STAFF


JULIA DEANS

FOUNDING CEO
Julia joined the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation in May 2018 with a track record of connecting people to opportunities that inspire growth, collaboration, and positive change.

Julia was previously CEO of Futurpreneur Canada, a non-profit organization that has helped more than 11,000 young people launch start-ups across Canada. Julia started her career as a lawyer with Torys LLP in Toronto and Hong Kong before creating a successful legal recruitment business in Singapore. She later become CEO of CivicAction and chaired the task force that developed Ontario’s first-ever immigration strategy. Read More...

SARAH CHENG

OFFICE MANAGER & EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
Sarah joined the team in September 2018, providing administrative support to the CEO and other tasks as required. As Executive Assistant and Office Manager, she assists in supporting the operations, governance, human resources, and finances of the organization. Prior to joining the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation, she worked at two other non-profit organizations. In addition, she worked at CIBC and Telus before entering the non-profit world. Originally from Hong Kong, Sarah was raised and completed her education in Quebec City and now calls Markham, Ontario home.

SHIRLEY CONNOR

DIRECTOR, HEALTH-BASED INITIATIVES
Shirley joined the Foundation from the senior management team of the Ontario College of Family Physicians where she led the Education and Practice Supports team. Before joining the College, she had a long career in communications, journalism and education. Shirley is a former kindergarten and elementary school teacher having taught in Iqaluit, Regina, Toronto and in rural Japan. Before becoming a teacher, she worked for CBC Radio in Yellowknife and later CBC Online in Toronto. Shirley developed a passion for reading while growing up in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia and looks back wistfully to the time when her own children were young enough to snuggle up and be read to.

THERESA DILLON

PROGRAM AND COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
Before joining the Foundation, Theresa spent more than 15 years as an editor and journalist. She was part of the founding editorial teams of two magazines and on the founding team of the Canadian Centre on Statelessness. She has an MSc, Human Rights, London School of Economics and a BA, International Development and English Literature, York University. Theresa spent many hours hidden away in the children’s section at the North York Public Library and still cherishes the first book she ever bought on her own — Black Beauty.

SANYA RAMNAUTH

RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Sanya is currently completing a Master of Public Policy at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy following a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from McGill University. Before joining the Foundation as a part-time Research Assistant, Sanya’s experience included working in public service, human rights NGOs, and international organizations. Growing up throughout the African continent, Sanya learned the important role that education and literacy play in sustainable economic development. When not buried under a pile of coursework, you can usually find her with her nose in a book.