The MPP in Digital Society Program benefits from strategic, non-binding advice from a range of leaders across the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Advisory Board members frequently deliver guest lectures to students, refer job postings, and act as champions of the program in various policy communities.
Executive Director of the Council of Canadian Innovators
Benjamin Bergen is the executive director of the Council of Canadian Innovators, a national, non-partisan business council for the 21st century economy, led by the CEOs of Canada’s fastest growing homegrown technology scale-ups. CCI is focused on optimizing the growth of Canada’s innovation-based sector, and Benjamin leads the execution of its ambitious advocacy agenda.
Shortly after his appointment to the role in 2016, he spearheaded a national advocacy effort to address Canada’s shortage of highly skilled workers. Within months, Canada unveiled the Global Skills Strategy, which included a landmark decision to expedite the processing times for highly skilled global workers.
Prior to his appointment, Benjamin worked for a federal and a provincial cabinet minister and worked extensively on issues of immigration, transportation and urban development. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Benjamin obtained a BA from the University of Toronto, where he studied economics and political science. An advocate for community health, Benjamin cycled from Toronto to Montreal in 2014 to raise donations for and awareness of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Vice President of the Canada School of Public Service
Neil Bouwer is a seasoned policy practitioner who has served as an Assistant Deputy Minister at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Natural Resources Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Privy Council Office of Canada, and the Canada School of Public Service. He is also co-champion of the Government of Canada Policy Community, in addition to having held executive positions at the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, Human Resources and Social Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada.
Neil Bouwer est un praticien chevronné en matière de politiques. Il a été sous-ministre adjoint au sein du Secrétariat du Conseil du Trésor du Canada, de Ressources naturelles Canada, de l’Agence canadienne d’inspection des aliments, du Bureau du Conseil privé et de l’École de la fonction publique du Canada. Il joue également un rôle de leadership auprès de la Communauté des politiques du gouvernement du Canada, en plus d’avoir occupé des postes exécutifs au Centre d’analyse des opérations et déclarations financières du Canada, à Ressources humaines et Développement social Canada et à la Banque de développement du Canada.
Partner, National Digital Government Leader at Deloitte
Jaimie is Deloitte Canada’s national Digital Government leader. She works with clients to accelerate digital change in the public sector, helping governments to better serve citizens using modern technologies. She previously served as the chief digital officer for the Government of British Columbia and has held a variety of leadership roles in the Government of Canada.
Recognized as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government, Jaimie is a frequent speaker on service modernization, data-driven leadership, and the future of government. Find her on Twitter at @jaimieboyd.
Global Director and Head of Public Policy, Canada at Facebook
Kevin Chan is a global Director and Head of Public Policy, Canada at Facebook. He has spearheaded the creation of Facebook’s Canadian Election Integrity Initiative, the Digital News Innovation Challenge in partnership with Ryerson University, and the Facebook – Canadian Press News Fellowship. He co-founded with the National Arts Centre #CanadaPerforms, the COVID-19 relief fund for the performing arts that has become a national livestreaming platform promoting Canadian culture online. Its success inspired sister initiatives globally, including #ArtsAcrossAmerica in partnership with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Kevin has played a key role in creating the Facebook-CIFAR Research Chairs in Artificial Intelligence, and the work he led to remove Canadian violent extremists from Facebook’s platforms made NOW Magazine’s 2019 Year in Review.
An executive with deep expertise in tech policy and the digital economy, Kevin is a Technology and Democracy Fellow at Harvard and a Governor of Ontario Tech University. He has testified before numerous Parliamentary Committees, including the International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy. Kevin sits on the Board of Kids Help Phone, playing a governance role in its move to texting and other innovative means of serving young Canadians, as well as MediaSmarts, Canada’s centre for digital literacy. He also served as Director of Policy and Research to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and as a fellow at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society. He is a member of the Max Bell School of Public Policy Advisory Council.
Kevin was previously Deputy Secretary-General of McGill and served for 5 years in the Privy Council Office, including as Director, Office of the Clerk of the Privy Council. He has held visiting appointments at SFU and Carleton, and served on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and the Ted Rogers School of Management Dean’s Council. He was on the 2017 Selection Board of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs.
His media appearances include CBC’s The National and The Current, Radio-Canada’s Enquête, as well as TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, and he has written for The Globe and Mail and The Ottawa Citizen. He was named one of The Hill Times’ “Top 100 Lobbyists” in 2018.
Kevin graduated from Harvard Kennedy School, Ivey Business School and the Royal Conservatory of Music. An Action Canada Fellow, he is the recipient of the Public Service Award of Excellence, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal.
He and his wife have three children.
Manager, Municipal Law and Licensing, City of Hamilton
Monica Ciriello is the Manager of Municipal Law and Licensing at the City of Hamilton. In her role, she applies her passion for municipal politics and local government in developing regulatory policy and managing municipal policy reform as well as overseeing enforcement of City by-laws and administrative tribunals.
Prior to her role at the City of Hamilton, Monica worked as a solicitor practicing municipal and planning law in both the private and public sectors. In addition to her law degree, she graduated from Western University with a BA in political science, obtained an MA in political science from the University of Windsor, and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan.
Executive Director, Benefits Delivery Modernization at Employment and Social Development Canada
Honey is the Executive Director with the Benefits Delivery Modernization Directorate at Employment and Social Development Canada. She has worked on transformation initiatives with the Canada School of Public Service Digital Academy and the Ontario Public Service, mostly in machinery of government reform. In 2019, she was named one of Apolitical’s “World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government.”
Honey’s projects include: developing a data-driven approach to service delivery modernization in ESDC; leading development of the Discover Series, an introductory digital curriculum for Government of Canada public servants and contributing to the Teaching Public Servants in the Digital Age syllabus; co-designing and launching Open Call with Code for Canada and the Canadian Digital Service; and leading teams that pioneered digital learning, assessments, and enshrined Ontario’s digital service standards in landmark legislation, the Simpler, Faster, Better Services Act, 2019.
Steve de Eyre
Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, TikTok Canada
Steve de Eyre is the Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs for TikTok Canada, where he engages with governments and external partners across the country to demonstrate TikTok’s commitment to being the industry leader in transparency and accountability, and to educate them on the ways that Canadians are using TikTok to share their voices, find new audiences, and grow their businesses. Prior to joining TikTok in 2020, he was Head of Public Policy at Amazon.ca from 2016 to 2020, where he established Amazon’s government relations team for Canada and was responsible for government engagement related to all of Amazon’s consumer businesses and corporate workforce in Canada.
Steve has extensive experience in internet and technology policy, international and digital trade, and Canada-US relations. He previously served at the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C. as the representative for Innovation, Science & Economic Development (ISED), and with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Steve has also worked at the Ontario Legislative Assembly, the US Federal Trade Commission, and as a volunteer on political campaigns in both Canada and the United States.
Steve holds a B.A. (Honours) in Political Studies from Bishop’s University, where he was named a “Top 10 after 10” alumni in 2019; and J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law (Cleveland, Ohio), where he served as a Senior Fellow with the Canada-United States Law Institute. He resides in Oakville, Ontario with his wife and two children.
Public Policy and Government Relations, Google Canada
Lindsay Doyle is the Manager for Public Policy and Government Relations at Google Canada. She is passionate about tech policy and supporting the industry’s broader efforts to promote economic growth, innovation and most importantly, user trust and safety. She brings over a decade of public policy, government relations and public affairs experience to her role.
Prior to joining Google, she was a senior consultant at a boutique firm in Ottawa. In her practice, Lindsay was a strategic advisor to clients tackling regulatory issues at the municipal, provincial and federal level in areas like tech, infrastructure and defence. She also served for a number of years as Press Secretary for a leading global defence and security conference in Halifax.
Lindsay’s passion for politics began in university, while working on a federal leadership campaign in 2006. This experience brought her to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, where she worked for the Leader of the Official Opposition. Following her time on the Hill, Lindsay worked at Global Affairs Canada, focused on Canada’s ambitious and simultaneous delivery of the G8 and G20 summits in Toronto and Muskoka. She later served as a weekly political commentator for the CBC, Global News, CTV and CPAC, providing analysis on leadership campaigns, general elections and everything in between.
Lindsay graduated from Trinity College at the University of Toronto with a degree in International Relations and Political Science, while working as a researcher at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
Vice President of Public Policy at TELUS
Jacob Glick is the vice president, public policy at TELUS, a senior executive fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, and a global leader on complex issues at the intersection of technology, public policy, and law. He brings more than 15 years of executive experience in technology and telecommunications law and policy.
Before joining TELUS, Jacob was general counsel of North Inc., a world-leading smart glasses start-up, funded by Intel Capital, Amazon and others, and acquired by Google. He also served as chief corporate affairs officer at Rogers Communications Inc.
Jacob was the head of Google’s central public policy and government relations team, based at Google’s headquarters in California. Prior to that, he founded and led Google Canada’s public policy and government relations team. He also served as general counsel, director of policy at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority and was a litigator with McCarthy Tétrault LLP.
Jacob was a distinguished visiting executive fellow at the Centre for Law, Technology and Society in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. Called to the Bar in 2003, he holds a Bachelor of Arts with high distinction and a Bachelor of Laws, both from the University of Toronto.
Co-founder & CEO at Borrowell
Andrew Graham is co-founder and CEO of Borrowell, one of Canada’s largest financial technology companies, with over 1.5 million users. Borrowell helps consumers find financial stability and make great decisions about their money. It was the first company in Canada to offer credit scores for free and recently launched Boost, which helps consumers track and pay bills. Borrowell has won numerous awards, including being named one of the top 100 fintech companies in the world by KPMG, one of the fifty fastest growing technology companies in Canada by Deloitte and top 50 “Best Workplaces in Canada” for the past two years.
Andrew has a keen interest in public policy and previously worked in the federal government as a senior aide to two cabinet ministers. He is a former president of the Banff Forum and of the Canadian Club of Toronto.
Andrew holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MA in economics from the University of Edinburgh. He was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year (Emerging Entrepreneur category) for Ontario in 2019.
North America Workforce Development and Higher Education System Lead at LinkedIn
Jake Hirsch-Allen works with North America’s governments, workforce development organizations, colleges, and universities, to leverage LinkedIn’s Learning Solutions and Economic Graph data to close skills gaps. Jake is passionate about supporting disadvantaged groups such as newcomers and refugees, indigenous populations, the formerly incarcerated, and people with disabilities.
Jake speaks regularly on the changing nature of the future of work and learning. Jake is a Director on the Boards of the Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity, Information and Communications Technology Council, and the Canadian Club. He is on the Advisory Boards of the Hot Docs Cinema and Code for Canada and an Executive at the International Council on Badges and Credentials. Jake founded Lighthouse Labs, Canada’s foremost software development bootcamp and Hacking Health. A former intellectual property and international criminal lawyer, Jake was also Chair of the Technology Committee of the Global Education Platform, taught Global Health at McMaster University and clerked at the Supreme Court of Israel.
Senior Analyst, Global Affairs Canada
Susan Hough has worked in foreign policy for a decade, much of which had a focus on ways digital technology is disrupting and shaping global issues. In this work Susan has represented Canada internationally – at multilateral bodies, with states, civil society organizations and human rights activists.
Susan has spoken at training sessions for government employees, and on public panels on the topics of technology and foreign policy. She has a Bachelors degree from McGill University, a Masters in Public and International Affairs from the University of Ottawa, and is currently based in Toronto, working for Global Affairs Canada. Prior to her work with the federal government, Susan worked for NGOs in Swaziland and Germany, and in a wide array of customer service gigs.
Foresight Advisor, Former Futurist at Baker McKenzie
Sanjay Khanna is a leading futurist and expert in strategic foresight. Most recently, he served as futurist at global law firm Baker McKenzie, working with lawyers, clients, board directors and the C-suite to advance a holistic understanding of global risk and change. Sanjay was on the Firm’s global committee tasked with developing new ESG and climate risk advisory services and facilitated the international expansion of the Firm’s relationship with the World Economic Forum’s Climate Governance Initiative.
Throughout his career Sanjay has been ahead of the curve on advising private, public, and social sectors on the risks and opportunities associated with the converging crises of geopolitical fragmentation, socioeconomic reordering, declines in physical and mental health, technological acceleration, and extreme weather and climate change. Sanjay’s clients have included Accenture, Baker McKenzie, Family Enterprise Foundation, Goethe-Institut, Insurance Bureau of Canada, Nokia Ventures Organization, Public Health Ontario, SAS Institute, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. His work has been published in academic journals and textbooks, and he is founder of the Resilient People and Climate Change Conference, which hosted the first conference on the mental health impacts of climate change in 2009. Sanjay is featured in public speakers’ series such as The Walrus Talks and by media outlets including Financial Times, CBC, Globe and Mail, Nature, and Les Affaires.
Sanjay has formal training in scenario planning. In 2018, he completed the Oxford Scenarios Programme, the world’s leading executive education program in scenario planning. In 2002, he was trained by pioneering Royal Dutch Shell scenario planners at the Global Business Network. Sanjay received a Global Competent Boards Designation (GCB.D) from ESG Competent Boards in 2020.
Jane Lytvynenko is an award-winning reporter in the field of disinformation and online investigations. She recently joined the Technology and Social Change Project at the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University as a senior research fellow. At Harvard, she is focusing developing training on investigating disinformation and researching the issue for the Media Manipulation Handbook. Lytvynenko previously spent nearly five years at BuzzFeed News, where she was a senior reporter. Her work has focused on the rise of conspiracy theories, hyperpartisan news, and extremism globally. Her investigative work has uncovered a secretive extremist organization operating in the US, disinformation network operators who manipulate social media on behalf of state actors, and online hucksters seeking to scam people out of their livelihoods. Lytvynenko also pioneered a method bringing swift and accessible debunks to mass audiences during breaking news situations which has been replicated worldwide.
Podcast Host, “Tech Won’t Save Us”
Paris Marx is the host of the critical technology podcast “Tech Won’t Save Us” and a doctoral student in Media, Film, and Television at the University of Auckland. Paris is also a freelance writer whose work has been published by NBC News, CBC News, Toronto Star, Jacobin Magazine, Tribune Magazine, OneZero, and many others. They’ve also had articles translated into five languages.
Paris’ work critically interrogates how the technological visions emanating from Silicon Valley rarely achieve the grand promises made at their outsets, but instead fuel socially inequitable outcomes that compound existing problems. In their Master’s research in Geography at McGill University, Paris explored how this is occurring through the tech industry’s interventions into urban transportation systems. That work also forms the basis of a forthcoming book that Paris is writing for Verso Books. Their doctoral research builds on that research to explore the broader future visions of tech leaders, who would be served by them, and how they compare to alternative visions which centre the working class. Ultimately, Paris believes that technology has emancipatory potential, but existing economic structures make it far more likely to fuel exploitation and inequality.
Change Management Lead, Ontario Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery
Luke is a change management leader with the Government of Ontario. Prior to joining the public service, he helped to launch and scale Code for Canada, the country’s leading civic technology nonprofit. He’s worked with government teams at all levels to help them deliver better digital services and adopt new ways of working.
Executive Director, Mozilla Foundation
The web is one of our most valuable public resources — it’s Mark Surman’s job to protect it.
Mark is Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, a global community that does everything from making Firefox to taking stands on issues like privacy and net neutrality. Mark’s main job is to build the movement side of Mozilla, rallying the citizens of the web, building alliances with likeminded organizations and leaders, and growing the open internet movement. Mark’s goal is nothing short of making the health and accessibility of the internet a mainstream issue around the world.
Mark has been doing work like this for 20 years: standing up for open source and putting technology into the hands of everyday people. Mark was the founding Director of telecentre.org, a $26M initiative connecting community technology centers in more than 30 countries. He ran the Commons Group for 10 years, a boutique consulting firm that provided advice and insight on networks, technology and social enterprise to nonprofits and governments around the world. Mark was awarded the prestigious Shuttleworth Foundation fellowship, where he explored how to apply open source approaches to philanthropy in the year before he joined Mozilla.
Chief Digital Officer, City of Hamilton
Cyrus is the City of Hamilton’s Chief Digital Officer and his portfolio includes Smart City / Intelligent Communities Initiative, Open Data, Digital & Innovation, Community Initiatives. Strategic Partnerships, and CityLAB programs. Cyrus has over 20 years experience in senior leadership roles in IT, digital solutions and transformation, quality assurance, process improvement and project management in the health care, manufacturing and education sectors.
Cyrus has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Management from McMaster University (1998), is a Professional Engineer, and a Certified Project Management Professional with keen interest in digital social equity and all things technology related. He is also a member of the United Way Halton Hamilton Cabinet representing the City of Hamilton and is a YMCA Community Connections Newcomer Mentor.
Economist & Policy Analyst at Unifor
Kaylie Tiessen is an economist and policy analyst at Unifor where she focusses on issues relating to the future of work and macro economic policy. Prior to joining Unifor Kaylie held positions in sales, strategy, and research. Kaylie applies her research efforts to questions related to social justice and inequality, authoring papers relating to the future of work from the lens of workers and how to create and maintain decent work in Canada. Kaylie sits on the boards of Abundance Canada and Kindred Credit Union.
Chief Executive Officer, First Nations Technology Council
At the intersection of Indigenous sovereignty, technological advancement and a rapidly expanding technology and innovation economy, Denise has the privilege of working with Indigenous peoples, governments, academics, technology futurists and social change makers to map an ecosystem that will result in fair and equitable access to the tools and education required to lead digital transformation in the 21st century. Denise leads a theory of change that aims to ensure Indigenous peoples are leading and competitive in Canada’s technology and innovation sector and in growing connected economies at home. Her purpose is to create space for Indigenous peoples to access the knowledge they carry from their ancestors and bring back community, balance and humanity to the design, integration and evolution of digital technologies and online spaces. The legacy of which is meant to advance Truth and Reconciliation both in physical and virtual worlds.
With a passion for contributing and volunteering with organizations that influence real change and the advancement of Truth and Reconciliation, Denise proudly serves as the President of the Urban Native Youth Association and as a Director on the Boards of the Vancouver Foundation, Tides Canada, Innovate BC, Policy Horizons Canada, Hollyhock Learning Institute and Simon Fraser University Board of Governors as Alumni-in-Order and Chair of University Relations, where she earned her masters degree in business administration in 2015.
Denise has been selected as one of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation’s Mentors with the 2020 stream of scholars in technology and ethics, is an Activator with SheEo and has been awarded Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 under 40 in 2018, Motherboards Human of Year in 2017, BC’s Most Influential Women STEM Stars in 2017, and Women in Technology’s Community Champion in 2016.