Adam Goldenberg has been Michael Ignatieff’s speechwriter since December 2008, when Mr. Ignatieff became Leader of the Opposition.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Adam was the Liberal Party of Canada’s policy coordinator in British Columbia during the 2008 federal election. He previously worked as a policy analyst at the United Nations World Food Programme, in Rome, Italy, and at a clinic for asylum-seeking families in Paris, France.
Adam holds a BA in Social Studies, magna cum laude, from Harvard University, where he was a John Harvard Scholar, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and a research fellow at the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs and the Minda de Gunzburg Centre for European Studies. His research interests have included human rights and humanitarian policy, the history of Canadian foreign policy, and minority rights in France.
While at Harvard, Adam was an editorial columnist for The Harvard Crimson. He was named one of the 100 best student journalists in America by UWIRE, and was twice nominated for “Best College Paper Columnist” by US News & World Report. He also wrote high school curricula on international affairs, taught in Boston-area public schools, and performed in student musical groups and theatrical productions.
Kyle Hill, a physicist from a family of fishermen of Nova Scotia, is a Rhodes Scholar currently completing a Ph.D. in University of Oxford’s Department of Surgery. His medical imaging research enables early-stage diagnosis of lung diseases such as emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis and, due to Oxford’s extensive research collaborations, much of his Ph.D. work has been completed in Paris. Son français s’améliore tous les jours et il s’immerge dans la culture française!
Outside the classroom, Kyle has embraced a wide-ranging set of activities and volunteer opportunities: in summer 2006, he was the only Canadian selected for the prestigious NASA Academy near Washington, DC; during his 2007 summer, Google noticed his keen interest in internet technology and hired him to do market research in London, England; in summer 2008, Kyle taught high school science to economically disadvantaged students in rural Jamaica; and, most recently, he spent his 2009 summer volunteering with the UNDP in Chernobyl, Ukraine, where he completed a health education project and promoted a healthy and active lifestyle to local youth. Kyle’s experience and passion for the intersection of technology and development has led to a 2010-2011 Sauvé Scholarship.
Kyle is also an award-winning jazz trombonist who recently recorded an album with the Donut Kings, an Oxford-based jazz combo. When not wracking his brain trying to apply his analytical training to abstract problems, Kyle can be found training for a marathon, adventuring through Europe with wild abandon, and cheering on the Habs and the Blue Jays.
Phillippe Ouellette thinks it’s time for Canada to begin fulfilling its potential through the dedication and ambition of those who choose to contribute. He’s one of those people. Through his work as a director with the Government of New Brunswick’s Population Growth Secretariat, he’s making a much-needed contribution by helping develop the province’s plans to recruit and retain more people. Phillippe holds a Master of Arts in Political Studies from Queen’s University, where he focused on the relationship between the Canadian Charter of Rights and minority language communities. Phillippe was also elected to the highest post of the Canadian student movement as the National Director for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. His leadership and advocacy qualities resulted in positive outcomes for the over 300,000 students he represented when the federal government reviewed and expanded existing financial aid programs.
Mr. Ouellette currently resides in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where he continues to develop his community leadership abilities. On his spare time, Phillippe can be found practicing his drumming, rock climbing, volunteering for local organizations, or looking through his camera lens. Through the Action Canada experience, Phillippe hopes to gain insight from the other participants and to partake in a pan-Canadian discussion on pertinent public policy issues.
Mark Podlasly is currently a co-founder and lead Principal at PPA-Limited.com, an Aboriginal co-venture environmental management consultancy based in Vancouver that specializes in the permitting of large-scale capital projects. He has extensive international experience in the planning, permitting and construction of multi-million dollar projects including pipeline, mining, power generation facilities and community infrastructure.
An active member of the N’laka’pamux First Nation in South Central BC, Mark is experienced in addressing Aboriginal interests in project development. He is particularly skilled in helping project proponents and local communities reach agreement around land use and development issues. His understanding of project development, Aboriginal consultation and government permitting processes allows him to offer unique and timely solutions to corporate and community challenges.
Mark returned to Canada in 2008 after 10 years in the USA where he ran a successful executive education consulting practice that developed and delivered finance, leadership and globalization programs to senior management at international multinational corporations working at the intersection of corporate strategy and public policy. His client base includes worldwide companies such as GE, Unilever, Clorox, Goldman Sachs and General Mills.
He is a board member at Ecotrust Canada, a non-profit organization that promotes innovative conservation and green community economic development among rural and First Nations communities in British Columbia and the western USA. Mark holds a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University.
Erin Spink has been passionately involved, over the past 15 years, as a volunteer, advocate and employee in the social profit sector spanning work with animals, Special Olympic athletes, seniors and more. Her current role is Senior Coordinator, Volunteer Engagement for the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. There she is involved with a team to lead a program of approximately 65,000 volunteers across the province. Spink completed an Honours Sociology Degree, participating in the Ontario-Rhône Alpes exchange to L’Université Pierre Mendes France, working towards a License de Sociologie, before receiving her Certificate with Distinction in Volunteer Program Management from Conestoga College. She later joined the faculty and has been Associate Faculty for the past 4 years. In 2008, Erin completed an M.A. (Leadership), submitting a major research project which was the first ever academic work to quantify the concept of ‘Volunteer Engagement’. Through this program she was one of two students awarded the Co-operators Insurance Scholarship. Erin’s research has been published in both Canadian and international journals. She is currently involved on the Board of Directors for her professional association as Director, Strategic Partnerships, which includes leading advocacy strategies across Ontario. Spink’s interest in volunteers began at the age of six, when she pronounced that while it was wrong to eat animals, hamburgers at McDonald’s came from “volunteer cows,” and therefore an exception could be made. Spink currently lives in Toronto, no longer believes in eating volunteers and hopes neither is held against her.
François Vincent believes that our actions can have an influence on governments’ public policies, as well as a positive impact on our community. For this reason, he works as a policy analyst at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). He sees small and medium enterprises as a crucial element of Canada’s economic development and, therefore, an asset for all citizens.
His passion for public affairs led him to serve as Chair and Coordinator of the Youth Advisory Committee, Commission des partenaires du marché du travail from 2004 to 2009. He also worked for two university students associations, including as President of the Quebec Federation of University Students (QFUS), the largest youth group in Québec from 2005 to 2006. In this position, François was deeply involved in the Québec government’s work on its youth strategy, as the spokesman for Concertation jeunesse, a coalition of 13 Québec youth groups.
François Vincent also served as an Intern with the France-Québec political action committee, Aile parlementaire du Nouveau Centre, Assemblée nationale de la République française, and went to Israel on a study tour for young Québec leaders.
M. Vincent is a dedicated and involved person. He has sat on various boards of directors and is currently a member of the Comité national d’éthique sur le vieillissement de la population et sur les changements démographiques, in Québec. His passion for politics has led him to participate in numerous parliamentary simulations, including the Simulation of the European Parliament-Canada-Québec-Europe (SPECQUE) where his peers voted him best negotiator (2007) and best public speaker (2008).
François Vincent holds a Bachelor’s Degree in communications and politics and a Law Certificate from the University de Montréal. He is currently pursuing a specialized graduate diploma in management at HEC Montréal.