Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

A volunteer Board of Directors, composed of 13 members, is responsible for governing CCSA. The directors meet face-to-face three to four times per year.

The Governor in Council appoints the Chair and up to four additional board members may be appointed. These appointments come on the recommendation of the Minister of Health after the Minister has consulted with the Board.

The Board may appoint up to eight additional directors. These appointments come after consultations with the provincial and territorial governments and with any individuals and organization representatives. They represent the business and labour community, and professional and voluntary organizations. These organizations also have a particular interest in alcohol and drug use that the Board considers appropriate.

Board members serve a three-year term. Extensions of up to two additional terms are possible.

Governor-in-Council Appointees

Vaughan Dowie, Chair (Ontario) 

Vaughan Dowie joined Pine River Institute, a residential treatment centre for adolescents struggling with addictive behaviours, in Shelburne, Ontario, as its CEO in October 2011. He has more than 30 years of experience as a senior manager in public sector and community organizations, including as president of la Commission de Protection des droits de la jeunesse, Montreal, executive director of Batshaw Youth and Family Centres, Montreal, and assistant deputy minister in three different ministries of the Government of British Columbia.

Mr. Dowie has served as a volunteer on a number of boards of directors of not-for-profit organizations, both local and national in scope. He has served as board chair of the Child Welfare League of Canada and board president of Addictions and Mental Health Ontario. He has studied political science at Sir George Williams University and social work at McGill.

Immediately before joining Pine River Institute, Mr. Dowie was the Executive Head of Public Affairs at McGill University in Montreal.

Mr. Dowie joined the Board in May 2018, and serves as the Chair. He is also a member of the Executive and Performance Management Committees.

Curtis Clarke, PhD (British Columbia)

Curtis Clarke has held a number of positions in the Alberta public service, including deputy minister portfolios in advanced education, education (K-12) and the solicitor general’s office. His diverse policy and operational experience is further supplemented by his roles as Assistant Deputy Minister of Alberta Correctional Services, Cabinet Policy Coordinator and Executive Director of the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General Staff College. He has also represented the Canadian Council of Ministers of Education as vice-chair of the OECD Education Policy Committee Bureau.

Apart from his experience on the CCSA board of directors, Dr. Clarke has a variety of board experiences including with the Victoria Big Brothers and Sisters, the Mentor Canada Governance Task Force, the Canadian Association of Police Educators, the National Police Sector Council and the INTERPOL Group of Experts in Training.

Dr. Clarke holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters (Sociology) from Queen’s University and a PhD (Sociology) from York University. He has completed a variety of executive programs from the Harvard Kennedy School, the Stanford Executive Business School, Cornell University and the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is a strong proponent of life-long learning, education and self-development.

Dr. Clarke has been a member of the Board since 2018. He serves as Chair of the Finance Committee and is a member of the Performance Management Committee and the Executive Committee.

Christopher Cull (Ontario)

Christopher Cull is a filmmaker, the founder of Inspire by Example and creator of a clothing line to bring awareness to the issues around the prevention and treatment of drug misuse across Canada. As a filmmaker, he rec​orded his travels as he bicycled across Canada from Victoria, British Columbia, to St. John’s, Newfoundland, in 2014. His efforts were to raise awareness about prescription drug addiction. During his journey, he interviewed community leaders, patients and people along the way to help shape the documentary film, “Inspire.”

As a recovering opioid user, Mr. Cull wants his story to encourage those who need help to seek the support they require for recovery. He uses his experiences to inspire others. In 2016, he cycled across Canada a second time, this time to raise awareness about the opioid crisis and to demonstrate to others that recovery is possible.

Drawing from his personal experiences, Mr. Cull is an in-demand public speaker. He also serves as an advisor for numerous organizations on issues around the prevention and treatment of drug addiction.

Mr. Cull has been a member of the CCSA Board since 2018. He serves as a member of the Nominations and Governance Committee.

Journey of Hope

Chris Cull, Film maker and CCSA board member, discusses his struggle with opioid addiction and his journey to recovery.

Scott Elliott (British Columbia)

As the Chief Executive Officer at the Dr. Peter Centre, Scott Elliott leverages over 30 years of leadership in the non-profit sector, underpinned by a steadfast commitment to empowering vulnerable communities to access essential healthcare services and community supports.

Mr. Elliott’s personal challenges with stigma and addiction have fuelled his passion for forging impactful partnerships with government agencies, businesses, community groups and philanthropic entities. He is a fervent advocate for policies that embrace a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to health care.

Before his appointment at the Dr. Peter Centre in 2017, Mr. Elliott’s leadership journey spanned across diverse non-profit sectors, including international development, health care, education and the arts. An alumnus of Simon Fraser University’s School of Business, he presently holds the position of Chair of the Board at CATIE, which is Canada’s go-to resource for HIV and hepatitis C information.

Mr. Elliott was welcomed to the Board in March 2024.

Anne Elizabeth Lapointe, BA (Quebec)

Anne Elizabeth Lapointe has been the Executive Director of the Addiction Prevention Centre and la Maison Jean Lapointe — Prévention since 2016. A visionary and strategic leader, she has 20 years’ experience in the field of substance use and addictions, including 15 years in prevention.

Ms Lapointe proficiencies include behavioural addictions, such as problem gambling, as well as the prevention and treatment of all addictions. She has contributed to developing and evaluating the prevention programs of la Maison Jean Lapointe and the Addiction Prevention Centre. These programs reach more than 100,000 young people yearly.

Ms. Lapointe is actively involved in the community and sits on several round tables and expert committees. She has given countless conference presentations in her field of expertise, is a frequent guest on television and radio shows, and continues to share her knowledge within the community. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communications and Media Studies) and a diploma in management from the University of Montreal, and a graduate degree in addiction and ethics from the University of Sherbrooke. She is bilingual.

Ms. Lapointe joined the Board in September 2018, and is a member of the Audit and Risk Management Oversight Committee.


Lesley Carberry, MSW (Yukon)

Lesley Carberry has lived in northern Canada for forty-five years, in northern Saskatchewan and the Yukon. She is currently retired from a long career in both public service and the voluntary sector, including work with policing, community justice, victim services and crime prevention, as well as many years in Aboriginal language revitalization and in developing community campuses for Yukon College.

Ms. Carberry currently serves as the part-time Executive Director of the Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada, with membership in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. She also sits on the boards of the Teegatha’Oh Zheh Society and the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society of Yukon. She is a long-term parent and caregiver of four sons affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Ms. Carberry completed the course work required for a Master’s degree in social work (University of Northern British Columbia) and holds a Bachelor of Social Work (University of Regina) and Bachelor of Arts (University of Manitoba). In 2019, she completed a Master’s degree in restorative practice, through the International Institute of Restorative Practices.

Ms. Carberry joined the Board in January 2017, and serves on the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Oversight Committee. ​

Linda Dabros, BA (Psychology) (Ontario)

Linda Dabros brings more than 25 years of public-sector experience in strategic planning, policy and regulations development, human and financial resource management, and multi-sectoral consultations working with federal, provincial and territorial committees, and international delegations to her board position with CCSA.

As the former director general with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), Ms. Dabros set strategic goals and managed the Commission’s research, policy and international programs, leading a team that prepared reports to Parliament and submissions to United Nations treaty bodies. Key priorities were addressing issues facing Indigenous peoples and engaging stakeholders at the national and community levels.​

Prior to her work with CHRC, Ms. Dabros held executive positions with Health Canada (Canada’s Drug Strategy), the National Crime Prevention Centre (research, consultation and social policy development with federal, provincial and territorial governments, academia and NGOs) and the Privy Council Office. Ms. Dabros serves as a volunteer on the management committee of Arteast, a not-for-profit organization that promotes visual arts in Eastern Ontario. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from Carleton University.

Ms. Dabros joined the Board in January, 2017, and serves as Vice Chair of the Board. She also serves a Chair of the Nominations and Governance Committee, as well as a member of the Executive and Performance Management Committees.

Daniel Hogan, BPHE (Ontario)

Dan Hogan is currently the Substance Abuse Violence Prevention Coordinator of the Safe Schools Department of Durham District School Board. This position includes responsibility for promoting and developing strategic partnerships to address and support the well-being of the 70,000 students and 7,000 staff members in the 130 schools of the Durham Board. Other responsibilities include chair of the Durham Youth Drug Awareness Committee and chair of the Racing to a Healthy Life (former Racing against Drugs Durham).

Mr. Hogan was the day treatment supervisor of Frontenac Youth Services, Oshawa, for 10 years, operating 10 treatment classrooms for adolescents and five expelled students programs for the Durham District School Board, the Durham Catholic School Board and the Kawartha Pineridge District School Board.

In his role as Substance Abuse Violence Prevention Coordinator, Mr. Hogan works in close partnership with the Durham Regional Police Services and the Health Department of the Regional Municipality of Durham, as well as with local treatment and support networks in the Durham Region.

He has a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education from the University of Toronto, and is a Restorative Practice Conference Facilitator certified by the International Institute for Restorative Practices.

Mr. Hogan joined the Board in May 2018, and is a member of the Audit and Risk Management Oversight Committee.

Julie Menten, MSc, JD (British Columbia)

Julie Menten is a partner at a workplace law firm, Roper Greyell LLP, in British Columbia, where she practices in employment, labour, human rights and privacy law. A large part of her practice involves helping employers manage mental health and substance use issues in the workplace, as well as conducting investigations into workplace misconduct, bullying, harassment and sexual harassment. Prior to joining Roper Greyell, she clerked at the British Columbia Court of Appeal.

Before joining the legal profession, Ms. Menten spent most of her career working with children, youth and families as a psychotherapist and clinician. She began in the helping professions as a child protection social worker on an Aboriginal family services team for the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development. After completing her graduate degree in couple and family therapy, she started a private practice; worked as a therapist for the Associated Youth Services of the Regional Municipality of Peel in Ontario; worked as a counsellor for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people in London, Ontario; and as a clinician with the Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System in London, Ontario, providing intensive mental health services to young people in custody settings and government care. Her goal is to leverage a decade of experience in the helping professions in her career in law, and she specializes in mental health and substance use in the workplace.

Ms. Menten believes in giving back to her community and has served on a variety of boards and advisory committees. She was the chair of the advisory committee for the Bottom Line Conference on workplace mental health with the Canadian Mental Health Association, B.C. Division, a past member of the board for the Crisis Centre in Vancouver, and is a current member of the board of the Canadian Mental Health Association, North and West Vancouver Branch.

She holds a BA in child and youth care with distinction from the University of Victoria, an MSc in couple and family therapy from the University of Guelph, and a juris doctor degree with distinction from Western University. Julie was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 2013 and the Alberta Bar in 2019.

Ms. Menten has been a member of the Board since 2018. She serves as a member of the Nominations and Governance Committee.

Donald Nicholls, BCL, JD (Cree Nation)

Donald Nicholls is a member of the Cree Nation of Mistissini. He has a degree in economics from the University of Western Ontario, a common law degree from University of Toronto and a civil law degree from McGill University. He was a graduate of the inaugural class of the Masters of Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program at the University of Arizona. Over the course of his career, Mr. Nicholls has worked on rights-based actions and projects in Latin America, North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Mr. Nicholls is presently the director of justice and correctional services for the Cree Nation government. His department provides programming and frontline services, and develops partnerships to ensure a community of support for individuals and groups going through substance use and addictions issues. He also serves on the boards of the Provincial Organizations for Victims Support Services, Quebec's Provincial Organization for Aboriginal Court Workers, the Knowledge Mobilization Institute and the Healthy Aboriginal Network.​

Mr. Nicholls has worked with the Quebec courts and ​Ministry of Justice to implement specialized courts related to substance use disorders. He has also been involved in projects that bring Indigenous people back to the land for treatment of substance use issues. He was the recent recipient of the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution's Batsinduka Award for Peace for the innovative work he has engaged in the area of conflict resolution and mediation, and a Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada for his work with children and youth.

Mr. Nicholls has been a member of the Board since 2018, and serves as a member of the Finance Committee.​​

Sandy Pitzel, BPA-HS, CSW (Saskatchewan)

Sandy Pitzel (Saskatchewan)

Sandy Pitzel has spent more than 30 years in the human service and social work fields. Her experiences have led to her working with all age groups: children, youth, adults, seniors and Elders.

Ms. Pitzel is a member of the English River Dene Nation of Saskatchewan. Her great-grandfather was Cree/Dene from Buffalo River, Saskatchewan, and she descends from the Bear Clan and embraces her Scottish and German heritage. Her belief is that we are here to heal and help others do the same. She has a community approach to healing, which embraces all cultures and spirituality that enhance the lives of people to live a healthier life.

She is approved to work with First Nations Health clients through Indigenous Services, Health Canada. This qualifies her to work with Non-Insured Health Benefits for First Nations and Inuit, former Indian Residential School students and their families, Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and Day School clients. Her work is based on Medicine Wheel teachings (as well as other education modalities) and addresses trauma, intergenerational trauma, disenfranchised grief and ambiguous loss. She has worked with First Nations people of all ages experiencing crisis due to various traumas throughout central and northern Saskatchewan.

She teaches about addictions, violence against women, First Nations historical trauma, community development, Peers Helping Peers, parenting and more. Ms. Pitzel has also worked in the field of intimate partner violence. For more than a decade, she has educated communities about the issues of violence affecting women, seniors and children. In 2011, she spoke at the Women’s World Conference about using a community development framework to educate an entire community about domestic violence.

She believes in advocating and speaking about issues that are important to her. She was a toastmaster for six years. Ms. Pitzel is a recipient of the Toastmasters Communicators Gold Award, which is the highest level attainable on the speaking side of the organization.

Ms. Pitzel received the Innovative Program Award at the International Community Development Society’s World Conference in 2008. In Saskatchewan, she was recognized in 2009 at the National Council of Women’s Conference for her work with women and children in the community.

Ms. Pitzel joined the Board in June 2023.

John Weber, PhD (Newfoundland and Labrador)

John Weber is a professor in the School of Pharmacy at Memorial University in St. John’s, N.L. He conducts research on the protective effects of natural products in animal and cellular models of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson disease. He has also run a research program studying the effects of binge alcohol exposure on long-term motor function and is conducting research on the impairing effects of cannabis. For many years, he has taught the neurobiology of addiction and drugs that affect the nervous system.

Dr. Weber has been a board member and volunteer for many non-profit organizations in Newfoundland, including Union House Arts, Eastern Edge Gallery and the Social Justice Co-operative NL. He has served as an expert witness for several provincial criminal and arbitration cases, which have included opinions on various topics in neuropharmacology, such as the behavioural effects of ethanol and the impairing effects of cannabis and other substances.

Dr. Weber holds a M.Sc. in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Montana, a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the Medical College of Virginia and completed post-doctoral research in neurophysiology at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He has been at Memorial University since 2006.

Dr. Weber joined the Board in February 2023. He is a member of the Nominations and Governance Committee.

Ex-Officio Board Members

Alexander Caudarella, MDCM CCFP AM ABAM(d), Chief Executive Officer

Alexander is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization and its overall management. He is accountable for the performance of CCSA, its projects, programs, staff and associates. In partnership with the Chair, Alexander enables the Board of Directors to fulfill its governance role, and facilitates the optimum interaction between management and the Board of Directors. He also provides direction for the formulation of CCSA's mission, strategy and annual objectives, and leadership in their achievement.


Eric Costen

Eric Costen, Acting Deputy Minister of Health Canada


Shawn Tupper

Shawn Tupper, ​Deputy Minister, Public Safety Canada



Board Alumni

The CCSA Board Alumni serves in a consulting capacity to the current CCSA Board of Directors. When called upon, members of the alumni can provide expertise, support and advice. The role of the Board Alumni also includes serving as ambassadors and advocates for CCSA.

CCSA Board Alumni membership is open to all former CCSA Board members (governor-in-council appointees, independent appointees, ex-officio and chief executive officers) who are in good standing with the Board. The selection of the Chair of Board Alumni is by appointment and the Chair serves at the pleasure of the Board.

Chair of Alumni, Beverley Clarke, MSW


Beverley Clarke worked in the healthcare system in Newfoundland and Labrador for 35 years. During that time, she held several executive positions, including deputy minister of health and community services. Throughout her career and since retirement, Ms. Clarke has maintained her interest and expertise in the addictions field. She was on the CCSA Board from 2003 to 2013 and was Board Chair between 2011 and 2013. She continues to volunteer with organizations serving the needs of this population and to provide consultation services in the mental health and addictions field with a specific focus on organizational and systems issues. She is an avid hiker and gardener.

Alumni Members

  • Bass, Gary (British Columbia)

  • Beauchesne, Normand (Rusty) (Ontario)

  • Blumenthal, Leonard (Alberta)

  • Boivin, Jean-Francois, Dr. (Quebec)

  • Clarke, Beverley, MSW, Chair (Newfoundland and Labrador)

  • DeGagné, Mike (Ontario)

  • el-Guebaly, Nady, Dr. (Alberta) (appointed Member of the Order of Canada in 2017)

  • Fournier, Jean (Ontario)

  • Fralick, Pamela (Ontario)

  • Jackson Dover, Frances (Alberta)

  • Kapoor, Renu (Saskatchewan)

  • King, Barry V. (Ontario)

  • Lavack, Anne M., Dr. (British Columbia)

  • LeCavalier, Jacques (Quebec)

  • Lewis, Leanne (Ontario​)

  • Liston, A.J. (Bert), Dr. (Ontario)

  • Loock, Christine, Dr. (British Columbia)

  • MacKillop, Barry (Ontario)

  • Maloney, Mark (Ontario)

  • Marley, Marnie (British Columbia)

  • McFarlane, Audrey (Alberta)

  • Nadeau, Louise, Dr. (Quebec)

  • Notarandrea, Rita (Ontario)

  • Perron, Michel (Ontario)​

  • Plecas, Darryl B., Dr. (British Columbia)

  • Porter, Meredith (Ontario)

  • Prospero, Michael ​(Ontario)

  • Quirion, Rémi, Dr. (Quebec)

  • Sangollo, Pierre (Quebec)

  • ​Skirrow, Jan (British Columbia)

  • ​Stewart, Sherry H. (Nova Scotia​)

  • Thom, Margaret (Northwest Territories)

  • Tyler, Paula (Alberta)​

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