The Multi-stakeholder Forum on Open Government supports ongoing dialogue between government and Canadian civil society on open government. Its mandate is to provide input and advice on the Government of Canada’s commitments on open government, identify new areas of focus, and build the open government community across Canada.
The Multi-Stakeholder Forum is composed of twelve members, eight from civil society and four from the Government of Canada. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) considers having a Forum to be a best practice, creating a permanent mechanism for civil society guidance and oversight.
Canada’s Multi-Stakeholder Forum launched on January 24, 2018. Members have developed terms of reference to guide and govern the forum.
Members and biographies
Civil Society Members:
James Cohen, Executive Director, Transparency International Canada
Civil Society Co-Chair
James Cohen is an anti-corruption expert with a background in international development and security. He is currently the Executive Director of Transparency International Canada. James’ work includes advocacy, program management and design, training, and research for organizations including the United States Institute of Peace, the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies, the Global Organization for Parliamentarians Against Corruption, and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces. James also worked for Transparency International’s Defence and Security Programme from 2011-2013 where he focused on corruption risk to military, police, and peacekeeping, as well as advising governments and civil society. James joined TI Canada in 2016 as Interim-Executive Director, and held the post of Director, Programmes and Engagement before becoming Executive Director where he is addressing issues such as white collar crime enforcement. James holds a Masters of Arts in International Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva and a Bachelor of Social Science in Political Science from the University of Ottawa.
Hindia Mohamoud, Director, Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership
Hindia Mohamoud has close to twenty years of experience with building community solutions through research, partnership development, and program design. She is currently the director of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership, where she is responsible for facilitating the establishment and implementation of community-wide vision and strategy for improving the settlement and integration of immigrants in Ottawa. Previously, she worked as the director of research at the Social Planning Council and as a director of impact and investment at United Way / Centraide Ottawa. Hindia’s academic background is varied - she holds a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Ottawa and professional diplomas in business administration and management, information technology, and communication. She is also fluent in four international languages, including both official languages.
Ryan Oliver, Chief Executive Officer, Pinnguaq Association
For over a decade, Ryan Oliver has been a leader in the development of STEAM skills through innovative technology, art, and play.
As the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Pinnguaq Association, Ryan has grown the organization from a single desk in Pangnirtung, Nunavut to a diverse 65+ person staff with headquarters in Ontario and Nunavut, delivering community-centred programming and resources from coast to coast to coast. In that time, Pinnguaq has received the 2016 Arctic Inspiration Prize, been awarded the 2017 Startup Canada Awards for Best Social Enterprise North and Best Social Enterprise Canada-wide, and seen its Root & STEM magazine nominated for two 2021 National Magazine Awards.
Javier Ruiz-Soler, Consulting Manager, International Data Corporation (IDC Canada)
Javier has an extensive international career background leading major projects in Technology, Digital Policy, Online Communications, and Politics in Europe and North America. He is passionate about the development of a more democratic, inclusive, and transparent society, with a focus on new communication and civic engagement technologies.
Javier obtained his Ph.D. in Political Communication from the European University Institute (EUI). The Ph.D. dissertation explored and analyzed the interactions’ networks of users under Twitter hashtags of European relevance. The Ph.D. dissertation was awarded Best Thesis in Political Communication from the Spanish Association of Political Communication (ACOP) (2018-2019).
Javier has been a Senior Researcher at the Digital Democracies Institute at the Simon Fraser University (SFU), focusing on disinformation, digital policies, and digital government. And previously he has been Visiting Scholar at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
Currently he is a Consulting Manager at International Data Corporation (IDC Canada), working on tech market intelligence and advisory services conducting research and analysis on leading-edge information technologies (cloud computing, security, networks), helping clients and organizations to upscale their digital transformation.
Jury Konga, Executive Director and Board Chair, GO Open Data Association (GOOD)
Jury Konga has over 40 years’ experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in diverse areas including GIS services, land information management, public policy development, IT consulting, intelligent community assessment and Open Government and Open Data strategic and tactical plan development and implementation. He is an innovator and long-time advocate and international speaker on Open Government, Open Data, e-Government, m-Government, transformative/disruptive innovation and Smart Cities/Intelligent Communities.
His involvement in civil society and non-profits includes being the current Executive Director and Board Chair for the GO Open Data Association (GOOD), current member of the Open Data Charter Implementation working group, previous Senior Associate for Open North, Canada Ambassador for Open Knowledge Foundation, appointed “Access by Design” Ambassador by Dr. Anne Cavoukian, Inaugural Chair for Gov 2.0 Committee with the Municipal Information Systems Association (MISA) Ontario and a Past President of BeSpaital (formerly URISA Ontario).
Ana Brandusescu, Artificial Intelligence Governance Researcher, McGill University
Ana Brandusescu is a researcher, advisor, and facilitator who works on a more publicly accountable use of data and technology. Her PhD research focuses on the governance and procurement of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Ana is co-leading AI for the Rest of Us, a research project to develop a new model of public (civic) engagement in government decision-making processes that are being automated with AI. Ana is on the Research Advisory Committee of the Global Data Barometer, a member of the Alliance for Inclusive Algorithms research network, and @openheroines, a virtual community for women and non-binary people working in open data, civic tech, and open government. She is also a research collaborator with the Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy.+>
Previously as the 2019-2021 McConnell Professor of Practice at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montreal, Ana examined AI public investments and policy in Canada. At the World Wide Web Foundation, she led research on government transparency and accountability with a global assessment of open government data in 115 countries, and co-chaired the Measurement and Accountability Working Group of the Open Data Charter. Ana's work also includes co-developing the Open Contracting Data Standard.
Rachael Maxwell, Executive Director, Evidence for Democracy
Rachael Maxwell is the Executive Director at Evidence for Democracy, a national not-for-profit that works to advance the knowledge and practice of evidence-informed public policy. She has a deep knowledge of the science landscape in Canada and a strong track record of success working at national not-for-profit research organizations. From 2018-21 she held progressively responsible roles at Genome Canada, working across the organization on key priorities in communications, public affairs and strategic planning. Previously, Rachael worked at Mitacs on the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship, where she managed the design and delivery of the program from its inception through its first three cohorts. Rachael is also a member of the Board of the Directors at the Science and Policy Exchange.
Rachael is passionate about working at the intersection of science, society and policy. She speaks to diverse audiences at home and abroad about the need to improve the mechanisms that connect science and policy. Rachael also brings years of experience working in arts management and an academic background in cultural studies.
Barry Kong, Acting Executive Director, Open Government and Portals, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Barry Kong is the Acting Executive Director of the Open Government and Portals Division in the Office of the Chief Information Officer at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS). In his role, Barry is working to mainstream inclusion, accountability, transparency, and civic participation in government while managing Canada’s Open Government and Open Data Portal and Access to Information Privacy Digital Service.
Erica Ren, Director General, Modernization, Department of Canadian Heritage
Erica Ren is the Director General of Modernization at the Department of Canadian Heritage. She leads digital transformation in service delivery, which aims to provide more transparent, collaborative, citizen-centered and digitally enabled services to Canadians.
Erica joined the public service in 2005 and has since held multiple senior roles in digital business transformation and IT service delivery, including Senior Director at Correctional Services Canada; Director, Open Government and Data Analytics; and Director, Information Management at the Canada Border Services Agency.
Erica holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Master in Engineering and a Bachelor in Applied Science from the University of Ottawa.
Christopher Allison, Director General, Data Management, Innovation and Analysis and Chief Data Officer, Public Health Agency of Canada
Christopher Allison (Chris) is the Director General of Data Management, Innovation and Analysis and Chief Data Officer at the Public Health Agency of Canada. Chris has worked in government for 21 years across operations, policing, immigration, national security, policy, major projects, air travel, open source, data, development and leadership. He is a self-driven continuous learner who is passionate about people, network analytics and systems - seeing the connections between our people, our environments, our systems and our organizations.
Jeff Ball, Director, Open Government & Data Governance, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Jeff Ball is the Director of Open Government & Data Governance at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He is leading the development and advancement of transparency in the interest of trust and accountability in policing. Jeff is also responsible for the development and implementation of a trusted data governance framework to ensure the responsible and ethical creation, collection, storage, use and release of high quality data in the RCMP.
Jeff has over 17 years of experience in the federal public service, leading numerous data and information services and advocating for increased transparency for public good. Jeff holds a Bachelor’s of Social Science from the University of Ottawa with specialization in Criminology and Psychology.
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