about us

Board of Directors

The esteemed Board of Directors is comprised of Canadian leaders in maternal, newborn and child health. The Board establishes strategic direction, provides leadership and makes key decisions to ensure that the Canadian Partnership is effective and sustainable. The 2016-2017 Board includes:


President and CEO of UNICEF Canada

David Morley is President and Chief Executive Officer of UNICEF Canada.

David volunteered with street children in Central America in 1978 and a planned three-month stint turned into a life-long career in international co-operation – a career that has taken him to humanitarian projects in Congo, Zambia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Mexico, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Brazil, Iraq and countless others.

From 1980 to 1989 David was Executive Director of Pueblito, a Canadian NGO which promotes the rights of children. In 1998 he was appointed Executive Director of Médecins Sans Frontières Canada. During his tenure Médecins Sans Frontières was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2006, he was named as President and CEO of Save the Children Canada, a post he held until he took up his current duties with UNICEF Canada.

David has also served as the founding Executive Director of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, the Board of Directors for the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, the Ontario Council for International Cooperation, Dignitas International, and the Brazilian-based Abrinq Foundation for the Rights of Children. He is a mentor emeritus with the Trudeau Foundation and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and the Advisory Board of McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development.

His writing on international issues has appeared in newspapers across Canada and around the world, and he is a frequent commentator on radio and television. Author of two Canadian best-selling books, Under the Tree (co-written with his wife, Elizabeth Morley) and Healing Our World: Inside Doctors Without Borders, David has won a number of awards in the United States for his writing.

In recognition of his dedication and work in international development, David Morley has been awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation, Queen’s Jubilee Medal and the Carleton Alumni Humanitarian Award.


Chief, Centre for Global Child Health, The Hospital for Sick Children  

Stanley Zlotkin CM, MD, PhD is a professor of Paediatrics, Public Health Sciences and Nutritional Sciences at the Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto. He received his MD degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and his PhD from the University of Toronto. Dr. Zlotkin and his program, the Sprinkles Global Health Initiative has focused on research and advocacy to control malnutrition in children. He is an active researcher with well over 120 peer-reviewed publications. He was awarded the HJ Heinz Humanitarian Award in 2001 for his international advocacy work for children globally, the CIHR National Knowledge Translation Award in 2006 and the Order of Canada in 2007, the highest civilian honour in Canada, for his contributions to improving the lives of children globally. Dr. Zlotkin was appointed as VP Medical and Academic Affairs at the Hospital for Sick Children in 2010 and in September 2012 was appointed as the inaugural Chief, Global Child Health.

HELEN SCOTT – Executive Director

Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health

Helen Scott holds a doctorate in epidemiology, with a focus on maternal and child health and a postdoctoral fellowship in survey methodology and advanced regression modeling strategies. Helen has managed a variety of program development, evaluation, health policy and health care delivery systems projects. Some examples include: World Health Organization projects on childhood injury prevention across 49 countries; evaluating the Canadian national program for food fortification with folic acid, Ontario’s universal influenza immunization initiative and Ontario’s early obstetrics discharge program; and developing community-wide preterm birth prevention programs. Helen holds an assistant professor appointment in the Epidemiology Department, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.


CEO & President, The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)

Recognized as one of Canada’s 25 Women of Influence in 2011, Dr. Blake is an accomplished and well-respected obstetrician-gynaecologist both in Canada and around the world. She is not only an experienced leader who has led major organizational change in both the hospital and academic sectors, but she is also an educational leader with a multifaceted understanding of the profession, including the academic, clinical and regulatory perspectives. She has an impressive research background and an active publication record. Dr. Jennifer Blake has been an active member of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada since 1982. University of Ottawa.


CEO & President, Save the Children Canada

Patricia Erb has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Canada since the spring of 2011. After earning a Master’s degree in International Development Planning at Cornell University, Patricia began working for Save the Children and has done so for more than twenty years. Key positions she has held include: Interim Program Director, Country Director for Bolivia and Peru, as well as Regional Director for Latin America. Her efforts in the area of both human and children’s rights, have received international recognition from both government and civil society. She has served as a board member for 27 non-governmental organizations including the Board of Directors of Defense for Children International (Bolivia Chapter). Patricia believes that the world can change for the better but only if we work for that change together.


Executive Director, HealthBridge

Sian FitzGerald joined HealthBridge in 1996 as Nutrition Advisor. In 1997, she became Executive Director of HealthBridge, responsible for overseeing all programs, including nutrition and maternal and child health. Her role includes building capacity, and designing, implementing and monitoring programs. Sian has a Master of Science degree in international nutrition, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. She has worked in international development since 1992, when she joined the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN´s program to eliminate vitamin A deficiency. Based in Rome, she was responsible for programs in francophone Africa, specifically Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, and in Vietnam, where she lived from 1993 to 1995. Following her return to Canada in late 1995, she worked as a consultant for CIDA and the Micronutrient Initiative, before joining HealthBridge (then PATH Canada) in 1996. She has been a contributor to articles in the area of nutrition, health, and gender equity, as well as the value of women’s unpaid work.


President and Chief Executive Officer, World Vision Canada

Michael Messenger is the President and CEO of World Vision Canada. Before taking on this role, he was the agency’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer giving oversight to the senior leadership team and to all operations, including sponsorship activities that benefit over 480,000 children, emergency response in a variety of crises, and revenue of more than $415 million.
Mr. Messenger has traveled regularly to take part in World Vision’s efforts around the world. This has included on-the-ground assessment during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and an extended visit to Zimbabwe in 2013 to participate in community development and humanitarian relief programs.
Outside of his professional role, Mr. Messenger is a board member of The Meeting House church and Tyndale University College and Seminary. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts and a law degree from the University of Toronto. He practiced law for nine years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As a partner at Cox & Palmer, he developed a broad litigation practice and served as chief counsel to a high-profile public inquiry on issues of youth justice. Mr. Messenger maintained his connection with World Vision during his law career, serving on the Canadian Board of Directors for more than three years.


President & CEO, Plan International Canada

Caroline Riseboro leads Plan International Canada’s operations as President & CEO.

Prior to joining Plan Canada, Caroline was Senior Vice-President, Marketing & Development at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation, where she played an instrumental role in expanding CAMH’s reach among Canadians, pioneering new engagement initiatives, and helping to reduce the stigma of mental illness. Prior to CAMH, Caroline also held several senior executive roles in the International Development sector, most recently as Senior Vice-President at World Vision Canada where she oversaw its advocacy both nationally and globally — as the first and youngest woman in the agency’s history to serve in this senior role. Before joining the non-profit sector, Caroline began her career in advertising and communications.

Caroline’s influence also extends into the sector through her voluntary leadership roles. She sits on the Board of the Humanitarian Coalition, is the President-elect for the Association of Fundraising Professionals GTA chapter and has sat on numerous boards and task forces including Imagine Canada and the Canadian Marketing Association’s Not-For-Profit Council. Caroline has been credited as an innovator and champion of ground-breaking and award-winning campaigns that have engaged Canadians in new ways on some of the world’s toughest issues.


Vice President, Medical Affairs, BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre
Clinical Professor, Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of British Columbia

Dr. Dorothy Shaw is the inaugural Chair of the Network. Dr. Shaw is the Vice President, Medical Affairs at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre and a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She has held several key leadership roles at BC Women’s and at UBC. Dr. Shaw has significant academic contributions including invited presentations, publications and book chapters. She was the Executive Producer for an award-winning documentary “The cutting tradition: Insights into FGM” in 2009. Her awards include “Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100” in the Trailblazers and Trendsetters category in 2008.  Dr. Shaw was President of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and from 1991-1992 and became the first woman President of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) in 2006. She is a consultant to the Partnership for Maternal Newborn Child Health (Geneva). In June 2016, Dr. Shaw received the Order of Canada for her contributions as a doctor and administrator who has helped advance women’s health care in Canada and maternal and newborn health globally.


CEO, Grand Challenges Canada

Peter Singer has dedicated the last decade to bringing science and innovation to tackle the health challenges of the world’s poorest people. He is well known around the world for his creative solutions to some of the most pressing global health problems. Dr. Singer is Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada. He is also Director at the Sandra Rotman Centre at University Health Network, Professor of Medicine at University of Toronto, and the Foreign Secretary of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Dr. Singer chaired the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ assessment on Canada’s Strategic Role in Global Health. In 2014, he was named Co-Chair of Every Woman Every Child’s Innovation Working Group, which is aimed at harnessing the power of innovation to accelerate progress towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals. He has advised the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UN Secretary General’s office, the Government of Canada, Pepsico, BioVeda China Venture Capital Fund, and several African Governments on global health.

Dr. Singer was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2011 for his contributions to health research and bioethics, and for his dedication to improving the health of people in developing countries. In 2007, Dr. Singer received the Michael Smith Prize as Canada’s Health Researcher of the Year in Population Health and Health Services. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, the U.S. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).

Dr. Singer has published over 300 research articles, received over $50 million in research grants, and mentored hundreds of university students. He co-authored, along with Dr. Abdallah Daar,The Grandest Challenge: Taking Life-Saving Science from Lab to Village. He studied internal medicine at University of Toronto, medical ethics at University of Chicago, public health at Yale University, and management at Harvard Business School. He has served his community as Board Chair of Branksome Hall, an acclaimed and internationally-minded school for girls.


President, Nutrition International

Joel Spicer is an established leader in global health, an innovator, visionary, and a Canadian with significant experience in international development that cuts across borders, sectors and agencies.

Joel has achieved success on many development issues, including nutrition and health initiatives, maternal,  and child health programs, TB control and HIV programming, innovative financing and resource mobilization. He has a proven track record of success in expanding the relevance, reach, and impact of organizations he has worked with through his strengths in negotiation, his ability to forge alliances and build momentum across a wide array of political, corporate and public stakeholders, and to focus that energy on transforming the global conversation among key influencers.

As an accomplished professional, Joel has achieved results at numerous bilateral and multilateral agencies, including the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), where he began his career, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, and others. In addition, he has served on the senior management team at the Stop TB Partnership. His far-ranging experience has included postings around the world, from Ottawa to Washington, Senegal to Indonesia, and, most recently, Geneva.

Joel attended the Harvard School of Public Health on a Fulbright scholarship where he obtained an MPH, International Health (Health Policy and Management), and also the London School of Economics and Political Science where he earned an M.Sc. in Development Studies. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia in International Relations.

A decisive and experienced executive, Joel is a seasoned manager, well-versed in governance, organizational design and resource mobilization. He is a passionate and strategic advocate who is committed to securing tangible, measurable results to improve lives, livelihoods and communities focusing on the most vulnerable groups. Joel has recently moved to Ottawa with his wife and three young children.