The Team - Jane Goodall

David Smith

Chief Executive Officer
Over 20 years, David led change through a variety of roles in consumer-facing private sectors including retail, food services, and tech. As a changemaker, he drove improvements in the environmental and social footprints of companies, industrial sectors, and their global supply chains. A past board member of the Canadian Business and Biodiversity Council and a recognized thought-leader, his recent work has focused on public trust, transparency, and traceability. David has a long and deep connection with conservation and biodiversity and is honoured to step-up progress on these critical issues.

Bella Lam

She/Her/Elle | Director, Programs |
Bella joined JGI Canada in 2016, bringing with her over 15 years of experience working in international development. A passionate advocate for building local capacity, Bella has worked collaboratively with communities, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, to improve their well-being in different sectors, including health, nutrition, water and sanitation, food security, and economic empowerment.

Lianne Black

She/Her/Elle | Director, 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

She/Her/Elle | Director, Marketing and Communications |
Alex is thrilled to join the JGIC after more than a decade in not-for-profit communications. She most recently built the communications team at, a national youth-led mental health movement that continues to change lives in every province and territory of Canada. She likes to inspire, educate, and activate folx through great stories and thoughtful conversations. She spends most of her spare time in the woods of northern Ontario with her beagle, Bobby.

Prakash Singh

Senior Manager, Finance |
As an ambitious accounting and finance manager, Prakash enjoys working collaboratively to manage multiple projects of varying complexity. His specialty is strategic planning with a focus on evaluating current processes for opportunities to make positive changes. Auditing, financial reporting, and CRA returns are key strengths that support robust compliance management, maximize revenue, and minimize costs. Prakash comes with CPA, CGA, and EMBA degrees with more than 20 years of experience in international development agencies.

Thalia Kornhauser

She/Her/Elle | Manager, Development |
Thalia's first experiences at JGI Canada were as a volunteer and intern before joining the team full time; she is well-positioned for her role managing donor stewardship and community outreach. Armed with a degree in Environmental Studies and a strong background in developing environmental education programs with the City of Toronto, Thalia is committed to working with our supporters and passionate about raising awareness about the importance of living sustainably and respecting the natural world.

Charlotte Burke

She/Her/Elle | Manager, Roots & Shoots |
Charlotte joins JGI Canada with considerable experience in program development and public engagement, primarily focused in the non-profit sector. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biodiversity as well as a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management, which has led her to several unique opportunities to work with influential not-for-profit organizations across Canada. As an impact-driven environmental professional, Charlotte is thrilled to lead JGI's flagship program and empower Canadians to be champions of change in their communities.

Lauren Saville

She/Her/Elle | Manager, Roots & Shoots (On Leave) |
Lauren has extensive experience teaching and facilitating educational programs for young people about science and the environment.  With degrees in Evolutionary Anthropology and Animal Behaviour, as well as participating in a wildlife ecology program in Tanzania, Lauren is thrilled to share her knowledge of all things primate and animal related and help inspire a new generation of Jane’s.  

Marie Meloche

She/Her/Elle | Manager, Programs |
After five years working in non-profit organizations in the Middle East with a focus on social justice, women and youth empowerment, and human rights, Marie joined the JGI team as a Program Officer in 2018.  Originally from Montreal, Marie returned to Canada motivated to continue to work towards a more just and sustainable world for all.

Rachel Gruber

She/Her/Elle | Manager, Communications |
Rachel is a creator of meaningful communications that inspire change. With an extensive background in marketing and communications for the charitable and nonprofit sector, she brings a depth of sector-specific knowledge to her role. Rachel is thrilled to make a difference for animals, people, and the environment through her work at JGI Canada.

Catherine Collins

She/Her/Elle | Manager, Database |
Catherine joins JGI Canada with more than 5 years of experience in international development, having previously worked as Digital Marketing Officer and Senior Officer, Special Projects with Dignitas International, a global health medical and research NGO. She is passionate about sustainability and conservation as a means to preserve a bountiful home on Earth for people, wildlife and all living things.

Meagan Lortie

She/Her/Elle | Project Coordinator, Uncovering Common Ground |
Meagan joins JGI Canada as the Project Coordinator for our Roots & Shoots initiative, Uncovering Common Ground. With a degree in Children’s Rights, a diploma in Indigenous Community and Social Development, and extensive experience working with Indigenous communities, Meagan brings a depth of experience and expertise to her position. As an advocate for truth and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, Meagan holds a strong belief that true cross-cultural understanding occurs in the space where there is meaningful dialogue.

Taylor Smith

She/Her/Elle | Manager, Fund and Resource Development |
Taylor joins JGI Canada following a 5-year period living overseas. After earning her degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Toronto, she relocated to the United Kingdom, where she completed her master’s studies in Global Wildlife Health and Conservation. Whilst abroad, she also 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.

Bir Gurung

Accountant |
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 not-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.

Lyila Omar

She/Her/Elle | 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.

Ty Styner

He/Him/Il | BC Cohort Coordinator, Uncovering Common Ground |
As an outdoor advocate with a passion for connecting through story, Ty has been fortunate to experience roles in both fieldwork and environmental communication. Having earned a degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology on the unceded territories of Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations, many of his most meaningful teachings have come from working in collaboration with Indigenous Elders and local community members. In his role with UCG, Ty hopes to continue supporting healthy and just relationships among people, animals and the environment by sharing a spirit of kindness and respect.

Lizeth Ardila

She/Her/Elle | Winnipeg Cohort Coordinator, Uncovering Common Ground |
Lizeth first joined JGI as a volunteer for the Uncovering Common Ground in Project in Treaty 1 territory - Winnipeg, Manitoba, before joining the team as a Cohort Coordinator for UCG. Her passion for social justice led her to study and complete a Bachelors in International Development and Conflict Resolution Studies. Lizeth is committed to working towards truth and decolonization and strongly believes that reconciliation can happen when we create spaces to listen to those that were here from time immemorial so we can foster meaningful and sustainable change.
Photo credits on this page: Caitlin Russell, Ophir Sarusi, Alana Pitamber, Gillian Bilodeau, Hanna Smit