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.
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.
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.
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.
Arsen Sahakyan, M.A.
he/his | Manager, Strategic Partnerships
Arsen is an accomplished partnerships specialist and former international civil servant with over a decade of expertise in developing, managing and institutionalizing relationships with public, private, and multilateral stakeholders to advance the work of international and not-for-profit organizations and mobilize resources for key programs. Since joining Egale in 2018, Arsen has spearheaded the organization’s fee-for-service corporate workplace inclusion training program strategically engaging major government and business partners and gradually growing unrestricted revenue for underfunded areas. He has also played a key role in securing funds from Global Affairs Canada and the World Bank for Egale’s international projects in different parts of the world and most notably in Ukraine and Western Balkans. In his previous capacity, Arsen served at the United Nations World Food Programme, the world’s largest humanitarian organization, where he helped define the partnership engagement strategy and led its ground-level execution mobilizing US$300M+ for operations in Myanmar. Arsen is an avid traveller and aviation enthusiast having visited more than 60 countries.
she/her | Manager of Advocacy and Legal Strategy
Yash is an International Human Rights Lawyer with dedicated experience in human rights research, program development and advocacy. She graduated with a law degree from National Law School, Bangalore (India) in 2014, proceeding to get her master’s specializing in International Law from University of California Los Angeles, School of Law in 2016. Since, she has worked with numerous international human rights organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme, Uganda on diverse human rights and development mandates. She holds a keen interest in issues of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and aims to strengthen human rights of 2SLGBTQI+ communities optimizing domestic and international advocacy channels. Her value system is firmly grounded in anti-colonial and anti-oppression politics, and she continually aspires to approach her work from an intersectionality lens.
she/her | Manager of Learning
Mackenzie is passionate about working in 2SLGBTQI advocacy and education. Her previous role was as the Manager of Program Innovation at Big Brothers Big Sisters, co-developing Manitoba’s first Queer Lens Mental Health Training and overseeing their 2SLGBTQI department and staff. In addition, Mackenzie has worked with The Get REAL Movement for six years as their MB Program Coordinator and as a Team Lead Speaker, reaching over 150,000 students, educators, parents/guardians, and corporate businesses across the country. Through this, Mackenzie has a deep understanding of 2SLGBTQI curriculum and how to integrate inclusivity and diversity into a variety of spaces. As a Queer woman, Mackenzie is dedicated to working in collaboration with communities to build innovative programming and curriculum to address intersectional challenges. Mackenzie was awarded CBC’s Proud to Shine award in 2020 and 2021 to honour her work in advocacy and was named in the “Top 100 Fascinating Manitobans” in 2022. Mackenzie is thrilled to be continuing this work on the Egale team.
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.
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 CBC.ca. 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 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 is the Treasurer of the Board for Egale Canada.
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.
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.