Biographies of Board Members

Randy Boyagoda

Randy Boyagoda

Randy Boyagoda is the Principal and Vice-President of the University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, where he is Professor of English and holds the Basilian Chair in Christianity, Arts and Letters. Prior to taking on this position, he served as the Director of Zone Learning at Ryerson University and was the Chair of the English Department and professor of American Studies. His latest book, a biography of Catholic priest and neoconservative intellectual Richard John Neuhaus, was published earlier this year to wide critical acclaim. His latest novel, Beggar’s Feast, was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and nominated for the 2013 IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize. He has written for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, First Things, The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Paris Review, and Harper’s. He lives in Toronto with his wife and four daughters.

Sasha Chapman

Sasha Chapman

Sasha Chapman is a senior editor at The Walrus magazine and has been a columnist for the Globe and Mail, Report On Business magazine, and Toronto Life, where she was the food editor from 2000 to 2006. Her writing has also appeared in several anthologies. She has been a member of PEN Canada’s board since 2012.

Jim Creskey

Jim Creskey

Jim Creskey is the publisher and a co-founder of The Hill Times and senior editor and a columnist with a special interest in refugees for Embassy Magazine. His first published story was a satirical piece for The Caracas Daily Journal in 1968. Since then he has worked as a reporter, editor and publisher of several weekly and daily newspapers. He and his wife Anne, who is a potter, divide their time between Ottawa and Farrellton, Quebec. They have six children and nine grandchildren.

Suzanne DePoe

Suzanne DePoe

Suzanne DePoe is a literary, theatrical, and film and television agent, owner of her own independent agency – Creative Technique Inc. – representing producers, writers, directors and cinematographers in Canadian film and television, writers and directors in Canadian theatre and authors of non-fiction and fiction books. A member of the Talent Agents and Managers Association of Canada, Toronto Women in Film & Television, and Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, Ms. DePoe has had a hand in many seminal events in the development the theatrical and film and television industries in Canada over the last decades.

Janne Duncan

Janne Duncan is a partner in the Toronto office of Norton Rose Canada LLP. She is a securities lawyer focusing on global mining and is very involved in the developing area of corporate social responsibility. Between 2007 and 2009 she served as an adjunct professor teaching corporate governance at Queen’s Law School. She also serves on the board of directors of Necessary Angel Theatre Company and the advisory board of the Townships Project.

Nancy Jamieson

Nancy Jamieson is a leading public affairs consultant of long standing, providing public policy and strategic communications advice to leaders in both the political and business communities throughout Canada. She operates her own consulting enterprise, first established in the 1990s and offers communications, branding and policy counsel to a wide range of private sector clients. She is also involved in many philanthropic and volunteer activities, including initiatives to support parliamentary internships for young Canadian students, refugee resettlement and childhood literacy. She has served on a number of boards, including Telefilm Canada. Ms. Jamieson holds a Masters’ Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.

Emily Keeler

Emily Keeler

Emily M. Keeler is a writer, editor and the founder of Little Brother, a National Magazine Award-winning print publication of fiction and essays. From 2014 to early 2016 she served as books editor at the National Post. She was also a “day one” contributing editor to Hazlitt, a senior editor at the Walrus, a fiction editor at Joyland, and books editor at the New Inquiry. Emily has written for the Globe and MailToronto Life, Maisonneuve, the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Los Angeles Times. She frequently appears as a guest on CBC Radio’s q, and hosts literary events for organizations such as the International Festival of Authors and the Toronto Public Library’s Appel Salon.

Vincent Lam

Vincent Lam

Dr. Vincent Lam is an emergency physician in Toronto and a Lecturer at the University of Toronto. He has also worked in international air evacuation and expedition medicine on Arctic and Antarctic ships. Dr. Lam’s first book, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, won the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was adapted for television and broadcast on HBO Canada. The Headmaster’s Wager, Dr. Lam’s first novel, about a Chinese compulsive gambler and headmaster of an English school in Saigon during the Vietnam War, was a finalist for the 2012 Governor General’s Prize.

J. Lanthier

Jennifer Lanthier

Jennifer Lanthier is the author of the award-winning picture book, The Stamp Collector, published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside in 2012. A former newspaper and wire service reporter, Lanthier also served as a communications strategist and speech writer in the Office of the Premier of Ontario. She is the author of two children’s novels published by Harper Collins Canada and a picture book to be published by Penguin Canada in 2015. Lanthier works at the University of Toronto where she serves as Editor of news.utoronto.ca.

George Melnyk

George Melnyk

George Melnyk is a retired academic. He is the editor or author of 25 nonfiction books on Canadian topics, including cinema and Alberta literature. He has also been an essayist and poet. As a former book and magazine publisher and editor (Newest) he has been a strong defender of freedom of expression going back to the 1970s when he defended the revolutionary book The Joy of Sex on broadcast television. George believes that PEN is a fundamental organization for the defense of writers and writing.

Elise Moser

Elise Moser

Elise Moser is a writer, editor, anthologist, and book reviewer. Her YA novel, Lily and Taylor, appeared from Groundwood and was named to the Best Fiction for Young Adults 2014 list by the ALA. Her most recent book, What Milly Did, is also from Groundwood. For kids 8-12, it tells the amazing true story of the Wisconsin woman who invented plastics recycling.

Marina Nemat

Marina Nemat

Marina Nemat is the author of two memoirs centred on her experiences as a political prisoner in Iran. Arrested at the age of sixteen, Marina spent over two years in Evin Prison where she was tortured and almost executed. She came to Canada in 1991, and in 2007 her bestselling memoir Prisoner of Tehran was published by Penguin Random House Canada. Marina is the recipient of the European Parliament’s inaugural Human Dignity Award, the Grinzane Prize, and UN Watch’s Morris Abram Human Rights Award. In 2008/2009 she was an Aurea Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College, where she wrote After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed. Marina regularly speaks at high schools, universities and conferences, and advocates for political prisoners through her work with the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture and the Norwegian charity Vigdis. She currently teaches memoir writing at the University of Toronto’s School for Continuing Studies.

Carolyn Poirier

Carolyn Poirier

Carolyn Poirier is the Finance Manager for the Canadian headquarters of Arup, an international engineering consulting firm based out of London, UK. She received her professional designation as a Chartered Accountant in 2009 after working in audit in the Retail, Manufacturing, and Distribution group at Ernst & Young LLP for three years. She graduated with honours from McMaster University with a degree in Commerce, specializing in accounting, and a minor in Economics.

Russell Wangersky

Russell Wangersky

Russell Wangersky is a writer, editor, and columnist from St. John’s, Newfoundland. A five-time finalist for Canada’s National Newspaper Awards (winning for editorials in 2002 and 2011), he works at the St. John’s Telegram as the news editor. His six books include Burning Down the House: Fighting Fires and Losing Myself, a memoir of his eight years as a volunteer firefighter that examines the personal toll of firefighting and accident rescue, a novel, The Glass Harmonica, and two short story collections. His short story collection, Whirl Away, was a finalist for the 2012 Scotiabank/Giller Prize. His first short story collection, The Hour of Bad Decisions, was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Prize and was also long-listed for the Scotiabank/Giller Prize. A new novel, Walt, has just been released.

Paul Seesequasis

Paul Seesequasis is a writer, editor, cultural activist and journalist. He was a founding editor of the award-winning Aboriginal Voices magazine, and the recipient of a MacLean-Hunter journalist award. His novel, Tobacco Wars, was published by Quattro Books and his latest book, a collaboration with Mayan artist, Jesu Mora, pop wuj: An Illustrated Narrative of the Mayan Sacred Book, will be launched in Mexico City in 2015. He is currently editor-in-chief at Theytus Books and residing in the Okanagan.

Richard Stursberg

Richard Stursberg is a Canadian Media Executive. He has been head of all English services at the CBC, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada, Chairman of the Canadian Television Fund, President of Starchoice and Cancom (now Shaw Direct), President of the Canadian Cable Television Association and Assistant Deputy Minister of Culture and Broadcasting for the Government of Canada. He is currently President of Aljess, a boutique consulting firm. He is the author of The Tower of Babble (2012), named one of the best books of the year by the Globe and Mail.

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