Our dedicated team plans and executes our education, research and issue campaigns to strengthen science and informed decision-making in Canada.

Rachael Maxwell

Executive Director (On leave until October 2023)

Rachael Maxwell joins Evidence for Democracy with a deep knowledge of the science landscape in Canada and a strong track record of success working at national not-for-profit research organizations. From 2018-21 she held progressively responsible roles at Genome Canada, working across the organization on key priorities in communications, public affairs and strategic planning. Previously, Rachael worked at Mitacs on the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship where she managed the design and delivery of the program from its inception through its first three cohorts. Rachael is also a member of the Board of the Directors at the Science and Policy Exchange. Rachael is passionate about working at the intersection of science, society and policy. She speaks to diverse audiences at home and abroad about the need to improve the mechanisms that connect science and policy. Rachael also brings years of experience working in arts management and an academic background in cultural studies.


Vanessa Sung

Interim Executive Director

Vanessa Sung joins Evidence for Democracy as Interim Executive Director bringing a wealth of experience from the research, government, and non-profit sectors. After completing her PhD in Biochemistry at McGill University, she joined the Office of the Chief Science Advisor of Canada as a policy advisor, where much of her efforts were focused on strengthening connections between the science, policy, and political communities. Over her time there, her work has included the Chief Science Advisor’s Expert Panel on COVID-19, the inaugural Chief Science Advisor’s Youth Council, and the Science Meets Parliament program in collaboration with the Canadian Science Policy Centre. As a graduate student, Vanessa was Co-President and member of the Board of Directors at Science & Policy Exchange, a student-led non-profit that facilitates multisectoral dialogue and empowers the student voice in diverse science policy issues. She was also previously part of the leadership team at Communitas, a community-based restorative justice organization in Montreal. Vanessa is an enthusiastic advocate for increased community and civic engagement from scientists, and is dedicated to creating positive impact at the intersection of science, public policy, and social justice.

Nada Salem

Communications and Campaigns Coordinator

Nada Salem graduated from the University of Calgary in 2020 with a BSc. in Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology. She’s passionate about science storytelling and has explored science communications through journalism, illustration, and videography. Nada currently serves as the Director of Community Development at the Calgary node of Emerging Health Leaders (EHL), an organization that supports new health professionals to connect, grow, and develop into future leaders. She’s also a Chemistry Editor with Science Borealis. She has written for various platforms about topics ranging from autoimmune disorders and genetic medicine, to the challenges facing women in STEM.

Caitlin Fowler

Senior Research Associate

Caitlin Fowler recently joined Evidence for Democracy as part of a graduate student internship offered by McGill University. Caitlin is in the final stages of her PhD in Biological and Biomedical Engineering, where she took an interdisciplinary approach to examine how brain structure and chemistry are altered by age, Alzheimer’s disease, and anti-inflammatory treatment. The equally interdisciplinary nature of science policy is therefore a natural next step for Caitlin.

Caitlin brings with her significant experience in project management, information synthesis, and science communication. While in graduate school, Caitlin volunteered as a content creator and editor with Useful Science, and co-organized two Pint of Science events, both of which involved communicating research to science enthusiasts in the general public. Towards the end of her PhD, Caitlin also worked as a grant coordinator and writer for the non-profit organization Concussion Legacy Foundation Canada, and successfully secured funding for brain injury prevention programs. 

Sri Alageswaran

Operations and Finance Manager

Sri is an experienced senior-level finance professional with over 10 years of leadership experience in corporate finance operations. Her educational background concentrated on ethical leadership, advanced financial and marketing concepts, managing information systems, and strategic business management within a global context. Sri is interested in supporting the organization’s vision and strategic business priorities using modern controllership concepts. Through these concepts, she has partnered with organizations to integrate financial and non-financial performance information for better decision making. She also supported capacity maximization by effective stewardship of resources and improvement of financial data integrity by effective risk management. Sri has a passion towards information technology and evidence-based data collection to support smarter business decisions for better results.