SRDC’s reputation for professionalism, ethical standards, integrity, quality, and objectivity is based on its staff of high calibre.
Our researchers and analysts come from various fields – economics, sociology, psychology, geography, education, mathematics, public administration and public policy, to name a few. This multidisciplinary team is made up of over 30 professionals, all with a graduate degree; a third of them hold a PhD. They all share a passion for raising the standards of evidence in assessing public policies and programs.
- Jean-Pierre Voyer, president and chief executive officer
- Stéphanie Navarro, executive assistant
- Reuben Ford, research director
- David Gyarmati, research director
- Heather Smith Fowler, research director
- Sheila Currie, principal research associate
- Olufunmilola (Kemi) Odegbile, principal research associate
- Ted Wannell, principal research associate
- Louise Legault, research fellow
- Michael Dowie, senior research associate
- Christina Hackett, senior research associate
- Taylor Shek-wai Hui, senior research associate
- Boris Palameta, senior research associate
- Paul Lalonde, research associate
- Dominique Leonard, research associate
- Geneviève Mák, research associate
- Maryam Nabavi, research associate
- Cam Nguyen, research associate
- Basia Pakula, research associate
- Jacey Payne, research associate
- Julie Rodier, research associate
- Kelsey Brennan, researcher
- Brian Carriere, research intern
- Elizabeth Rodgers, director, Human Resources and Corporate Services
- Le Thu Nguyen, controller
- Bob Gorley, corporate services officer
- Kevin Estrada, corporate services assistant
British Columbia Centre for Employment Excellence Staff
president and chief executive officer
613-237-3169 | E-mail
“I find it most rewarding to work in an environment whose objective is to keep policy makers honest by reviewing evidence before they decide on new initiatives, and to do so with colleagues that contribute such a rich variety of skills and perspectives.”
Jean-Pierre Voyer became SRDC’s Chief Executive Officer in 2006 following a first stay as SRDC’s Deputy Executive Director in 2000-2001. From 2002 to 2006, he was the federal assistant-deputy minister in charge of the Policy Research Initiative, an organization then associated to the Privy Council Office and responsible for conducting research on cross-cutting social, economic, and environmental issues in support of the Government of Canada’s medium-term policy agenda. From 1994 to 2000 he was Director General of the Applied Research Branch at Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC). With a staff of some 90 people and a budget close to $30 million a year, this branch was responsible for conducting applied research and supporting data development in a large variety of social policy fields. Earlier in his career, he also held positions at Finance Canada, the Privy Council Office, the National Union of Provincial Government Employees, and the Economic Council of Canada.
On numerous occasions, Jean-Pierre has represented Canada at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and at other international meetings. He was Chairman of the OECD Education, Labour and Social Affairs Committee from 1998 to 2000. He currently sits on the research advisory committees of several research projects and organizations, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Program and Quality Committee.
Jean-Pierre holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from Queen’s University and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Université de Montréal. He is a member of the Canadian Economics Association, the Association des économistes québécois, the Canadian Evaluation Society, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
613-237-2460 | E-mail
"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
Born in France, Stéphanie Navarro worked for two and a half years in a small French company as a computer technician and administrator. When she arrived in Canada in 1992, she quickly found a job in the public service, working for the National Capital Commission in the Parks Service and Field Management Branch. Throughout her nine years with the branch, she worked as a receptionist, staffing assistant, administrative assistant, technical writer and assistant to the Director of the Gatineau Park. She left the public service in April 2001 and joined SRDC as an executive assistant. Stéphanie held the position of SRDC Communications Coordinator from 2003 to 2006. She has been assistant to the CEO,
Jean-Pierre Voyer, since 2006.
604-601-4082 | E-mail
“SRDC offers Canada a unique, critical opportunity to let evidence displace instinct and self-interest in its attempts to bridge research knowledge and policy practice.”
Reuben Ford has extensive experience in the design and analysis of Canadian and UK social policy research initiatives. He has lead policy-relevant research spanning education, employment, social assistance, family well-being, and residential mobility. Since 2003, he has directed SRDC's team investigating approaches to increase access to post-secondary education across Canada (including Life After High School, Future to Discover, and BC AVID) as well as analyses of student financial aid. He directed the Self-Sufficiency Project and Motivational Interviewing Pilot Project, initiatives seeking to help long-term assistance recipients take up employment, and helped to design the Disability Supports Feasibility Study and Community Employment Innovation Project evaluation. Before joining SRDC in 1998, Reuben spent five years as a Research Fellow and Senior Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute, a UK non-profit research institute.
Reuben holds a Ph.D. in Geography and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Human Sciences from University College London. Reuben is a Credentialed Evaluator, as recognized by the Canadian Evaluation Society, and a member of the Canadian Economics Association and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
613-237-5298 | E-mail
David Gyarmati has over 15 years of experience in conducting social policy research and evaluation in Canada. This includes a decade of pioneering work with SRDC in the design, implementation, and evaluation of large-scale experimental demonstration projects. David’s experience with the tools and methods of program evaluation is vast and includes both research and operations associated with evaluation design, sampling and participant recruitment, program delivery and monitoring, and a wide array of both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis techniques. In addition to the use of experimental impact analysis, David also conducts quasi-experimental studies using various econometric methodologies as well as the cost-benefit analysis for SRDC projects. David managed one of SRDC’s largest studies, the Community Employment Innovation Project, testing alternative approaches to support the unemployed and vulnerable communities. He also contributed to a number of SRDC projects that examined the use of financial incentives and other supports to help disadvantaged Canadians make the transition to work.
Prior to joining SRDC, David had both academic research and program delivery experience. He worked with the Centre for Research in Economic Social Policy at the University of British Columbia as well as Human Resources Development Canada, as an Employment Insurance service delivery agent. David completed a Master of Arts Degree in Economics at the University of British Columbia specializing in Labour Economics and Applied Econometrics. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Psychology at York University.
Heather Smith Fowler
613-237-7444 | E-mail
“What attracted me to SRDC was its dual focus on methodological rigour and on social policy that helps disadvantaged Canadians, and I continue to be impressed by my colleagues’ high standards and commitment to the work we do. SRDC – and the social policy community – is lucky to have such a dedicated and creative group of professionals, who also happen to be a lot of fun to work with.”
Heather is not quite sure how an undergraduate degree in English literature led to doing research on helping young people access post-secondary education, but is quite sure that a passion for learning, collaboration, and social justice have been key elements along the way. Prior to joining SRDC, she did research in women’s health at the Institute for Population Health and in mental health at the Centre for Research on Community Services, both at the University of Ottawa. She has worked in health and social policy for over 20 years, in program planning and development, evaluation, and research roles.
Heather holds a Master’s degree in Social and Community Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University and is enthusiastic about linking health and social policy through research and collaboration with stakeholder communities. She lives with her family in Ottawa’s west end, from which she thoroughly enjoys the commute to work along the Ottawa River bike path. Heather has been a member of Canadian Evaluation Society for several years.
principal research associate
613-237-2039 | E-mail
“SRDC is a great place to pursue my dedication to promoting better outcomes for all Canadians through policies and programs that are high quality and proven effective.”
Sheila has over 25 years of experience in survey and policy research, and program operations. She first joined SRDC in 1992, working for many years as part of the team developing, implementing, and evaluating some of SRDC’s largest demonstration projects in the areas of income security and education. During a tenure as Director of Project Operations in 2003-06, she was responsible for the operations and implementation research components of SRDC projects. As Principal Research Associate she continued to work mainly in the areas of labour market participation and post-secondary education access. In 2010, she accepted an opportunity as Deputy Director of Program Delivery at the Canada Student Loans Program where she led an initiative to streamline and modernize the system. Following that, she worked on Essential Skills projects with various stakeholders before returning to SRDC in September 2013.
Sheila began her career at Statistics Canada in 1985, working in the Special Surveys Division and Census Operations until moving to Vancouver in 1988 where she was a Research Director with Angus Reid Group. She holds an MA (Geographic Information Systems) from the University of Ottawa and BA (Honours, Geography) from Queen’s University at Kingston.
Olufunmilola (Kemi) Odegbile
principal research associate
604-601-4075 | E-mail
Olufunmilola (Kemi) Odegbile joined SRDC in 2014 as a senior research associate in the Vancouver office. Kemi has over twelve years of experience working in the fields of research, population & public health, and primary care. Her past experience includes conducting research focusing on integrating social and behavioral sciences into medical school curriculum, optimizing health for vulnerable populations, and health systems evaluation. She has also held management roles in primary care and public health at two BC health authorities where she was accountable for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of health services designed to improve population health. She holds an MPH from The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Sciences and an MD from the College of Medical and Biological Sciences from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil.
principal research associate
613-237-7668 | E-mail
Ted is an analyst and research manager with more than 25 years of experience covering labour market, household income, business and workplace issues. He is currently engaged in a review of employment and training programs in Ontario and is acting as an advisor to several survey projects. Before joining SRDC, he managed Statistics Canada analytical groups covering labour and income research, monthly survey analysis and the labour and place of work components of the National Household Survey while serving as Editor-in-Chief of Perspectives on Labour and Income. He also has experience in survey and software development – most notably the Workplace and Employee Survey and the Persim simulation model. He has written and reviewed for the academic press and co-chaired two recent socio-economic conferences.
Ted has an honours BA in Mass Communications from Carleton University, supplemented with continuing studies in econometrics, statistical techniques, and management practices. He is very pleased to have joined SRDC and is enjoying the sense of fellowship among his new colleagues.
“SRDC provides a unique opportunity for researchers to conduct sound, rigorous research outside of a university setting. The organization is learning oriented, striving for excellence and innovation in the rapidly evolving environment of research.”
Dr. Louise Legault has been conducting applied social research with SRDC since 2006, where she has been responsible for both the research and operational elements of the design, implementation, and evaluation of small- and large-scale pilot projects. Louise has lead or collaborated in numerous policy-relevant evaluation and research projects in the areas of education (from pre-kindergarten to post-secondary), Francophone linguistic minorities, resilience, youth crime prevention, immigration, and other issues of concern to vulnerable groups and communities. She is skilled in experimental and quasi-experimental research methodologies as well as quantitative statistical methods of analysis. Over the course of her career, she has designed numerous measurement tools and designed various data collection methodologies for projects at SRDC and in her work prior to SRDC, where she was involved in evaluation and research projects. Louise has a total of 20 years of experience related to evaluation, research, and consultation services.
Dr. Louise Legault left her permanent position with SRDC in September 2015, but continues to collaborate with SRDC on various projects.
Louise holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. She is a member of the Canadian Evaluation Society, the Canadian Psychology Association, and the Canadian Positive Psychology Association. Louise holds a Canadian Evaluation Society Credentialed Evaluator designation.
senior research associate
613-237-7669 | E-mail
“SRDC offers the chance to do quality, interesting, and challenging research in a fun atmosphere.”
At SRDC, Michael Dowie has performed a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative research activities. He was a key member of the learn$ave project, a large-scale national demonstration project of matched savings accounts to encourage learning activities and micro-enterprise development among low-income people. Since 2008, Michael has contributed to the design and implementation of a variety of projects related to labour market information. Michael holds a graduate degree in Public Administration from Carleton University.
senior research associate
416-358-1977 | E-mail
Christina Hackett recently joined SRDC as a researcher with a background in mental health, health policy, and health economics. Christina has been involved with qualitative and quantitative research projects with a focus on indigenous peoples living in Canada and mental health across the lifespan. She has clinical and research experience leading programs in mental health with a focus on expanding methods for program evaluation across different cultural paradigms of knowledge, while addressing intersections between multiple services and systems to improve service design. She holds masters degrees in counselling psychology and health policy, planning and programming and is currently finishing her PhD in health policy at McMaster.
Taylor Shek-wai Hui
senior research associate
613-482-1899 | E-mail
“What impresses me about SRDC is the tirelessness of its researchers in promoting and applying the most suitable and reliable scientific methods in policy study. It is a unique organization with the capacity to identify issues, design sound policies, conduct large-scale demonstration projects through social experiments, collect data and rigorously evaluate programs and policies. It’s satisfying to work with my many expert colleagues at SRDC and contribute to the knowledge of public policy.”
Taylor Shek-wai Hui joined SRDC as a researcher in quantitative evaluation of social programs. His areas of interest and expertise include experimental and non-experimental methods of evaluation, human capital formation and utilization, social policies, cost-benefit analysis, as well as applied survey and statistical methodologies. Prior to SRDC, Taylor was Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Winnipeg. He holds a Ph. D in Economics from the University of Western Ontario.
senior research associate
613-237-2945 | E-mail
“Working at SRDC provides the opportunity to conduct research that is multi-disciplinary and rigorous in the academic sense, but also directly applicable to policy development. I strongly believe that public policy can be informed and improved by rigorous evaluative research, and I relish both the intellectual challenges and collaborative opportunities that this kind of work brings.”
Since joining SRDC in 2007, Boris Palameta has analyzed a variety of labour and social datasets, contributed to the design of laboratory experiments and demonstration projects, conducted comprehensive literature reviews, authored a policy position paper on future challenges to Canada’s student financial assistance system, and co-authored three major reports on one of SRDC's large-scale demonstration projects. As a former senior analyst with Statistics Canada, he is well versed in quantitative methods and has considerable knowledge of labour and social data sources. His areas of interest and expertise include behavioural economics, human and social capital development, labour market transitions, and immigration issues. Boris holds a Ph. D in Behavioural Sciences from University of Cambridge.
613-482-1897 | E-mail
Paul Lalonde is currently working as a team member of the Child Care Pilot Project. His participation in this large-scale SRDC project marks his first professional experience in the field of research. Paul graduated in 2004 with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and completed a second undergraduate degree in international studies and modern languages, both from the University of Ottawa.
613-789-1364 | E-mail
“As a researcher, it is enormously fulfilling to be part of SRDC – an organization which values its employees and which has a clear vision for the role rigorous research should play in informing policy decision-making on issues of concern to Canadians.”
Dominique Leonard has been an SRDC researcher since 2008. She has worked as data and operations manager for the Child Care Pilot Project, a multi-year demonstration project in Francophone minority communities across Canada, and more recently as a major contributor to the review of postsecondary access and retention programs funded by the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation. Dominique has experience in program operations, data management, protocol design, interviews and focus groups, and both quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Her publication contributions include chapters for SRDC’s project reports and articles in academic journals. Prior to joining SRDC, she held a number of positions at the University of Ottawa, most notably as research coordinator with the Student Academic Success Centre. Dominique is completing her Master’s in Education at the University of Ottawa, specializing in teaching, learning, and evaluation.
613-237-4177 | E-mail
Geneviève Mák is a research associate at SRDC and has over six years experience in research, evaluation, and research project management. She joined SRDC in 2007 and holds a graduate degree in Economics. At SRDC, she worked on the implementation and the evaluation of the project Readiness to Learn in Minority Francophone Communities. In 2009, she started her doctoral program in Public Health at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre, where she continued to evaluate several public health programs, mainly in West Africa. Her recent projects involve epidemiologic, clinical, and health financing topics (e.g., institutional maternal mortality, antiretroviral effectiveness, and mutual health organizations) as well as more health promotion projects aiming to enhance the well-being of vulnerable populations. Geneviève joined again SRDC in 2013. She has expertise with mixed methods research, program evaluation, and economic analysis.
778-383-1215 | E-mail
Maryam Nabavi joined SRDC in 2015 as a research associate. Her work is driven by a strong commitment to working with and for communities to whom social structures offer least. With ten years of experience in social policy research within not-for-profit organizations and academic institutions, her strengths are in qualitative research design and analysis, as applied to the development and assessment of policies and programs for disadvantaged groups in Canada. She has worked in a number of settings, including social service agencies, policy and advocacy organizations, social service funding organizations, and community-university partnerships on a range of social issues such as immigrant youths' social and educational outcomes, living wage, and community-based policy making. Maryam holds a PhD in Educational Studies from the University of British Columbia, A Masters in Adult Education and Community Development from the University of Toronto, and a BA in Communication Studies from the University of Calgary.
613-237-5039 | E-mail
Cam Nguyen has been an SRDC researcher since 2015. She brings to the team a well-rounded perspective in policy research, having used a multi-disciplinary approach to analyze public policies and social programs. Her areas of interest and expertise include labour market research, student financial aid and employment assistance program evaluation, experimental and non-experimental methods of analysis, public finance, as well as applied survey and statistical methodologies.
Prior to joining SRDC, Cam worked as a Public Policy and Entrepreneurship Intern with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. She also accumulated ample experience in data management, having contributed to the work of an employment assistance centre in Massachusetts and a development consulting firm in Vermont. Cam holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Carleton University, a Master’s degree in International Development from the University of Cambridge, UK, and a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Political Economy and Psychology from Williams College, US.
778-588-6650 | E-mail
Basia Pakula joined SRDC in 2016 as a research associate. She is dedicated to addressing social inequities of disadvantaged populations, and brings a decade of experience from a variety of multi-disciplinary research and policy environments. Basia has a skill set in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including the management and analysis of large population datasets. Her past experiences include conducting research and policy analyses focused on social and structural inequities to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged populations (e.g., sexual minorities, Aboriginal people, individuals with mental health and substance use challenges). Basia is in the final stages of obtaining a Ph.D. from UBC School of Population and Public Health; she has a Master of Public Policy from Simon Fraser University, and a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science/Economics), also from Simon Fraser University.
587-890-8425 | E-mail
Jacey joined SRDC in 2015 as a Calgary-based research associate. Working in the research and evaluation sector for nearly ten years, she has provided consulting services in areas including health, human services, education, and employment. Jacey has extensive experience in both qualitative and quantitative data collection, analysis, and report writing, with much of her work culminating in the development of recommendations to inform policy and planning for government, non-profit, and other clients. Jacey holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Alberta, where her thesis research related to the experiences of the homeless working poor in Calgary.
613-244-2833 | E-mail
Julie Rodier joined SRDC in 2011 as a researcher. As part of her duties, she is responsible for various research activities such as literature review, quantitative and qualitative data collection, management, and analysis, and report writing.
Julie has contributed to projects on education, official-language minority communities (OLMC), literacy and essential skills, and immigration. Julie obtained a Master’s in Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo. She is currently completing a graduate diploma in public policy and program evaluation at Carleton University.
613-237-7976 | E-mail
Kelsey Brennan is currently working on projects related to population health and health care issues. Her previous research experience includes topics such as apprenticeship education in Canada, literacy and essential skills training in the workplace, and the governance structures of post-secondary institutions. Kelsey is a recent graduate of Carleton University’s Master’s program in Public Administration, with an undergraduate degree in journalism from Ryerson University.
613-656-2953 | E-mail
Brian Carriere joined SRDC in June 2016 as a research intern. Prior to SRDC, Brian held a research position at the Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa. His research focused on public policies enabling impact investing, Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Community Engagement as well as the charitable and not-for-profit sector. Prior to this, he was a Relationship Manager at the Telfer School of Management where he designed, implemented, and managed the Telfer Capital Markets Mentorship Program. Brian is completing a Ph.D. in Public Administration at the University of Ottawa and holds an M.A. in Conflict Studies from Saint Paul University.
director, Human Resources and Corporate Services
613-482-1892 | E-mail
“Great workplaces are built through day-to-day relationships that employees develop and experience. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with such a dynamic, passionate, and committed team in a truly great workplace.”
Elizabeth Rodgers has over 25 years of professional business experience in the non-profit, staffing, accounting, and high-tech sectors. From 2004-2007, she was a board member for the Charlotte Birchard Centres for Early Learning (CBCEL). She has been a member of a local network of human resources professionals since 1999 and the Human Resources Professional Association of Ontario (HRPAO) since 2000. Elizabeth obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Windsor in 1989, a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation in 2003, an Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate in 2004, a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation in 2014, and a Workplace Mental Health Leadership Certificate in 2016.
Le Thu Nguyen
613-237-0625 | E-mail
“SRDC has been one of the milestones in my professional career where I have found opportunities to grow and develop. I wish to continue making significant and positive contributions to the organization.”
Le Thu Nguyen is responsible for all SRDC financial operations including accounting, budgeting, internal financial reporting and analysis to the management team. She also liaises regularly with auditors, bankers, and statutory authorities. Le Thu has over 10 years of extensive financial management experience gained in diverse industries and sectors including not-for-profit and privately-owned organizations. Before joining SRDC in January 2003, Le Thu worked for Welch LLP, an accounting firm in Ottawa.
corporate services officer
613-237-4311 ext. 2221 | E-mail
Bob Gorley joined SRDC some 10 years ago and continues to provide services in accounts payable and corporate support. In previous positions, he contributed as purchasing officer for IT services at the Economic Council of Canada and worked as corporate services assistant for Queen's-University of Ottawa Economic Projects and Canadian Policy Research Networks.
corporate services assistant
604-282-4353 | E-mail
Kevin Estrada joined SRDC in 2016. He has experience working in communications support roles for non-profit organizations and private sectors alike. Kevin is committed in making information as accessible as possible through the production of audiovisual media and infographics, and engaging and connecting with audiences through the use of social media. He holds a BA in Communication and Sociology from Simon Fraser University, and is on his way to obtaining a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation.
British Columbia Centre for Employment Excellence Staff
BC CfEE managing director
604-601-4073 | E-mail
“I love the work we do at SRDC. It is gratifying to know that our results and the lessons learned from our work are used in developing policies, programs, and practices to make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.”
Susanna Lui Gurr joined SRDC in 1992, initially specializing in developing, implementing, and evaluating large-scale social experiments. As SRDC expanded its work to include program evaluations, Susanna has focused more on program evaluations, especially with health promotion and population health initiatives. Susanna has directed or played leadership roles on many SRDC projects. She is also involved in writing proposals and developing research designs for innovative projects. Before joining SRDC, Susanna held senior research positions with the Province of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. Throughout her career, Susanna has worked on social and health issues in areas such as income security, employment, early childhood development, poverty, higher education, school reform, health promotion and population health, disabilities and immigration and other issues of concern to vulnerable groups and communities. In addition, she has authored and coauthored numerous publications.
Susanna holds a Master of Arts in Economics from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of British Columbia.
Shawn de Raaf
BC CfEE research coordinator
604-601-4077 | E-mail
Shawn de Raaf is the research coordinator at the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, established by SRDC in Fall 2012. Shawn has been a senior researcher at SRDC for over a decade, covering a wide range of topics related to employment, training, income security, and community economic development. He most recently helped lead the design and evaluation of CareerMotion, a research study that examined the effectiveness of providing online career information to post-secondary graduates in BC. In his role as research coordinator, he will be engaging with employers and the employment services sector across the province to ensure that the Centre is providing timely, high-quality research that meets their needs.
BC CfEE stakeholder coordinator & researcher
604-658-2141 | E-mail
Greg joined SRDC’s Vancouver office to take on the role of stakeholder coordinator & researcher at the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, established by SRDC in the of Fall 2012. Greg brings an in-depth knowledge of the Employment Program of British Columbia and strong relationships with the employment services community across BC. He holds an MA in Economics from Simon Fraser University and a BASc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. In addition to the BC labour market and employment services, his areas of interest include public and experimental economics.