Alumni Association members

Board of Directors

The Alumni Association is governed by a Board of Directors made up of 16 alumni. Board members go through a rigorous selection process and are appointed for a three-year term. Together, we bring forward innovative ideas to help organize, finance and support various activities and services for alumni through our work within board committees (Executive, Governance, Outreach and Finance).

Read more in our constitution.

Past Annual Reports can be found here: 2021-2022 Annual Report, 2020-2021 Annual Report2019-2020 Annual Report2018-2019 Annual Report2017-2018 Annual Report.

To reach the board, email us at [email protected].  

Executive committee

Josephine Palumbo

Josephine A.L. Palumbo, BSocSc ’88, JD ’91

President 

Josephine Palumbo is currently Deputy Commissioner of Competition at the Cartels and Deceptive Marketing Practices Branch of the Competition Bureau (Canada). As deputy commissioner, she has led several complex and key negotiations on enforcement matters for the Competition Bureau, including negotiating significant and high impact settlements that concluded with registrations of Consent Agreements with the Competition Tribunal and included significant Administrative Monetary Penalties and Restitution orders on behalf of the Government of Canada. 

Josephine graduated with honours from the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa and was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1993. She articled with the Judiciary of the Tax Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal. 

Headshot of Julie Cafley.

Julie Cafley, BA ’95, BEd ’96, MEd ’03, PhD ’15

Vice-President 

Dr. Julie Cafley is a creative, strategic leader and an accomplished academic with expertise in public policy, governance and higher-education leadership. She is the Vice-President, Communications and External Relations at the Digital Research Alliance of Canada. She is helping to lead an innovative vision to build the organization from the ground-up and develop its brand as a world-class start-up funding tomorrow’s technology.

Previously, she worked as Executive Vice-President at the Public Policy Forum (PPF). Julie built bridges and enhanced the profile and visibility of the PPF while directing its communications, external partnerships, membership and learning teams. In her previous role as Chief of Staff to two presidents at the University of Ottawa, Julie worked closely with the senior executive team to develop and advance strategic initiatives.

Julie holds a PhD in education leadership from the University of Ottawa and has sought-after expertise in university presidential mandates. Her thesis focused on higher education leadership and governance through the lens of unfinished terms of Canadian university presidents.

Julie is an active community builder, a committed advocate for women and leadership, and a tireless champion for diversity initiatives. Julie is a collaborative change maker and an inclusive connector.

Jocelyne Chrétien portrait

Jocelyne Chrétien, MHA ’06, MBA ’10

Chair of the Finance Committee

Jocelyne Chrétien holds a Master of Health Administration and an MBA from the University of Ottawa. She pursued the latter degree while working  as program manager for the Federal Healthcare Partnership, starting in 2005. 

She also holds a bachelor’s in pharmacy from the University of Toronto, and was director of pharmacy at the Elisabeth Bruyère Health Centre before working for the Ottawa Hospital and then the federal government. Her professional interests in governance and program development eventually led her to the Montfort Hospital and subsequently to the field of health-care governance at a provincial level. 

Sylvie Deliencourt portrait

Sylvie Deliencourt, BSocSc ’83

Chair of the Governance Committee

Sylvie Deliencourt is an executive leader with 25 years of experience leading projects and initiatives for national organizations. These projects have covered areas as varied as health leadership, professional development, project management, strategic partnerships, advocacy, public relations/marketing, communications, and membership/client services. In this role, she built partnerships with diverse stakeholders across health and social services sectors to help achieve organizational goals. She also conducted national consultations and research aimed at improving the quality of life for vulnerable populations.

Sylvie managed the LEADS capability-based Certified Health Executive (CHE) program and created platforms to enable health leaders to network, exchange and debate issues of common interest. She has also led several volunteer committees and served on non-profit boards, contributing to advance the goals of the organization and its members. 

Patrick Sasso

Patrick Sasso, BSc ’92

Chair of the Outreach Committee

Patrick Sasso is the co-founder and chief creative officer of Loop Seven, a full-service creative and production company that provides video, photography, animation, original music and music supervision services to a diverse portfolio of companies and agencies. His mix of creative talent in photography, cinematography, design and music, combined with his extensive marketing experience, allow him to deliver powerful content for any company that needs to boost its marketing efforts. 

Loop Seven has always been at the forefront of video production. Since its creation, the company has evolved alongside the video medium and continues to evolve today. 

Pierre Cyr Portrait

Pierre Cyr, BA ’03

Member of the Board of Governors

Pierre Cyr holds a bachelor of arts (Geography) from the University of Ottawa. He previously worked as director of board and stakeholder relations at Canadian Blood Services, following 15 years in federal and provincial government, where he served in a variety of senior roles. In addition to advising two Ontario premiers and a federal party leader, Pierre served as chief of staff in the Ontario ministries of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Citizenship and Immigration. Pierre has also published a number of opinion pieces on federal politics and health-related matters in the Hill Times and the Globe and Mail. 

Pierre serves on the board of the Empire Club of Canada. He previously served on the boards of the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa, Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa, and the Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Tire JumpStart Program. He is also a former selection committee member for the Government of Ontario’s Champion of Diversity Award, and served three terms as vice-president (organization) for the Ontario Liberal Party. 

A proud Franco-Ontarian with a Mohawk heritage, Pierre grew up in Cochrane and Midland/Penetanguishene, Ontario. 

Board members

Dan Creed Portrait

Dan Creed, BSocSc '91

Dan Creed, 57, is the founder of holding company Creed Partners Corp. (2020). The company currently advises private equity ventures on retail automotive opportunities. Dan is an active investor in the world’s pre-eminent waterside luxury company and helps investors navigate the waters in the transition of the transportation industry to a clean and viable future. In August 2022, Dan became a member of Arcimoto LLC’s board of directors, holding the position of senior independent director. 

Dan was previously a senior executive with the Cadillac division of General Motors, where he was responsible for North American operations and global market development. He also held positions of increasing responsibility with BMW Canada and BMW North America, including several senior executive roles in sales and marketing. 

Dan holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa. 

Wendy Feldman portrait

Wendy Feldman, BA '80

Wendy Feldman is a Part Time Lecturer at Humber College in the Public Administration programme. She was also a member of the University of Ottawa’s Toronto Alumni Council from 2014-2020.

Feldman’s public sector experience in the Ontario government included Cabinet Office, Treasury Board Secretariat and several ministries. In the Federal government she served in Global Affairs Canada (in Ottawa, Paris and at the UN) and the Office of the Solicitor General of Canada. Feldman was the Director of Research of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada for six years.

A passionate volunteer, she was co-chair of the January 2021 virtual Couchiching Conference hosted by the Canadian International Council and was a member of the Harvard Kennedy School’s alumni council. She continues to serve on the Executive Board of the Harvard Club of Toronto.

Feldman is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and the Harvard Kennedy School.

Joanne Fortin portrait

Joanne Fortin, BA '81

Joanne Fortin has more than 30 years’ experience in management, mentoring and teaching in the field of internal and external communications with universities, the private sector, and public and governmental organizations. She has held key roles at IBM Canada and the City of Montreal, besides lecturing at the Université du Québec à Montréal and working with well-known companies such as Domtar and Oerlikon Aerospace. Joanne has left her mark through her active participation in the Société québécoise des professionnels en relations publiques and the Canadian Public Relations Society, winning a number of awards. In addition, her social commitment has taken her all the way to Senegal to defend women’s rights. 

Joanne holds a Master’s in Communications from the Université de Montréal as well as a Bachelor in International Development and a diploma in communications from the University of Ottawa. 

Shereen Hanafi portrait

Shereen Hanafi, BCom '99

Shereen Hanafi has more than 25 years’ international experience in marketing and communications in a number of sectors, including technology, energy and health care. She has led marketing and communications groups at a number of internationally renowned companies, such as Philips, ASML, Shell, Elsevier, Thuraya and SES Satellites. Shereen has supported organizations and universities in the field of strategic and change communications, helping them to carry out transformative change. 

She was born and grew up in Ottawa. Shereen, married to a Dutch husband and mother of three children, divides her time between Ottawa and The Hague, in the Netherlands. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce (option in International Management and Marketing) from the University of Ottawa. 

Rébar Jaff headshot

Rébar Jaff, PhD-SocSc '22

Rébar Jaff is a senior executive specializing in sustainable development, policy development and analysis, global communication campaigns, humanitarian aid and academia. He also has extensive international experience, having worked in non-governmental organizations, including the OECD in Paris, the UN Secretariat in New York and other major bodies. Rébar has overseen large-scale humanitarian efforts, including a UN program for refugees during the ISIS-driven Syrian-Iraqi crisis and initiatives following Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. He was, until recently, secretary of the Advisory Board to the UN General Secretary in New York. 

Rébar holds a Bachelor in Political Studies and English from the University of Manitoba. He also has a Master in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution and Civil Society Development from the American University of Paris, and a Master in Conflict Sociology and International Security from the Institut catholique de Paris. In 2022, Rébar earned a PhD in Political Science at the University of Ottawa, where he was awarded a graduate studies scholarship. 

Jeremiah Kopp portrait

Jeremiah Kopp, JD '20

Jeremiah lives in Toronto and works on infrastructure and real estate development projects for Kilmer Group. Prior, he was a lawyer at a national law firm and maintained a practice in commercial litigation, construction and infrastructure, and lobbying compliance and political law. He graduated from the University of Ottawa with his Juris Doctor in 2020 and also holds a BA and MBA from the University of Manitoba. Jeremiah has also worked at all levels of government and had the opportunity to serve as union president at a U15 university. In his spare time, he serves as infantry officer in the primary reserve of the Canadian Armed Forces. 

Gabriel Leclerc headshot

Gabriel Leclerc, BCom '99

Gabriel Leclerc is a financial planner and wealth manager with Edward Jones in Arnprior, Ontario. He has more than 23 years’ experience in the financial sector and works mainly with families and business owners to help them reach their goals. Gabriel is regional director for northern Ontario and is responsible for the development and growth of more than 60 branches between Owen Sound and Thunder Bay. He also holds CFP and FMA designation. 

Gabriel spent his youth in Dubai and returned to Canada to continue his education at the University of Ottawa. He took an Honours Bachelor of Commerce (option in Finance) and International Management in 1999. 

Paul Okalik

Paul Okalik, LLB ’97

Paul Okalik is a Canadian politician and a graduate of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. The first Inuk to be called to the Nunavut Bar, he became the first premier of Nunavut on March 5, 1999. He has also been speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. 

Bogdan Raic image

Bogdan Raic, BEd ’12

A former Gee-Gee, Bogdan Raic is the youngest person to earn a black belt in North America. He is a former Academic All-Canadian, CFL player, high school teacher and corporate manager who has advised Canada’s top condominium builders. He is the co-founder of the largest AI property management assistant in North America. With a background in business development, budgeting, financial projections and entrepreneurship, Bogdan has built a solid network in Toronto and the GTA. 

Piriya Yoganathan portrait

Piriya Yoganathan, MBAExec '20

Piriya Yoganathan, a doctor of pathology and molecular medicine, is the head of research and development at the Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre-Virus Manufacturing Facility (BMC-VMF) at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. She holds a Bachelors in Cell Biology and Genetics from the University of British Columbia, a PhD in Pathology and Molecular Medicine with a specialization in cancer research from Queen’s University and an Executive MBA from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. 

Piriya founded the Ottawa chapter of the Science to Business Network (S2BN) and currently holds the position of director, chapter development at S2BN.