We employ professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds including health sciences, evaluation, research, knowledge exchange, communications, administration and more.


Our executive sets our entire team up for success. These individuals set direction, seek out emerging trends and work to inform practice and policy initiatives across the sector. 

Portrait of Purnima Sundar
Purnima Sundar

Executive Director

Purnima's bio

Purnima Sundar (PhD) is the executive director at the Knowledge Institute on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions (the Knowledge Institute).

With almost 25 years of experience doing community-based, participatory action research, evaluation, implementation and knowledge mobilization in the areas of child and youth mental health and race and equity, Purnima sets the vision and strategy for the Knowledge Institute. She was educated in the fields of psychology and social work, with a focus on community development and social planning. Purnima is also adjunct research professor in the School of Social Work at Carleton University.

Since joining the Knowledge Institute in 2008, she has worked with government partners across ministries, as well as agency leaders, young people and families throughout the province to ensure high quality, evidence-based mental health and addictions services for Ontario’s children and young people.

Email Purnima

Portrait of Melissa Jennings
Melissa Jennings

Director, Operations and
 Support Services

Melissa's bio

Melissa Jennings (she/her) is the director of operations and support services at the Knowledge Institute on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions (the Knowledge Institute).

Melissa holds a master’s degree in child studies and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Early in her career, she was involved in a range of program evaluation and community-based research initiatives in the areas of school-age childcare, early years, social-emotional learning, violence against women and programming for seniors. Melissa joined the Knowledge Institute’s leadership team in 2012 and has led the evaluation support program, the knowledge broker team and most recently key internal planning- and performance-related activities.

Melissa oversees the Knowledge Institute’s operations.

Email Melissa

Portrait of Amy Porath
Amy Porath

Director, Research and Knowledge Mobilization

Amy's bio

Amy Porath (PhD) is the director of research and knowledge mobilization at the Knowledge Institute on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions (the Knowledge Institute).

Amy holds a PhD in psychology and is an alumna of both the University of Ottawa and Carleton. She has more than 22 years of experience conducting and leading substance use research and knowledge mobilization activities. An internationally recognized subject matter expert, her savvy has been sought out by the Government of Canada, parliamentary committees and the World Health Organization. Amy is also a peer reviewer for several journals and a longtime member of the editorial board for the Canadian Journal of Addiction.

Amy leads the Knowledge Institute’s efforts to identify and respond to the knowledge needs of the child and youth mental health and addictions sector and others who shape policy and practice in this area. This includes advancing and mobilizing knowledge through applied research initiatives, evidence resources and quality standards.

Email Amy


This team is the backbone of the organization. Team members make sure we pay our bills, spend wisely and demonstrate our impact.

Portrait of Alison McAfeeAlison McAfee
Senior Administrative Assistant

Portrait of Mageya Castedo

Mageya Castedo
Finance Clerk

Portrait of Pamela Wangkhang

Pamela Wangkhang
Project Coordinator

Portrait of Talib Hussain

Talib Hussain
Contracts Officer


Knowledge Inst. Default imageJessica Sibbitt
Senior Administrative Assistant


Our communications team works strategically across the organization and with each of our project teams to ensure that we are effectively communicating what we do.

Portrait of Nicole ForgetNicole Forget
Manager, Communications

Portrait of Brooke EbouleBrooke Eboule
Communications Specialist

Portrait of Christopher ValléeChristopher Vallée
Communications Specialist

Portrait of Vendela EdmondsVendela Edmonds
Communications Specialist

Placeholder portraitVirginie Faubert
Communications Specialist

Portrait of Ray HeathRay Heath
Multimedia Specialist

Placeholder portraitMelvin Ejiogu
Senior Technical Analyst
Placeholder portraitLidia Abraha
Communications Specialist

Data and quality improvement

This team uses its expertise to support others working in child and youth mental health and addictions to evaluate their work and make sure they are being the best they can be. They also do the same for our own team, helping to hold us accountable to our goals.

Portrait of Blake DaveyBlake Davey
Manager, Planning and Performance

Portrait of Sandra Huang Del Frari

Sandra Huang Del Frari
Manager, Quality

Portrait of Christine Polihronis

Christine Polihronis
Senior Data Analyst

Portrait of Emma McDonaldEmma McDonald
Operations and Performance Measurement Specialist

Portrait of Ann BarberAnn Barber
Quality Improvement Consultant

Portrait of Kristina Rohde

Kristina Rohde
Quality Improvement Consultant

Portrait of Lamia Moheb AlmorsyLamia Moheb Almorsy
Quality Improvement Consultant

Placeholder portraitJessica Murray
Quality Improvement Specialist

Portrait of Kassia MalisKassia Malis
Quality Improvement Specialist

Placeholder portraitAjiri Onwo
Research Assistant

Implementation and evaluation

Our implementation and evaluation team supports our sector to effectively plan, improve and implement evidence-based practice. With their expert coaching and guidance, they bring great ideas to life, making change processes faster, more efficient, and highly effective. 

Portrait of Nikky Summers

Nikky Summers
Manager, Implementation and Evaluation

Portrait of Amanda DavisAmanda Davis
Research Coordinator

Portrait of Kathryn MasushitaKathryn Matsushita
Implementation Consultant

Portrait of Renée NossalRenée Nossal
Implementation Consultant

Portrait viergeJosephine Lam
Implementation Consultant

Knowledge mobilization

Our knowledge mobilization team makes information accessible, understandable and usable for those who need it most. Team members’ expertise helps align research, policy and practice to improve outcomes for children, young people and families.

Portrait of Poppy DescloudsPoppy Desclouds
Senior Researcher (On leave)

Portrait of Mario CappelliMario Cappelli
Senior Child and Youth Mental Health Clinician-Scientist

Portrait of Sarah PinderSarah Pinder
Knowledge Broker

Portrait of Evangeline DansecoEvangeline Danseco
Senior Researcher

Portrait of Gabrielle LucenteGabrielle Lucente
Research Coordinator

Portrait of Ashley RadomskiAshley Radomski
Research Associate

Portrait of Madison ErbachMadison Erbach
Research Coordinator

Placeholder portrait Kayla Beaudin
Research Coordinator

Placeholder portrait Rola Hashem
Research Coordinator

Portrait of Laura Ziebell Laura Ziebell
Research Coordinator

Portrait of Valerie SchutteValerie Schutte
Research Coordinator

Portrait of Marta Krygier-BartzMarta Krygier-Bartz
Research Coordinator

Placeholder portraitRenée Gulinigaer
Research Assistant

Placeholder portrait Scott Robson
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Knowledge Inst. Default imageMandana Nezhad Bagheri
Research Assistant

Portrait of Alexandra TucciAlexandra Tucci
Research Coordinator

Youth and family engagement

This team supports our sector partners and others across the child and youth mental health and addictions system to meaningfully engage youth and families in Ontario. Team members also help us to fulfill our commitment to do so in our own work.

Portrait of Kelli DilworthKelli Dilworth
Manager, Engagement

Placeholder portrait Christine Smith
Knowledge Broker

Portrait of Natalie Markoff

Natalie Markoff
Family Engagement Specialist