Revitalization on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation

News Release

GATINEAU, June 27, 2017

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced the appointment of Dr. Lilian Ma as the new executive director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) for a three-year term effective August 1, 2017. Dr. Ma’s knowledge and extensive experience will allow her to lead the day-to-day operations of the Foundation. She is a former commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and a former member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Dr. Ma was also national president of the Chinese Canadian National Council and a former board director of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council.

In addition, the Governor in Council approved the appointments of six other board members:

Alicia Damley (Ontario) – Appointment, 4 years

Ashraf Ghanem (New Brunswick) – Reappointment, 1 year (1 year)

Emilie Nicolas (Quebec) – Appointment, 3 years

Roy Pogorzelski (Alberta) – Appointment, 4 years

Rajesh Uttamchandani (Ontario) – Appointment, 4 years

Gina Valle (Ontario) – Appointment, 4 years

These appointments are the result of the Government of Canada’s open, transparent and merit-based selection process.

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation is Canada’s leading agency dedicated to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society. It strives to coordinate and cooperate with all sectors of society, and develop partnerships with relevant agencies and organizations at the local, provincial and Canada-wide levels.


“The Canadian Race Relations Foundation’s mandate is to nurture an inclusive society that is based on equity, social harmony, mutual respect and human dignity. Our government trusts that as members of the Foundation’s board, the new appointees will play pivotal roles in informing our policies and contributing to the public discussion. Their work will continue to support the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canada.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick Facts

  • The executive director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, who is appointed by the Governor in Council, is also the Foundation’s chief executive officer and an ex-officio non-voting member of the Board of Directors.

  • In 2016, the Government of Canada adopted a new approach to appointments by the Governor in Council. This approach respects gender parity and is supported by an open, transparent and merit-based selection process—one that will result in the recommendation of exceptionally competent candidates who truly reflect Canada’s diversity.

  • All appointment opportunities for the 18 organizations in the Canadian Heritage Portfolio are being posted as they become available on the Governor in Council Appointments website. Interested parties can apply online.

  • The purpose of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation is defined by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Act.

Associated Links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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