The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa is currently experiencing a labour disruption. If you have an urgent concern, please call us at 613-747-7800.


The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa’s Board of Directors and Senior Leadership team work to drive positive change and advocate for the wellbeing of children, youth and families in our community.

Board of Directors

The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who share a commitment to the well-being of children and families.

Our governance is approached in a transparent manner, which balances the desire for transparency and the governance requirements to complete the work of the Society.

If you have any questions about The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa’s Board of Directors and/or would like to inquire about the monthly Board meetings, please reach out to [email protected].

Meet our Board

Deborah Tunis, Chair

Deborah Tunis brings over 40 years of leadership experience in the Canadian public service in a variety of policy areas, including the areas of immigration, international trade, social development and housing. In 2015, Ms. Tunis was named Special Coordinator for Syrian Refugee Resettlement, helping to lead the initiative that welcomed tens of thousands of Syrian refugees to Canada. In this key role, she coordinated provinces, municipalities, settlement agencies, donors and others to provide supports to Syrian refugees.

She has a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton, a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an Advanced Management Program from Oxford University.

Sheila Niven, Past Chair

Sheila joined the Board in 2015, and chaired the Board from 2021-23.

Previously, she spent 28 years at the Bank of Canada in a variety of roles that included assignments in the economic policy as well as corporate administration areas. Sheila retired as an Adviser to the Governor. She holds degrees from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

An immigrant to Canada, she has always been a strong supporter of community volunteering.

Anna Tosto, Vice-Chair

Anna Tosto is a partner at Fasken LLP, an international law firm with offices primarily in Canada and has been since 2009. Her practice focuses on corporate law matters including lending, mergers and acquisitions and strategic partnerships primarily in the technology, transportation, agriculture and life sciences sectors.

Beyond her professional life, Anna has made volunteering a priority. She is an active volunteer in child advocacy issues and international children’s rights including with respect to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Canada’s ratification of that Convention. In her roles with UNICEF and relating to the Convention, she was privileged to be able to travel throughout Canada to speak with organizations for which children’s rights are important.

Anna is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Transportation Lawyers Association and the Transportation Lawyers Association (US).

Catherine MacQuarrie, Chair, Governance Committee

Catherine MacQuarrie’s career comprises a range of experience and expertise in media, public service, and Indigenous governance. Over 26 years as a public servant, Catherine held increasingly senior leadership positions—including 14 years as Assistant Deputy Minister in several departments and central agencies in the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories. Recently retired from government, she is now pursuing a life-long ambition to help advance First Nations’ self-government, with a leadership role in the Rebuilding First Nations Governance project (RFNG).

Catherine is Métis, born in Alberta and raised in the Northwest Territories. In the early part of her career, she worked as a reporter, editor and then executive director at NCS NWT, a non-profit Indigenous media organization. She is a Fellow of Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration and holds a master’s degree in public administration and policy from the University of Ottawa.

Brian Pagan, Chair, Finance, Human Resources and Audit Committee

Retired Assistant Deputy Minister and consultant, Brian Pagan is skilled in policy development, the budgeting and expenditure management process, performance measurement, results reporting, coaching and leading large teams.

Brian has a wide range of experience in the expenditure management process, having served as deputy assistant commissioner of finance for the Canada Revenue Agency, director of fiscal policy at the Department of Finance, deputy chief financial officer at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and assistant secretary, Expenditure Management at the Treasury Board Secretariat. He began his public service career in procurement and material management at the Department of National Defense in 1987.

Brian has a graduate degree in public administration from Carleton University and is a CPA, CMA.

Deanna Tremblay, Board Member

Deanna Tremblay has worked in education for almost 30 years as classroom teacher, instructional coach and the last six years as a vice principal within the Ottawa Catholic School Board.  In her many roles within the school board, she has worked collaboratively with colleagues and community to implement programs and resources to support children, youth and families in and outside of the school setting.

A graduate of the University of Manitoba, she is a lifelong learner who is always looking for ways to improve and try new things.

Charles Vincent, Board Member

Charles Vincent is currently Assistant Deputy Minister, Industry Sector at the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Prior to that role, he held other executive positions in the Department, including Small Business and Marketplace Services, and at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Outside of his professional career, Charles is actively involved in several community initiatives and served on the board of a local independent living residence.

Charles holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard.

Nicola Moodie, Board Member

Nicola Moodie is a Sargent with the Professional Standards Unit of the Ottawa Police Services and has been in policing for over 23 years. She brings a wealth of experience and was a member of the Intimate Partner Violence Unit and the Sexual Assault & Child Abuse team before transferring to the Professional Standards Unit. She also has board experience, with Immigrant Women’s Services, Ottawa.

Nicola was born in Jamaica and immigrated to Canada. 

Allison Seymour, Board Member

Allison Seymour is currently an Executive VP – Strategy and Partnerships at the Canadian Medical Association and President of the CMA Foundation.  In these two roles, Allison has accountability for strategy evolution and oversight, innovation, insights and analytics, digital health, stakeholder relations and partnerships, enterprise giving strategy, including philanthropic and other transformative giving initiatives.  With over 25 years’ experience, Allison brings expertise in the areas of leadership, governance, strategy, innovation, analytics and partnerships 

Outside of her professional career, Allison has been president and chair of the Manor Park Community Council.

Allison has a Masters of Business Administration and holds an Institute of Corporate Directors Designation (ICD.D). 

Ann Marcotte, Board Member

Over the span of 27 years, Ann Marcotte was a program administrator with the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre.  Ann dedicated her career to providing quality therapeutic services to children and youth diagnosed with various disorders and complex special needs.

Ann has been an active contributor to many regional and provincial children’s initiatives that have built strong partnerships to positively impact policy, practice and strategy to better respond to the evolving needs of children, youth and their families.  Ann has participated on a number of Hospital and Community sector boards and was chair of the governance committee for CASO for over three years.

Ann has a Bachelor’s of Rehabilitation Science Degree from the University of British Columbia and a Master’s of Science-Physiotherapy from Western University.

Zaina Sovani, Board Member

Zaina Sovani currently holds the position of President of Alzen Consulting Inc. where she works with both Public and Private Sector organizations to help them move towards a digital footprint. Zaina is a digital strategist and experienced transformational leader with demonstrated history of working in the Government of Canada, Civil Society Organizations and Management Consulting Industry. She recently retired as Assistant Deputy Minister of Transformation and Chief Information Officer at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) where she was responsible for leading the department through a major transformational change program focused on improving client experience, operations excellence, digital services delivery and encouraging a new culture of innovation and agility across IRCC. Zaina also held the position of Chief Information Officer, leading IM/IT strategy and service delivery functions and technologically enabling the business.

In addition to her professional achievements, Zaina was the President for the Ismaili Council for Ottawa and held numerous positions with Boards and Portfolios with the National Council.

Zaina has master’s degree in business administration from the University of Ottawa and certificates from Harvard University and Berkeley on Digital Strategy.

Senior Leadership

The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa is structured to address the needs and provide comprehensive services to the children, youth and families we serve. The following list details the roles of our senior leadership team:

Executive Director

Director of Service

Director of Service

Chief Financial Officer

Chief Legal Counsel

Director of Human Resources

Finance Manager

Manager of Information Technology

Service Manager

Indigenous Service Pod

Service Manager

Intake, Child Protection Services

Service Manager

Adolescent Protection, Volunteer Services, Family Visitation

Service Manager

Foster and Adoption, Child Protection Services

Manager of Quality Assurance and Organizational Development

Head of Communications