Co-Chairs of the Board

  • Jill Guthrie Board Member Photo

    Jill Guthrie

    Jill Guthrie, CPA, CA & SFU graduate, was an Owner/Partner of Renaissance Group Chartered Professional Accountants Ltd. and then moved to a part-time consulting position with the firm about five years ago.

    Jill worked in public practice advising mainly professional clients and smaller/medium owner managed businesses for about 30 years coordinating their financial reporting, tax and cash flow short-term and long-term planning throughout their lives.

    Jill was also a volunteer Council Member for The Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia and spent 7 years on their Practice Review and Licensing Committee.

    Having focused on starting and building a 25 person CPA firm and mentoring new CPA’s entering the profession, Jill is looking forward to the role of Treasurer at Seva Canada and helping the Society use their limited resources to achieve their mission.

  • Marty Spencer Seva Canada Board

    Marty Spencer, M.D.

    Martin (Marty) Spencer got his medical degree from the University of Chicago and his residency in Ophthalmology at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently in private practice in Nanaimo specializing in cataract and intraocular lens surgery.

    Marty has volunteered with Seva for many years in India, Nepal, Tibetan Areas of China, China, Madagascar, Malawi, Cambodia, and Guatemala. He has also designed several instruments for cataract surgery, as well as two intraocular lenses.

    He has published and lectured extensively on topics related to cataract surgery, particularly in low-income countries. Marty is the recipient of many awards including the Governor General's Sovereign Medal for Volunteers (2016), Lewis Perinbam Award in International Development (1997), the American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award (1999) and the Achievement Award of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (2004).

    Aside from his three daughters, Marty’s interests include photography, cinema, reading, ultimate frisbee, running, snowboarding and windsurfing.

Treasurer

  • Glen Leader, Seva Board Member Photo 2021

    Glen Leader

    Glen is a Senior Portfolio Manager with BMO Nesbitt Burns. He provides investment management to executives and business owners. He was inspired to become involved with Seva Canada by his cousin who had volunteered for years as an ophthalmologist.

    Glen was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa and moved to Vancouver as a child. He has been married to his wife Jackie since 2002 and together they are raising three young children.

Board members

  • Board Member Kanya Adam headshot

    Kanya Adam

    Kanya Adam teaches at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Political Science. Her work focuses on Transitional Justice and Peacemaking in Divided Societies. She completed her doctoral degree at St. Peter’s College, Oxford University and her B.A. In International Relations at the University of British Columbia. Her work has focused on The Politics of Redress, Human Rights and Comparative Truth Commissions.

    Her childhood and formative years were spent travelling and living in various divided societies: South Africa, Egypt, Germany and France.  Living and studying in South Africa in particular, witnessing the effects of apartheid laws on her mother’s family and the black community there, had a great impact and imparted in her a life-long desire to work in the field of human rights and social justice.

    She is the Past President and Chair of MOSAIC, a multilingual non-profit organization dedicated to addressing issues that affect immigrants and refugees in the course of their settlement and integration into Canadian society. 

    In her spare time she enjoys spending time on Pender Island in the garden and on the water with her two daughters and family.

  • Brigid Cakouros headshot - SC Board Member

    Brigid Cakouros

    Brigid Cakouros, DrPH, is a postdoctoral associate at Yale University working on the BRIDGE-U collaboration based at the University of Liberia College of Health Sciences (ULCHS). In this role, she supports the aim to strengthen the research capacity and utilization of ULCHS in addition to studying how equitable collaborations in global health can be better facilitated. Prior to Yale, Brigid was a postdoctoral fellow with the NIH as a Global Health Equity Scholar (GHES) based at the University of Cape Town studying health system resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In the last ten years of her career, Brigid has worked on projects ranging from optimizing vaccine cold chain logistics to retrospective studies on asbestos exposure. She seeks projects that allow her to learn how public health complexities play out in different settings and contexts, and she works best on interdisciplinary teams. Hence, Seva Canada’s priority of strong local collaboration with a wide range of expertise worldwide quickly drew her to the organization.

    Outside of public health, you can typically find Brigid actively doing, passively planning, or happily reminiscing about some sort of bicycle-related adventure. Ask her about cycling around Vietnam on beach cruisers!

  • Paul Courtright

    Paul Courtright is a Founder of the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO) and a professor at the University of Cape Town.

    Paul Courtright and his wife, Dr. Susan Lewallen, established the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology in Moshi, Tanzania in 2001 and lived there until 2012, spending the next 4 years in Cape Town, South Africa. He handed over the reins of KCCO to Dr. Robert Geneau in 2016.

    He started work in the eye care field in 1979 as a Peace Corps volunteer working with leprosy patients in South Korea. After completing his Masters (1984) and Doctorate (1988) he has worked in Egypt and Ethiopia (1 year each), Malawi (4 years), Tanzania (11 years) and South Africa (4 years).

    He and Susan moved to San Diego, into a life of semi-retirement (depends upon whom you talk to) in 2016. Currently, as a consultant, he is the Trachoma Technical Lead for Sightsavers' trachoma elimination programmes in 22 countries in Africa. Paul has published 282 scientific articles and book chapters. He is also the author of Witnessing Gwangju, a memoir of the May 18, 1980 uprising in South Korea that led to the democratization movement in that country.

    Paul (and Susan) were the recipients of the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Blindness Prevention Award (2008), the Premio Vision Mundi de Lucha Contra la Cuguera (2011), and the Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award (for KCCO in 2015).

    Paul and Susan have two sons, Jim  and Tom, both of whom have spent the last 5 years working in Africa or the South Pacific. Paul has been working with Seva Canada since the mid-1990s, at that time to design the Tibet Eye Care Assessment. He has been an avid fan of Seva Canada for many reasons, including the professional way in which Seva Canada approaches its engagement, the willingness to respond to needs identified in the field, and the willingness to invest in new ideas, new areas, and new people.

  • Maggie Edwards Headshot Seva Canada Board Member

    Maggie Edwards

    Maggie is Director of Human Resources at Harper Grey LLP. With over 20 years of experience in HR capacities in legal and other professional services environments dealing with various aspects of human resources and firm operations, Maggie currently focuses on strategic HR functions including creating and implementing policies and procedures, developing and implementing training and development, driving organizational efficiencies, change management, and fostering culture and leadership.

    Maggie completed the HR Management and Business Management programs at BCIT in 2009 and that year also received her CPHR (Chartered Professional in Human Resources) designation. She has been a member of CPHR of BC and Yukon since 2009 and has been an active member of the BCLMA HR subsection since 2010.

  • David Fine Board Member Headshot

    David Fine, M.D.

    David Fine is a comprehensive eye physician and surgeon who has been in private practice since 2003 serving the communities of Delta and North Vancouver.  

    After graduating from McGill in 1991, he  spent two years travelling and working abroad. He found that his travel experiences in some of the more remote parts of the world were the most inspiring and interesting, but also heartbreaking due to the poor health of the inhabitants of these areas. This led David to pursue a career in international health. He obtained a Masters of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and graduated from UBC medical school in 1998. It was during his Master's degree that he went to Aravind Eye Hospital to perform an epidemiologic study on ocular trauma. This experience encouraged David to become an ophthalmologist and he completed his residency in ophthalmology at UBC in 2003. 

    He provides outreach clinics to many northern communities in British Columbia that do not have a resident ophthalmologist and enjoys volunteering in other countries and providing training to many Seva-sponsored programs.

    In his spare time, he enjoys open water swimming, hiking with his sheepadoodle on the north shore, and spending time with his wife and two year old son.   

     

  • Sanil Joseph headshot - Board Member, LAICO, Aravind

    Sanil Joseph

    Sanil Joseph is a Senior Faculty & Hospital Management Consultant at the Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology (LAICO), Aravind Eye Care System in India. He has been with Aravind since March 2005. His major responsibilities include anchoring health services and epidemiological research initiatives, consultancy for capacity building of eye care institutions in India and other low-income countries, and designing and conducting management training programs for eye care personnel. Sanil has been involved in around 45 consultancy projects, half of which are with institutions outside of India. He has travelled to 17 countries on over 30 mentoring or training assignments. Training programs organized by his team have been attended by participants from over 40 countries.

    Sanil has been part of several Seva-Aravind initiatives since he joined LAICO. The projects include mentoring eye hospital teams and individual as well as group training. He has also been working closely with Seva team members in building the research capacity at Aravind.

    Sanil holds an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London (2013) and a Masters in Hospital Administration (MHA) from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India (2001). He is currently working on his PhD at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is the recipient of the prestigious International Masters Fellowship from The Wellcome Trust UK (2012-15) and the Melbourne Research Fellowship from The University of Melbourne Australia (2021-25). In 2012 he was recognized with the Outstanding Young Professional award by the Junior Chamber International - India.

    Sanil enjoys singing for music videos and live shows and composing songs. He also enjoys travelling and meeting people.

  • Neil Smith, Seva Canada Board Member

    Neil Smith

    During the past 25 years, Neil has followed his passion for working in organization development and leadership support initiatives, some of which have been in India, Vietnam, Nepal and Thailand.  

    Originally from Ontario before being lured west by the rivers and mountains, Neil holds a BA in political science from University of Toronto, MA in Experiential Curriculum from University of Northern Colorado, and a Ph.D. in Organization Change and Leadership from the University of Oregon.  

    Neil is now living in Lantzville on Vancouver Island with his wife Deidre, and balances outdoor pursuits with his consulting company Pacific Leadership Design, research in professional learning communities and teaching summer graduate studies in Organizational Change.