Staff

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

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.

 

Farah Qaiser

Director of Research and Policy

In 2020, Farah completed a Master of Science at the University of Toronto, where she carried out DNA sequencing to better understand neurological disorders, and later worked as a researcher at the University Health Network’s Epilepsy Genetics Clinic. She has written about science for various media outlets, co-founded the Toronto Science Policy Network, and led Wikipedia Edit-A-Thons to create pages about under-represented scientists. Farah currently serves on the Canada Chief Science Advisor's inaugural Youth Council, and 500 Women Scientists' leadership team.

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.

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.

Caitlin Fowler

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. 

Maximilian Lee

Communications Officer

Max Lee graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa in 2022 with an Honours Bachelor of Global Law and International Studies, specializing in Global Law and Social Justice, and a minor in Philosophy. Passionate about how a government legitimately exercises power in a democracy, Max firmly believes that it is the public that holds the government and its policies accountable through free, informed public engagement and participation in the political process.

At Carleton, Max was involved in student government, partnered research, and community radio. He has recently completed his Honours Research Essay that examines the reasonable limits of the freedom of assembly for Canadian COVID-19 public health measures protestors.

Off campus, Max has worked as a parliamentary intern for a Member of Parliament, as well as a researcher for the International Action Networks on Small Arms and the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs.

 

Veronika Achor

Research Support Officer

Veronika Achor graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston in 2019 with an Honours Bachelor in Political Studies, with a minor in Global Development Studies. She is currently a master’s student in the Conflict Studies program at Saint Paul’s University in Ottawa where her research focuses on locally driven country-based approaches to conflict, and how such structures and their techniques are best adaptable to peacebuilding in deep-rooted conflicts, with a specific focus on South Sudan. 

At Queen’s, she worked arduously with the Queen’s University chapter of Women in International Security (WIIS) to recognize the important contributions and expanding opportunities for women participating globally in conflict, peace and security in an attempt to increase their representation.

Moreover, Veronika has held policy positions at Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, and Canada Border Services Agency. More recently at Health Canada, Veronika supported the policy decisions on procurement and international/domestic manufacturing of PPE in Canada's management of the COVID-19 pandemic.