Board of Directors


The Board of Directors oversees the activities of the CCAC. Each director holds office for a term of three years except for the Chair and Vice-Chair who serve two consecutive two-year terms as Vice-Chair and then Chair.


Dr. Christopher R.J. Kennedy, Chair

Doctor Eileen Denovan-Wright

Dr. Christopher Kennedy is a senior scientist within the Chronic Disease Program and the Kidney Research Centre at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and a full professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine's Department of Medicine. His research program is a productive training environment for undergraduates, graduates, and postgraduates and is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFOC), and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). He is also Director of Awards and Prizes for Excellence in Education and Research at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Kennedy has served as chair and scientific officer of the CIHR Hematology Digestive Diseases and Kidney open operating grant peer review committee and is the chair of the CIHR's Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes advisory board. He served as the CCAC representative for the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) from 2015 until his nomination to the CCAC Board of Directors in 2017, and is the chair of the Board, presently. For more than 10 years, he has served on the University of Ottawa's animal care committee. He is also chair of the KFOC's Biomedical Research Grants Committee and a member of the CIHR College of Reviewers.

Additional CCAC Involvement
Chair, Governance and Nominations Committee (2018-2019)
Member, Finance Committee (2018-present)
Member, Standards Committee (2016-2017)

Dr. Michael Czubryt, Vice-Chair

Doctor Michael Czubryt

Dr. Michael Czubryt is a principal investigator at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, professor in the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, and Associate Dean (Health Sciences) in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Manitoba. His research program focuses on the underlying mechanisms of gene regulation in heart failure, with a focus on cardiac fibrosis, and the translation of these discoveries to novel therapeutic interventions in the clinic. He has published over 60 research articles and chapters, and his work has been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

Dr. Czubryt has an extensive record of service in the animal ethics community at the local, national, and international level, including seven years on animal protocol review committees, and eight years on the University of Manitoba Committee on Animal Care. He has served as a reviewer, scientific officer, and chair for numerous peer review committees, and has held leadership roles in professional organizations such as the American Physiological Society and the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences. Dr. Czubryt also maintains an active training program that encompasses high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, with more than 40 trainees mentored to date.

Additional CCAC Involvement
Chair, Governance and Nominations Committee (2019-present)
Member, Governance and Nominations Committee (2018-2019)

Ms. Catherine Rushton, Treasurer

Ms. Catherine Rushton

Ms. Catherine Rushton has a CPA, CA and an MBA from the University of Manitoba, as well as an Honours BA from the University of Toronto. She has over 35 years of progressive experience as a senior financial executive in the post-secondary and not-for-profit sector.

Ms. Rushton was the Senior Vice President, Corporate Services, and Chief Financial Officer at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario. She also spent 16 years as the Vice President, Finance and Administration, at Red River College in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This period included eight months as Interim President. Her other employers have included the Manitoba Centennial Centre Corporation, the Ontario SPCA, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (ICAO).

Ms. Rushton is an active volunteer and is Chair of the United Way of Hastings & Prince Edward County. Past volunteer experience includes the United Way of Winnipeg, and serving as a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Animal Blood Bank in Winnipeg. She was awarded a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Manitoba (FCPA).

Additional CCAC Involvement
Chair, Finance Committee (2018-present)

Dr. Denna M. Benn

Doctor Denna M. Benn

Dr. Denna M. Benn received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College and subsequently obtained her Diploma in Small Animal Medicine and her Masters of Science degree at the University of Guelph. Dr. Benn's career has focused on the use of animals in research and teaching, serving as the clinical veterinarian and director of animal care services at the University of Guelph for over 31 years. She currently works as the chief veterinary inspector of the Animals for Research Act in the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Dr. Benn has been involved in professional and community-based organizations, including: the Canadian Association for Laboratory Animal Science; the Canadian Association for Laboratory Animal Medicine; the Association for Assessment and Accreditation for Laboratory Animal Care (currently an ad hoc consultant); the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science, and the Guelph Humane Society.

Additional CCAC Involvement
Member, Categories of Invasiveness Subcommittee (2018-present)
Member, Public Affairs and Communications Committee (2013-present)
Chair, Planning and Finance Committee (2012-2013)
Member, Planning and Finance Committee (2011-2012)

Dr. Shannon M. Digweed

Dr. Shannon M. Digweed

Dr. Shannon M. Digweed has been a faculty member at MacEwan University for the past 11 years. As an Associate Professor in the departments of both Psychology and Biological Science, she is involved in teaching related to both introductory Psychology, advanced animal related Psychology (Comparative Cognition) and Biology (Animal Behaviour).

Dr. Digweed has a strong research program exploring communication and cognition in small mammals, with specific emphasis on behavioural questions related to an animals’ ability to communicate and engage with others cognitively. Her research predominantly focuses on field work in three main species; North American red squirrels, Eurasian red squirrels, and American pika.

During her time at MacEwan University Dr. Digweed has engaged in a great deal of service and committee related work. For example, she served on the MacEwan University animal care committee (Animal Research Ethics Board – AREB) as both an animal user member (three years) and as the Chair of the AREB (two years). Thus, her experience in the area of animal ethics, the protocols, and relationships with investigators is extensive. Dr. Digweed has also served as Vice President on the MacEwan University Faculty Association Board, as faculty representative on the MacEwan University Board of Governors, and Treasurer of the MacEwan University Faculty Association. Outside of the university community Dr. Digweed is also engaged in animal ethics a longstanding member of the Edmonton Valley Zoo Ethics Committee.

Mr. Shawn Eccles

Mister Shawn Eccles

Mr. Shawn Eccles has dedicated his career to ensuring the welfare of animals throughout Canada. Having worked with the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BCSPCA) for 40 years, he is currently the senior manager of cruelty investigation for the organization, and manager of the Cruelty Investigations Department.

In addition to his ongoing work at the BCSPCA, Mr. Eccles has served as a community member on the University of British Columbia's animal care committee from 2005-2011. He has also been a member on CCAC's assessment panels since 2003, and was the representative for one of CCAC's member organizations, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, from 2011-2014.

A tireless advocate for animal welfare, Mr. Eccles has received the BCSPCA Stu Rammage Award twice, and was the recipient of the BCSPCA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Additional CCAC Involvement
Member, Governance and Nominations Committee (2015-present)
Member, Assessment and Certification Committee (2010-2018)

Dr. Alain Giguère

Doctor Alain Giguère

Dr. Alain Giguère has a PhD in biochemistry from the Université de Sherbrooke. Prior to joining Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), he conducted research in a variety of areas, including endocrinology, physiology, electrophysiology, and molecular biology. His research has focused on swine production and vitamin use in swine production, as well as the role of fatty acids and antioxidants in animal health and meat quality.

Since 2006, Dr. Giguère has held various management positions at AAFC, where he has been responsible for managing and providing scientific direction mainly to research centres in Sherbrooke, and to a lesser extent in Saskatoon, Swift Current, Guelph, Québec City, Saint-Hyacinthe, and Saint Jean-sur-Richelieu. Research in these centres focuses on dairy cattle, hogs, oilseeds, dryland agriculture on the Canadian Prairies, food processing, safety, and horticulture.

As Chair of AAFC's National Committee on Safety and Security of Animals, Dr. Giguère is involved in implementing the program by providing the directors of other research centres with advice and recommendations concerning the state of scientific knowledge required for implementing animal care programs.

Dr. David Hanwell

Doctor David Hanwell

Dr. David Hanwell has worked as a laboratory animal veterinarian in various capacities within the industry, hospital, and academic sectors. He is currently the University of Toronto's University Regulatory Veterinarian. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the animal ethics and care program at the University, ensuring that appropriate regulatory standards are maintained in research, ranging from biomedical research, basic biology to fieldwork.

Previously, Dr. Hanwell was a clinical veterinarian at the University Health Network (UHN) where he provided clinical and surgical support for research involving a range of species. Prior to joining UHN, he worked at Sanofi Pasteur in its divisions of Research and then Quality Control.

Dr. Hanwell completed both a BSc (University of Guelph) and an MSc (University of Toronto) in Biochemistry, followed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the Ontario Veterinary College. After a stint in private practice, he returned to the University of Guelph where he earned a Doctorate in Veterinary Sciences in Laboratory Animal Science. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, the current Chair of the CCAC subcommittee on endpoints, and has several publications relating to animal use in science.

Additional CCAC Involvement
Member, Assessment and Certification Committee (2019-present)

Dr. Ovidiu Jumanca

Doctor Ovidiu Jumanca

Dr. Ovidiu Jumanca is the Director of Animal facilities and Animal Health Department at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute – Institut de recherches cliniques de montreal (IRCM) since 2009. After completing his doctorate in veterinary medicine at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Romania, he worked as a veterinarian and pathologist associated with the Romanian National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Agency( ANSVSA) from 1996 to 2003.

In 2006, he completed a degree in veterinary medicine at the Université de Montréal (St-Hyacinthe). Thereafter, Dr. Jumanca worked as the Head of Veterinary services ― Clinical Veterinarian (2006 to 2009) in a Clinical Research Organization, in Montreal, Canada. In 2007, Dr. Jumanca completed a certificate in laboratory animal medicine (CERT.LAM) at the University of Guelph. Since 2012, Ovidiu Jumanca has completed the first two components of the MBA Essential Program at HEC Montréal - École des dirigeants as well as numerous training and coursed in executive management.

Ovidiu Jumanca is member of several professional and executive organizations (Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec, Association canadienne pour la science des animaux de laboratoire, European Society of Laboratory Animal Veterinarians). A keen advocate of the animal welfare, in addition to his involvement in CCAC activities, he is the author of several scientific communications and courses and an invited teacher in postgraduate education at the University of Montreal.

Ms. Adriane Porcin

Ms. Adriane Porcin

Ms. Adriane Porcin holds a Licence and Master degree in business taxation from the Université Aix-Marseille Faculty of Law, and a Master in economic law and business relationships from the Université de Perpignan Faculty of Law.

She currently is a member of the Copyright Board of Canada and teaches in the common law program at Université de Sherbrooke. Before her appointment to the Board, Ms. Porcin was an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law (2014-2019), and a lecturer at the John Molson School of Business (2012-2014). Ms. Porcin's past board experience include the St. Boniface Museum (2015-2018) and Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers (2015-2018).

Additional CCAC Involvement
Member, Governance and Nominations Committee (2018-present)
Member, Assessment and Certification Committee (2018-2019)

Dr. Jeffrey Richards

Doctor Jeffrey Richards

Dr. Jeffrey Richards is a Professor in the Department of Zoology at The University of British Columbia (UBC). His research program aims to understand how organisms respond to environmental change. In particular, Dr. Richards is interested in the evolution of low oxygen tolerance in diverse organisms and the biochemical and physiological mechanisms that allow some organisms to maintain function under low oxygen conditions. His research involves both laboratory and field studies, and he addresses his research questions using a variety of non-traditional animal models including fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals. Dr. Richards has published over 100 peer-reviewed research articles, books, and book chapters and he has received numerous awards for his research and service.

Since 2017, Dr. Richards has served as Chair of the UBC Animal Care Committee (ACC), which oversees the largest animal care and use program in western Canada and second largest in Canada. As chair of the UBC ACC, Dr. Richards worked to provide effective ethical oversight of animal-based research, improve transparency around animal research, develop ACC policies, modernized pedagogical-merit review, and engage with community stakeholders. Dr. Richards was also the founding director of InSEAS, which is a state-of-the art aquatic animal research facility at UBC. Dr. Richards has served in leadership roles in the broader scientific community through his involvement in national and international societies and as a member of the editorial board for numerous journals including the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Secretary, non-voting

Mr. Pierre Verreault, Executive Director

Mr. Pierre Verreault

Mr. Verreault joined the CCAC as Executive Director in 2017. With a strong background in standards and policy development, he is committed to fulfilling the CCAC's strategic goals and objectives and ensuring the long-term stability and viability of the organization.

He has nearly 20 years of experience in managing national, member-based organizations. Prior to joining the CCAC, Mr. Verreault worked for a non-profit association of food producers, developing policies and strategies to support the industry and its workforce, and spearheading the development of a professional standards and certification system. He was also responsible for reorganizing the national office and developing a new funding strategy. Mr. Verreault also worked as a management consultant for small and medium firms, and has served on the board of directors of multiple national and international organizations.

Mr. Verreault holds a Master in European Affairs, European Commercial Law and Business Administration degree from Lund University, Sweden, and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations degree from the Université Laval, Québec.