Kids Brain Health Network includes individuals and organizations passionate about helping children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Our Board of Directors and vital committees include researchers, business professionals, community group members, health care professionals, and parents.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors has a mandate to oversee and steward Kids Brain Health Network. Accountable to the NCE Secretariat, the Board reports twice annually on Kids Brain Health’s activities and progress. In response priorities and opportunities arising, the Board has also created a number of committees to guide various aspects of the Network. Board meetings are held at least four times per year.

The Board comprises twelve to fifteen Directors, who serve one- to three-year terms, renewable for a further term. Directors represent academic, business, and community sectors. Kids Brain Health is fortunate to have an exceptionally qualified and diverse group of Directors, who are rich in experience, and have an active interest in helping Kids Brain Health realize its vision.

Board Responsibilities

  • Provide overall guidance on the management of Kids Brain Health operations
  • Provide direction to the strategic plans and objectives of Kids Brain Health
  • Approve Kids Brain Health business plans, budgets, and financial reports
  • Review the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Board and the Research Management Committee

Board of Directors:

David Kuik is the Chief Executive Officer and a Co-Founder of Norima Consulting Inc. Under David’s leadership, Norima has grown from 1 consultant in 2006, to over 130 consultants across Canada and the United States as of 2017. Since inception, Norima has engaged over 100 of North America’s most innovative financial services, healthcare, and insurance companies. David has over 20 years of consulting experience, with a focus on enterprise architecture, system integrations, and implementations in the financial services and healthcare industries. He is actively engaged in the envisioning and conceptualization of solutions, with a focus on balancing solution purity and business drivers to achieve realized business value. He is uniquely skilled in his ability to understand complex technical issues and to distil and communicate actionable solutions. David has built a culture at Norima that has allowed it to attract disciplined, top-tier professionals who consistently provide pragmatic, results-oriented solutions to clients. He is passionate about working with employees and organizations that are leveraging technology to innovate and to enable the next stage of growth.

Donna Thomson

Donna is the author of “The Four Walls of My Freedom: Lessons I’ve Learned From a Life of Caregiving” (The House of Anansi Press, 2014), and is the co-author of “The Unexpected Journey of Caring: The Transformation of Loved One to Caregiver” (Rowman and Littlefield, June 2019). She is a past board director of Kids Brain Health Network and is the co-designer and co-instructor of the Family Engagement in Research Certificate Program at CanChild, McMaster University. Donna is also a member of the steering and citizen engagement committees of the CHILD-BRIGHT SPOR.

Julia Hanigsberg is President and CEO of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Canada’s largest paediatric rehabilitation hospital and an academic health science centre fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. Each year Holland Bloorview serves 7500 children and youth with disabilities and complex medical needs spanning more than 1000 diagnoses. Its Bloorview Research Institute is an international leader in the field of childhood disability research. Through its Teaching and Learning Institute, the hospital welcomes hundreds of students from across all disciplines each year. Holland Bloorview’s vision is “The Most Meaningful and Healthy Futures for all Children, Youth and Families.” Prior to joining Holland Bloorview Julia spent 9 years at Ryerson University, first as General Counsel and Secretary of the Board of Governors and then as Vice-President, Administration and Finance. Prior to that Julia worked in a number of roles within the Ontario government including counsel to the Secretary of Cabinet and Chief of Staff to the Attorney General of Ontario. A lawyer by training, Julia has law degrees from McGill University and Columbia Law School. She has held Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Fulbright Fellowships, and has served on numerous volunteer boards. Currently, she is a board member of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Heath Centres, Canadian Business SenseAbility, and on Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario, the CEO Committee of the Toronto Academic Health Science Network, the Executive Advisory Board of FIRST Robotics Canada, the FIRST Robotics Canada Girls in STEM Advisory Council and McGill University’s Women, Leadership and Philanthropy Committee.
Bonnie Healy is a First Nations Blackfoot woman from the Kainai Nation (Blood Tribe) in Southern Alberta. Bonnie’s professional background is multi-faceted as she has worked in numerous health capacities at the local, national, and international levels.  She has been fortunate to present research and community success stories to governments, institutions, First Nation communities, and non-profit organizations. Bonnie is currently the lead for the Alberta First Nations Information Governance Centre (AFNIGC). Bonnie’s experience and expertise in First Nations information systems give her a clear understanding and strong passion for using data as a tool for igniting change.  In doing so, this information has provided a voice for Alberta’s First Nations Leadership to the right of self-determination, control, and jurisdiction in reliable research and accurate statistics.
William is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Concordia University and an MBA from McGill University. Prior to starting at Claret, Bill was formerly Managing Partner of AMI Private Capital, responsible for the Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver offices from March 1993 until July of 1996 when the division was purchased by Toronto Dominion Bank. Before this, he was Vice President of Newcastle Capital Management from 1991 to 1993, a firm specializing in the use of derivative products for institutional accounts. Bill began his career at Burns Fry Limited in 1986 as the first Bankers Acceptance Futures Trader on the floor of the Montreal Exchange, was promoted to the position of a Government of Canada Bond Options Market Maker, and then progressed as an Institutional Futures and Options Sales Representative. He has worked in institutional derivative markets in Canada since 1986, and has an extensive background in risk management. He has written numerous articles, been featured on CBC TV Business Report, Radio Canada, Bloomberg, VIP Forum Washington and has been a guest speaker for the Strategy Institute, Treasury Management Association of Canada, North American Society of Securities Auditors (NASSA), Quebec Securities Commission (AMF) and the Montreal Society of Financial Analysts in addition to all 10 Societies of Financial Analysts across Canada. He spoke at the 1998 annual CFA Institute global conference in Phoenix.
Dugan O’Neil, SFU’s AVPR, works with the Vice-President, Research and International sharing responsibility for academic leadership in, and administration of, research and scholarly activities. He is cited for integrating sophisticated digital infrastructure into a diverse scientific community that spans health, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.
Geoff has over 20 years of international experience in business, government, non-profits and higher education, complemented by an extensive track record of community service and volunteer board engagements. His work reflects a personal and professional commitment to building and enhancing organizational capacity, public policy, governance, profitable and effective operations, community service and innovation. His client focus is on executive management and systems, network building, strategic analysis, complex change management, internal and public policy and leadership. He is also a specialist in the fields of medical law, medical research, innovation and ethics.
Sara Saber-Freedman is the Executive Vice President of CIJA, Canada’s national Jewish advocacy organization. Sara has extensive experience in the areas of community advocacy and public policy and administration, having worked as a senior manager for the Montreal Regional Health Authority, and as the lead community advocate for English-language health access in Quebec. She was for several years the Executive Director of the Missisquoi Institute, which carried out research on Quebec’s English-speaking communities. An active community volunteer, Sara has served on the Boards of Directors of Centraide du Grand Montréal, the United Way of Canada, and the Institut du Nouveau Monde. She is Past-President of Congregation Dorshei Emet and President of MAB-Mackay, a public rehabilitation center for people with visual and communication disabilities.
Jennifer Zwicker, MPP, PhD, is Director of Health Policy at the School of Public Policy and an assistant professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary. With broad interests in the impact of health and social policy on health outcomes, Dr. Zwicker’s recent research utilizes economic evaluation and policy analysis to assess interventions and inform policy around the allocation of funding, services and supports for children and youth with developmental disabilities and their families. Utilizing longitudinal analysis of the national and administrative data sets, Dr. Zwicker’s research is aimed at improving outcomes for children with developmental disabilities and their families from a life course perspective, important for both our evaluation studies and informing policy development to address unmet needs.
Nicky brings more than 20 years’ experience in senior management and executive leadership roles in public health and health research administration. Returning to Canada after three years in Australia driving research and innovation projects at Murdoch University and leading research development at the renowned Telethon Kids Institute, Nicky is uniquely and ideally positioned to guide KBHN, having served four years as the inaugural executive director of the Network from its inception as NeuroDevNet. Previously, she was Executive Director of the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance leading the development of a national breast cancer research framework. Her past positions have also included Director of Research for Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada and Assistant Director to CIHR’s Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health. A graduate of Dalhousie University, she holds an MSc in the health field, and was predominately educated in the UK.
Dr. James Reynolds is a graduate of Queen’s University (B.Sc., 1982, Ph.D, 1987). His thesis research investigated the neurochemical mechanisms underlying heavy metal toxicity. Subsequently, he completed postdoctoral training at the Addiction Research Foundation and the University of Toronto. Dr. Reynolds’ first faculty position was at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He returned to Queen’s in 1995, where his research program has grown to encompass both basic and clinical investigations. Dr. Reynolds is a Full Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, and the Centre for Neuroscience Studies, at Queen’s University. His research interests over the past 20 years have centred around studies on the effects of alcohol on brain function. In particular, his current research program is focused on understanding the mechanisms of brain injury, and the resulting behavioural and cognitive deficits, that are induced by prenatal exposure to alcohol. The long term goal is to understand how prenatal exposure to alcohol alters brain neurochemistry and structure, and thus brain function, in offspring. Dr. Reynolds has been funded by CIHR for interdisciplinary basic and clinical investigations into the cellular mechanisms and neurobehavioural consequences of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). He led a 7-member CIHR-funded New Emerging Team in FASD research, and served as the Interim Chief Scientific Officer and Project Lead for the FASD Demonstration Project with Kids Brain Health Network. On March 8, 2019, Dr. Reynolds was appointed Chief Scientific Officer of Kids Brain Health Network.