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 worked for over 20 years in sustainable development amplifying the voices of local partners across the diverse landscape of Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Bella joined the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada in 2016, where she currently leads a dynamic team to address the convergence of three crises: climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental inequity. Her experience with community-centred conservation is grounded in the understanding that the health and wellbeing of people, wildlife and the environment are deeply interconnected.

“I am proud that JGI Canada is a learning organization; constantly reflecting on lessons learned and striving to create greater impact in our world.” 

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!

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

Manager of Roots & Shoots

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

Director 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 Director 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.”

Celine Sab

Manager of Africa Programs

Born and raised in Cameroon, Celine has an academic background in Anthropology and International Development. She is passionate about supporting sustainable development in Africa and has a comprehensive range of skills in fund development, grant management, and project management. With about a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, Celine is PMP-certified and now serves as the program manager at JGIC for Africa Programs. In this role, she manages community-centered conservation programs and strengthens relationships with partners to ensure the progress of the Africa Programs.

“I am fortunate and humbled to work with JGI Canada and our JGI African chapters. I am continually impressed by the breadth of work our team accomplishes, creating sustainable impact in Canada and beyond.”

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

Manager of Marketing and Communications

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

Manager of Program Development

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

Senior Manager, Canada Program

Alison joined JGI after a decade of working with SPCAs and Humane Societies across the country to improve and develop their decolonization and equity policies, especially as they related to OneHealth and respectful relationships with Indigenous communities. They hold a unique lived experience from both their German/Ukrainian immigrant settler family as well as their relations of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Alison is a certified Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) planner, and is passionate about uplifting Indigenous-led land care practices and promoting Ethical Space and Etuaptmumk (two-eyed seeing) in all of their work.  Alison resides on, and will be working from, the unceded and shared 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.

“My proudest moment working for JGI (thus far!) was bringing Indigenous youth together at the 2023 UCG Final Forum on Tla-o-qui-aht Ha-Hoothlee so they could learn from each other, listen to our shared experiences, and bond over their shared passion for culture, language, and the land. It’s wonderful to be part of a team where every day I get to feel a spark of hope for the future.”

Meagan Lortie

Manager of Indigenous Relations

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

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. 

Roksana Quayum


Roksana Quayum is an aspiring finance professional fresh from Durham College’s accounting program, and a passionate traveler hailing from Bangladesh. With a knack for numbers and a love for exploring, Roksana intertwines her financial expertise with a deep appreciation for nature.Recently graduated and equipped with modern accounting insights, Roksana adeptly manages financial records, ensuring compliance with regulations. Her multicultural background enriches her understanding of the delicate balance between humanity and the environment—an ethos at the core of Jane Goodall Institute Canada.

“Being part of the Jane Goodall Institute Canada team has me truly thrilled. The chance to work alongside others who share a deep passion, all united by the inspiring conservation legacy of Jane Goodall, fills me with genuine enthusiasm. It’s an adventure in protecting our planet’s incredible variety of life, coming together to shape a future where people and nature coexist in a way that nurtures both.”