Meet the Board

The CIRA board members come from diverse professional and geographical backgrounds. This allows us to broadly consider Canadian perspectives when working to make .CA your domain name of choice and representing the CIRA registry on a global stage.

Profiles of the CIRA Board of Directors

Alex Beraskow
Director

Nomination Committee Slate
Term: 2016 - 2019

Alex Beraskow
Mr. Alex Beraskow is in the next phase of his career, working as a corporate director for both Not-For-Profit (NFP) as well as corporate boards. Previously, as a management consultant with strong expertise in finance and information technology, he completed studies in a broad range of topics: business transformation, strategic planning, security, business cases, re-engineering, facilitation, independent project reviews, and procurement. He started his career with IBM in 1969 and has worked within the IT domain since. He has had executive responsibility for 5 consulting firms since 1980.

As an entrepreneur, Alex Beraskow, founded three consulting companies and sold each of them to international firms.

He is a Professional Engineer, having graduated from McGill University. MBA Degrees from McGill University and Ottawa University followed. To upgrade his board governance skills he completed the ICD (Institute of Corporate Directors) program (Rotman School).

On a more personal note, in 2013 he completed the Tour D’Afrique (a 12,000 km cycling trip from Cairo to Cape Town over a 4 month period), the Lands’ End to John O’Groats in 2014 (a 1,500 km trip across the UK), and a 3,000 km trip across New Zealand in 2016. In addition to carrying a respectable golf handicap, he also belongs to a gourmet cooking club. He is fully bilingual.


Ryan Black
Director

Nomination Committee Slate
Term: 2017-2020

Ryan practices technology-related business law at McMillan LLP’s Vancouver office. Ryan has extensive intellectual property and information technology experience combined with a background in corporate matters, including experience in mergers and acquisitions, technology outsourcing, service provisioning, venture capital funding, high-technology employment, licensing and commercial contracting. Ryan also advises on protecting trade secrets or other intellectual property, responding to cybersecurity, ransomware or cyber-extortion threats, complying with privacy and other regulatory regimes, and developing internal and external policies, training and compliance programs relating to these topics. Ryan leverages this experience in acting as McMillan’s Chief Technology Partner, sitting on its Information Security Governance Committee.

As a former software and Internet developer, Ryan has a unique insight to emerging technology matters important to today's businesses, such as cybersecurity, blockchain technologies, open source software, cloud computing, and social media. Ryan is a frequent speaker and presenter on a wide variety of legal matters including: chairing the Video Game Bar Association’s 2017 Summit North conference; leading a 5-part Continuing Legal Education Series on Law and Technology issues for CLE BC; co-authoring "Internet Law Essentials: Canada's Anti-Spam Law", published by Specialty Technical Publishers; and guest lecturing on Intellectual Property matters at University of British Columbia’s Peter A. Allard School of Law. Ryan is also a member of the board of the Vancouver Fireworks Festival Society, who annually produce the Honda Celebration of Light, the world’s largest off-shore pyrotechnics competition.


John Demco
Board Advisor

John Demco is affiliated with the CIRA Certified Registrar Webnames.ca Inc. and until 2007 was manager of Computing Facilities in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. Some of John's accomplishments include managing the Canadian academic and research network CDNnet (1985-1990); helping to establish a connection to the U.S. NSFnet (1988); hosting the first Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meeting held outside of the U.S. (1990); sitting on the board of the BCNET Networking Society (1996-2001); and participating in CA*net, the Coordinating Committee on Intercontinental Research Networking, CANARIE, and the Internet Society. John helped to create the .CA domain in 1987 and was its initial registrar, serving in that capacity and chairing the .CA Domain Committee until 2000. He participated in the Canadian Domain Name Consultative Committee which made recommendations concerning the structure and organization of the .CA domain. He helped to establish CIRA, and is a founding member of its Board of Directors.


Andrew Escobar
Director

Member Slate
Term: 2011 - 2014,  2014– 2017, 2017-2020

Andrew Escobar is an independent consultant specializing in communications and marketing. He is actively engaged in Canadian politics. He served on the re-election campaign of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, with responsibilities in communications, marketing and information technology. He also served in the Office of the Minister of Revenue during a term of comprehensive tax reform in Ontario. Prior to politics, Andrew provided expertise in valuation and financial modelling as an analyst for a leading private equity firm in Toronto. Andrew is an advocate of settlement services. He has volunteered as a program coordinator and board member for several organizations supporting newcomers to Canada.

Twitter: @andrewe


Michael Geist
Director

Member Slate
Term: 2012 – 2015
Nomination Committee Slate
Term: 2015 – 2018

Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. He has obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees from Cambridge University in the UK and Columbia Law School in New York, and a Doctorate in Law (J.S.D.) from Columbia Law School. Dr. Geist is a syndicated columnist on technology law issues with his regular column appearing in the Toronto Star and the Hill Times. Dr. Geist is the editor of many books including Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era (2015, University of Ottawa Press), The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law (2013, University of Ottawa Press), From "Radical Extremism" to "Balanced Copyright": Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda (2010, Irwin Law) and In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law (2005, Irwin Law).He is also the editor of several monthly technology law publications, and the author of a popular blog on Internet and intellectual property law issues.

Dr. Geist serves on many boards, including the CANARIE Board of Directors, the Canadian Legal Information Institute Board of Directors, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority Board of Directors, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation Advisory Board. He has received numerous awards for his work including the Kroeger Award for Policy Leadership and the Public Knowledge IP3 Award in 2010, the Les Fowlie Award for Intellectual Freedom from the Ontario Library Association in 2009, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 2008, Canarie’s IWAY Public Leadership Award for his contribution to the development of the Internet in Canada and he was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2003. In 2010, Managing Intellectual Property named him on the 50 most influential people on intellectual property in the world and Canadian Lawyer named him one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada in 2011, 2012 and 2013. More information can be obtained at http://www.michaelgeist.ca.


Byron Holland - President and CEO of CIRA
Board Advisor

Byron Holland is the president and Chief Executive Officer of .CA.Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for Internet governance, Byron’s leadership has brought .CA to the forefront of innovation. Byron has led a wholesale rewrite of the .CA registry and related policies and business rules. Since the registry rewrite, .CA has become the fastest growing country code top-level domain (TLD) in the world, and the second fastest growing TLD overall.Byron has developed a strong international profile for the .CA top-level domain. He is chair of the Country Codes Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO), the body that represents the interests of all country code top-level domains and leads policy development initiatives at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Byron is also an active participant in the United Nations co-ordinated Internet Governance Forum, and other Internet governance fora.

Prior to joining .CA Byron helped found the third largest coalition loyalty program in Canada, Futura Rewards. As the chief operating officer at Futura, he oversaw the development and growth of the company from a small upstart to a publicly traded company with more than 100 brand partners and 400,000 members.

Byron maintains a world recognized blog, Public Domain (www.cirablog.ca). On his blog, he provides leading insight into issues of importance to Canadians on Internet-related matters. Byron can also be found on Twitter at @CIRA001. Byron received a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University. He also holds his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.


Jill Kowalchuk
Director

Nomination Committee Slate
Term: 2017-2020

For almost 15 years, Jill Kowalchuk has been an ambitious driver and advocate for the advancement of Canada’s technology and innovation sectors. Jill is the National Research and Education Network (NREN) Coordination Manager at CANARIE. In this role she manages the NREN virtual organization which includes CANARIE and the twelve provincial and territorial partners. The NREN is an essential collective of people, tools, services and digital infrastructure that provides a collaborative environment to advance Canadian leadership in research, education and innovation.

Before joining CANARIE Jill was the General Manager for Paradocs Mountain Software while running her own business which supported private and not-for-profits companies in developing and implementing successful strategies for utilizing digital infrastructure. As the past President of Compute Canada, Jill spearheaded Compute Canada’s incorporation as a not-for-profit organization and was responsible for overseeing a national platform of advanced computing infrastructure and distributed technical teams. Prior to her role with Compute Canada, Jill was the CEO of WestGrid, one of four regional consortia within Compute Canada’s national platform. Alongside her role with WestGrid, Jill was also Vice-President, Project and Partnership Development at Cybera Inc.

Jill has extensive experience in creating, supporting and managing member based federated organizations in Canada. She regularly participates in national discussions on developing Canada’s digital strategy. Jill is an active supporter of initiatives that encourage and support women in Executive positions, particularly in the fields of science and engineering. She studied Computer Science and Management at the University of Calgary.


Rowena Liang
Director

Nomination Committee Slate
Term: 2010 - 2013, 2013 – 2016, 2016 - 2019

Rowena brings over 25 years of experience in information technology, finance, project management and supply chain management. She retired from her full-time position at Vancity, Canada’s largest Credit Union, in 2008 and devotes her time to board and volunteer work.

At Vancity, Rowena was the vice-president of Information Technology and chief information officer. She was also the CEO of Vancity’s wholly-owned subsidiary Inventure Solutions Inc. Inventure Solutions is a technology services provider for Vancity and a number of other financial institutions in British Columbia.Before joining Vancity, Rowena held senior roles at IBM, BC Gas, Westech Information Systems, Inc., BC Hydro and Sandwell Engineering. She holds a BA in Economics from the University of British Columbia and is also a Certified General Accountant.

Rowena has served on a number of professional, private and non-profit boards. She is currently an executive in residence for the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.


Tyson Macaulay
Director

Nomination Committee Slate
Term: 2017-2020

Tyson Macaulay is a veteran of the information security industry with 24 years of experience, spanning most industry verticals and critical infrastructures. In his current role as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – Cyber for BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, Tyson leads a global organization developing high-assurance end-to-end security designs, as well as pre-sales engineering and consulting services in North America. Other recent positions include CTO Telecommunications Security at Intel and Chief Security Strategist at Fortinet. These roles all involved international business strategy, corporate development (M&A), technical leadership, media and speaking events.

Prior to these roles, Tyson was Security Liaison Officer at Bell Canada from 2005 to 2012. From 2001 to 2005 he was Director of Risk Management for the U.S. defence contractor Electronic Warfare Associates (EWA), and founded General Network Services an Ottawa-based security firm in 1996. He began his career as an Internet Consultant in 1993.

Tyson has been a security researcher and lecturer since the beginning of his career with a personal syllabus of four books, dozens of periodical publications and international standards contributions, and two registered patents in security. Tyson continues to support the development of engineering and security standards through the International Standards Organization (ISO), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO).

Specialties: Enterprise Risk Management, Technical Risk Management, Security Architecture, Security Audit and Compliance, Program development and Governance, International Standards development, Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial Control Systems, Telecom-grade security design, 4G and 5G wireless security


Louise Macdonald
Director

Nomination Committee Slate
Term: 2010 – 2013, 2013 - 2016
Member Slate
Term: 2016 - 2019

Louise Macdonald is an independent consultant specializing in executive leadership. She has been working in the fields of leadership, management development, executive teamwork and organizational learning for over 25 years. Subsequent to her last corporate job at Abitibi-Price as director of organization development, she co-founded a successful boutique human resources consulting firm. Her firm, Bussandri Macdonald Groupe Conseil Inc., was acquired by Knightsbridge Human Capital Management in 2002. Louise stayed on with Knightsbridge as managing director, Eastern Region until 2007, when she left to pursue an independent consulting practice with select corporate clients.

Frequently retained by international clients over the years to help them with collaborative strategy execution, Louise is known for her ability to make the link between personal aspirations, team results and business realities. Her experience as an executive coach, assisting senior managers in different functional areas in various industries, allows her to act as an effective sounding-board for executives holding significant responsibilities and managing increasingly diverse and sometimes remote teams.  Her expertise provides new perspectives to key decision-makers in evolving their leadership styles, integrating the strategic resources of the organization, and improving relationships with the board and other stakeholders.

In addition to a degree in Industrial Relations and graduate work in Adult Education at the Université de Montréal, Louise has received complementary training in counselling at various institutes in Canada and the U.S. She is a graduate of the first cohort of the ICD Directors Education Program from McGill University. She has lectured at McGill and at the Université de Sherbrooke and several professional organizations, and is a past president of the International Society for Performance and Instruction. She served on the Board of the Ordre des conseillers en relations industrielles et ressources humaines du Québec. Raised in a bicultural Canadian milieu, Louise is fluent in French and English.


Helen McDonald
Chair

Nomination Committee Slate
Term: 2015 - 2018
Helen McDonald

Helen McDonald worked in the private sector and federal public service for over 30 years in a variety of roles, most recently as the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister for Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications. She has extensive experience in strategic planning, issues management, policy development, regulation, and the delivery of investment programs promoting and enabling affordable Internet services in rural and remote Canadian communities and e-commerce. Helen’s current interests are in using her executive experience and leadership skills to support Canadian non-profit organizations engaged in digital issues and community betterment. Her leadership style and support for women in the workplace were recognized in 2011 through her selection for the Canadian Women in Communications Trailblazer Award.


Marita Moll
Director

Member Slate
Term: 2015 – 2018
Marita Moll

Marita Moll is a researcher and policy analyst with a particular interest in communications policy. Over the past 20 years, as a private citizen and in collaboration with various public interest groups, she has been highly engaged in national Internet policy discussions -- intervening in many government and CRTC policy processes; organizing and contributing to grass-roots discussions; writing papers and articles and speaking to groups on emerging issues. Marita helped found some of the early advocacy organizations that focussed on Internet policy and was a co-investigator in a multi-year University of Toronto-based SSHRC grant studying the impacts on community of public Internet access sites in Canada. She has co-edited and contributed to five collections of essays on telecom policy in Canada.

Marita is a member of the board of the Canadian chapter of the Internet Society (ISCC) and has served on CIRA's Community Investment Program Advisory Committee. She maintains her community connections as a board member of Telecommunities Canada, an informal alliance of organizations and individuals engaged in community-based initiatives such as local public access sites, not-for-profit internet services and community owned broadband initiatives. From 2005 to 2014 she was a sessional lecturer in the department of Technology, Society and Environment Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. More information can be found at maritamoll.ca


Bill Sandiford
Director

Nomination Committee Slate
Term: 2012 - 2015, 2015 - 2018

Bill Sandiford is the president and chairman of the Board of the Canadian Network Operators Consortium (CNOC), a not-for-profit trade association that represents the interests of Canada’s independent telecommunications service providers.

He has over 18 years of senior management experience in the ISP and telecommunications business. He is a current member of the Board of Trustees of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), the vice-chair of the board for .CA, and vice-president of the Alberta Internet Exchange (ABIX).  Prior to his election to the Board of Trustees at ARIN, he served on the ARIN Advisory Council for four years.  Additionally, he is a former vice-president of the Toronto Internet Exchange (TorIX), and a former vice-president of the Whitby Dunlops Senior Hockey Club.

Bill commenced his career in telecommunications after attending Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont. He is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors NFP program from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

Outside of work Bill enjoys hockey, rugby, scuba diving, and piloting his Cessna aircraft to exotic destinations around North America and the Caribbean. He resides in Whitby, Ont., with his wife and two children.


Adam Scott - Industry Canada
Board Advisor

Adam Scott is the director of International Telecommunications Policy at Industry Canada. He is responsible for developing strategies for Canadian participation at various ITU fora and other international meetings and advancing Canada’s Internet governance policy. Adam serves in an advisory capacity on the .CA board, and represents Canada on ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee.

Adam has worked in Industry Canada’s Telecommunications Policy Branch since 2001. Prior to his most recent appointment, he served as director of Business and Regulatory Analysis and was responsible for advising the government on various regulatory and competition issues as well as on broadband deployment in rural and remote areas. Adam has also worked for Human Resources and Development Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Adam is a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Political Science program. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and two sons. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors and is a registered beekeeper. Adam Scott is not a golfer and has never watched a full episode of Parks and Recreation.


Rob Villeneuve
Vice-Chair

Nomination Committee Slate
Term: 2013 – 2016, 2016 - 2019

Rob Villeneuve is the Chief Executive Officer of Rebel.com, an Ottawa-based Registrar. Rob has been a member of the CIRA Board of Directors, including participating on numerous Board committees, since his election in 2013. He also actively participates in international domain policy development with ICANN.

He brings more than 15 years of experience in the web development and domain name industries to the CIRA Board. Always results-focussed, Rob's holistic approach to providing registrar and hosting services ensures the success of Rebel-com's customers.