2019 Member Nominee
As members, I expect you to care about creating a secure, accessible and resilient internet for all Canadians. I expect you to also be a champion of Canada's internet and care about Canada's .ca domain. I also suspect that you care deeply about having a strong, stable governance of the dot ca domain system and that you are deeply committed to the importance of a free and open internet for all Canadians. Indeed, I am sure that like me, you also feel that digital communications adds immense value to our daily lives.
Canada is a diverse country and as a young visible minority based in western Canada, I want to add some of this diversity to CIRA's Board. As a young and experienced Board member, I am committed to CIRA's values and feel that I can contribute strongly towards CIRA's governance. I want to assist the Board in overseeing the new and constantly evolving challenges it faces in the digital landscape. My passion for community service and strategic leadership has seen me successfully serve multiple terms on two other bilingual and national Canadian Boards. I am a two-term Director of the World University Service of Canada and the two-term Chair of Governance and Government Relations Committee of the Canadian Art Therapy Association's Board of Directors. Furthermore, I have also served as the Committee Chair of Finance and Administration as a member of the Board of Governors of St. Stephen’s College at the University of Alberta. As these Board terms come to an end, I want to serve on a Board that is in alignment with my values and interests.
Outside of the Board room, I am a globally minded action-oriented civil servant with strong interpersonal, governance, and policy background. I have worked in policy roles with municipal, provincial, federal, and international governments for over 12 years and am passionate about governance and governments as a juncture between the private and public spheres. My passion to find policy solutions for common resources led me to my career in government and my curiosity has taken me to four continents. I have worked with Canada's partner countries in Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa and this rich experience has helped me build empathy, problem-solving skills, and deeply informs my approach to board work and responsibilities.
In addition to holding an MA in Public and International Affairs from the University of Ottawa, an Honours Bachelors in Sustainable Economic Development from University of Waterloo, and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from Royal Roads University, I have also completed the Institute of Corporate Directors’ NFP Governance Program. You will find attached a CV that highlights my board experience, along with years of work experience in policy roles. I am a strong candidate for boards looking to have more diversity around the Board table. Thank you and I look forward to being a candidate for election.
Answers to mandatory questions:
1. Explain from your perspective what CIRA does and why it matters.
CIRA is a NFP that manages Canada's internet identity and develops policies that support our nation's
internet community. To me, CIRA works to build trust in the .ca domain. In the era where reputational risk is potentially the largest risk factor, this soft goal is one of its most critical functions.
2. Why do you want to be on CIRA’s board of directors?
I have been subscribed to CIRA's newsletters for a long time. I have watched the organization develop itself and build a strong national voice. I am interested in being able to leverage my 10+ years of previous governance experience with national organizations to work in an area of interest to me. The notice included many areas where I have the skills and experience, specifically:
1) Finance, accounting, and audit experience
- I have been a Chair of Finance at St. Stephen's College (U of A) for a year on their Board of Governors and have been a member of the audit committee of the World University Service of Canada for three years.
2) Community investment programs and community improvement
- I am an Economist with Western Economic Diversification Canada and our department specializes in
community investment programs and community improvement. Examples include Coal communities
impacted by closure of coal power plants throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta.
3) Leadership skills and ability to listen to other's perspective.
- My extensive board governance experience also demonstrates my ability to listen and focus on all
perspectives in ensuring oversight, foresight, and insight are leveraged. I have also been on three
international exchanges (Sweden, United States, and Israel) and worked in Ghana and Mongolia. These exchanges and international work assignments required me to pay attention to interpersonal and intercultural dynamics even more.
4) Experience with understanding board's oversight role.
- I am a graduate of the Government of Alberta's Leadership Development Program and have taken the NFP Governance Program at the Institute of Corporate Directors. I am interested in board governance and would be interested in overseeing the risk register encompassing financial, human, security, economic, governance, reputational, health and safety, along with infrastructure risk.
5) Previous board experience with solid understanding of board governance
- In addition to completing the NFP governance course of the Institute of Corporate Directors, I have also completed the Board's role in Strategy development. Furthermore, I have 8+ years of experience on national Boards of Directors and 1+ years of experience on a Board of Governors of a degree granting institution. In addition to this, I have extensive Board experience with smaller localized boards such as the board of my graduate program's student association and the editorial board of an academic graduate journal/publication.
3. What specific skills and experience do you have that makes you a qualified candidate for CIRA’s board of directors?
-Familiar with Risk Registers and Risk Monitoring (3+ years)
- Current Chair of Finance and Administration committee of St. Stephen's College's Board of Governors
(College endowment fund management experience with portfolio managers, dealing with financial auditors (planning, management, reporting), accounting (book keeping and internal control experience), legal counsel advise and experience.
- Member of Audit and Finance Committee of World University Service of Canada's Board of Directors ($30M + organization operating in 26 countries (oversight of Risk register, external auditors, internal control)
- Former Chair of Governance, Government Relations and Advocacy Committee of the Canadian Art
Therapy Association (Experience with national advocacy campaigns and regulation of counselling
therapists in Alberta, British Colombia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan).
4. What do you think are the top 3 challenges and opportunities facing CIRA in the next 3 to 5 years? What approach would you take to addressing these issues?
- Board diversity (current Board only has 4 females to 11 men). Diversity is also lacking in those aged
<40 and members of visible minorities. Furthermore, there is less than ideal East-West and linguistic
diversity currently on the Board making it not representative of Canadians and Canada in 2019. The
Board sets the example and if the Nov 2018 meeting minutes state that there is an issue with increasing diversity in the workplace due to availability of talent - it is a strong possibility that talent does not see itself as part of the organization. Strategic signaling, direction, and leadership comes from the Board itself being diverse and open.
- Maintenance of growth for .CA by coming up with a concrete strategic plan that includes new
approaches to the market, specifically looking at the IoT space.
- Reputational risk to the .ca brand in the era of cyber espionage, increased focus on privacy, and
safeguarding of user data