Third LAC Forum with University Partners: Speakers' Biographies

Third LAC Forum with University Partners event banner

Donia Arfaoui, Student, HEC Montréal; Employee at Desjardins

Donia Arfaoui is a Business Administration student at HEC Montréal. She has a long history of community involvement with various organizations. Donia represented the Forum Jeunesse de Saint-Michel at public hearings held by the Commission on Systemic Racism and Discrimination of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal. In addition, Donia was a guest speaker at the National Poverty Conference in Ottawa in 2017, where she presented solutions to reduce poverty in Canada. Donia is a refugee rights ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency and the Forum Jeunesse de Saint-Michel. She is also an ambassador against discrimination for the Bureau d’intégration des nouveaux arrivants à Montréal (Montréal’s newcomer integration office) and the Forum Jeunesse de Saint-Michel. In April 2021, Donia was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Medal to honour her outstanding commitment, her inspiring attitude and her exemplary social involvement.

Marie-Lynne Boudreau, Director, Performance, Equity and Diversity, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

Marie-Lynne Boudreau is a Director within the Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS). TIPS manages a number of tri-agency institutional research funding programs on behalf of the three federal research funding agencies: CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC. She has been with TIPS for over 13 years; prior to that, she worked for CIHR and the RCMP. In the last several years, she has been leading the Performance, Equity and Diversity Division within TIPS, supporting policy development, performance monitoring and reporting, and equity and diversity policy and programming for all of the TIPS programs. She leads the implementation of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan for the Canada Research Chairs Program and the 2019 Addendum to the 2006 Canadian Human Rights Settlement Agreement.

Nadia Caidi, Professor, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Nadia Caidi is a Professor at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, Canada. Her research focuses on human information behaviour in the context of global migration. She has also examined the changing conceptions of diversity, equity and inclusion in the LIS fields. Her book Humanizing LIS Education and Practice: Diversity by Design (co-edited with Keren Dali) was published by Routledge in 2021. Dr. Caidi was the 2011 President of the Canadian Association for Information Science and the 2016 President of ASIS&T. In 2019, ALISE awarded her the Pratt-Severn Faculty Innovation Award.

Aaron H. Devor, Chair in Transgender Studies; Founder and Subject Matter Expert, Transgender Archives; Professor, Sociology, University of Victoria

Dr. Aaron Devor, PhD, FSSSS, FSTLHE, has been studying and teaching about transgender topics since the early 1980s. He established and holds the world’s first Chair in Transgender Studies; initiated and hosts the international, interdisciplinary Moving Trans History Forward conferences; and founded and is the subject matter expert for the world’s largest Transgender Archives. He has published widely on transgender topics, including as an author of four books and editor of one. Dr. Devor’s opinions are frequently sought by the media, and he has delivered public lectures to audiences around the world, including more than 35 keynote and plenary addresses. He is a national-award-winning teacher, a Fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, and an elected member of the International Academy of Sex Research. Dr. Devor is a former Dean of Graduate Studies (2002–2012), and a professor of Sociology, at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.

Albert Dumont, Algonquin Elder

Albert is currently on the Grandparents Counsel for Well Living House, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto. For 10 years, he worked as Spiritual Advisor for the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Parole Board of Canada and Correctional Services Canada.

Albert has begun a two-year tenure as Poet Laureate of Ottawa. He is an activist, a volunteer and a poet who has published five books of poetry and short stories. In recognition for his work as an activist and volunteer on his ancestral lands (Ottawa and Region), Albert was presented with a Human Rights Award by the Public Service Alliance of Canada in 2010. In January 2017, he received the DreamKEEPERS Citation for Outstanding Leadership. Albert has dedicated his life to promoting Indigenous spirituality and healing and to protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples, particularly those as they affect the young.

Frédéric Giuliano, Director General, Library Services, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Frédéric Giuliano is director general of library services at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and has been president of the Association des archivistes du Québec since 2019. Previously, he was director of direct services at UQAM, Assistant Librarian and Acting Director at McGill University, and archivist and head of service at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. He also serves as a consultant on various advisory committees at LAC and is a member of the International Council on Archives Expert Group on Research and Promotion of Archives. His research and publications focus mainly on issues of access, heritage development, and the use of new technologies within the library and archival communities.

Alden E. Habacon, Diversity and Inclusion Strategist and Facilitator; Principal, Inclusive Excellence Strategy Solutions Inc.

Alden E. Habacon is one of Canada’s leading diversity and inclusion strategists and facilitators. He is well known in this field and highly regarded for his over 16 years of impact, and his innovative work around equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). He works with leadership in a wide range of professions and sectors throughout Canada, including the legal community, social services, the public sector, municipalities, first responders, and large private corporations. Alden is the former Director of Intercultural Understanding at UBC; the Visiting Diversity and Inclusion Fellow at the University of Delaware; Senior Advisor, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the Faculty of Science at SFU; and a lecturer at the UBC School of Journalism, Writing and Media, at the UBC Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs program, and at the Graduate Program of the Peter A. Allard School of Law. He is currently leading EDI work at the Royal BC Museum and has supported the EDI efforts at the university libraries of UBC, UC San Diego, Ohio State University, SFU, York University, and the Association of Research Libraries. He has also spoken at the Vancouver Island Libraries Conference and the BC Public Libraries Summit (British Columbia Library Trustees Association), and he works closely with the Surrey Library.

Julie Hannaford, Deputy Chief Librarian, University of Toronto Libraries

Julie Hannaford is Deputy Chief Librarian at the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL), a role she has held since 2011. One of her key roles is supporting recruitment and retention. She has a deep interest in supporting the professional development and mentoring of staff. She has been a member of UTL's Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Anti-Racism Committee since 2018 and plays an active role in coordinating IDE PD activities, including for herself, recognizing that there is much learning and unlearning to be done.

Åsa Kachan, Chief Librarian and Chief Executive Officer, Halifax Public Library; Vice Chair, Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC)

Åsa Kachan is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Librarian for Halifax Public Libraries, where she oversees 420 staff working across the 14-branch library system. Halifax Public Libraries recently received international acclaim with the opening of Halifax’s new Central Library in 2014. Halifax Public Libraries is very highly regarded for its services, programs and welcoming spaces that reach diverse populations with equality and respect.

Prior to her role with Halifax Public Libraries, Åsa spent 16 years in senior administrative roles within universities, most recently serving as the Assistant Vice-President Enrolment Management and Registrar for Dalhousie University between 2004 and 2014.

Åsa has volunteered her time with a number of community organizations, including Halifax Dance, the Halifax Grammar School and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. She is currently serving as Chair of the Governance Committee of the United Way of Halifax and sits on the Advisory Board for the Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University. In 2018, Åsa was appointed to the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for a three-year term.

S. Karly Kehoe, Canada Research Chair in Atlantic Canada Communities, Saint Mary’s University

Dr. S. Karly Kehoe is the Canada Research Chair in Atlantic Canada Communities at Saint Mary's University of Halifax and president of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Her research focuses on religious minority migration and community development in the North Atlantic. She is the co-founder of two initiatives focused on enabling the integration of academic research displaced by war and conflict: the At-Risk Scholar Initiative of the Global Young Academy and the At-Risk Academic and Refugee Membership program of the Young Academy of Scotland.

Johanna Smith, Director General, Public Services Branch, LAC

Johanna Smith is Director General of the Public Services Branch at Library and Archives Canada. She is responsible for leading LAC’s reference teams in Ottawa, Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver, exhibitions, on-line content, managing LAC’s major access-based digitization projects and she is the co-lead on LAC’s Indigenous Initiatives related to language and culture. She has worked at LAC for 15 years and has led strategic policy and legal files such as LACs work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the acquisition of digital records and publications, Access to Information and Privacy as well as the development of international standards related to archives and recordkeeping. She is chair of the International Council on Archives’ Expert Group on Research Services and Outreach. Prior to LAC, Ms. Smith worked as an archivist at the International Monetary Fund and was the archives advisor for Nova Scotia. She holds a Masters in Information Studies from the University of Toronto.

Cameron Lamb, B.A. (Hons) Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University

Born and raised in the lower mainland of British Columbia, Cameron Lamb has always valued nature and the ocean. Following a move to Vancouver Island, he found himself in Ottawa, driven by a passion for human rights and activism. After graduating from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Law and Legal Studies, and a minor in History, Cameron has been working toward attending law school and continues to pursue his activist work. In his spare time, he enjoys playing sports, practicing photography and scoping out the best sushi restaurants.

Daniella Levy-Pinto, Project Coordinator, National Network for Equitable Library Service

Daniella Levy-Pinto, PhD, is an expert in accessibility, including digital technology as well as livable spaces. She has been a user of screen readers and other assistive technologies for more than two decades in her different roles in academic and professional settings. Daniella works to promote and inform a paradigm shift toward born-accessible-content and inclusive design. As the Project Coordinator with the National Network for Equitable Library Service, Daniella leads a team of testers who assess the accessibility of e-books, reading apps and platforms to access content through public libraries across Canada, and makes recommendations for preventing and eliminating barriers. Outside the digital space, she advocates for pedestrian safety and accessible walking infrastructure for people of all ages and abilities. Daniella lives in Toronto and gets around with her guide dog.

MC: Francesco Manganiello, Director, Stakeholder Relations and International Affairs, Library and Archives Canada (LAC)

Francesco Manganiello is the Director, Stakeholder Relations and International Affairs at LAC. Before joining LAC in 2016, Francesco worked for Parks Canada (2009–2016) in a variety of roles, including Senior Advisor, Franklin Expedition, where he supported the 2015 Search for HMS Terror while working in the Arctic for 35 days. He has also worked in a variety of roles at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; Canadian Heritage; Public Safety Canada; Carleton University; Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Ville de Montréal; and the Parliament of Canada. Francesco has extensive experience in cultural heritage and community engagement, stakeholder relations and international affairs, and program policy analysis. He holds a BA from the University of Ottawa (Communications, Media, English Literature) and an MA from Carleton University (Canadian Studies, Heritage Conservation).

Marie D. Martel, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Sciences, Université de Montréal

Marie D. Martel is an Assistant Professor at the Université de Montréal’s School of Library and Information Sciences. Her research interests are in library sciences from a social design perspective, in the renewal of library service models (third location), in community dynamics and their impact on the participation of excluded populations, in social and digital inclusion, and in the strategies of local, institutional and professional players in literacy projects.

Megan McMeekin, Inclusion Librarian, University of Ottawa,

Megan McMeekin (she/her) is currently the Inclusion Librarian at the University of Ottawa, working toward initiatives to create an inclusive and accessible library for all users. She completed her MLIS at McGill University in 2011. Prior to joining the University of Ottawa Library in 2019, Megan worked for nearly eight years at Ottawa Public Library in roles that included accessibility and homebound services.

Véronique Morissette, Senior Policy Advisor, Equity, SSHRC

Véronique Morissette is a Senior Policy Advisor, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within the Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS). TIPS manages a number of tri-agency institutional research funding programs on behalf of the three federal research funding agencies: CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC. Véronique joined TIPS nearly three years ago and comes from the private sector, where she practiced as a lawyer. Since joining TIPS, Véronique has been actively involved with the Institutional EDI action plan review and the delivery of key items from the 2019 Addendum to the 2006 Canadian Human Rights Settlement Agreement.

Wendy Ng, Museum Education Specialist and Consultant

Wendy Ng is a museum education specialist, consultant and author with 20 years of experience working to change cultural institutions through diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism praxis. She has implemented strategic plans, change management and culture transformation initiatives rooted in anti-oppression throughout her career managing educational programming in large public institutions including the Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum and Art Gallery of Ontario. She is a Board Member, Editorial Team Co-Chair and Leadership Team Member of the Museum Education Roundtable. Wendy holds a MAT in Museum Education from George Washington University, a BFA and BEd from York University, and is a certified teacher in Ontario, Canada.

Dara Price, Director General, Archives Branch, and Diversity, Inclusion and Multiculturalism Champion, LAC

Dara holds a doctorate in History from the University of Oxford, where her research focused on the power dynamics between colonizer and colonized in 19th-century British India. She was particularly interested in colonial governance structures and bureaucratic culture, and how individuals engage with state systems of control to negotiate trust, autonomy and influence. In 2006, Dara joined LAC as a government records archivist. From 2013 to 2019, she led LAC’s policy team, where she became increasingly interested in gender equality discourse in the federal bureaucracy. In 2019, she completed a Master of Arts in Public Administration at the University of Ottawa, with a specialization in federal gender equality policy and its application in the areas of culture and heritage.

Jacques Prince, Archivist, President, Archives gaies du Québec [Quebec Gay Archives]

Founding member, Vice-President and, since 2010, President of Archives gaies du Québec (AGQ; Quebec Gay Archives), Jacques Prince was an archivist with the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec (now BAnQ) from 1984 to 2008. He was in charge of acquiring private archival holdings in the literary and fine arts fields. He was also a member of the editorial boards of the AGQ’s À rayons ouverts and Filigrane journals, for which he penned over 60 articles. He received his training as part of his Master’s of Library and Information Science at the Université de Montréal, specializing in archival studies. An archival monetary appraisal expert, he was a member of the National Archival Appraisal Board’s committees. In 2012, he was awarded the Medal of the National Assembly for his volunteerism.

Linda Savoie, Corporate Secretary, and Sex and Gender Inclusiveness Champion, LAC

Linda Savoie has been with the federal public service since 1995 and with LAC since 2016. Throughout her career in the federal public service, she has had the luck and privilege of serving in management and executive positions that aligned with her passion for equality, citizen participation, cultural institutions and, of course, official languages.

Prior to entering the public service, she practiced law in the private sector as well as in the Canadian Forces and managed emergency response and security for an airline. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Carlington Community Health Centre and is keenly interested in health equity and the impact that well-developed and well-implemented health care transformation initiatives can have on marginalized populations.

When not at work, she spends countless hours exploring the neighbourhood with her dog Dilly and planning post-pandemic adventures with her husband Bronco.

Emily Tang, Student, Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan

Emily Tang was born in China and grew up in Toronto, Ontario, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She is currently studying Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan. She is passionate about Canadian law, equal access to quality healthcare and destigmatizing mental illness. She is a member of the National Youth Advisory Council with the Mood and Disorders Society of Canada, volunteers with non-profits, and is the Co-President of the Health Sciences Students’ Association at the University of Saskatchewan. Emily is ecstatic to be learning alongside mentors and like-minded youth across Canada!

Cecilia Tellis, Head, Design and Outreach, Morisset Library, University of Ottawa

Cecilia Tellis (she/her) is the Head of Design and Outreach at the University of Ottawa Library, where she leads efforts to ensure that services and spaces are grounded in user-centred design principles; coordinates efforts to communicate the impacts of the library on student, academic and scholarly success; and identifies opportunities and develops solutions to ensure that the library is inclusive and accessible. She is a contributing member to ViMLoC: Visible Minority Librarians of Canada, and is currently a fellow in the ARL Leadership and Career Development Program, which prepares mid-career librarians from historically under-represented racial and ethnic groups to take on leadership roles. Cecilia holds a Master’s in Library and Information Studies from McGill University and a BA in French language and literature from the University of Toronto.

Lisa Tremblay-Goodyer, Director, Reference Services, and Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) Co-Champion, LAC

Lisa started her career at LAC about 15 years ago as an archivist responsible for prime ministers’ records. She is currently the Director of LAC’s Reference Services Division, which includes research support and guidance provided to clients to help them discover and access LAC's huge collection, onsite and online; Genealogy Services; Copy Services; Client Registration; and consultation of archival and published heritage. These services are offered in and from four facilities located in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Halifax and Ottawa. She is also deeply involved in the future Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility project. Lisa is LAC’s Gender Based Analysis+ (GBA+) Co-Champion.

Jessica Ward-King, Senior Analyst, State of Youth Report, Canadian Heritage

Dr. Jessica Ward-King has a Bachelor’s degree and a PhD in experimental psychology. A proud public servant since 2010, Jessica has worked in a variety of positions from university teacher to defense scientist to senior policy analyst. She now shares her talents as part of the Free Agent program, currently on assignment at the Youth Secretariat at the Department of Canadian Heritage, where she has been focusing on Canada’s first State of Youth Report. Diversity, equity and inclusion is a very personal passion for Jessica, who lives as a lesbian-identified woman and a person with a disability (bipolar 2 disorder). A crusader against mental illness stigma, Jessica, also known as the StigmaCrusher, works tirelessly to crush the stigma both in-person and now on YouTube. Jessica is thrilled to be able to join you in talking about DEI and youth today.

Leslie Weir, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, LAC

Leslie Weir became the Librarian and Archivist of Canada on August 30, 2019. Before coming to LAC, Ms. Weir was the University Librarian at the University of Ottawa from 2003 to 2018. During her tenure there, she founded the School of Information Studies in the Faculty of Arts and was cross-appointed as a professor. Prior to her arrival at the university, Ms. Weir held positions at the National Library of Canada and the Statistics Canada Library. She holds a Masters in Library Science from McGill University and a Bachelor of Arts (Canadian History) from Concordia University.

Ms. Weir has guided many transformative moments at the Canadian Research Knowledge Network and research libraries in Canada. She is one of the founding architects of Scholars Portal, the state-of-the-art research infrastructure in Ontario universities that brings together information resources and services in support of research and learning, and she served as Chair of the Ontario Council of University Libraries from 2010 to 2012. Ms. Weir served as President of, where she oversaw the introduction of the Heritage Project, in collaboration with LAC, to digitize and make openly accessible some 60 million heritage archival images. She also served as President of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries from 2007 to 2009 and the Ontario Library Association in 2017.

Over the course of her career, Ms. Weir’s vision, dedication and outstanding service have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Canadian Library Association Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship in 2015, the Ron MacDonald Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Research Knowledge Network in 2016, and, in 2018, the Ontario Council of University Libraries Lifetime Achievement Award and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries Award for Distinguished Service to Research Librarianship.

Gina Wilson, Deputy Minister, Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, Canadian Heritage

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) when she joined the federal government in 1996, and for five years she served as Director General, Aboriginal Affairs at Correctional Service Canada.

Ms. Wilson was appointed in 2006 as Assistant Deputy Minister with Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada, then Assistant Deputy Minister of Emergency Management and Regional Operations at Public Safety Canada in 2011–2013. In 2014, she became Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Treaties and Aboriginal Government at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

Ms. Wilson was then appointed as Associate Deputy Minister at Employment and Social Development Canada in March. From 2015 to 2017, she was Associate Deputy Minister at Public Safety Canada, where she led files such as cannabis legislation, firearms and criminal justice reform.

Ms. Wilson was appointed as Deputy Minister for Women and Gender Equality on May 23, 2017, where she led the creation of the new department and worked toward ensuring that GBA+ became fully instituted in government.

In 2019, Ms. Wilson was appointed as Deputy Minister, Public Safety Canada and returned to the department for the third time.

In January 2020, Ms. Wilson assumed a leadership role on government-wide initiatives related to youth, LGBTQ2, anti-racism, multiculturalism and Indigenous knowledge. She supports Canadian Heritage as a Senior Associate Deputy Minister while also focusing on her role as Deputy Minister, Diversity and Inclusion and Youth.

Ms. Wilson has for several years played an important leadership role as Deputy Minister Champion of federal Indigenous employees. She spearheaded a frequently cited report entitled Many Voices, One Mind and established a Knowledge Circle on Indigenous Inclusion. Both initiatives aimed at ensuring lasting change and progress for Indigenous representation in the federal public service.

Ms. Wilson is the recipient of the 2020 Indspire Award for lifelong leadership and lifelong work on Indigenous issues and supporting Indigenous employees.

Ms. Wilson has three beautiful children, Dylan, Kayla and Royce, and she treasures her granddaughter Charlotte.

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