Board of Directors
David Hornsby, Chair
Dr David J Hornsby is a Professor in the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and the Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning) Carleton University. A passionate educator, David has lived and worked abroad for much of his career having held faculty positions at University College London, UK and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg South Africa. David believes in the power of volunteerism as a mechanism to bring communities together, to promote social innovation and to foster learning. Prior to joining the Volunteer Ottawa board of directors, David has served on the boards of World University Service of Canada, the Canadian Bureau for International Education, the University of Guelph and St. John’s Kilmarnock School.
David holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and has taught and published extensively in the areas of international relations, pedagogy and citizenship in higher education.
Natalie Brender is the Director of Policy for the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA), where she is responsible for developing policy alternatives and supporting advocacy on public health issues. Prior to joining CPHA, she was a senior advisor at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), National Director of the Genomics in Society program at Genome Canada, senior advisor and research associate at the Conference Board of Canada, senior advisor to two federal cabinet ministers, and a consultant as well as freelance writer on public affairs. In her initial academic career, she was an assistant professor of philosophy at Wesleyan University, specializing in ethics and political philosophy. She holds a PhD in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University.
Attiya Hirji, Interim Corporate Secretary
Attiya Hirji is a Fund Development Officer at Oxfam Canada and manages digital and community fundraising across the country. She has worked in the public sector in Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, and now Ottawa.
She is passionate about the empowerment of women and girls, and tackling issues related to gender equality. Attiya has spent time volunteering and working with youth in East Africa and Central America, and was among a group of women who started a social enterprise that seeks to provide early childhood education to children in urban slums. She recently returned to Canada after completing a Fellowship placement which sent her to Kyrgyzstan to work at a not-for-profit university whose mission is to promote the social and economic development of Central Asia’s mountain communities.
Attiya is a graduate of McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development.
David Chun Yu Lao
David Chun Yu Lao
David is a Senior Financial Analyst working at Transport Canada. He delivered lasting results to support his community by engaging senior management of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the Association of Canadian Financial Officers on the government-wide CPA initiative to support all Government of Canada financial officers in their journeys to obtain their CPA designations. He received the Deputy Minister’s Medal for Excellence for his exceptional contributions to support the public sector financial community.
David also advised the CPA Board of Directors on the first review and revision of the CPA competency framework to ensure that all CPAs are empowered with the right skills for the future by enhancing expertise in areas of rapid change such as data analytics and information technology. Significant education and qualification milestones were achieved on the CPA Competency Map with incorporation of data analytics and information systems competencies to ensure new CPAs are equipped with the important technical skills that will help them excel in their careers. David received the Award of Recognition from CPA Canada and the inaugural "Be the Change" Volunteer Award from CPA Ontario for his dedicated volunteer services to the CPA profession.
Andrew has a diverse background in the not-for-profit sector. He currently works as an internal strategy consultant at Canadian Blood Services, where he contributes to strategic planning and execution. He was previously responsible for strategic and operational oversight of various education access projects at the Rideau Hall Foundation and McGill University.
Andrew is a fervent believer in the power of volunteering in building stronger communities and institutions. He has served on the boards of John Abbott College and the Charles Este Community Centre, and currently volunteers as a member of the advisory board for Bridging Words Through Music.
Andrew has a B.A. (History and Religious Studies) from Dartmouth College and a B.C.L./LL.B. from McGill University.
Sarah works as an analyst for the Federal government in corporate planning and reporting, business planning, and smart cities. She delivered digital transformation in the corporate planning and reporting process. As a result, she received the Transport Canada National Award of Excellence in National Creativity and Transformation Award nomination. She also worked as a researcher at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) at Melbourne, Australia, on trade policy and Indigenous reconciliation.
She enjoys connecting with the community through working with non-profit organizations such as Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC) and Kitsilano House to promote environmental, social, and economic issues. Sarah has a Master of Public Administration (MPA) at the University of Victoria. She also completed two certificates in risk management and project management.
Jody Ciufo is the CEO of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, a national voluntary association that works toward the best possible patient care through the advancement of safe, effective medication use in hospitals and beyond. A veteran of national volunteer-led associations, Jody has led the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association, the Canadian Federation for Humanities and Social Sciences and spent her career in the not-for-profit world.
Jody is committed to work that serves the public good and drives systemic change across the country, especially as it relates to social justice and equity issues. She was a founding Board Member and inaugural Chair of A Way Home Canada: A National Coalition to End Youth Homelessness and currently serves as a Trustee on the CSHP Foundation.
Jody holds a B.A. Honours in English Literature (Carleton) and an MBA (Ottawa).
Kevin has over 20+ years of experience in sales, marketing and consulting with public and private sector organizations. Throughout his career, Kevin has achieved key business objectives through building relationships and strategically positioning services. He is currently a Managing Director with Accenture Canada.
Volunteering has always been a passion for Kevin. He has worked as a board member with several not-for-profit organizations including Volunteer Toronto, Camp Scugog, Addus and others.
Kevin is a graduate of Carleton University.
Maryam Haghighi is the Director of Data Science at the Bank of Canada. In her role, she is responsible for the vision and development of strategies related to data, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence, as well as frontier technologies such as quantum computing. Working at the confluence of science and policymaking, she ensures timely robust insight is used towards the betterment of the society.
Maryam has extensive experience in interdisciplinary leadership and strategic innovation. Her career has encompassed work in the public and private domains in aviation, aerospace, safety, health care and finance.
She is an avid volunteer with a deep passion for inclusive support of youth, women and underrepresented groups as well as volunteering with local animal rescue organizations. She is active in community outreach and has served on the boards of not-for-profits and advisory panels of philanthropic and public institutions. A recognized leader in the world of data and technology, she is frequently invited as a speaker to share her experience at national and international events.
Maryam holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Ottawa.
Lanise Hayes is a partner at Nelligan O’Brien Payne where she is the lead for the Indigenous Law Group, Chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and a member of the Partner Advisory Committee. Lanise works closely with Indigenous communities and organizations on issues of governance, land use and social issues. She is passionate about advocating for her clients. Lanise lived in Italy, working as a legal consultant. She speaks English, French and Italian.
She is passionate about inclusivity and capacity building. Lanise believes in creating connections between different groups in order to enhance opportunity and resources.
Lanise studied Sociology at University of Alberta and Université Laval before obtaining her Civil Law degree. She volunteers at World Cup, NORAM and FIS level ski cross events, loves playing golf, Peloton-ing and reading.
Taylor is the Director of the Autism Program at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). She has worked in healthcare management in Canada, Ireland, and Australia; in each place, picking up lessons in nonprofit policy and practice. As a Young Executive Leader with the International Hospital Federation, Taylor works alongside colleagues from all over the world to tackle common health policy challenges.
Taylor holds a Bachelor of Life Sciences from Queen's University and a Master of Health Administration from Ottawa University. She is a strong believer in the value of volunteer resources and has served on the Board of Directors of the Therapeutic Riding Association of Ottawa-Carleton and the Telfer School of Management MHA Alumni Association.
Taylor is a competitive curler, an active gardener, and most of all the proud mom of two little girls.
Claire started volunteering with VO’s Speakers Bureau in 2007. She has over 30 years’ non-profit board experience, most recently as Chair of OrKidstra – Sistema Ottawa. As a founding Vice President of the Institute on Governance, she advised national and international governments on policy development and reform issues. She has volunteered in Bangladesh and Lesotho. Her Public Service career included, inter alia, assignments with PCO and the Trade Commissioner Service (India, Nepal, Sri Lanka).
Her extensive international experience drove home the value of diversity and the universal desire to build stronger communities. Her community work has seen her dog-sledding, working as a parking lot attendant, meeting Heads of State and making countless speeches in support of the voluntary sector. She received Ontario’s Leading Women Building Communities Award in 2015 and UWEO’s Community Builder Award in 2020. Claire is a passionate chorister and active grandmother.
Suzanne Taschereau is a bilingual professional with 30 years’ experience in adult education, leadership and organization capacity development in public and not-for-profit organizations. She has worked in Canada and in more than 20 countries of the developing world, accompanying leaders and teams to tackle a range of social policy, organization capacity and practice challenges.
Suzanne holds a Masters in Educational Technology from Concordia University and has completed PhD studies in Strategic Management (McGill). She is passionate about fostering inclusive communities and is adept at using her skills to facilitate dialogue and build common ground for action. Born in Montreal and a citizen of the world, she is also a proud franco-Ontarian with a desire to make a contribution to the community, an avid cyclist and a Mamie to her much-loved grandchildren.
Trinish is a policy advisor for the federal government specialising in the fields of gender-based analysis, the environment and climate change. Born in South Africa, having lived in the United Kingdom and now in Canada, Trinish considers herself to be a global citizen.
She previously held a senior management role at South African National Treasury. She holds a Master’s Degree in Global Prosperity from University College London, United Kingdom, in addition to qualifications in Political Science and International Business, from South Africa and the United States, respectively.
She has a history of active involvement in charity initiatives in South Africa and is currently an international advisory board member of international NGO called Public Finance by Women and on the Board of Directors for Carty House.
Lara Vos Smith
Lara Vos Smith
Lara Vos Smith is a Director of Talent at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, and works closely with senior leadership to drive partner-level recruitment. She is focused on delivering market-leading and impactful programs to support the engagement, growth and development of the firm’s lawyers. A former practicing corporate lawyer and partner at Dentons, she has worked in the legal sector for more than 20 years, both in Toronto and Ottawa.
She is a strong believer in the power of relationship-building and purpose. She is passionate about providing meaningful opportunities for individuals and organizations to engage in community building.
Lara holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa, a Master in Industrial Relations from Queen’s and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Toronto. Lara is an on-again, off-again runner, an avid cookbook reader, and mother to three inspiring children.