CES Ontario is an unincorporated Chapter of the Canadian Evaluation Society in the Province of Ontario since 1996. CES Ontario is headed by a volunteer Board of Directors and supported by an administrative assistant, bookkeeping and IT services, and other volunteers.
For your convenience and reference, the Canadian Evaluation Society’s national and chapter bylaws are available for download in PDF format.
Board of Directors 2020-2021
With a background in Clinical-Developmental Psychology and Applied Research/Evaluation, Dr. Vernescu’s work bridges post-secondary and community arenas; including direct client service and progressive leadership across health, human, social service, and academic sectors. Dr. Vernescu has an extensive record of knowledge brokering/exchange; integrated research, evaluation, and continuous quality improvement; program design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation; strategic and operational planning; and clinical and systems-level outcomes management.
Dr. Vernescu holds a faculty appointment at Nipissing University within the Faculties of Human & Social Development and Arts & Sciences, and has adjunct status with the Dept. of Psychology at Memorial. She is the founding Director of NIOC (Northern Institute for Organizational Capacity), a knowledge broker for northern, rural, and remote NFPs. Recently, she led the design and implementation of one of the first Program Evaluation and Applied Research undergraduate level certificates in the Canadian university sector.
Committed to meaningful academic-community partnerships, Dr. Vernescu works with NFPs and community teams to develop and implement sustainable strategic and evaluative frameworks, monitor processes, and enhance outcomes. Her work and interests cross into the corporate sector.
Term: This is Roxana’s second term on the CES-ON Board.
Nikhat Rasheed is an independent consultant and former Executive Director, with expertise in leading multi-institutional projects and program evaluations in the education and non-profit sectors. Projects are funded by the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario and regional/ local foundations. Her areas of expertise include immigrant integration, pathways to employment, labour market planning, diversity and inclusion, crime prevention and delivering training initiatives to achieve social change.
Nikhat currently serves as the President of the Canadian Evaluation Society – Ontario. Over the past 7 years, she has served in various leadership capacities including Membership Committee Chair, Vice-President, Past President and Treasurer. She was one of the Diversity Champions that launched Canada’s first-ever regional Diversity & Inclusion Charter in Peel Region and has served as a director with the Regional Diversity Roundtable of Peel. Nikhat is a founding member of the Azeeza project. She holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Leeds, and a Postgraduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Term: This is Nikhat’s third term on the CES-ON Board.
With an academic background in developmental psychology, applied research/evaluation and education, Heather works as an Education Officer on the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Research, Monitoring and Evaluation team. Her current work includes leading teams in logic model development and in program development, implementation and monitoring. Heather has a keen interest in capacity building for evaluative thinking among evaluation users.
Term: This is Heather’s first term on the CES-ON Board
Nick Petten is a researcher, consultant and evaluator with over 10 years’ experience working with culturally diverse populations in multiple roles and positions. He is primarily concerned with how to meaningfully and ethically involve children and youth in research and program design.
Nick has extensive knowledge and demonstrated research ability developed through a masters-level education in early childhood studies with a focus on children’s rights, program evaluation, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and early learning. He is currently conducting several program evaluations and research projects focusing on youth engagement, peacebuilding, children’s rights, health equity, and other social justice issues. He provides professional consultations on monitoring and evaluation activities, community consultations, participatory research methodologies, and ethical guidance on working with adolescent and child stakeholders. His ongoing research focuses on a children’s rights-based approach to public-private partnerships in an emerging, digitally-facilitated knowledge economy and corporate partnerships in the provision of public education. Nick has in-depth and front-line experience working with children and adolescents with multiple needs and capabilities through parent education programs, early childhood education centres, adolescent treatment centres and community programs. You can connect with him on Linkedin.
Term: This is Nick’s second term on the CES-ON board
Patricia is currently Director of Evaluation at MQO Research. Past experience includes working in the public sector as a Manager with the Provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador conducting research to inform policy development, as well as in the private sector conducting provincial and national evaluations. She just completed tenure as president of the CES–Newfoundland and Labrador (CES-NL). She has over 8 years of experience on volunteer boards, and almost 10 years of experience on both the client and suppliers side of research and evaluation. Patricia holds a Masters of Applied Social Psychology from Memorial University and a Credentialed Evaluator (CE) designation from the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES).
Term: This is Patricia’s second term on the CES-ON Board
Yasir Dildar is Canadian Evaluation Society’s Credentialed Evaluator and is currently working as Director Monitoring and Impact Measurement (MIM) at MEDA. He has more than 15 years of results measurement and evaluation experience with a focus on private sector development related initiatives and Women Economic Empowerment (WEE). Yasir has advanced knowledge of results measurement and evaluation approaches and methodologies and hands on experience of conducting evaluation studies. He has conducted more than 30 research and evaluation studies that involved developing methodologies, data collection, analysis and reporting. His current responsibility involves providing advice and technical expertise to the MIM team and country offices in Africa, Asia, and Latin America in the development of strategies and systems related to results measurement. Yasir holds Master’s degrees in Development Studies and Sociology.
Term: This is Yasir’s first term on the CES-ON Board
Lina is an international social development professional, with experience in coordinating social and humanitarian projects targeting vulnerable children, women and refugees in humanitarian and development contexts. Her professional experience has primarily been focused in the area of program coordination, reporting, monitoring and evaluation, child rights and research with international non-profits, donor agencies and United Nations organizations, namely UNICEF. Through these organizations, she has worked both at the grassroots community level with direct beneficiaries and at national and regional levels. Lina holds a Masters degree with honors in Development Management from the University of Wales, Swansea, U.K. Her postgraduate thesis was on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and which was published and presented in an International Conference on Children’s Rights.
Term: This is Lina’s first term on the CES-ON Board.
Marisha Holmberg, Professional Development Committee Co-Chair
Marisha works in the public sector and aims to develop strong evaluation practices with her team and professional network. With an interest in strategic planning and storytelling with data Marisha supports evidence-informed planning and continuous improvements and most recently is expanding her skills to include emergency management. Marisha is also pursuing a Masters of Arts with a focus on work, organization and leadership.
Term: This is Marisha’s second term on the CES-ON Board
Donna Howard is a Non-Profit Director, international educator and government policy advisor, specializing in program management, stakeholder relations and evaluation. Donna began her career as a teacher, working in a remote community 1000km from her birth city of Perth, Western Australia (WA). She went on to gain her Masters’ in Education from Perth and University of Maine in the US.
Donna’s career moved from education to health promotion, policy development and research. Donna successfully developed and led program teams, with both Toronto Public Health, and Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Donna led the $13.5 Million Provincial After School Program, servicing over 20,000 children and youth at 320 sites. The success of this program, along with its in-depth evaluation- resulted in Donna and her team, receiving the Amethyst Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Public Service. In 2015 Donna became a credentialed evaluator.
Donna has held leadership positions such as Athletic Director of Havergal College, Executive Director of OFSAA and Professor at the Chang School of Continuing Education. Donna has recently consulted with X Impact, a global health education organization, which has benefitted from her experience and skills in research and evaluation, and her passion for ensuring healthy lifestyles for all. Donna embraces change, believes in effective planning and understands the importance of discovering “what works.”
Term: This is Donna’s first term on the CES-ON Board
Maria Mardirosian is a Program Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at Jays Care Foundation, the charitable non-profit that uses baseball as a vehicle to teach life skills and create lasting change for children and youth in underserved communities across Canada. Maria supports the design and growth of the monitoring and evaluation processes in all of Jays Care’s signature programs. Her past experiences in evaluation include OntarioMD and Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services. She is passionate about her career in evaluation and strives to ensure all voices are heard to create positive social change. Maria holds a Master of Health Evaluation Degree from the University of Waterloo, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Health and Society from York University.
Term: This is Maria’s first term on the CES-ON Board
Through her work at City of Hamilton, Healthy and Safe Communities Department, Marion has 11+ years of experience in research, evaluation and knowledge exchange. Her work includes strategic planning, policy development, research and evaluation, data management and strategic engagement to support evidence-informed planning and continuous improvements. Cultivating a culture of research and evaluation to build capacity and communities of practice that explore innovative and equitable ways to deliver services for children, families, professionals and community are integral to Marion’s work. Marion is a member of the Professional Development Committee since 2017, and its co-chair since 2019. She is registered with the Ontario College of Teachers since 2003, a Credential Evaluator since 2014 and has a Master Degree in Social Science with degrees in Education, Child and Youth Studies and Humanities.
Term: This is Marion’s first term on the CES-ON Board