Board of Directors
David Hornsby, Chair
Dr David J Hornsby is the Vice-Provost & Associate Vice-President (Academic) at Carleton U. 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.
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.
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.
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).
Ravi Gupta has over 40 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector. He has held senior management positions with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canadian Red Cross, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, World University Service of Canada, and Canadian Feed The children. He has traveled to many countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America and understands the value of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He has served on the board of directors of the Canadian Society for International Health and is currently volunteer Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of the Farm Radio International. Ravi has a master’s degree in political science and is a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA). In 2018, He and his son opened a microbrewery in Carleton Place called Braumeister Brewing Company and opened a Braumeister Bierhalle in Ottawa in September 2021.
Ravi has lived in Ottawa since 1972 and wants to stay involved and contribute to the community.
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.
Francesca is the Vice-President, Communications and Advocacy for the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU).
Prior to that she held positions in five other national business associations, a multinational financial services company, a federal Crown corporation, and a national consulting firm. She also served five years in the federal government early in her career, as well as a member of the Board of Referees for the Employment Insurance program.
She has shown her passion for her profession through volunteer activities including serving on the Board of Directors of the Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy and the Board of Directors of the Government Relations Institute of Canada (GRIC); speaking at and chairing GR and public affairs conferences; and organizing other large scale events.
Francesca holds an M.A. in Public Administration from Carleton University, and a B.A. in Economics and Industrial Relations from McGill University.
Leah Jurkovic is the Director of Communications, People, and Culture at Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), the national association of public colleges, institutes, CEGEPs and polytechnics. Leah leads both the communications and human resources teams, responsible for CICan’s engaging public positioning as well as its employee-focused culture and innovative internal practices.
Prior to joining CICan, Leah worked for a number of national organizations, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) as Assistant Scientific Director for the Institute of Health Services and Policy Research and in a number of Knowledge Translation roles supporting the use of evidence in policy and practice. She also worked for the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), UNICEF, and Nutrition International (formerly Micronutrient Initiative).
Leah holds a Master’s degree in cognitive studies and an undergraduate degree with joint concentration in biology and philosophy.
Derek has more than 30 years of organization management and advancement experience working with children and youth, community development, and education in local, provincial and national organizations.
He is a Senior Development Officer at Carleton University and past chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Ottawa Chapter a member of the Canadian board. In recognition of his service to the Ottawa community and his leadership in the fundraising profession, Derek was recognized as a
United Way Ottawa Community Builder (2015).
Derek’s strong commitment to volunteering includes service to the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Group, the Ten Oaks Project, United Way Ottawa, and the Youville Centre.
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.
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.
Todd is the Senior Vice-President – Communications, Marketing and Corporate Strategy Officer at Export Development Canada. His role also oversees the Corporate Secretariat function, managing the critical relationship between EDC’s Board of Directors and corporate strategy development. EDC’s Community Investments team, which coordinates corporate volunteer activities at EDC’s 40 locations, is also a key component of his group.
Prior to joining EDC, Todd served in the Canadian diplomatic corps where he held several roles, including Consul and Trade Commissioner at the Canadian Consulate General in São Paulo, Brazil.
Todd holds an Honours B.A. from Western University and a M.Sc from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. An avid baseball and softball fan, Todd sits on the Board of Directors for the Seaway Surge Baseball Club, where he acts as Treasurer. Todd, his wife Karen and their six children live in Ottawa.