Better Evidence Council

The Council brings together outstanding policy and social sector leaders whose advice helps Blueprint tackle Canada’s biggest social policy challenges through better evidence practices. Read our news release to learn more here.

Headshot of Louise Levonian

Louise Levonian, Chair

Former Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, and former Deputy Minister, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

During a multi-decade career of public service, Louise has become an expert in fiscal and economic management. Most recently she was the Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean at the IMF and the World Bank Group.

Previously, Louise served as Deputy Minister of ESDC and as the Chair of the Labour Market Information Council. She also served as the Chair of the Board of Management and Renewal Sub-Committee on Public Service Engagement and Workplace Culture, helping to build a world-class Canadian public service. Before joining the ESDC, Louise held leadership positions in the Department of Finance, the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Department of Transportation.

Headshot of Alan Richardson

Alan Richardson

Senior Vice-President, Talent Strategy and Solutions, RBC

Alan leads RBC’s Centers of Expertise focused on the innovation and development of enterprise wide talent strategy and solutions. His areas of accountability include leadership, learning & performance, talent solutions, future of work and culture, diversity & inclusion and organizational effectiveness.

Also at RBC, Alan held the positions of Vice-President, Learning & Performance, Vice-President, HR Transformation, HR Business Partner, and led the organizational effectiveness team. Previously, Alan was a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group where he provided strategic advice to clients across an array of industries.

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Alastair MacFadden

Assistant Deputy Minister, Saskatchewan Region, Prairies Economic Development

Prior to his current roles in academia, Alastair served in the Government of Saskatchewan as Deputy Minister of Immigration and Career Training and Assistant Deputy Minister of Labour Market Development, along with other roles in government and the non-profit sector. Alastair helped boost Saskatchewan’s labour market performance by reconciling labour market agendas, negotiating investments and engaging in collaborative planning with business, labour and others. He drove the formation of collaborative strategies, including the creation of the Labour Market Information Council of Canada.

Headshot of Catherine Adam

Catherine Adam

Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

Catherine currently serves as the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of the Strategic and Service Policy Branch at ESDC.  

Prior to her current role, Catherine was the Assistant Secretary to Cabinet for Intergovernmental Affairs Policy with the Privy Council Office and the General Director of Social Policy and Federal–Provincial Relations at the Department of Finance. She has extensive experience in social and economic policy issues in Canada including labour markets, income security, early learning and childcare, health, Indigenous programming and policies and intergovernmental affairs.  

Headshot of Judy Whiteduck

Judy Whiteduck

Former Senior Director, Economic Development & Infrastructure and the Rights & Justice Branch, Assembly of First Nations

Judy recently retired after 23 years with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) as a Senior Director for the Economic Development and Infrastructure Branch and the Rights and Justice Branch.

Judy has worked for more than 30 years to increase socioeconomic benefits and economic involvement for First Nations. She has been involved in many facets of labour market development for First Nations, including trade, improved health supports, advocacy for centres of excellence, increased broadband connectivity and building networks.

Judy is Algonquin from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation.

Headshot of Kelly Fitzsimmons

Kelly Fitzsimmons

Founder and Chief Executive, Project Evident

As a committed social innovator, Kelly leads Project Evident, a mission-driven evidence organization in the US. As well, she serves as a Leap Community Ambassador and a member of Advisory Committee for the Results for America’s Invest in What Works Federal Standard of Excellence.

Previously, she served as VP/Chief Program and Strategy Officer at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation where she led policy innovation, evaluation and grant making. As well, she co-founded Leadwell Partners and New Profit Inc. She has also held senior leadership positions in non-profit organizations and served on several social sector boards and advisory committees.

Headshot of Peter Wallace

Peter Wallace

Senior Fellow, Munk Institute of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Senior Advisor, Boston Consulting Group and former Secretary of the Treasury Board, Government of Canada.

As the Senior Fellow at the Munk Institute of Global Affairs and Public Policy and a Senior Advisor at the Boston Consulting Group, Peter shares his experiences of a 40-year career across all levels of government.

Peter recently retired as the Secretary of the Treasury Board for the Government of Canada in late 2021. He previously held senior leadership roles at the City of Toronto (City Manager), and the Province of Ontario (Secretary of the Cabinet). He also served as Deputy Minister of Finance, Energy, and Cabinet Office - Policy in the Government of Ontario.  

As well, he is an independent trustee for the University Health Network.

Headshot of Ruth Stephen

Ruth Stephen

Director of the Behavioural Finance Lab, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Passionate about public service, Ruth is the Director of the Behavioural Finance Lab at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada where she leads interdisciplinary research teams, anticipating and responding to emerging issues around consumer protection and financial wellbeing.

Ruth has over 18 years of experience leading teams and providing strategic policy advice on economic, taxation, and intergovernmental issues with the Canadian and Ontario governments.

Headshot of Sahir Kahn

Sahir Khan

Executive Vice-President, Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy

A public finance executive, teacher, advisor and speaker, Sahir is the co-founder and Executive Vice-President at the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy at the University of Ottawa. His work focuses on budgetary and financial analysis, reporting and organizational performance.

Previously, he has served in the federal government as the Assistant Parliamentary Budget Officer and at the Privy Council Office, where he provided the Prime Minister with advice on budget, economic, tax and expenditure management. Sahir got his start in the public sector as Director of Oversight and Expenditure Management at the Government of Canada Treasury Board Secretariat.

Headshot of Sarah Doyle

Sarah Doyle

Chief of Staff, University College London Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

An experienced public policy leader, Sarah is the Chief of Staff to Dr. Mariana Mazzucato at the University College London Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose.

Previously, she served as Director of Policy and Research at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Senior Manager at the Centre for Impact Investing at the MaRS Discovery District where she worked with community, government and private sector stakeholders to advance policies to unlock Canadian investment. In the public realm, she has also served as a policy analyst in Canada’s Privy Council Office, offering advice on a range of social policy issues.

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Winston Gee

Chair of Board of Directors, Blueprint and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Senior Legal Counsel, TD Bank Group

As ESG Legal Counsel at TD Bank Group, Winston advises the bank on the design and execution of strategies around corporate governance, investor/stakeholder relations, diversity and inclusion, corporate communications, and the management of environmental, social, and reputational risk.

Prior to his current role, Winston was a litigator and regulatory lawyer and held a number of legal and policy roles in the broader public sector, including at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Ontario Power Generation, Toronto Hydro, and the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation. A core part of his practice focused on advising on matters relating to Indigenous and treaty rights.