Driven by the cause.

The JGI Canada team is a group that comes from all walks of life – from corporate sustainability, to arts and entertainment, to international development. We bring our skills and passion to work every day, to fight for a more just and sustainable world. 

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Visit our careers page to learn about open opportunities.

Bella Lam

Chief Executive Officer

Bella has over 20 years of experience in international cooperation, managing sustainable development projects and amplifying the work of local partners across regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Bella joined the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada in 2016, where she currently leads a team to address the convergence of three crises: climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental inequity. She has in-depth experience with community-centred conservation promoting the “One Health” approach that recognizes the well-being of people, animals and the environment are deeply interconnected. Her expertise in program management incorporates a rights-based approach to development that respects Indigenous perspectives. Bella holds a Master of Science in Environment and Development, with a focus on gender equality. 

”What makes me proud to work at JGI is seeing the evolution of our community-centred conservation work being grounded on gender equality and Indigenous perspectives.”

Lianne Black

Director of Development

Lianne joins JGI Canada with more than 18 years of fundraising experience at a range of non-profit organizations that have focused on environmental, animal welfare and social justice issues. After living in Australia for a number of years, Lianne returns to Canada to pursue her passion to work towards a more caring and sustainable world – and is enjoying all four seasons, even winter!

Lynn Konwaia’tanón:we’s Jacobs

Director of Programs

Lynn Konwaia’tanón:we’s Jacobs is from Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory, located on the shores of the St. Lawrence River near Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). She has spent the last two decades working in her community on Indigenous-led conservation and land stewardship. She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science in Ecology and a Master of Environment and Management. Being of mixed ancestry, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) on her father’s side and settler on her mother’s side, Lynn draws from different ways of knowing in her life and work, including her important kinship relationship with the natural world.

As the Director of Programs, Lynn is responsible for overseeing JGI Canada’s Africa Programs, Roots and Shoots, and Indigenous-focused programs.

I am honoured to work with this dedicated team to support and uplift communities, youth, and Indigenous ways of knowing. These voices are crucial to bring about the transformative change required to address biodiversity loss, climate change, and environmental inequity around the world.”


Alex Johnson

Director of Marketing and Communications

Alex has worked in not-for-profit communications for over a decade, from founding Toronto’s then-largest travelling theatre festival to building a digital department at the Koffler Centre of the Arts, to leading the cutting-edge communications team at, Canada’s largest charity training and empowering youth mental health advocates. With the JGIC, she’s responsible for building, protecting and activating a nationally-recognized brand, telling stories from the field, and compelling our community to act with hope, conviction, and authenticity. 

“At JGIC, every time we seek to do better, and be better, it’s always met with enthusiasm. This is a team that operates on the highest possible level, seeking to make a real impact at every stage.” 

Liliana Svartman

Director of Finance

Dynamic and goal-oriented, Liliana Svartman has helmed financial operations across not-for-profit organizations as well as manufacturing industries in Canada, US and |Europe. Her understanding of the dynamics between organizational objectives and accounting practices has served her well in the last 20 years. As the Finance Director at JGIC, Liliana brings leadership to the finance function, in support of the organizational strategic vision. In this role, Liliana has overhauled internal financial processes, creating controls, establishing and implementing finance procedures. In her spare time she enjoys camping, canoeing and cooking with her family.

Lauren Saville

Roots & Shoots Manager

Lauren has extensive experience teaching and facilitating educational programs for young people about science and the environment.  She is passionate about showing youth that they can make a positive change in their communities and for the environment. She also loves to share her knowledge of all things primate-related, given her background in animal behaviour and evolutionary anthropology.

“I’m proud to work here every time I read through the A.P.E. Fund end-of-year reports, and learn how impactful the funding and Roots & Shoots projects were to the youth involved.  This is probably my favourite thing to do every year.”

Marie Meloche

Senior Manager of Programs

Marie has worked with grassroots organizations, local and international NGOs in Canada and the Middle East before joining the JGI team in 2018. As the Senior Manager of Programs she supports the implementations of community-centred conservation projects in Africa and Canada. She believes that the key to sustainable development is to build meaningful partnerships with communities and local actors, with women at the center of the locally-led development strategies.

“I am particularly proud of how collaborative our work is with other JGI chapters and other partners. We aim to work in a very horizontal, participatory, co-creative manner, and the human connections that stem from this are what I’m most proud of.”

Thalia Kornhauser

Senior Manager of Development

Thalia’s first experiences at JGI Canada were as a volunteer and intern with U of T’s School of the Environment in 2015 before joining the team full time in 2017. Armed with a degree in Environmental Studies and Human Geography, and a background in developing environmental education programs with the City of Toronto, Thalia is well positioned stewarding our supporters and putting on exciting events and campaigns that engage our community. With over a decade in development and administrative roles, Thalia is passionate about spreading awareness to live sustainably so that we can all enjoy our only home – planet earth.

“My proudest moment was following up on our past projects in Uganda and seeing how they are still thriving for the people and the chimpanzees. It’s a proud reminder that JGI’s conservation solutions are long-term and long-lasting.”


Laura Romanese

Marketing and Communications Manager

Laura has worked for over 14 years as a marketer and event manager in the not-for-profit sector, and as an assistant editor of a provincial publication. A results-oriented social communicator, visual storyteller and brand strategist – specializing in both local and international campaigns – she joined JGI Canada in 2022. Her dedication centres on curating narratives that provoke action. She believes we are fortunate to exist in a time where communications and marketing offer unique creative capacities to transform the world we knew, inspire the world we live in and plant seeds of hope for generations.

“As a mother of two little humans, I’m inspired by the dedicated work this fierce team has been doing to move meaningful action for younger generations. Dr. Jane Goodall is an icon and ground-breaking activist for so many of us. I can only hope to help build up her valuable voice and inspire a legacy that will carry forward for generations to come.”

Catherine Collins

Database Manager

Catherine joined JGI Canada as Executive Assistant/Office Administrator and now works as Database Manager with the Fundraising Team. With more than 5 years of experience in international development, she is passionate about sustainability and conservation as a means to preserve a bountiful home on Earth for people, wildlife and all living things.

“I’m proud of our completed and ongoing projects in Africa and across Canada – witnessing the incredible perseverance and dedication of everyone involved to innovate thoughtful programs that create meaningful change for animals, people and the environment.”

Taylor Smith

Fund and Resource Development Manager

Taylor joins JGI Canada following a 5-year period living in the United Kingdom. Whilst abroad, she completed her master’s studies in Global Wildlife Health and Conservation and worked with several nonprofit organisations that focused on wildlife conservation and environmental sustainability. Having returned to Canada, Taylor is thrilled to contribute her skills, passion, and commitment to nature conservation to the JGI Canada team. In her free time, you can often find Taylor hiking or exploring biodiversity on nature walks.

“I am proudest of the strides our team has taken to help pass the Jane Goodall Act in Canada. If passed, this will be a momentous step towards ensuring a safer future for endangered animals in captivity.”

Alison Cuffley

Indigenous Relations Manager

Alison joins JGI after working with SPCAs and Humane Societies across the country to improve and develop their Indigenization, Decolonization, and Equity policies. Alison holds a unique lived experience from both their German immigrant settler family as well as their relations of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. A lifelong advocate for the ‘One Health’ concept in animal welfare, Alison is excited to bring their passion for reconciliation and Indigenous-led partnerships to JGI. Alison resides on, and will be working from, the unceded territories of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking peoples – xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, and the Skwxwú7mesh-ulh Sníchim speaking peoples of Skwxwú7mesh Uxwumixw (Squamish) Nation.

“I am proud to be a part of a team that strives towards (and succeeds in) working with Indigenous partners in a good way. Through respectful and community-led initiatives, I know that JGI will continue to be a leader in reconciliation based programming for the betterment of all people on this land.”

Meagan Lortie

Indigenous Relations Manager

Meagan joined JGI back in 2019 after working alongside Urban Indigenous Community members supporting health and wellbeing. Her passion for supporting her community lead her to a bachelor degree in Children’s Rights and later her diploma in Indigenous Community and Social development. Through her education, personal, and work experiences, Meagan has dedicated herself to supporting Indigenous-led projects and helping organizations navigate decolonization. She is enthusiastic about bringing that knowledge and passion to JGI.

“My proudest moment was at the Uncovering Common Ground (UCG) Final Forum in February 2020. The first year of UCG was a lot of learning and a lot of advocacy so it felt a bit like scrambling at times and very unsure on how the vision of UCG was translating to participants and partners. However, seeing that year’s work culminate at the final forum was incredibly rewarding and inspiring. Having the chance to work alongside many young people who have dedicated a large part of their year to collaborating with communities in creating decolonization initiatives was inspiring and motivating. That feeling feed my passion to continue working with and supporting JGI in continuing their decolonization/ Indigenous-led programming.”

Lyila Omar

Coordinator, Operations & Projects (on leave)

Lyila joins JGI Canada after working with various NGO’s and nonprofits focused on youth, education, and sustainability. She graduated with a degree in Political Science and Environmental Studies, and furthered her education in International Development & Project Management. As someone that has worked in diverse industries prior to development, Lyila is excited to share her knowledge and skills to help reach JGI Canada’s goals.

I’m proud to work at JGI Canada because I get to witness colleagues that are dedicated and engaged with their work in conservation, biodiversity, and animal welfare. All the while, bringing hope and positivity to make an impact. I’m also proud to work at JGI Canada because this organization makes a point to change for the better each year with each project, learning lessons along the way to truly make an impact that is sustainable in our communities. 

Mackenzie Clark

Coordinator, Operations & Projects

Mackenzie joins JGI after working in various community and social service nonprofits for the last 5 years. She graduated with a degree in Psychology and Anthropology, and later furthered her education in Community Engagement, Leadership and Development. As a passionate advocate for environmental and social justice, Mackenzie is thrilled to bring her skills, experience and knowledge to the JGI team.

“Ever since I was a young girl, I have always admired the work of Dr. Goodall. I am so proud to work alongside my colleagues in achieving Dr. Goodall’s vision and inspiring hope through action.”

Bir Gurung


Bir joined the JGI team in February 2020. He holds an MBA and has extensive experience in accounting/finance, audit, and operations management. He has brought his expertise to a variety of industries including non-for-profits, bi-lateral international development agencies, and corporations. Bir has been inspired to care and work for nature, people, and the animal world ever since his first job with the people-oriented biodiversity conservation program ACAP in Nepal.