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Renaissance College
UNB Fredericton

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Academic panel discussion

Academic Event

Hosted by Renaissance College

The global pandemic has brought chaos, challenge, and loss. It has highlighted inequities, structural gaps, and many other problems. The essence of good leadership is to learn from adversity, transmuting failures into lessons learned to create a better future. As such, COVID-19 presents a critical opportunity to develop new ways of thinking and address systemic issues.

Guest panelists

Lindsay McLaren

Lindsay McLaren – PhD is a Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary where her research and teaching focus on healthy public policy and social determinants of health. She is also a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - National Office where she is currently (2020-21) spending a one-year sabbatical. Lindsay held a CIHR/PHAC/AIHS Applied Public Health Chair award (2014-19), and received the 2019 CIHR-IPPH Trailblazer Award (mid-career category), a career achievement award that recognizes exceptional contributions in population and public health research. Lindsay is past-president (2014-18) of the Alberta Public Health Association, and currently serves as Senior Editor for the Canadian Journal of Public Health and Co-Editor for the international peer-reviewed journal, Critical Public Health.

James Hughes

James Hughes has dedicated his career to the non-profit and social services sectors playing a pivotal role in championing social inclusion and helping to reduce poverty and end chronic homelessness in Canada. As the Old Brewery Mission’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Hughes will be stewarding the Mission’s vision to see the end of chronic homelessness in our lifetime. Under his watch as Director General from 2004 until 2008, the Mission shifted from managing homelessness to focusing on reducing homelessness permanently through long-term solutions.

Mr. Hughes comes to us from the J.W. McConnell Foundation, a philanthropic foundation dedicated to developing and applying innovative approaches to social, cultural, economic, and environmental challenges. In his role as Executive Lead, James was responsible for a variety of Foundation initiatives including Indigenous housing, public sector innovation and charitable modernization.

He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Queen Elizabeth Health Centre in Montreal, the Governance Committee of the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, the Comité de coordination of the Collectif des fondations québécoises contre les inegalités and is the volunteer President of the Provincial Employment Roundtable sponsored by YES Montreal.

From 2012-2015, Mr. Hughes served as President of the Graham Boeckh Foundation, where he led initiatives including the TRAM project, the largest public-private prototyping-scaling initiative in youth mental health in Canadian history in partnership with the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

In the role of New Brunswick’s Deputy Minister of the Department of Social Development, Mr. Hughes was central to the development of the province’s trailblazing Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) through a widely acclaimed citizen engagement process. Mr. Hughes also oversaw the implementation of the New Directions initiative in child welfare and legislation to protect residents in long term care facilities.

He is the editor of Beyond Shelters: Solutions to Homelessness in Canada from the Front Lines. As an author, his publications include Early Intervention: How Canada’s social programs can work better, save lives, and often save money (2015), A Bipartisan Approach to Aboriginal Affairs (2013), Homelessness: Closing the Gap between Ability and Performance (2012) and Why We Can't Afford Poverty (2012).

Mr. Hughes is a graduate of McGill University (B.C.L), University of Cambridge (B.A. Law), and Queen’s University (B. Commerce).

Raph Shay

Raphael Shay is the Manager – Sustainable Development at the beautiful Sunshine Coast Regional District in British Columbia. He works at the nexus of entrepreneurial projects and innovative policy. Raphael graduated from Renaissance College in 2006 and later pursued a Masters in Environment and Management at Royal Roads University. He has experience fostering sustainable communities in New Brunswick, Ontario, British Columbia, the United-States Southwest, Indonesia, Denmark as well as Bhutan during his international internship. 

Guest moderator


Maha Tantawy - has just completed her doctoral degree with a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation from the University of New Brunswick, Canada. She teaches Leadership for Social Innovation at Renaissance College. Her research interests revolve around examining the outcomes of Entrepreneurship Education and Training on the development of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship mindset. Maha also has research interests in sustainability and university business collaboration.

She participated as a Research Assistant in a global study examining the outcomes of entrepreneurship education at the university level, the Entrepreneurship Education Evaluation (EEE) project. EEE is fully funded by an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Currently, she is involved in multiple projects examining the outcomes of entrepreneurial education and sustainable behavior in the energy sector. She has taught leadership for Social Innovation at Renaissance College. 


811 Charlotte Street
Fredericton, NB


Renaissance College
University of New Brunswick
PO Box 4400, Fredericton, NB
E3B 5A3