Sneak peak at our keynote speakers!

Keynote #1:  Angel Foster, PhD


Dr. Angel Foster is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences and held the 2011-2016 Endowed Chair in Women’s Health Research. A 1996 Rhodes Scholar from Oregon, she received her Doctor of Philosophy degree (DPhil) in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Oxford. Grounded in the fields of medical anthropology and public health, her doctoral and post-doctoral research focused on women’s comprehensive health care in Tunisia and involved more than two years of fieldwork. Dr. Foster also holds a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from Harvard Medical School and both a Master’s degree (AM) in international policy studies and a Bachelor’s degree (BAS) in international relations and biology from Stanford University.

Dr. Foster has led multi-methods research projects on women’s health in Canada, the DRC, Egypt, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Thailand, Tunisia, and the US. Prior to joining the University of Ottawa she was a Senior Associate at Ibis Reproductive Health where she directed a program of work dedicated to reproductive health issues in the Middle East and North Africa and conflict-affected settings. During her nearly nine years at Ibis her work included social science and health policy research on reproductive health, particularly emergency contraception and abortion, young women’s sexual behaviors and practices, and health professions education as well as the development of Arabic-language health education materials for both patients and health service providers. She continues to lead projects at Ibis as an Affiliated Scholar. She is also a Principal and Co-Founder of Cambridge Reproductive Health Consultants, a non-profit research organization dedicated to reproductive health, rights, and justice. Dr. Foster has authored more than 100 publications on reproductive health and co-edited two books, Emergency contraception: The story of a global reproductive health technology (Palgrave MacMillan 2012) and Abortion pills, test tube babies, and sex toys: Emerging sexual and reproductive technologies in the Middle East and North Africa (Vanderbilt University Press 2017.) Her next book, Abortion, politics, and the pill that promised the change everything: The global journey of mifepristone is scheduled for publication in 2018 (Palgrave Macmillan).

Dr. Foster is the Immediate Past Chair of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Section of the American Public Health Association and is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Abortion Federation. In 2015 she was honored with a Femmy Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to women’s rights and equality in Canada’s National Capital Region. In 2017 the Guttmacher Institute bestowed on her the Darroch Award for Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research and in 2018 she received the Leadership Awards for Excellence in Women’s and Children’s Health from CanWaCH.

University of Ottawa – Link to Bio

Keynote #2: Lieutenant Colonel Stéphane Grenier 


When it comes to mental health, Stéphane Grenier walks the talk.

He was appointed to the Order of Canada and awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Guelph and Humber College for his contributions to the field of workplace mental health.

Stéphane’s riveting keynotes are not only thought-provoking, but also lead to tangible action and sustainable change for those leaders who are prepared to rethink how they support their people.

His autobiography, After the War: Surviving PTSD and Changing Mental Health Culture, tells his story from the day he landed in the midst of the Rwandan genocide, through his journey of changing mental health culture in the Canadian military, developing national Guidelines for Peer Support with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, all the way to creating Mental Health Innovations (MHI); a consultancy that leads innovative and sustainable change in organizations to enhance the mental health of their people.

Today, he and his business partners develop non-clinical mental health interventions as a compliment to traditional clinical care for private and public sector organizations, as well as for provincial healthcare systems.

Stéphane’s vision is a world where people no longer face barriers to good mental health.

For a full biography and more information visit his website

Follow him on Twitter


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