Meet Our People

Meet Our People

Our Leadership Team

Helen Kennedy

she/her | Executive Director

Helen has dedicated her life’s work to improving the lives of 2SLGBTQI people in Canada and around the world. In 2007, with 22 years of experience in politics, Helen became the Executive Director at Egale Canada. Under Helen’s leadership, Egale has made significant contributions towards equality through research initiatives which reveal the current state of inclusion, awareness campaigns and education programs to shift the culture of inclusion, and legal advocacy. More recently under Helen’s guidance, Egale has filled a critical gap by establishing Canada’s first and only transitional home for 2SLGBTQI homeless youth. Helen also played a large role internationally as the former Co-Secretary General of ILGA, a worldwide federation of 1100 member organizations campaigning for LGBTI rights. 

Kendall Forde, Director of Project Management

Kendall Forde

they/he | Dir., Project Management

Kendall is Egale’s Director of Project Management and has been a member of the Egale team since 2011. They identify as a queer afro-latino artivist, born and raised in Iëre (Trinidad) and currently residing on the sacred lands of Tkaronto. Over the last decade, they have successfully led an expansive project portfolio of social impact initiatives for 2SLGBTQI communities in Canada and works to realize Egale’s strategic objectives through project implementation. Kendall is globally recognized as a Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute and holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University. 

They are grounded in their commitment to social justice and has worked effectively across multiple sectors including education, IT, social work, research, housing, construction, refugee and immigration services and the arts.

Jennifer Boyce

she/her | Dir., Communications & PR

For over ten years, Jennifer has been an exceptional leader in the non-profit and charitable sector and a champion of human rights and equality. Currently working as the Director of Communications at Egale, Canada’s leading 2SLGBTQI organization, she has held positions at a number of reputable organizations including UNFPA and WE Charity. She is also the co-Chair of the Communications and Public Engagement Committee at Dignity Network Canada.

Jennifer has led many noteworthy communications initiatives, from the federal apology to 2SLGBTQI victims of the purge to overseeing the launch of the inaugural Pride House at ‘Women Deliver’ in 2019. Jennifer believes in advancing human rights by driving forward powerful communications initiatives that aim to build widespread awareness and engage the public in meaningful dialogue on the most pressing issues in our society. 


Kim Vance-Mubanga

she/her | Dir., International Programs

Kim was the Executive Director of ARC International for 17 years, retiring in 2020. ARC International is an NGO geared to advancing human rights for LGBTI persons across the globe. They have played a key role in the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics, as well as providing 
support to NGO’s working in countries around the world to ensure that the records of all UN States on LGBTI issues are subjected to international scrutiny. She has been invited as a global expert to contribute research and advice to the political, expert, and agency bodies within the United Nations. 

She has received the Pride Community Service Award in her province, secured the first Registered Domestic Partnership in Canada, and was a successful litigant in one of the Canadian court challenges to secure equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Robyn Johnston, CPHR

she/her | Dir., Human Resources

Robyn is a Red River Métis woman living in Treaty 1 territory, the traditional territory of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.  She is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources with over a decade of experience working within all areas of Human Resources, specializing in Employee and Labour Relations. Developing strong relationships and working cohesively is important in both her personal and professional life. Robyn has worked in not-for-profit for most of her career. As an open-minded Human Resources professional, she is very familiar with human rights legislation and 2SLGBTQI-specific issues.

Robyn is also a passionate advocate for MMIWG2S and has been for many years. Outside of work, Robyn enjoys spending time with her children and pets. She is also an artist and creates paintings and takes photographs of MMIWG2S matters in order to raise awareness and educate others. 

Mark Fellion, CFRE

he/him | Dir., Development

Mark has been working in fundraising and non-profit government relations since 2005. Since joining Egale Canada in 2016, he has overseen major fundraising initiatives and campaigns, helped to diversify revenue streams including partnerships with workplace inclusion training clients, and helped to close out Egale’s $15M+ capital campaign to build one of Canada’s first transitional and emergency housing facilities dedicated to homeless 2SLGBTQI youth in Toronto (now Friends of Ruby Home).

Mark became a Certified Fundraising Executive in 2021, and as an out gay man he is proud to lead Egale’s fund development efforts to support important research, education, awareness, and legal advocacy efforts in order to shift the culture of inclusion and improve the lives of all 2SLGBTQI people.

Bev Mitelman, M.A.

she/her | Dir., Learning

Bev holds a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from Concordia University and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication from Carleton University. She has more than 20 years of experience in the areas of adult education, strategic planning, and management and communications – in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Bev has successfully built her career on providing quality advice to senior leaders regarding the development of educational programs and has designed and implemented numerous large-scale projects, including a corporate intranet for Sun Life Financial Canada and a Government-wide learning portal for Canadian Federal Public Servants across Canada. She is naturally extroverted and social in nature (a self-proclaimed hardcore ENFP!), fluently bilingual (English/French), a published author, a skilled presenter and public speaker.

Valentyna Kulesh

she/her | Dir., Finance & Administration

Valentyna joined Egale in 2013 and has over 20 years experience in non-profit organizations. She loves accounting and working with the 2SLGBTQI community. She immigrated to Canada in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree and has actively pursued her designation through the School of Continuing Studies at University of Toronto and Charted Professional Accounts of Ontario. Over the last ten years Valentyna has worked passionately with key stakeholders in successfully leading accounting and finance efforts.

Dr. Brittany Jakubiec, PhD

they/them & she/her | Dir., Research

Brittany is a French-Polish settler living and working on Epekwitk, the traditional and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. Brittany has multi-sectoral experience in government, non-profit, higher education teaching, and academic research. They completed their doctoral degree in 2019 from the University of PEI, where they were a SSHRC-funded scholar and investigated the identity development of PEI queer youth. They are a qualitative (and sometimes mixed methods) researcher with an interest in the systemic, political, and social experiences of 2SLGBTQI people.

Our Board

Jacki Lewis

Chair of the Board

Ms. Lewis received her Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from York University in 1985. She completed her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Western Ontario in 1989. She completed her Master of Law Degree in Administrative Law at Osgoode Hall in 2001. Ms. Lewis has been Managing Partner at Lewis & Associates since 1991. She has almost three decades of experience representing refugees before the Refugee Protection Division and challenging negative decisions before the Federal Court of Canada. She has taught Immigration and Refugee Law at Carlton University and Western University. Her passion for Immigration and Refugee Law has led her to build a strong and talented team of lawyers to represent Immigration and Refugee clients with complex and diverse needs, from all over the world.

At the beginning of 2019, Ms. Lewis opened the Family Law division of Lewis & Associates, returning to the starting roots of her law career. Ms. Lewis registered as Foreign Legal Consultant at the Istanbul Bar Association in March 2020. That same month Ms. Lewis was awarded the Law Society of Ontario’s Laura Legge Award, which recognizes women lawyers who exemplify leadership within the profession. 

Christine Wilson

Vice President

A creative thinker, inventive problem solver and enthusiastic implementer, Christine was a force in the Canadian media space until her well-deserved retirement in 2018. As the Executive Director of the CBC Television network and then the Executive Director of Content overall, Christine oversaw both the programming on CBC TV and the content on After leaving CBC, Christine co-founded hatchmedia, a subscription video on demand start-up and joined Denny Allen Media Group. 

In her spare time, Christine is very active in the 2SLGBTQI community. She currently sits as Vice-President on Egale’s Board of Directors. She was a long-time member of ExeQutive, a collective of queer business executives committed to mentorship and philanthropy. 

Dan Irving


Dan Irving is an Associate Professor cross appointed to the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies and the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University. He teaches in the Sexuality Studies and Human Rights & Social Justice programs. His research is located in two interdisciplinary fields – (1) Transgender Studies where he focuses on Two-Spirit, Trans and Non-binary Un/der/employment in Canada and (2) Critical Men’s & Masculinity Studies where he focuses on the emotional politics of white masculinities amongst youth in Ontario as a key intervention into gender, racial and sexually based violence.  He is the co-editor (with Rupert Raj) of Trans Activism in Canada: A Reader (Canadian Scholars Press 2014).

Robert Mitchell


Robert Mitchell is the Treasurer of the Board for Egale Canada.

Dali Hammouch


Dali Hammouch is the Senior Director of People and Leadership Development for the Desjardins Group; the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the fifth largest in the world with a workforce of 47,000 employees. His career in Human Resources has included regional and global roles in IT, mining, real estate, engineering and consulting. His expertise in HR includes Organisational Design, People Development, Employee engagement and Talent. In addition to his current work in Canada, Dali has previously worked in Africa, Europe and the French West Indies in Marketing, business development and product management. Dali holds two Masters degrees in Educational Technology and Applied Human Sciences as well as a B.A. in Business Administration.

Susan Rose


In 1992, Susan began to lobby for lesbian and gay human rights in the education system relating to her workplace environment – work that she continues to do today. Today, Susan focuses on 2SLGBTQI students who are dealing with human rights violations in their school and community. Her role as an advocate is to guide youth in returning to school, when possible, and to provide educational resources to families and educators.

Susan has received numerous awards for her work in human rights in Newfoundland and Labrador including the “Pride Citizen of The Year” (2010) for her contributions in the field of LGBTQ education and the Human Rights Award (2017) for her work and commitment to the creation and sustainability of safe, caring and inclusive school environments. In 2020, Susan was invested into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador for her work in Education and Human Rights. Susan Rose has been a Board Member of Egale Canada since 2007, where she served as President and Vice President for five years, as well as the Chair of Egale’s Education Committee.