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Role of the Board of Directors

Directors of The Foundation have responsibilities akin to those of corporate directors and expectations concerning due diligence, standard of care and conflict of interest parallel to those of other boards. The Board is responsible for the entity as a whole, its image, its finances, its property and its future. Overall strategic direction is provided through the Board to the Management Committee responsible for Foundation operations. Directors are volunteers and do not receive compensation. Professor Bonnie Patterson is currently Board chair.

Board of Directors

Roberta Bondar, C.C. O.Ont. MD PhD FRCP FRSC FRCGS ICD.D

Headshot of Roberta Bondar

January 2022 marked the 30th anniversary of Dr. Roberta Bondar’s space journey aboard Discovery as the first female Canadian Astronaut and the world’s first neurologist in space. Dr. Bondar is globally recognized for her pioneering contributions to space medicine research, fine art photography and environment education. Aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-42 in 1992, she conducted experiments for 18 countries in the first International Microgravity Laboratory, a precursor to the International Space Station.

For over a decade after her spaceflight, she headed an international research team working with NASA on neurological symptoms seen after spaceflight, and their connections to neurological diseases on Earth.

Trained as a member of NASA’s Earth Observation Team, Dr. Bondar expanded her professional photographic expertise as an honors student in Professional Nature Photography. Her fine art photographic works are held in private, corporate and institutional collections in Canada, the U.S. and England. She is the author of several best-selling books featuring her writing and photography.

Dr. Bondar continues to use fine art photography to explore and reveal Earth’s natural environment from the surface and above, seeing the world through the creative lenses of medical doctor, scientist, photographer, astronaut and writer. She co-founded the Roberta Bondar Foundation to encourage engagement in and respect for the natural world, through art and science. 

Dr. Bondar’s distinctions are diverse and include: Companion of the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, the NASA Space Medal, induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and into the International Women’s Forum’s Hall of Fame, many honorary doctorates from Canadian and American Universities, Chancellor of Trent University 2003-2009, a Specially Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and her own star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.

The Hon. Patricia Bovey, LL.D, FRSA, FCMA

Patricia Bovey, member of the Senate of Canada (2016-2023) and the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Director Emerita, is a Winnipeg-based art historian, museologist, author and professor. She has published extensively on western Canadian art, including Western Voices in Canadian Art, (2023); Pat Martin Bates: Balancing on a Tread, a 2015 Alberta Book Awards’ recipient; and Don Proch: Masking and Mapping, a 2019 Manitoba Book Awards’ finalist.

Director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1999-2004); the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1980-1999);  and founding Director/Curator of St Boniface Hospital’s Buhler Gallery, (2007-2016), she also taught Canadian Art,

Curatorial Practice, Cultural Resource Management, and the University of Winnipeg’s MA Curatorial Practicum. Director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1999-2004); the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1980-1999);  and founding Director/Curator of St Boniface Hospital’s Buhler Gallery, (2007-2016), she also taught Canadian Art, Curatorial Practice, Cultural Resource Management, and the University of Winnipeg’s MA Curatorial Practicum. An independent consultant, she assisted arts organizations across Canada with governance, funding and strategic planning. In the Senate she gave voice to the importance of the arts with special Senate exhibitions, programs, reports, and legislation unanimously passed by the Chamber.

Former Chair of the Board of Governors of both the University of Manitoba and Emily Carr University, she served on the National Gallery of Canada’s Board of Trustees; the Board of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Withrow/Richard Federal Task Force on National and Regional Museums; the Eckhardt-Gramatté Foundation Board; and is a past chair of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization.

She received a University of Manitoba Honorary Doctor of Laws in 2021, and is a Fellow of both the UK’s Royal Society for the Arts, and the Canadian Museums Association. Her honours include the Canada 125 Medal; the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal; Winnipeg’s Woman of Distinction for the Arts; the Canadian Museums Association Award of Distinguished Service; the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Medal; the Association of Manitoba Museums’ Inaugural Award of Merit; and the Winnipeg Arts Council Making a Difference Award.

She is a member of Ghana’s Pan African Heritage Museum’s International Curatorial Council and is their recently appointed Special Museum Ambassador. She continues her art history writing, her work on international fraud against Canadian and Indigenous artists, and, with international organizations, creative initiatives on climate change strategies.

Samuel Elfassy

Samuel Elfassy is a distinguished leader celebrated for his exceptional contributions to the aviation industry and beyond. Recently retired from the executive team at Air Canada, he leaves behind a remarkable legacy of transformative leadership, safety expertise, and environmental stewardship.

With over three decades of experience, Samuel’s illustrious career has left an indelible mark on aviation safety, security, and environmental practices. As the Vice President of Safety, he held overall responsibility for safety, security, environment, and risk management company-wide. His visionary leadership extended to overseeing Air Canada’s significant global environmental initiatives, ensuring a sustainable future for the aviation industry.

Beyond the skies, Samuel’s influence reached the healthcare realm through his instrumental role in the early development of the OR Black Box®, a technology that equips healthcare systems with data and analytics to enhance the quality of care in operating rooms.

A dedicated advocate for healthcare and community welfare, Samuel’s service as Chair of the North York General Hospital Board from 2018 to 2021, during the challenging times of the pandemic, showcased his unwavering commitment to patient care and community well-being. Leading with compassion and foresight, he navigated the hospital through unprecedented circumstances, ensuring the delivery of quality healthcare services amidst uncertainty.

In 2022, Samuel’s leadership and unwavering dedication to safety earned him a prestigious place in the OHS Canada Hall of Fame, a testament to his significant impact on the aviation industry and his commitment to fostering effective safety cultures.

Joan Hamilton, BA BEd

Headshot of Joan Hamilton

Joan Hamilton is an experienced teacher and educational leader having served more than 30 years as an educator in Ontario. Her experience includes 15 years as an accomplished administrator in the Peel District School Board. A recently retired principal of the Roberta Bondar Public School in Brampton, Ontario, she was principal at the school from day one when it opened its doors in August 2005. Joan was the principal behind Peel District School Board’s first year-round Kindergarten to Grade 8 school, launching the largest implementation in Canada of year-round schooling. In this successful innovation, instead of one long break in the summer, the five week earlier start was spread out over the school year one month’s summer vacation was taken, along with a two week holiday in October, an additional

week in the December holiday break period, and additional weeks added to each of the Family Day weekend in February and March Break. Among other innovations, while principal, her school was first to pilot the successful school-based Bondar Challenge for The Roberta Bondar Foundation.

In addition to receiving the Education Champion Award in the Peel District in 2006, Joan Hamilton has also received other local awards. Among them are The Woman in Action Award, from the Punjabi Community Health Service and The Women of Achievement Award from Zonta Club of Brampton-Caledon. In 2013 she was selected as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals in a national program sponsored by The Learning Partnership. It is noteworthy that principals for this award are nominated by school staff, students and peers, a testament to the high regard within which she is held by her entire school community. Winners were selected on the basis of student mentoring, creating safe and supportive learning environments, promoting community engagement and supporting innovative visions. As one of 51 outstanding educators from across Canada, Hamilton participated in an executive leadership training program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. She continues to mentor new principals on a part-time basis for the Peel District School Board.

Joan is a graduate of Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, ON and the University of Toronto.

Anthony Keating, MBA CFRE

Headshot of Anthony Keating

Anthony Keating is an award-winning Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) who has served in fundraising leadership roles over the past 14 years with Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Kids Help Phone, Seneca College and the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Most recently, he served as Campaign Director, Major Gifts, at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation in Toronto where he successfully co-led a $50 million research campaign to completion a year ahead of schedule, and was also responsible for raising millions of dollars for Malignant Hematology priorities.  In 2010, he received the “New to Fundraising Professional of the Year” award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). In 2019 he was recognized by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy in

their 40 under 40 program, designed to recognize future leaders in the community. Anthony is an active community member who has volunteered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. John’s, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation, and is currently a Director with the Roberta Bondar Foundation.

Anthony is President & CDO of Foundations and Volunteer Groups at Health Sciences North. In his role he oversees the Northern Cancer Foundation, Health Sciences North Foundation, NEO Kids Foundation, Health Sciences North Volunteer Services and Health Sciences North Volunteer Association. He also serves on the senior leadership teams of Health Sciences North and Health Sciences North Research Institute, ensuring a strong alignment with health care needs in Northeastern Ontario.

Elaine M. Paterson, BHSc

Headshot of Elaine Paterson

Elaine Paterson exemplifies volunteerism.

She began her career through volunteer work with her church, her children’s schools and neighbourhood groups. Today, she holds senior-level volunteer positions with the Girl Guides and The North York General Hospital Foundation. At the heart of her rise to these top-post positions and her distinguished history of volunteerism is her tireless drive to make a difference.

Ms. Paterson’s commitment to Girl Guides was formed in her youth as a member of the movement she would ultimately come to lead. Her volunteer career with Girl Guides has spanned over 33 years, and numerous roles, leading up to distinction as Chief Commissioner, Girl Guides of Canada, its most senior position (1997-2000).

Her many responsibilities with Girl Guides have taken her across Canada and around the globe. She is currently a member of the board of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and is also Chair of its Fund Development Committee.

She is the recipient of the Gold Maple Leaf, awarded by the Girl Guides for exceptional service. She has also been awarded the Queen’s Jubilee medal for her outstanding and exemplary service.

Ms. Paterson has been a member of The North York General Hospital Foundation Board of Governors since 2001, and was elected Chair in 2009. With its focus on fundraising activities, the Foundation’s mission is to help facilitate the delivery of the best possible health care to the community.

The Roberta Bondar Foundation is honoured by this highly accomplished and dedicated woman’s membership on its Board of Directors.

Bonnie M. Patterson, C.M. O.Ont. MLS LLD ICD.D CPC

Headshot of Bonnie Patterson

Bonnie Patterson is a Consultant and Executive Coach in Higher Education Leadership & Governance and Professor Emeritus, Business, Trent University. She’s the Past President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities, served as President & Vice Chancellor of Trent University from 1998 to 2009. She also held a Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Academic Leadership at Toronto Metropolitan University. She has received highest honours for her exceptional leadership in the postsecondary community. Her business acumen and problem solving skills have benefited organizations in developing public private partnerships in a number of areas. The Roberta Bondar Foundation welcomes the depth that her multi-faceted professional attributes add to its Board.

She also served earlier in her career as Dean of Business at Toronto Metropolitan University, chaired and taught at its School of Administration and Information Management and began her academic career at Western University of Ontario.

Professor Patterson serves on the Board of Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation, serves as a member of its Investment Committee and chairs its Governance & Human Resources Committee. She is a past as Board member at Metrolinx (a transit and transportation Agency of the Government of Ontario); was a Trustee of the Canadian Associates of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (CABIOS); and a Founding Board Member of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and a Founding member of Board of International Institute for Environmental Studies, a collaboration between Trent University/Nanjing University and 12 global university partners.

While Trent President, Patterson served as one of four Canadian university presidents on the Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and served on their Audit & Risk Committee. She has served as Chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; as a director on the board of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre for nine years, including two as its Chair and four as Chair of its finance committee; and on the Advisory Board of the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation.

In addition, Patterson participated in a number of provincial advisory committees in Ontario including the Biotechnology Commercialization Centre Fund; Health Industries Advisory Committee; and the Centres of Excellence, Ontario Technology Fund. She currently sits as a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Post Secondary Education
Financial Sustainability.

In 2006, she was recognized by the Women’s Executive Network with a Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada award in the Trailblazers and Trendsetters category. In 2010 Prof. Patterson was appointed to the Order of Ontario and as a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions as a leader in postsecondary education. She holds several honorary doctorates from Ontario universities.

Ingrid Perry

Headshot of Ingrid Perry

Throughout her distinguished 40-year career, Ingrid’s achievements in the philanthropic sector are considerable, facilitating over $450 million in donations primarily for health care causes. Highlights include founding the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation; campaigns for the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, Art Gallery of Ontario, St. Michael’s Hospital, Bridgepoint Health, Women’s College Hospital; and exceeding the Stand By Me campaign goal for North York General Hospital Foundation which was completed during the 2003 SARS outbreak.

Ingrid Perry joined Mackenzie Health Foundation as President and CEO in May 2013 and retired in June 2019. She brought impressive fundraising experience

and campaign leadership skills. As President and CEO of Mackenzie Health Foundation, Ingrid led the $250-million Exceptional Care Belongs Here campaign, the largest fundraising drive by a community hospital in Canada, to build and equip Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital – Canada’s first ‘smart’ hospital – and enhance care at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital. During her tenure over $165 million was raised for Mackenzie Health.Ingrid has served in leadership roles on a number of boards including the Toronto Cricket Curling and Skating Club and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. She is currently a member of the board of the Roberta Bondar Foundation.

Ingrid is a member of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) and is proudly one of the founding members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She serves as a member of the faculty of AHP’s Madison Institute and is a frequent speaker at numerous national and international industry conferences on fundraising, governance and non profit management. Ingrid was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater Toronto Chapter.

Betty I. Roots, BSc PhD DSc FRSC


Headshot of Betty Roots

Founding Director Dr. Betty Roots brought an invaluable combination of academic leadership in the ­sciences and award-winning photographic talent to her dual roles as a director of The Foundation and a judge of the Bondar Challenge. She was Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto where formerly she was Associate Dean (Sciences) at Erindale College and subsequently Chair of the Department of Zoology.

A distinguished scientist, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1989, and made a Life Member in 2014.

She was awarded both the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to scholarship and the arts in Canada.

A keen photographer, Dr. Roots was twice a President of the Toronto Camera Club and was an accredited judge of the Greater Toronto Council of Camera Clubs. She received several awards for her photographs including a Silver Medal from the ­Photographic Society of America.

Some of her photographs appear in Special Places: The Changing Ecosystems of the Toronto Region, published to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Royal ­Canadian Institute in 1999. This book, of which she was Editor-in-Chief, was short-listed for the Toronto Book award in 2000.

After retirement, Dr. Roots taught an inter-university field course, Photography for Ecologists for several years with a colleague, Ellie Larsen. She and Prof. Larsen are authors of, and took all of the photographs for, Flower Guide for Holiday Weekends in Eastern Canada and Northeastern U.S.A., published in 2005 in both English and French editions.

Whenever possible, Dr. Roots combined photography with another interest, world travel.

Communications & Media Advisors

Marilyn Burns – Vice President, Communications and Enrolment, Trent University

Lynn Harvey – TV Producer & Owner, Enter the Picture Productions

Wendy McCann – Communications and Public Affairs Consultant, Journalist & Owner, Wendy McCann Consulting