Lisa is the Founder/Co-Owner of Wisdom2Action. They were the executive director of the CYCC Network since April 2013, which then became Wisdom2Action Ltd. in February 2018. Lisa uses their strong cultural competence and collaborative leadership skills to connect people in meaningful ways, so they can solve problems and move forward in their work. Lisa loves to create positive change within organizations. At the W2A Network, Lisa led the creation of W2A’s community engagement series. These participatory, youth-led and youth-engaged, Art of Hosting events have been held in communities across the country and internationally.
Lisa started their career in the public sector, working first with the federal government in Ottawa, primarily at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) where they led the implementation of Canada’s Action Plan on Child Protection that had a particular focus on child participation. Lisa was the inaugural Director of Policy at the Nova Scotia Department of Finance, where they led initiatives to inspire innovation in the provincial government.
Lisa has consulted for Canadian, international, and United Nations organizations on knowledge translation and mobilization, children’s rights, youth and community engagement, and gender equality. Lisa’s areas of expertise include policy development and practical policy implementation strategies, facilitation, performance measurement and evaluation, and knowledge translation, with a focus on engaging knowledge producers and users in innovative processes.
Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced Major) in International Development Studies and a Masters in Public Administration, both from Dalhousie University. They have completed graduate-level studies in evaluation methods, and has completed professional development in evaluation methods and issues at the Canada School of Public Service and with EvalPartners and UNICEF.
Lisa is a former President of the Egale Human Rights Trust, the Lambda Association and Stepping Stone. They have served on the board of directors of the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre, Bryony House, and the Heartwood Centre for Community Youth Development.
Lisa is a passionate advocate for improving access to the supports needed for young people’s well-being and mental health. In their national work in youth mental health, Lisa became aware of the development of Integrated Youth Services models. Knowing from their W2A work how critical community-based organizations (CBOs) are for supporting the mental health and well-being of young people, Lisa was particularly intrigued at the emphasis on better integration of services, with youth at the centre. With that in mind, Lisa started their Doctoral studies in Health at Dalhousie University in 2017 to examine how CBOs can be better integrated into mental health treatment planning for youth.
Lisa has presented nationally and internationally on knowledge translation, youth engagement and supporting youth mental health. Lisa is bilingual and provides services in both English and French.