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

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

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!

Thalia Kornhauser

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.

Lauren Saville

Manager, Roots & Shoots |
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

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

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.

Meagan Lortie

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.

Catherine Collins

Executive Assistant/ Office Administrator |
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.

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.

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.

James Vyas

Assistant, Data Management |
Inspired by Dr. Jane since he was a child, James is thrilled to be part of the JGI family. He enjoys using the skills he has developed working in the design and tech worlds to support conservation goals and, of course, chimpanzees.
Photo credits on this page: Caitlin Russell, Ophir Sarusi, Alana Pitamber, Gillian Bilodeau, Hanna Smit