Board of Directors

Tatiana Fraser, President

Tatiana Fraser is Co-founder and the past Executive Director of Girls Action Foundation, an organization that reaches 60,000 young women and girls annually, particularly in under-represented communities including Northern, racialised, low-income, Aboriginal and immigrant communities. Under her leadership, Girls Action Foundation has created an unprecedented network of organizations dedicated to advancing girls’ equality, which now counts over 210 member-organizations in all regions of Canada. Tatiana has been involved in various other capacities at the grassroots and national level, including: Board Member of FAFIA (Feminist Alliance for International Action), Board Member of ACTUA (Canada’s leading national science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) outreach organization for youth) and NGO representative at the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Tatiana holds a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from the University of Ottawa, and a Master of Management for National Voluntary Sector Leaders from McGill University.  In 2010, Ms. Fraser was awarded of an Ashoka fellowship, was recognized as one of the 100 most influential women in Canada (Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100). She was the recipient of the McGill Alumni James G Wright Award in 2012.


Mark Selman, Vice President

Mark SelmanMark Selman is Executive Director of the Learning Strategies Group in the Faculty of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University. During his time at SFU, Mark has been involved in many innovative educational projects. These include projects with senior citizens, people involved in managing non-profit agencies, the Salvation Army of Canada and the Bermudas, the Haisla and other First Nations and many business organizations such as Alcan, Weyerhaeuser, and PMC Sierra. Prior to completing a Doctorate and joining SFU, Mark was involved in starting and managing businesses in construction and manufacturing.

Michael Cooke, Vice President and Treasurer

Michael CookeMichael Cooke served as the Vice President Academic at George Brown College in Toronto from 2000 to 2011 and concurrently as the Vice President Advancement from 2009 to 2011. Prior to joining George Brown College, Michael worked extensively the field of international development and adult education serving as the Executive Director of the Ecumenical Forum of Canada, then Canadian Crossroads International and finally, the Canadian Association for Adult Education. Michael holds a doctorate in Theory and Policy in Higher Education from the University of Toronto and graduate degrees in French literature from the Université de Toulouse. He is a co-author of the 1999 edition of the Foundations of Adult Education in Canada as well as numerous articles on issues related to adult education and social change. Currently he lives in rural Ontario and divides his time between consulting, cycling and ‘homesteading’.

Arpi Hamalian, Director

Arpi HamalianArpi Hamalian is a professor in the Department of Education at Concordia University in Montreal, since 1974. She has served at the university in several capacities, including Chair of the Department of Education, Director of the graduate programmes in Educational Studies and Adult Education and of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute for Women’s Studies. She was also the founding Chair for Concordia University of the Concordia/UQAM Chair in Ethnic Studies. She has sat on several editorial boards for academic journals and as president of professional associations. Ms Hamalian’s accomplishments have been recognized with the Student Life Award for Excellence in Teaching from Concordia and the Governor General’s 125th Anniversary medal for service to Community and Country.

Lois Ross, Director

Lois-face-one-150x150Lois Ross is a communications specialist and writer/editor living in Ottawa.  Lois has worked in the field of communications and development for more than 25 years, initially as a journalist,  photographer, and broadcaster, and then in organizational communications for non-profits.  From 2000-2009 she was the Director of Communications and Publications for The North-South Institute in Ottawa. Prior to that she was with the Canadian Labour Congress. Lois has worked with the Fransaskois community in Saskatchewan on education projects, with trade unions on labour media projects, and in communications and international development. Originally from a rural francophone community in southern Saskatchewan, Lois is the author of three books. Her fiction and non-fiction writing has appeared in several publications.  She has been a volunteer and juror on a number of community boards. 

Shelagh Savage, Director

ImageShelagh Savage is the co-Interim Director of the Coady International Institute of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish NS. She provides strategic leadership in planning and the design of educational and partner capacity-strengthening programs, including the management of Youth programs and the design and facilitation of Coady Certificate and short courses in “Re-thinking Partnerships.”

Shelagh joined Coady in 2009 after working internationally with civil society organizations in South Asia, East Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as with governments and UN organizations such as ILO, The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and UNICEF. With a strong belief that coalition building and collaboration is essential to effect positive change, she has also been active in Canadian civil society networking through national board memberships and local community organizations.