Board of Directors

The team of committed alumni advocating for you!

The Alumni Association is governed by a Board of Directors made up of 16 alumni. Board members go through a rigorous selection process and are appointed for a two-year term. Together, we bring forward innovative ideas to help organize, finance and support various activities and services for alumni through our work within board committees (Executive, Governance, Outreach and Finance).

Read more in our constitution.

Past Annual Reports can be found here: 2019-2020 Annual Report2018-2019 Annual Report2017-2018 Annual Report.

To reach the board, email us at [email protected].  

Board members

Edwine Alphonse.

Edwine Alphonse, BCom ’06

Controller at Ramp 

Edwine Alphonse, originally from Haiti, is an accounting leader who has worked internationally and volunteered on boards in Canada and the United States. She is not only a proud University of Ottawa graduate, but also a former participant in the Work-Study Program, which contributed to her career in finance. She is also part of a multi-generational uOttawa family, as her brothers and parents are also alumni. Edwine has retained close ties with the University as a member of the uOttawa Boston Alumni Council. She is an active trustee and treasurer at the Boston Renaissance Charter Public School, where she provides pragmatic, objective support for high quality, inclusive education. 

Headshot of Julie Cafley.

Julie Cafley, BA ’95, BEd ’96, MEd ’03, PhD ’15

Vice-President, External Relations and Communications, Digital Research Alliance of Canada

Dr. Julie Cafley is a creative, strategic leader and an accomplished academic with expertise in public policy, governance and higher-education leadership. She is the Vice-President, Communications and External Relations at the Digital Research Alliance of Canada. She is helping to lead an innovative vision to build the organization from the ground-up and develop its brand as a world-class start-up funding tomorrow’s technology.

Previously, she worked as Executive Vice-President at the Public Policy Forum (PPF). Julie built bridges and enhanced the profile and visibility of the PPF while directing its communications, external partnerships, membership and learning teams. In her previous role as Chief of Staff to two presidents at the University of Ottawa, Julie worked closely with the senior executive team to develop and advance strategic initiatives.

Julie holds a PhD in education leadership from the University of Ottawa and has sought-after expertise in university presidential mandates. Her thesis focused on higher education leadership and governance through the lens of unfinished terms of Canadian university presidents.

Julie is an active community builder, a committed advocate for women and leadership, and a tireless champion for diversity initiatives. Julie is a collaborative change maker and an inclusive connector.

Habiba Chakir

Habiba Chakir, PhD Medicine ’03

Senior Evaluator for Bio-Therapeutic Drugs and Gene Therapy Products, Health Canada 

At Health Canada, Dr. Chakir is responsible for the in-depth evaluation of the scientific information that biopharmaceutical companies provide when marketing their therapeutic products in Canada. She has extensive experience with non-profit organizations, such as the Ottawa Diplomatic Association (ODA) and Mercy Ships. Fluent in French, English, and Arabic, Dr. Chakir has travelled and lived in different countries but now calls Ottawa home. 

Headshot of Jocelyne Chrétien.

Jocelyne Chrétien, MHA ’06, MBA ’10

Program Coordinator at CISSS de lOutaouais 

Jocelyne Chrétien holds a Master of Health Administration and an MBA from the University of Ottawa. She pursued the latter degree while working  as program manager for the Federal Healthcare Partnership, starting in 2005. 

She also holds a bachelor’s in pharmacy from the University of Toronto, and was director of pharmacy at the Elisabeth Bruyère Health Centre before working for the Ottawa Hospital and then the federal government. Her professional interests in governance and program development eventually led her to the Montfort Hospital and subsequently to the field of health-care governance at a provincial level. 

Headshot of Pierre Cyr

Pierre Cyr, BA ’03

Senior Vice-President of Public Affairs at FleishmanHillard HighRoad 

Pierre Cyr holds a bachelor of arts (Geography) from the University of Ottawa. He previously worked as director of board and stakeholder relations at Canadian Blood Services, following 15 years in federal and provincial government, where he served in a variety of senior roles. In addition to advising two Ontario premiers and a federal party leader, Pierre served as chief of staff in the Ontario ministries of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Citizenship and Immigration. Pierre has also published a number of opinion pieces on federal politics and health-related matters in the Hill Times and the Globe and Mail. 

Pierre serves on the board of the Empire Club of Canada. He previously served on the boards of the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa, Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa, and the Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Tire JumpStart Program. He is also a former selection committee member for the Government of Ontario’s Champion of Diversity Award, and served three terms as vice-president (organization) for the Ontario Liberal Party. 

A proud Franco-Ontarian with a Mohawk heritage, Pierre grew up in Cochrane and Midland/Penetanguishene, Ontario. 

Headshot of Sylvie Deliencourt.

Sylvie Deliencourt, BSocSc ’83

Sylvie Deliencourt is an executive leader with 25 years of experience leading projects and initiatives for national organizations. These projects have covered areas as varied as health leadership, professional development, project management, strategic partnerships, advocacy, public relations/marketing, communications, and membership/client services. In this role, she built partnerships with diverse stakeholders across health and social services sectors to help achieve organizational goals. She also conducted national consultations and research aimed at improving the quality of life for vulnerable populations.

Sylvie managed the LEADS capability-based Certified Health Executive (CHE) program and created platforms to enable health leaders to network, exchange and debate issues of common interest. She has also led several volunteer committees and served on non-profit boards, contributing to advance the goals of the organization and its members. 

Headshot of Sarah Dion-Marquis.

Sarah Dion-Marquis, MA ’16, MBA'21

Sarah Dion-Marquis is an accomplished communications and public affairs professional in the health-care sector. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University and a Master’s in Political Science from the University of Ottawa, as well as a Master’s in Business Administration at the Telfer School of Management.  

As director of communications, marketing and public affairs at the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, she works with health-care professionals to improve women’s health through research and education. Previously, she was the director of public relations and media at Innovative Medicines Canada, the national association representing brand-name pharmaceutical companies. She also worked as a senior political staffer in a Minister’s office and, for eight years, as a CBC/Radio-Canada journalist.   

Valérie Gervais

Valérie Gervais, BJour ’08

Valérie Gervais is a communications and public affairs consultant with over 14 years of experience with government, political, health-care and non-profit organizations. Her areas of expertise include corporate communications, media relations, and issues management. In March 2017, she started ValGervais Communications to work with organizations and individuals committed to making a difference in the world. Prior to that, Valérie served as press secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Canada and as senior communications adviser for the House of Commons. She holds a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Ottawa as well as a broadcast journalism diploma from La Cité. 

Alain Toni Jalkh

Alain Toni Jalkh, BCom ’09, ’10

Alain Toni Jalkh is a multilingual chartered professional accountant (CPA). He received a bachelor’s of commerce in management and in accounting from the University of Ottawa, as well as a CPA graduate diploma from the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO). Alain has also completed an MBA. 

Alain currently works as a comptroller at the Department of National Defence, providing financial advice to policy sector senior management. Over the past decade, he has held finance and management positions for various organizations, such as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Public Works (PWGSC), along with positions at University of Ottawa and in the private sector. 

Alain has served on local and national boards of directors for the past decade in various sectors (environment, neighborhood safety, human rights, education, accounting/finance). He has coached basketball for the past 10 years. Alain enjoys reading in nature or on a stationary bike at the gym, and he has subscriptions to a dozen business-related magazines. 

Headshot of Paul Okalik.

Paul Okalik, LLB ’97

Senior Advisor, Arctic conservation, WWF-Canada 

Paul Okalik is a Canadian politician and a graduate of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. The first Inuk to be called to the Nunavut Bar, he became the first premier of Nunavut on March 5, 1999. He has also been speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. 

Headshot of Josephine Palumbo.

Josephine A.L. Palumbo, BSocSc ’88, JD ’91

Deputy Commissioner of Competition, Competition Bureau (Canada) 

Josephine Palumbo is currently Deputy Commissioner of Competition at the Cartels and Deceptive Marketing Practices Branch of the Competition Bureau (Canada). As deputy commissioner, she has led several complex and key negotiations on enforcement matters for the Competition Bureau, including negotiating significant and high impact settlements that concluded with registrations of Consent Agreements with the Competition Tribunal and included significant Administrative Monetary Penalties and Restitution orders on behalf of the Government of Canada. 

Josephine graduated with honours from the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa and was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1993. She articled with the Judiciary of the Tax Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal. 

Headshot of Bogdan Raic.

Bogdan Raic, BEd ’12

A former Gee-Gee, Bogdan Raic is the youngest person to earn a black belt in North America. He is a former Academic All-Canadian, CFL player, high school teacher and corporate manager who has advised Canada’s top condominium builders. He is the co-founder of the largest AI property management assistant in North America. With a background in business development, budgeting, financial projections and entrepreneurship, Bogdan has built a solid network in Toronto and the GTA. 

Headshot of Patrick Sasso.

Patrick Sasso, BSc ’92

Patrick Sasso is the co-founder and chief creative officer of Loop Seven, a full-service creative and production company that provides video, photography, animation, original music and music supervision services to a diverse portfolio of companies and agencies. His mix of creative talent in photography, cinematography, design and music, combined with his extensive marketing experience, allow him to deliver powerful content for any company that needs to boost its marketing efforts. 

Loop Seven has always been at the forefront of video production. Since its creation, the company has evolved alongside the video medium and continues to evolve today. 

Shaunt Tokmakjian

Shaunt Tokmakjian, JD ’14

Legal Counsel, Compliance and Privacy Officer - Canaccede Financial Group

Shaunt Tokmakjian is a proud graduate from the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. During his time as a student, he co-founded a local charity golf tournament and the Business Law Clinic at the Faculty of Law. Since his graduation in 2014, Shaunt has been a board member of the University of Ottawa Alumni Association, and more recently, a member of the Association’s Executive team as Chair of Governance. During this time he has worked closely with the association and the Alumni Relations Office on various successful initiatives to benefit alumni and advocate for their interests. Shaunt has also regularly attended and contributed to alumni events in Ottawa and Toronto. 

Headshot of Sharon Wong.

Sharon Wong, BSc ’92, MIR ’96

Consultant 

Sharon has over 25 years of marketing experience in consumer and technology industries, ranging from startups (including VeriFone [acquired by HP], Portal [acquired by Oracle], and VeriSign [acquired by Symantec]) to major corporations, such as IBM, Procter & Gamble, Thomson Reuters and Intuit. She is currently a marketing consultant for LinkedIn. Sharon is the American founder of the Shoebox Project for Women’s Shelters, and volunteers at OneWorldTraining for non-profits, the uOttawa Regional Council and as a mentor for women in business and STEM. An Ottawa native, Sharon currently resides in the San Francisco/Bay Area.