatory agents and identified new therapeutic targets for brain tumours. Recently, a peptide that he and his colleagues discovered has moved to a phase 2 clinical trial in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

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.

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.