A warm welcome to our Interim Executive Director!

Thursday, September 29, 2022 - 17:13

Time certainly does fly when you’re having fun… and growing a new life! This week, I officially kick-off a year of maternity leave, returning in October 2023. While transitions always come with mixed emotions, I couldn’t be happier to leave the E4D team and community in the capable hands of Dr. Vanessa Sung.

A scientist by training, Vanessa brings with her a wealth of knowledge and 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, where she 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 partnership 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 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.

Vanessa’s experience will undoubtedly bring new perspectives to so much of what we do at E4D, from transparency to scientific integrity and everything in between. Most of all, she will do great things at E4D because she is someone who wants to make a difference and has the skills and passion to do so. 

Please join me in welcoming Vanessa to the E4D community. You will hear directly from Vanessa very soon, but in the meantime, feel free to reach out and say hello at vanessa@evidencefordemocracy.ca

And thanks to all of you for supporting me in my first 18 months with E4D. I can’t wait to see what we do next to put evidence at the heart of public policy in Canada. 

See you next year,


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.