A diverse group of leaders from the medical, legal and business communities, the UNICEF Canada Board of Directors exercises overall responsibility for the policies, programs and direction of the organization and provides advice and counsel on a broad range of policy and operational matters.

The composition of the board, whose members are elected, is chosen to reflect a broad range of expertise, with all members having a strong and demonstrated commitment to the world’s most vulnerable children. Board members adhere to UNICEF Canada’s confidentiality and conflict of interest policies.


  • President and CEO: Sevaun Palvetzian
  • Chair: James McPhedran
  • Vice-Chair: Mabel Wong
  • Treasurer: Linda Ezergailis
  • Secretary: Katrin (Kathy) Nakashima

Board of Directors

James McPhedran (ON)
Board Chair

James is a Financial Service Executive and Board Director. He currently works as a Senior Advisor to McKinsey and Company and sits on the Supervisory Board of Maduro and Curiel’s Bank (MCB) in the Caribbean, Scotiabank Jamaica, the Board of Governors of CI Financial and the St Michael’s Hospital Foundation Board.

Mabel Wong (ON)
Vice Chair

Mabel is a finance executive and advisor with deep experience in financial services.  She is currently a Senior Managing Director at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan with responsibility for Enterprise Planning and Financial Operations. Mabel is also a Partner Advisor of Power Sustainable Lios. Previously, Mabel spent 15 years at Brookfield Asset Management, where she held several senior leadership roles including Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of the Reinsurance group and Chief Financial Officer of Brookfield’s Infrastructure private funds, Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance and Treasury, and Chief Financial Officer of the Private Equity Group.

Linda Ezergailis (ON)

Linda is a Managing Director in the Institutional Equities Research group at TD Securities (TDSI). She has been responsible for setting forth TDSI's investment recommendations about energy infrastructure publicly traded equities to clients since she joined the organization in 2003. She works with fixed income and other colleagues when formulating industry and company outlooks. 

Katrin (Kathy) Nakashima (QC)

Kathy is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, Co-Chair of its Investment Committee, and member of the Executive, Governance, and Nomination Committees. In 2017, she served as Interim President. She sits on the Hospital’s Council for Services to Children and Adolescents and its Executive Committee.

Diane Del Monte (ON)

Diane is an Audit Partner at KPMG in Toronto, with over 25 years of experience. Her focus for the last 17 years has been exclusively on not-for-profit organizations, including charities.  Her passion for this sector has led her to volunteer on various boards in her community. She is currently a member of the KPMG Foundation Board of directors and a member of the Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee of the Accounting Standards Board.

Monika Federau (ON)

Monika is an experienced senior executive leader with an extensive career in financial and consumer services.  She has lived and worked internationally and has developed deep expertise in strategy, digital transformation, marketing and branding, and sustainability 
leadership.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Aviva Canada, and Assuris following her retirement from Intact Financial where she was the company’s Chief Strategy Officer.

Jeannine Bakeeff (NS)

Jeannine is a passionate advocate and philanthropist. She spent several years as a corporate finance lawyer with McInnes Cooper, one of Atlantic Canada’s largest firms, and also served as corporate secretary and legal counsel to a TSX-listed company. She recently served as a director and secretary of 2b theatre, and is currently a trustee to a private foundation.

Helen Burstyn, C.M. (ON)

Helen’s career spanning over 40-years has involved working with government, business, academia, broadcasting and community service. She has served as Chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Senior Advisor to the Premier. Her community service includes serving as Chair of Evergreen, The Koffler Centre of the Arts, past-Chair of Waterfront Toronto and The Walrus Foundation.

Robin Dhir (BC)

Robin is the President of property development firm Twin Brook Developments Ltd. and has spent his career as a Business Executive and an Entrepreneur, with a passion community service. He is also a Strategic Advisor at Fasken, BC’s largest Business Law Firm and Chair of the Advisory Board for ATL Senior Living which specializes in housing for seniors.  He is a Partner in Radar Immigration Inc. and Radar Recruitment Inc., which actively assist foreign workers to connect with local businesses.  Prior to these roles, Robin has worked with multinational corporations including Duracell Canada, Beamscope Canada, and Kodak Canada. 

Sébastien Gittens (AB)

Sébastien is a partner at Bennett Jones LLP and advises clients both domestically and internationally on all matters relating to the management and commercialization of intellectual property, as well as data security and privacy. Engaged with his community, he currently sits on the board of UNICEF Canada and the City of Calgary's Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund. He previously served on the board of the Westmount Charter School Society, the Calgary International Film Festival Society, and the Calgary Parking Authority.

Anthony Giuffre (AB)

Anthony is the founder, CEO, and executive chairman of Avenue Living, and has more than 25 years’ experience in creating, managing, and operating start-ups. He actively serves a variety of roles in several businesses, from founder and CEO to mentor. Anthony’s flagship venture, Avenue Living, is an owner and operator of real estate assets across North America. With a unique vertically integrated platform, the business is focused on investing in residential, self-storage, commercial and retail, and agricultural land, ultimately generating cash flow and finding long-term value-add for investors.

Heidi Henschel (ON)

Heidi established the Fairmount Foundation (FF) in 2013, which focuses on education and mental health, and has expanded over the years to include work with the settlement of refugees and affordable housing. The two main geographic areas that FF funds are in the Hamilton and Waterloo Region.

Jamie Loughery (ON)

Jamie sits on the Executive Leadership team for BMO Private Wealth Canada, leading a team of dedicated professionals in Ontario. He contributes to the strategic direction of the business and leads the team’s regional mandate. 

Jamie began his career in a consulting practice specializing in analytics, business productivity, succession and compensation. He consulted and partnered with many of the largest companies in North America in this space, including BMO. Jamie officially joined BMO Nesbitt Burns in 2008 as Vice President and Head of Practice Management and most recently held the position of Regional President – Atlantic.

Naren Kalyanaraman (ON)

Naren is a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers Associates based out of Toronto. He has extensive experience advising US, Canada and global financial services organizations on cybersecurity, fraud, and financial crimes. Over the last 15 years, he has specialized in helping organizations deal with high-pressure situations such as cyber breaches, regulatory criticism, insider threats and other related issues. He is a regular speaker at industry events and conferences on these topics.