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Speakers Biographies


Opening of SDG Training
9:30 am
G Building

Celina Caesar-ChavannesParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

(by video)

Celina Caesar-Chavannes is a successful entrepreneur and the recipient of both the Toronto Board of Trade’s Business Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012 and the 2007 Black Business and Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Young Entrepreneur Award. Ms. Caesar-Chavannes was a well-known research consultant and worked with a variety of private, government and non-government organizations.

An international lecturer on the inclusion of marginalized populations in clinical research, Ms. Caesar-Chavannes has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, an MBA in Healthcare Management, and an Executive MBA from the Rotman School of Management. She is a past member of the Governing Council of the University of Toronto. She also served as member of the Institutional Advisory Board of the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She is also a member of the Congress of Black Women.

Ms. Caesar-Chavannes served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister from December 2015 to January 2017.


Chris WhitakerChris Whitaker, President and CEO

Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

Dr. Chris Whitaker is President and CEO of Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning. Chris Whitaker joined the college in July 2012 and is the fourth president in the college’s history. He has worked in the Ontario postsecondary sector for over 25 years and is passionate about student success and the role of colleges in providing access and pathways to postsecondary education opportunities. Since joining Humber, he has continued to advance the college as a comprehensive post-secondary institution with a reputation for creating and delivering a high quality student-focused teaching and learning environment.

Dr. Whitaker’s education includes a PhD from the University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education; an MA from York University and a BA from Queen’s University.

Among his many commitments to Humber and the college system, Dr. Whitaker is Chair for Polytechnics Canada and Vice Chair for College Employer Council as well as a board member for Community Colleges for International Development, the League for Innovation in Community Colleges, Ontario College Application Service, Skills Ontario and the World University Service of Canada.


Asha Gervan

Asha Gervan, Manager

International Development Institute (IDI)

Asha is a Project Management and Training specialist with more than 10 years of experience in international development and humanitarian assistance. In managing complex emergency projects, she has worked directly with victims of conflict and natural disaster in Uganda, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Pakistan.

Asha has also been involved in the development of high-level training courses for senior humanitarian managers, working with various organizations in Canada, Spain and the Netherlands. Asha began teaching part-time in Humber’s postgraduate International Project Management Program in 2012 while working as Associate Director of Médecins Sans Frontièrs/Doctors Without Borders Canada, and spent two months in Indonesia with Humber’s Sulawesi Economic Development Strategy Project (SEDS). She took over as Manager of the International Development Institute in January of 2014. Asha holds Bachelors in Political Science from Trent University as well as a Masters in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics.


Julie Marshall, Canadian Spokesperson

United Nations World Food Programme

Julie Marshall has been the United Nations World Food Programme’s Canadian Spokesperson in Canada, since September 2006. In this role, she regularly speaks to media, manages celebrity partners, handles visibility for government and private sector partners, manages social media channels, creates strategic campaigns, and develops educational and visibility resources for all audiences.  

Prior to joining WFP, Marshall worked in public relations and marketing roles in both Canada and the UK, and now lives in Stoney Creek, Ontario Canada.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in 80 countries.


Klaudia WattsKlaudia Watts, Managing Director

Foundation for Environmental Stewardship (FES)

Klaudia Watts  is the Managing Director of Foundation for Environmental Stewardship. She is a Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility practitioner and has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 30 Sustainability Leaders by Corporate Knights. Her previous roles in the field include PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Rogers Communications. She’s completed her MBA at the Schulich School of Business and lectures in the area of sustainability, CSR and ethics. Klaudia has become a trusted source of advice for emerging leaders in the field.

Panel Discussion Biographies


Is Change Coming? A look at the current wave of feminist movements and their impact on the rights of women and girls around the globe.
1:30pm
G Building

george stroumboulopoulosHost

George Stroumboulopoulos
Television and radio interviewer, writer, and media producer;
Ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme;

George is a Canadian television and radio interviewer, writer, and media producer. He was host and executive producer of the CBC talk show George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (formerly The Hour) and Stroumboulopoulos on CNN, host of The NewMusic with MuchMusic, and anchored Hockey Night in Canada. He was also host of the music interview show Live in Toronto on CFNY 102.1 The Edge. George continues on radio with The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2, in addition to a digital music series House of Strombo with Apple Music.

George is an ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme, Prince's Charities Canada, and is on the Canadian Board of Directors for Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ). He works closely with Amnesty International, the ONE campaign, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, One Million Acts of Green, and was a driving force behind Canada for Haiti.


Humberto CaroloHumberto Carolo, Execute Director

White Ribbon Canada

Humberto is the Executive Director of White Ribbon. He is a gender-based violence prevention specialist with over 17 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector with expertise in gender equality, human rights, community development and multi-sectoral partnerships. His current work is focused on developing educational strategies to engage men and boys in promoting gender equality, healthy masculinities, and preventing violence against women. In addition to his work in Canada and the United States, Humberto has developed significant cross-cultural experience in diverse settings, including Brazil; Cape Verde; Sri Lanka; Kenya; Papua New Guinea; Vietnam; and Zambia. Humberto sits on the Board of Directors of the Global MenEngage Alliance and co-chairs the sub-regional North America MenEngage Network. He is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Abrigo Centre, a women’s service organization serving the Portuguese-speaking community in Toronto. Humberto serves on the Ontario Government Provincial Roundtable on Violence Against Women


Elyse Ruest-ArchambaultElyse Ruest-Archambault, Senior Gender Equity Specialist 

Right to Play

Elyse is the Senior Gender Specialist at Right To Play, a global organization committed to improving the lives of children and youth affected by conflict, disease and poverty. Established in 2000, Right To Play uses a play-based approach to learning, empowering girls and boys with a quality education, health, gender equality and peace-building in 16 countries around the world. An engaging speaker, Elyse has published numerous articles and reports on gender equality, including for the European Commission and the United Nations. With 15 years of international experience in Asia, Africa and Latin-America, Elyse is renowned as a gifted gender equality trainer. 


Louise ZimanyiLouise Zimanyi,
Professor of Early Childhood Development
Early Childhood Education,
School of Health Sciences
Humber College

Louise has extensive experience in global and regional programming, policy development and advocacy related to investing in early childhood development. Working with a global collective, Louise contributed to the current SDG 4 on Education and specifically the target on early childhood care and education. Louise is an advisor to the Lego Foundation's PlayFutures global innovation, research and advocacy network on Learning through Play. She is currently researching how young children develop wonder, wisdom and relationships in forest and nature programs.


Ambra YirenkyiAmbra Yirenkyi,
Program Officer
Ghana with Crossroads International

Ambra has worked in Women’s Rights in the International development context for the past 11 years. Currently, as the Program Officer for Ghana with Crossroads International she manages through a decentralized approach a portfolio that engages with local non-profits in the strategic areas of Women’s Economic Empowerment, Women’s Political Participation and Governance and the decreasing instances of Sexual Gender based violence. Passionate about social justice issues Ambra has participated in numerous forums and has spoken at various international events on issues affecting Women and Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa. A firm believer in the power of youth in action Ambra is a member of the Global Shapers community of the World Economic Forum and the Black Feminisms Network of the Association of Women in Development. 

Non-Profit Booths


Non-Profit Marketplace
11 am - 4 pm
L Building, 1035, Main Floor


EQWIP Hubs logo

The Hunger Project Logo

ten thousand villages

Jayu logo

Aura Freedom International Logo

Cuso International Logo

ADRA Canada Logo

Crossroads International

World Vision logo

donorworx logo

IJM International Justice Mission Logo

YMCA Canada logo

Engineers Without Borders logo

Save the Children logo

World Food Programme logo

Humber College - Office of Sustainability