Alumni Association Board of Directors

Board of directors

Front row: Carole Theauvette, Elizabeth Rody, Habiba Chakir
Second row: Valérie Gervais, Hugo Martin, Shaunt Tokmakjian, Sharon Wong, Philippe Beaulieu, Jocelyne Chrétien, Rajinder Narula, John Gitas, Philippe Beaulieu, Jaime Seidner
Absents: Alexandra Bissinger, Claudette Commanda, Elias Hage

If you wish to communicate with the Board, contact

Philippe Beaulieu, BSocSc ’91


Philippe Beaulieu is president of Celcius22, a consulting firm focused on SME strategy and international sales development; co-founder of DoggyDay, a Montreal-based service chain in the pet industry; and co-founder of LetsShare, developers of a software app targeting early-age education centres.   Philippe lived over 25 years abroad, including in the United States, Spain, France, Germany, Brazil and the Ivory Coast, and dedicated most of his early career to implementing and managing the international operations of technology companies.

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

Executive Vice-President, Programs and Partnerships, Public Policy Forum

Dr. Julie Cafley is an accomplished leader and academic with expertise in higher education leadership and governance. As Executive Vice-President at the Public Policy Forum, Julie builds bridges and enhances 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. Her thesis focused on higher education leadership and governance through the lens of unfinished terms of Canadian university presidents. Julie is an active community leader and a tireless champion for diversity initiatives.

Habiba Chakir, PhD Medicine ’03

Senior evaluator for bio-therapeutic drugs and gene therapy products at Health Canada

At Health Canada, Dr. Chakir is responsible for the in-depth evaluation of the scientific information that biopharmaceutical companies provide when  marketing their therapeutic products in Canada. She has extensive experience with non-profit organizations, such as the Ottawa Diplomatic Association (ODA) and  Mercy Ships. Fluent in French, English and Arabic, Dr. Chakir has travelled and lived in different countries but now calls Ottawa home.

Jocelyne Chrétien, MHA ’06, MBA ’10

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 the provincial level.

She recently joined the board of the University of Ottawa Alumni Association.

Claudette Commanda, BA ’93, LLB ’97

Claudette Commanda is an Algonquin from KITIGAN ZIBI ANISHINABEG First Nation located in the province of Quebec.  Claudette is an alumni of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law and Faculty of Arts. 

She has dedicated the last 30 years promoting First Nations people, history, culture, language, traditional knowledge and rights in various capacities:  University of Ottawa student, professor, member and chair of the aboriginal education council; and in the public forum via speaking engagements.  She was most recently appointed as the first “Elder in Residence” for the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa; and to the University of Ottawa Board of Governors.  

Sylvie Deliencourt, BSocSc ’83

Sylvie Deliencourt is an executive leader with twenty-five years of extensive experience in 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. She 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.


Valérie Gervais, BJour ’08

Valérie Gervais is a communications and public affairs consultant with over 14 years of experience with government, political, health care and non-profit organizations. Her areas of expertise include corporate communications, media relations and issues management. In March 2017, she started ValGervais Communications, to work with organizations and individuals committed to making a difference in the world. Prior to that, Valérie served as press secretary to the minister of justice and attorney-general of Canada and as senior communications adviser for the House of Commons. She holds a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Ottawa as well as a broadcast journalism diploma from La Cité.


Paul Okalik, LLB ’97

Senior Advisor, Arctic conservation, WWF-Canada

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

Deputy Commissioner of Competition, Competition Bureau (Canada)

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 Palumbo 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.

Patrick Sasso, BSc ’92

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.

Jaime Seidner, BSocSc ’94

Partner, PwC Canada - Tax Services, Customs and International Trade

Jaime Seidner has over 25 years of experience in a range of positions within government, a "Big 4" accounting firm, consulting and law firm, and in indirect tax, customs and export controls positions. He specializes in customs and export controls compliance planning and duty-saving strategies. He regularly advises on the customs impact of matters concerning accounting, transfer pricing and taxation. Mr. Seidner also consults extensively on Canadian non-resident importer issues, customs appeals, customs audits, seizures and ascertained forfeitures, voluntary disclosures/entry corrections, import admissibility, U.S. customs issues and matters concerning excise. In addition to his vast experience in Canada, Mr. Seidner has worked on a wide range of customs projects in the United States, Mexico, Latin America, Europe, Australia and Asia.


Carole Theauvette, BSocSc ’79, MA ’83

As a senior public sector executive for over 25 years, Carole has acquired a wealth of experience, including positions in a Crown corporation, provincial government, a national association and a variety of federal departments and agencies. At the international level, she has represented Canada in multilateral organizations, namely with the United Nations’ World Food Program, and has also led humanitarian and commercial missions to numerous countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, and participated in various summits (G7, la Francophonie and the Commonwealth). Ms. Theauvette is currently an executive coach with the Public Service Commission and has undertaken some consultancy work. She continues to actively volunteer for various organizations.

Shaunt Tokmakjian, JD ’14

Legal Technology Engineering Associate, Kira Systems


Sharon Wong, BSc ’92, MIR ’96


Sharon has over 25 years of marketing experience in consumer and technology industries, ranging from start-ups (including VeriFone acquired by HP, Portal acquired by Oracle, and VeriSign acquired by Symantec) to major corporations, such as  IBM, Procter & Gamble, Thomson Reuters, and Intuit. Currently, she is a marketing consultant for LinkedIn. Sharon is the American founder of The Shoebox Project for Women's Shelters, and volunteers at OneWorldTraining for non-profits, the uOttawa Regional Council, and as a mentor for women in business and STEM. An Ottawa native, Sharon currently resides in the San Francisco/Bay Area.

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