Meet the Team
Sonia Théroux (Pronouns: she/her)
Sonia is a campaigns and communications specialist, passionate about organizing. Her first campaign experience was the 1995 Quebec Referendum, while studying Political Science at McGill University. She realised the power of people talking to people about something they care about. She has since gained skills in the non-profit and private sectors, including fundraising, campaign management, outreach and strategic communications and small business management. After years in capital campaigns, Sonia led the successful 2014 campaign to elect Victoria Mayor, Lisa Helps. She has managed or held volunteer advisory roles on campaigns at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, including a successful re-election of Mayor Helps, municipal councilors and a British Columbia MLA. As a consultant with a digital civic tech company, she advised local governments on effective public engagement strategies. She most recently was Director of Mobilizing of a federal political party and sees Leadnow as a much needed non-partisan opportunity for people to engage with, and strengthen, our democracy.
Rachel Tetrault (Pronouns: she/her)
Rachel joined Leadnow in 2015, and hit the ground running with a massive face to face organizing effort that helped defeat the Harper Conservatives. Since then, Rachel has been working with teams on the ground to build capacity and coordinate collective action in key moments: canvassing at farmers markets, flooding government consultation processes, showing up at MPs offices, hitting the streets with National Days of Action in communities from coast to coast to coast, or delivering thousands of petition signtures to decision makers. Rachel is always looking for new ways to support, cultivate and empower the Leadnow network of local organizers so we can amplify our impact and continue to build our capacity for the long haul.
Tim Ellis (Pronouns: he/him)
Tim's eclectic background has included careers as a rave DJ, freelance writer, gym technician and even a bond market analyst. An immigrant from the US who has lived in Canada since 2012, Tim has brought his jack-of-all-trades approach to the progressive movement since taking a job with the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016. Now, as an organizer with Leadnow, Tim is focused on empowering people to engage with our democracy, using cutting-edge technology blended with tried-and-tested organizing tactics to take on the Ford government, build up local community organizing, and lay the foundation for an inclusive, equitable, global mass-movement.
Claire Gallagher (Pronouns: she/her)
Claire completed her Masters degree in Community Development at the University of Glasgow, while working with low-income women as a community worker. She then joined the grassroots organization ACORN Canada as National Research and Communications Coordinator, where her work involved engaging low and moderate income Canadians on social justice campaigns, using digital tools. In this role, Claire also produced a number of community-led reports that received national press coverage, on issues such as affordable housing, digital equity, and universal child care. She developed policy briefs, government submissions and infographics to communicate the organization's campaign objectives with a diverse audience. Claire's written work has been published in "Campaigns: Lessons from the field" (Social Policy Press), Policy Options, and she has created content for organizations such as the Maytree Foundation and Rabble. As a senior campaigner at Leadnow, Claire is passionate about using digital methods to equip individuals and communities to mobilize against the decline of our planet and the increasing injustices in our society. She works on rapid response campaigns in Ontario, and nationally.
Cherry Tsoi (Pronouns: she/her)
Cherry began campaigning for climate justice and fossil fuel divestment when she lived in Sweden during her Master's degree in environmental studies and sustainability science. Her thesis focused on social movements and democracy, taking her from Sweden to San Francisco to study the Fossil Free climate movement. A few years later, landing at Leadnow to contribute as a campaigner felt like the right step on a journey toward a lifelong commitment to championing a just transition toward a sustainable, democratic world. Before Leadnow, Cherry tried her hand at a little bit of everything - including working in urban planning, community organizing, digital marketing, communications, and event production. She currently moonlights as a yoga teacher and loves to visit the Salish Sea Gulf Islands in her free time. Cherry is deeply committed to driving an increased participation of everyday people in politics and empowering the Leadnow community to create lasting social change.
Simran Ghuman (Pronouns: she/her)
Simran joined Leadnow in spring of 2018 and dove right into the Ontario election campaign. Her passion for geopolitics led to a BA Honours in Political Science but left a dissatisfaction with the status quo and a hunger for change. Then she stumbled upon Leadnow. Now, Simran spends her time working on rapid response campaigns. A first-generation immigrant, Simran is particularly vested in displaced persons and creating a world wherein everyone has a place to call home and is welcomed with open arms. She is committed to employing innovative and offbeat tactics to engage youth and minority groups and empowering them to lead the way. She is dedicated to the cause and looks forward to dismantling the status quo with people power.
Peter Gibbs (Pronouns: they/them)
Campaign Manager - Tech
Peter's campaign experience started at the age of 5, when they used direct action tactics at recess to stop boys from kissing girls against their will. After a hiatus from activism during grade school, since 2008 Peter has been engaged in campaigns for climate justice, voting reform, Indigenous sovereignty, trans rights, and in partisan and non-partisan election campaigns at every level of government. Peter has organized on a wide range of campaigns that has seen them host large scale digital Get Out the Vote events and receive a lifetime ban from the BC Legislature.
In a previous life, Peter was a trained chef. They occasionally go on multi-month solo kayak expeditions and live on unceded Lekwungen territory.
Scott Young - Acting Board Chair (Pronouns: he/him)
Scott is a digital strategy and research consultant, who is deeply passionate about driving positive social impact. He previously worked at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, which delivers programs and projects on citizenship, diversity, and inclusion. Scott is a member of the Banff Forum, the BMW Foundation's Responsible Leaders Network, and sits on the advisory board of DemocracyXChange, Canada's democracy summit. He has graduate degrees in international relations and global governance.
Janet Kim (Pronouns: she/her)
Janet’s belief in the power of individuals to effect positive change led to a career in fundraising with Habitat for Humanity in Toronto, and since 2007 with the University of Toronto. Outside her day job, Janet has volunteered in support of several causes. At her church, Janet led a refugee sponsorship initiative, and founded a foot care program for homeless guests. She is a founder of the volunteer-run book store which to date has contributed over $1.4M to the Toronto Public Library. Janet began volunteering with Leadnow in 2015 to campaign for electoral reform, increasing her involvement significantly in 2019 on the climate crisis issue. She is recently married, with two teenage step-daughters.
Patty is a geek, an activist and an aspiring fly-fisher who holds graduate degrees in economics and political science. They’ve developed, coordinated and run municipal, national and international campaigns. They cut their teeth in the student movement (CFS), and by fighting globalization and free-trade on the streets and in negotiating rooms through Common Frontiers and the Hemispheric Social Alliance. Patty has worked, for over a decade and a half, for one of Canada’s largest private sector unions.
Patricia C. Barrera (Pronouns: she/they)
Jamie was one of Leadnow's co-founders, and served as founding Executive Director and then Campaign Director from 2010 to 2016. Before co-founding Leadnow, Jamie completed a Master’s Degree in political ecology – which is basically politics that takes economic power and ecological integrity seriously – at the University of Victoria. He co-founded two student-led climate and sustainability organizations, and served on the board of a range of social, environmental and educational organizations. Jamie now serves on the board of the World Wildlife Fund of Canada, and he's the Director of Communications and Campaigns for the Centre for Social Innovation.
Fahad Ahmad (Pronouns: he/him)Fahad Ahmad is a consultant, researcher, and program evaluator who works with social purpose and community-based initiatives to enhance the impact of their mission. He is a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation scholar and is currently pursuing a PhD at the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University.
Prior to pursuing his PhD, Fahad was Chief Operating Officer and then, the interim CEO of Soliya, an innovative nonprofit that mobilizes young adults from western and predominantly Muslim societies to foster greater cross-cultural understanding. He was also appointed the VP of Strategic Initiatives at Search for Common Ground.
Fahad provides consulting services to social justice and arts nonprofits that includes advice on strategic planning, partnerships, governance, and operations. He is the former Chair of the board of directors of Thousand Currents, a U.S. based public foundation that supports Global South grassroots groups led by women, youth, and Indigenous peoples.