The CCSD has seen a period of unprecedented renewal since 2008. The responsibility of leading an organization with a 94-year legacy is a solemn one that Peggy shoulders with a view to the future and respect for the CCSD’s long history. Integrity, diversity and inclusiveness are hallmarks of her leadership.
A passionate advocate for equality and social justice, Peggy and her team at CCSD organized the inaugural Canadian Social Forum in Calgary in 2009, followed by many positive social innovation initiatives. The changing landscape for the third sector in Canada over the last several years presented more challenges that Peggy met head on. This evolution led to a recent launch of a renewed strategic mission and approach for the CCSD, focusing on nation building through evidence, collaboration and design.
Prior to the CCSD, Peggy served as Senior Vice-President at The Ottawa Hospital, and previously led Ontario’s Mental Health Implementation Task Force, a sweeping reform process. Peggy served as an Advisor to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and to the Premier on the implementation of Ontario’s Regional Health Authorities, Local Health Information Networks (LHINs), along with a number of other major health reform processes.
A powerful public speaker, Peggy is often called upon to speak on matters relating to the health and wellbeing of Canada’s most vulnerable, issues of gender, race, human rights, social development and equality – or lack thereof. Peggy is a proud Canadian who believes we can create a strong, resilient and caring nation that values the well-being and contributions of all of its citizens. Peggy’s diverse voluntary roles today include the International Initiatives for Mental Health and Disability Leadership; she is Co-Chair of the Canadian Council on the Social Determinants of Health under the Public Health Agency of Canada; and a member of the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council in Ontario.
In 2008, Peggy founded the HERA Mission of Canada, a Foundation that supports women leading development projects that empower widows and children in Western Kenya. Peggy honors the community where her son Devlin was born through this work. She is the recipient of CTV Amazing People Award 2012 for this work and for changing adoption laws in Kenya that enabled her to bring her son Devlin home to Canada. Most recently, CTV’s W5 profiled her journey in Kenya in The Love of a Child which aired on March 8, 2014 – International Women’s Day. Over 1.2 million viewers across Canada and beyond tuned in or watched online.
Peggy has also launched a dynamic consultancy, The HERA Collaborative that applies her diverse experience to improve complex health and human services systems through a laser focus on the needs of the user. Through her collaborative process Peggy works across the country and internationally to facilitate better understanding the problem and the opportunity in order to build solutions that stick.
Originally from the small northern Ontario town of South Porcupine, Peggy was educated in Toronto and Ottawa and holds degrees in Social Work, Communications and Law, as well as advanced diplomas in mediation and negotiation. If you know her you may have heard her say “how hard can it be?” Very. But she always gets there!