Board of Directors

Sandy Houston, Chair of the Board, is the President and CEO of the Metcalf Foundation. Sandy has led development of Metcalf into a leading private foundation engaged in helping Canadians imagine and build a just, healthy and creative society. Prior to joining Metcalf, Sandy practiced corporate litigation at Oslers and was a founding partner in Stitt Feld Handy Houston, Canada’s first law firm to focus predominately on alternative dispute resolution.

Much of his current work is focused on creating opportunities for innovation and collaboration and in advancing new thinking and policy approaches. Sandy has been instrumental in the establishment of a number of Canadian not-for-profits. He was the founding chair of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, an arms-length, public foundation created by the Government of Ontario to support the environmental and agricultural integrity of province’s new Greenbelt. He is currently the chair of Community Food Centres Canada and past chair of Philanthropic Foundations Canada. He is a director of the Tides Canada Foundation and the Toronto Community Foundation. He also serves as advisor to a number of charitable organizations including CivicAction, Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation, and Imagine Canada. Sandy is a Senior Fellow at Massey College.

Brian D. Lawson, Treasurer, is Senior Managing Partner and Chief Financial Officer at Brookfield Asset Management, where he has held senior management positions since the early 1990s. Brian graduated from Trinity College, University of Toronto (Bachelor of Arts) in 1983, and received his CA designation from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1985. He has served in various capacities with a number of community and academic organizations, including as director of Community Food Centres Canada, and as a member of the President’s Investment Advisory Committee at the University of Toronto. He currently chairs the finance committee for the Trinity College School Foundation. He and his wife, Joannah, live in Toronto and have three children, Tristan, Alexander and Gillian. 

Sandra Clarkson is the former Vice President — Grants of HRJ Consulting Ltd., providing grant making services on behalf of a group of anonymous donors throughout Western Canada and the Mid-West United States. Sandra has been involved in the non-profit sector for over 20 years, with experience on both sides of the equation. She brings a wealth of experience in all areas of non-profit management and philanthropic grant making. Sandra was instrumental in developing a results-based framework from which investments were made and determining the impact of those invested dollars. Sandra lives in Calgary, Alberta and is currently the First Vice Chair of the Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Awards committee, which recognizes individuals and groups that have shown a strong commitment to community, western hospitality, pride of place and integrity.

Peter Dinsdale is the President and Chief Executive Officer of YMCA Canada. Prior to joining YMCA Canada Peter lead the Assembly of First Nations as the Chief Executive Officer. Peter co-lead a team to conceptualize, design, organize and execute the 2012 Crown-First Nation Gathering and the 2013 meeting between Prime Minister Harper and First Nation representatives which sought to forge a new Treaty relationship with Canada. Peter led on numerous files such as the Assembly of First Nations representative on the Truth and Reconciliation All Party Committee, the development and execution of the 2015 federal election strategy, and working with the AFN Executive and senior staff to advocate for an unprecedented $8.4 billion investment in First Nation issues in the 2016 federal budget.

Peter holds a B.A. and M.A. from Laurentian University as well as an honorary diploma in Education from Canadore College. Peter serves as a Governor at Carleton University. Peter is married, with 2 children and is an avid hockey fan and student of politics.

Dr. Kwame McKenzie is CEO of the Wellesley Institute. He is an expert on the social causes of illness, suicide and the development of effective, equitable health systems. As a physician, researcher and policy advisor, Kwame has worked to identify the causes of illness in cross-cultural health for over two decades. He is a researcher of social, community, clinical and policy issues with nearly 200 academic publications including five books.

Kwame is also the Director of Clinical Health Equity at CAMH and a full Professor and the Co-Director of the Division of Equity Gender and Population in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. He sits on the Boards of the United Way Toronto & York Region and the Ontario Hospitals Association. He is a Senior Fellow at Massey College.

Kwame is a member of the Ontario Government’s Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council and sat on the Expert Advisory Group for Ontario’s Homelessness Strategy alongside numerous other committees. Kwame completed his medical training at the University of Southampton and was trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry and Harvard University

Bill Saul is past President & CEO of Kids Help Phone. Under his leadership, the organization significantly expanded its services through the introduction of web counseling; expanded its national volunteer chapter network from six chapters to 47; and increased its revenue from $6.3 million in 1998 to $11 million in 2006. Prior to joining Kids Help Phone, Bill spent more than thirty years in the Canadian advertising industry as Vice-President of Ogilvy & Mather, Managing Director of Hayhurst Advertising, Partner and Executive Vice President of Carder Gray Advertising and Vice-Chairman & COO of the DDB Needham Worldwide Group of Canada. Bill has served on the boards of Oxfam Canada, the Alzheimer Society of Canada, Children’s Mental Health Ontario and Community Food Centres Canada.