© Tom Arnbom / WWF-Sweden Willov on Ellesmere Island in Canada's Arctic archipelago.

Board of Directors

Composed of a committed group of volunteer leaders from the scientific, Indigenous, conservation and business communities, Our Board of Directors exercises overall responsibility for the policies, programs and direction of WWF-Canada and provides advice and counsel on a broad range of policy and operational matters.

The Board, whose members are elected for four-year terms, is chosen to reflect a broad range of expertise, with all members having a strong and demonstrated commitment to nature conservation. Members may serve a second successive or non-successive four-year term.

Lloyd Bryant
Chair of the Board

Lloyd Bryant proudly serves as Chair of the Board for WWF-Canada. Lloyd is the retired president and CEO of HP Canada. During his 35 years working in the Canadian technology sector, he held progressively senior positions. In 2012 and 2013, he was named as one of Canada’s Clean 16, recognizing individuals who have had the most impact on clean capitalism in his sector.

He is chair of the board of directors of non-profit organizations Electronics Products Recycling Association (EPRA) and Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES), which both work to design, promote, harmonize and implement sustainable programs to manage Canada’s used electronic equipment. He also serves on the board of directors of the Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation, is corporate advisor to The Learning Partnership and sits on the Humber College Dean of Technology’s Advisory Council.

Meena Ballantyne
Vice-Chair of the board

Meena held the position of Deputy Minister of Status of Women Canada from 2014 to her retirement in 2017. From 2011 to 2014, she was the Assistant Secretary of Social Development Policy at the Privy Council of Canada. It was in this position that she provided advice to the Prime Minister and the clerk of the Privy Councel on a range of social policy issues. Prior to that, Meena was the Assistant Deputy Minister of Health Products and Food Branch and Director General of Health Care Policy at Health Canada. She has been a senior executive in the public service of Canada for more than 30 years and has managed large and complex organizations and issues, predominantly for Health Canada, Privy Council Office and Canadian Heritage. Meena has a bachelor of science and master of health administration from the University of Ottawa, as well as director designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Meena sits on the Compensation, Governance and Nominating Committee.

Linda Sampson
Chair of the Audit Committee

Linda Sampson is Microsoft Canada’s Chief Financial Officer. Based in Toronto, Linda’s responsibilities include providing financial leadership to the subsidiary and driving shareholder value. She also plays a critical role in key strategic growth and profitability initiatives, and the organization’s efforts to maintain a fully compliant culture.

Linda joined Microsoft in February of 2017. Prior to Microsoft, Linda had over 18 years of experience in finance and accounting with Hewlett Packard and Hewlett Packard Enterprise subsidiaries in France, the UK and Canada. Her varied assignments have included country, EMEA region and global roles across services finance, financial strategy and transformation, accounting and compliance, and most recently, as the Country Finance Leader and Enterprise Group Controller.

Linda holds a bachelor of science degree from McGill University and an MBA degree jointly from the University of Alberta in Canada and Grenoble’s Ecole de Management. She is also a Certified Management Accountant.

Outside of work, Linda enjoys running, reading and travelling with her family.

John S. Fitzpatrick, Queen’s Counsel
Chair of the Governance Committee

John Fitzpatrick, QC is a partner at BoyneClarke LLP in Halifax. He was appointed Queen’s Councel in February 2008 and has been included in “Best Lawyers in Canada” since 2012. He is a member of the Queen’s Counsel Advisory Committee. John served on the board of governors at Saint Mary’s University for 20 years and is a director of the Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA), serving on the board’s executive committee. He was a board member of ABC Life Literacy, Toronto and has been involved in several other community organizations and initiatives.

For more than 20 years, John has been actively involved in all levels of politics and has been recognized for his philanthropic work with numerous awards, including the 2016 Bertha Wilson Award, 2014 Weldon Award for Unselfish Public Service, Canada 125 Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and Canadian Bar Association Community Service Award (Nova Scotia).

Anne-Marie Boucher

Anne-Marie is an experienced and well-respected tax professional and philanthropist with international experience in large for-profit and non-profit organizations. She was a founding partner of one of Montreal’s most successful law firms, BCF, where she practiced tax and corporate law. She remains of counsel to the firm. As a director of the Quebec Association of Tax and Financial planning, she was part of a delegation of Canadian experts and politicians mandated to assist the Government of Brazil with tax reform.

She is the past chair of the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation in Montreal and member of the international board of the prestigious Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and The Aleh Hospital network in Israel. She is also a member of the board for the McCord Museum and the Jewish Community Foundation. Anne-Marie earned her law degree from the University of Montreal and her masters in tax from the University of Sherbrooke. She sits on the Compensation, Governance and Nominating Committee.

Eriel Deranger

Eriel Tchekwie Deranger is a Denesuline Indigenous woman and member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Treaty 8 Northern Alberta. She is the executive director and co-founder of Indigenous Climate Action (ICA), an Indigenous-led climate justice organization. Prior to that, she spent six years working on the international Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign, challenging the expansion of Alberta’s Tar Sands, one of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuels.

Eriel is recognized for her role in creating the UN Indigenous Youth Caucus, lobbying government officials in Canada and internationally, and working to develop and lead mass mobilizations highlighting the inequity of the impacts of the fossil fuel industry and climate change on the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Jamie Biggar

Jamie is the Executive Director for Change.org Canada, a digital campaigning platform used by over 7 million Canadians to win thousands of campaigns, and by far the most popular digital campaign platform in the world. Before joining Change.org, Jamie co-founded Leadnow.ca, Canada’s first digitally-empowered progressive advocacy group, and served as its founding Executive Director and Campaign Director. At Leadnow, Jamie led campaigns that mobilized hundreds of thousands of people to take action online, organized tens of thousands to rally and volunteer offline, and raised millions of dollars from over thirty thousand donors for a wide range of progressive causes. Leadnow has won many progressive victories and its innovations in connecting online campaigning to face-to-face organizing have had a wide impact on Canadian non-profits and political parties.

Before starting Leadnow, Jamie completed a Master’s Degree in political ecology at the University of Victoria, co-founded two student-led climate and sustainability organizations, and served on the board of a range of social, environmental and educational organizations.

Julie Gelfand

Julie has over 35 years working in the field of environment, sustainable development and corporate social responsibility for government, non-government organizations and the private sector before becoming the federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. She is now a Distinguished Fellow of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and sits of the Board of Directors of Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping and on the Advisory Board for the Auditor General of Ontario.

As federal Commissioner in the Office of the Auditor General of Canada she reported to Parliamentarians on the implementation of their legislation and policies. She led the first collaborative audit on climate change with the Auditors General of all the provinces and territories which tabled in 2018. She also led audits on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the National Energy Board, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the federal gas tax fund, aquaculture and fisheries management, fossil fuel subsidies, environmental monitoring of the oil sands, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, biodiversity conservation, severe weather preparedness, ‎pesticides and chemicals in consumer products.

She served on the International Expert Panel reviewing the German government’s sustainable development plan and she worked internationally with Auditors General from around the world on the implementation of the SDGs (Agenda 2030).

In the private sector, Julie was Vice President of Environment and Social Responsibility for the Rio Tinto Iron Ore Company of Canada where she co-led the company’s negotiations with first nations on Impact Benefits Agreements and she managed greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, and fish habitat and water effluent issues. As Vice President of Sustainability with the Mining Association of Canada she worked to improve the environment and sustainability of the mining sector leading the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative.

Julie spent 20+ years working for various nature conservation groups at the staff and board level, nationally and internationally. She was President of Nature Canada for 16 years and on the Global Council for Birdlife International for 10 years. During that time, she:

• advocated for the Canada’s Oceans Act and the Parks Canada Agency Act
• co-led the 9-year campaign for the Species at Risk Act
• lobbied for the creation of many new national parks and for the strengthening of Canada’s national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries
• helped with the establishment of Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
• co-led one of Canada’s first Traditional Ecological Knowledge projects in working with Cree and Inuit around Hudson’s and James Bay
• founded the Green Budget Coalition which has been lobbying to remove perverse subsidies since 1999
• served as a Board member of Wildlife Habitat Canada, the Sustainability Network and a member of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative.

Melissa Grelo

Smart, sassy and informed, Melissa Grelo has added co-host of The Social to her expanding resume and also acts as the show’s moderator. She is also a contributing host on CTV’s flagship national morning show, Your Morning. Melissa was the long-time co-host of the most watched morning news show in the greater Toronto area, CP24 Breakfast, and she anchored and reported on the biggest stories in Canada’s largest news market.

As Canada watched from the edge of their seats, Melissa gave the front-row perspective when she co-hosted CTV’s Olympic Morning program from B.C. No stranger to glitz and glamour, Melissa has covered the Toronto International Film Festival red carpets since 2009 and was in Los Angeles in 2013 reporting for CP24 and CTV on the prestigious Academy Awards. She’s also co-hosted the Santa Claus Parade on CTV since 2010, and contributed to the Grey Cup Weekend on TSN in 2012 and Daily Planet on Discovery in 2013.

When away from the office, Melissa enjoys horseback riding, fitness, reading and travelling with her family. As a former teacher, education and giving back to the community are very important to her. She champions young, female leaders in her role as ambassador for Girls E-Mentorship. She has worked with charities like Artbound and Free The Children, which have built schools in Kenya, India and other developing nations. She also dedicates time to raising funds for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) and the Community Association for Riding for the Disabled (CARD) with horseback-riding demonstrations. She is passionate about creating a sustainable future and serves as ambassador for HRH Charles, The Prince of Wales’ Campaign for Wool. She speaks at many fundraising events, specifically with the GTA’s youth, whom she encourages to become involved in charitable work and contribute to their communities.

Most recently, Melissa was named as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by WXN.

Tom Heintzman

Tom Heintzman is currently providing consulting services in the energy, environment and ESG spaces. Most recently, from 2013 until early 2021, Tom was the Chief Operating Officer at JCM Power, where he was responsible for overseeing JCM’s solar PV and transmission projects in Africa and Latin America.

In 2004, Tom co-founded Bullfrog Power, Canada’s leading green energy provider. Prior to founding Bullfrog Power, Tom spent more than 13 years in the private and NGO sectors, most recently with Zenon Environmental where he led global mergers and acquisitions initiatives as their Director of Corporate Development.

Earlier in his career, as Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Company, Tom provided consulting services to many of the world’s largest corporations in the energy, manufacturing, financial services and telecommunications sectors.

From 1996 to 1998, Tom was instrumental in establishing Ecojustice Canada’s (formerly Sierra Legal Defence Fund) Ontario office, where he led several precedent-setting litigation, public advocacy and lobbying campaigns associated with the environmental consequences of the oil refining, mining, forestry, fishing and automobile industries. He also served on the board of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund from 1999 through 2004 and provided pro-bono consulting services to the Nature Conservancy of Canada during his tenure at McKinsey.

Chief Dr. Ronald E. Ignace

Chief Dr. Ronald E. Ignace has been the elected Chief of the Skeetchestn Indian Band for more than 28 years. He has also served as chairman of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, president of the Secwepemc Cultural Education Society and was the co-chair of the Aboriginal university partnership between the Secwepemc and Simon Fraser University in Kamloops, B.C., where he continues to occasionally teach courses in Secwepemc Language and First Nations studies. With more than 60 years of experience in Secwepemc traditional food harvesting, he has published, and co-published with his wife, Marianne Ignace, articles and book chapters on Secwepemc history, ethnobotany, language and culture, and most notably the book Secwepemc People, Land and Laws.

He was instrumental in establishing the Assembly of First Nations National Chiefs’ Committee on Language and Culture and represented the AFN at the United Nations from 1989 to 1993. He has been a leader in advancing the economic development of the band and was also instrumental in stopping the KGHM-Ajax open-pit mine near Kamloops. He is drafting Indigenous Languages Legislation across Canada to protect, enhance and secure sourcing for all Indigenous Languages in Canada. Ron holds a BA and an MA in sociology from the University of British Columbia and a PhD in anthropology from Simon Fraser University.

Bruce Poon Tip

Entrepreneur, leader, author and philanthropist Bruce Poon Tip is the founder of G Adventures, the world’s largest small-group adventure travel company. Bruce also founded G Adventures’ non-profit partner, the Planeterra Foundation, to harness the power of the tourism supply chain to channel travellers’ dollars into under-served communities around the world.

Bruce’s work with organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (DB), the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), like-minded companies, and Indigenous people, has led to support for more than 50 community development projects globally, with another 25 planned by 2020. He was inducted into the Social Venture Network Hall of Fame and the British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame, awarded a Queen Elizabeth Il Diamond Jubilee Medal and honoured as one of AFAR USA’s Travel Vanguards as a visionary travel-industry leader who is changing the face of travel for the better.

Dr. Supriya Syal

Supriya Syal is the founder of Dulcimer Labs, a purpose-driven company that creates social impact through evidence-based decision making and behavioural science. She also serves as an advisor to start-ups and foundations invested in transforming healthcare and the social mission space through an understanding of how human beings actually work.

As the former chief behavioural scientist of the Privy Council Office of the Government of Canada, Supriya worked to create and scale a culture of evidence-based decision making across government and drive the use of behavioural science for social impact through improvements in federal policies and programs that impact Canadians. She is a former vice-president of research and innovation of BEworks Inc., a global behavioural science strategy and consulting firm. A winner of multiple awards, Supriya obtained her Ph.D in psychology from Cornell University, and holds degrees in neuroscience and biochemistry.

Ziya Tong
Patron of the board

Ziya Tong is the author of The Reality Bubble, an award-winning science broadcaster and former board member. For a decade, she served as the co-host of Daily Planet, Discovery Canada’s flagship science show. In the United States, she worked as a host and field producer for the PBS national primetime series, Wired Science and as a correspondent alongside Neil de Grasse Tyson in NOVA ScienceNOW. In Canada, she was host, writer and director for the science series The Leading Edge, and she received a Gemini Viewer’s Choice Award nomination for her work on the CBC’s Emmy-nominated series ZeD.

Ziya received her master’s degree in communications from McGill University. She is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, serves on the advisory board of the children’s science magazine OWL and is the founder of Black Sheep. Retired from the WWF-Canada board after serving two full terms, Ziya was recently elected to the WWF-International Board of Directors.

Éliane Ubalijoro
Patron of the board

Éliane Ubalijoro, PhD, is the Executive Director of Sustainability in the Digital Age and the Director of Future Earth Montreal Hub. Her decades of experience span academia, science-policy and the non-profit and international development sectors. She is a Professor of Practice for Public-Private Sector Partnerships at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development, where her research interests focus on innovation, gender and sustainable development for prosperity creation. Her teaching over the last decade has focused on facilitating leadership development. She is a member of Rwanda’s National Science and Technology Council and has been a member of the Presidential Advisory Council for Rwandan President Paul Kagame since its inception in September 2007. She is a member of the Expert Consultation Group on the Post COVID-19 Implications on Collaborative Governance of Genomics Research, Innovation, and Genetic Diversity. Éliane is a member of the African Development Bank’s Expert Global Community of Practice on COVID-19 Response Strategies in Africa. She is a member of the newly created Capitals Coalition Supervisory Board. Éliane teaches and advises in Leadership programs to help equip executives in science, innovation and international development with tools that support inner and outer sustainable transformation towards global prosperity.