Board of Directors


Dariusz Burzynski, Chairperson
Manager, Science and Technology Cluster, Natural Resources Canada
Dariusz Burzynski manages the federal Science and Technology Cluster, a cross-departmental initiative that popularizes science and technology information from the Government of Canada through the portal Science.gc.ca and diverse science promotion initiatives. Additionally, the Cluster supports the S&T community by encouraging horizontal approaches through knowledge sharing and developing common tools for collaboration with partners outside of the government. Mr. Burzynski chairs the Science and Technology Collaboration Committee, with representatives from more than a dozen departments and agencies. He also serves on the Steering Committee for the National Science and Technology Week and the Steering Committee for the Canadian presence at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2012 Mr. Burzynski and his team supported by a volunteer committee established a new Guinness World Record by organizing the Largest Practical Science Lesson with 13,701 participants at 88 locations across Canada.

Juri Otsason, Vice Chairperson
Retired, Vice President, Enbridge Inc.
Juri Otsason, a University of Toronto graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, began his career as a research engineer in the 1970s at the Canadian Gas Research Institute. He then joined Consumers Gas, which became Enbridge in 1998. His lengthy and prestigious career at Enbridge lasted decades and upon his retirement in 2010, Mr. Otsason was Vice President, Gas Pipeline Development.

Stephen Sharp, CPA, CA, Treasurer
Finance Manager EQWiP HUBS; Executive Board Member and Treasurer University of Ottawa Heart Institute; Principal, FINOBA Consulting
Steve is a professional accountant with over 30 year experience in the Ottawa area.  With a focus on making the world just a little better, Steve is focusing his attention towards ventures and operations to assist people.  Steve is the Finance Manager of EQWiP HUBS and spent a good part of 2015 on the establishment and structure from the financial perspective of a new, innovative joint venture between Canada World Youth and Youth Challenge International.  This operation is focused on, through a mentoring program, the sustainable livelihood of youth in Africa, Central America and Asia.  In addition, Steve is the Treasurer and an Executive Board Member of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Alumni and operates his own financial practise through FINOBA Consulting Inc.

Dr. Karen A. Burke, Member

Director of Regulatory Affairs, Amgen Canada Inc.  
Karen is a member of the Executive Committee and the Research and Development Leadership Team of Amgen Canada.  She also serves on the Campaign Cabinet for the United Way of Peel Region, and has participated extensively on the Regulatory Affairs committees of both BIOTECanada and Rx&D, the former for which she received a 2010 Gold Leaf Award for her contributions to the association.   

Since obtaining her Ph.D. in Organometallic Chemistry from McMaster University, Karen has worked in the pharmaceutical industry in several roles over a career of more than 20 years, including positions in Operations and in Regulatory Affairs at Astra Pharma/AstraZeneca Canada Inc. 

Externally, she served as 2011-2012 President of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC), the national not-for-profit association that unites chemistry professionals who work in industry, academia and government, and more recently, Karen participated as a member of the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on the State of Canada’s Science Culture.  In addition, she has been a member of the Board of Directors for EthicsCentre CA, the Canadian Centre for Ethics and Corporate Policy, a non-profit organization with the mission to champion the application of ethical values in the decision-making process of business and other organizations.  

Peter D’Amico, Member
Director Business Development (Health, Safety & Security, Environment), Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Peter D’Amico is currently leading market activities for Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, one of Canada’s preeminent scientific institutions and a world leading lab on peaceful applications of nuclear technology, in the growing markets of Health, Safety & Security and Environment.

Peter’s previous experience as an Radiotherapy Product Line and Sales Manager at MDS Nordion and later as a Director of Source Supply and Market Development with US based capital medical equipment start-up ViewRay Inc., provided him with a wealth of product leadership and strategic planning expertise.

Peter served as a senator and member of McMaster’s Senate Committee on Academic Planning and was founding Chairperson of the McMaster Business Conference Academic Forum. Peter is a graduate of McMaster University with an MSc (Biology) as well as an MBA in International Business.

Brad McCabe, Member
Managing Partner, Sponsor Circle
Brad McCabe has an extensive background in partner matching, not-for-profit administration, community engagement and youth & adult learning. With over 20 years experience working with cultural attractions and national not-for-profits, Brad is currently Managing Partner at Sponsor Circle facilitating partner matching, sponsorship strategy & education and audience insights for organizations, attractions and events nation-wide. Brad has been integral in leading organizations through transformative changes in structure, engagement and revenue development.

A graduate from McMaster University with a B.A. in Political Science and from Charles Sturt University with Graduate Diploma in Education HSIE, Brad is also a past Board Member with Heritage Toronto and Canada25.

Abeera Shahid is a grade 12 student, who currently attends Turner Fenton Secondary School as an International Baccalaureate student. She recently spent her summer studying the impact of the Peel Village Golf Course in Brampton on the local Etobicoke Creek’s surface water quality. As the Founder of Brampton’s Multicultural Youth Council and Co-founder of her school’s Science Club, she aims to create opportunities for others. Her passion for science and social issues motivates her to work with various STEM and community based organizations. In the last few years, she has led her school’s Free the Children club, helped organized TEDxYouth@Brampton, participated in french speech competitions and the Ontario Envirothon. She has been recognized as a Leader of Tomorrow by Volunteer MBC, but she is also a leader today. Abeera is always open to discussions, trying new things, and meeting new people.

Dr. Marie-Claire Shanahan, Member

Associate Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary

She began her career teaching elementary and high school science and math in Toronto but soon returned to graduate studies at the University of Toronto. She joined the Faculty of Education in July 2013 as Research Chair in Science Education and Public Engagement, moving from a position as Associate Professor of Science Education and Science Communication at the University of Alberta. She has had a nearly lifelong passion for science education and outreach and has volunteered at science events for kids and adults since she was a teenager. She maintains this passion through ongoing projects in science communication as a writer, blogger and radio host alongside her research work.

Dr. Shanahan’s research focuses on personal interactions between insiders and outsiders in science contexts. She examines student-teacher interactions and their impact on student identity development including motivation and interest in pursuing careers and further studies in science. She also has a special interest in informal science education and outreach, studying mentorship programs and public outreach events. Her interest in insider-outsider interactions is especially prominent in her research of online science communication, where she examines science blogs and online commenting communities to understand the judgments participants make about each other’s expertise and how and why they engage in arguments and collaborations.

Dr. Shanahan is active in both science education and science communication communities. She is former president of the Canadian Science Education Research Group, an elected member of the Engineering Education Research Group of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching and a member of the editorial board of the journal Studies in Science Education. She is also a member of the National Association of Science Writers and the Canadian Science Writers Association.

If you would like to know more about her, here is the link to her profile at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker, Member
Deputy CEO and Director, Canadian Psychological Association
Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker holds a PhD in Psychology from Carleton University (Ottawa); her PhD looked at the predictors of psychological maladjustment among homeless male youth. Dr. Votta-Bleeker currently holds the positions of Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Director, Science Directorate, with the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). In this capacity, Lisa oversees CPA’s Science portfolio, Emergency Response portfolio and is chair/member of numerous committees. Prior to joining the CPA, Dr. Votta-Bleeker completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Community Health Research and a 1-year national interdisciplinary research training program (TUTORPHC); upon completion of the latter, Lisa was awarded the title of CIHR Fellow in Interdisciplinary Primary Health Care Research and now sits on TUTOR-PHC’s Program Advisory Committee. Dr. Votta-Bleeker has held numerous research positions, including Program Lead and Senior Researcher with the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI); in these positions, she managed the development of six CIHI Improving the Health of Canadians reports, which looked at mental health and homelessness, mental health and criminal activity, positive mental health, healthy youth development, obesity, and health in urban places. She also held the position of Research Coordinator at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Injury Prevention Centre.


Ex officio

Jacques Guerette, Executive Director
Chief Operations Officer, EcoVu
Jacques Guerette has thirty years of national and international experience in building, shaping and highlighting a diverse range of scientific, technology and engineering-focused organizations, with special emphasis on positioning and communicating research- and technology-oriented activities. His experience and expertise encompasses organizational development, operations and change management, corporate stakeholder relations (including investor relations), marketing and branding, and more. He also has significant board, advisory and consulting experience for professional and community organizations.

Brad Bass, Associate Executive Director
Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto
Dr. Bass is an Adjunct Professor at University of Toronto in the School of the Environment and the founder and Director of the University Research Experience in Complex Systems (URECS). URECS brings secondary school and university students together to explore the interaction between environmental change and health. and also offers workshops on the simulation of environmental change and health, green infrastructure, networking and the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Dr. Bass was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Green Roof Research, and was one of the scientists that contributed to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to the IPCC.

Dr. Joanne Zwinkels is a Principal Research Officer at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).  

She received her B.Sc (Honours) in Chemistry from the University of Victoria (1977) and her PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Alberta (1983) with specialization in the infrared optical properties of solids.  After a brief NSERC Visiting Postdoctoral position in the Coal Research Laboratory of the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, she joined the NRC Division of Physics in 1984 to work in the field of spectrophotometry.  From 1991 to 2009, she also served as the Group Leader for Photometry and Radiometry.  Her research activities involve the development of new reference instrumentation, standards, and procedures for high-accuracy spectrophotometry, fluorescence, and colour and appearance measurements.