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, Special Projects
and Operations

Melissa's bio

Melissa Jennings (she/her) is the director of special projects and operations 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 Jaime Brown
Jaime Brown

Director of Knowledge

Jaime's bio

Jaime Brown (PhD) is the director of knowledge mobilization at the Knowledge Institute on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions (the Knowledge Institute). Jaime’s systemic and outcomes-focused approach to knowledge mobilization has helped her to build strong relationships with national, provincial and local partners to advance the important work of improving child and youth mental health in Ontario and beyond.

Jaime holds a PhD in Applied Social Psychology. She has over 15 years of experience leading research, evaluation and knowledge mobilization initiatives related to health, mental health and addictions services, child and youth development, disability supports, collective impact and cross-sectoral community interventions.

Since joining the Knowledge Institute in 2017, Jaime has played an instrumental role in growing the organization’s Innovation Initiatives research funding program and in supporting key provincial initiatives and groups, such the Lead Agency Community of Practice. Recently, Jaime has led the Knowledge Institute’s COVID-19 product development efforts, to ensure we are meeting the knowledge needs of the sector throughout the pandemic.

Email Jaime

Our team


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 Allanna Dagley

Allanna Dagley
Senior Administrative Assistant (on leave)


Portrait of Pamela WangkhangPamela Wangkhang
Project Coordinator


Portrait of Mageya Castedo

Mageya Castedo
Finance Clerk


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 Geneviève C.GagnonGeneviève C.Gagnon
Manager, Communications


Portrait of Brooke EbouleBrooke Eboule
Communications Specialist


Portrait of Heather ParsonsHeather Parsons
Communications Specialist (on leave)


Placeholder portrait of Therese MujembereTherese Mujembere
Communications Specialist


Portrait of Ray HeathRay Heath
Multimedia Specialist


Portrait of Georgina DunnGeorgina Dunn
Social Media Specialist


Portrait of Eric WellmanEric Wellman
Senior Technical Analyst

 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 PolihronisChristine 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 Kelsey Binkley

Kelsey Binkley
Quality Improvement Specialist


Portrait of Lamia Moheb AlmorsyLamia Moheb Almorsy
Quality Improvement Specialist


Placeholder portrait of Ajiri OnwoAjiri Onwo
Research Assistant

 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 Julia KurzawaJulia Kurzawa
Manager, Knowledge Mobilization


Portrait of Nicole SummersNicole Summers
Manager, Knowledge Mobilization (on leave)


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


Portrait of Evangeline DansecoEvangeline Danseco
Senior Researcher


Portrait of Sarah PinderSarah Pinder
Knowledge Broker


Portrait of Alice HuttonAlice Hutton
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 (on leave)


Portrait of Gabrielle LucenteGabrielle Lucente
Research Assistant


Portrait of Ajiri OnwoMadison Erbach
Research Assistant

 Youth and family engagement and quality standards

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
Interim Manager, Engagement and Standards


Portrait of Kathryn MasushitaKathryn Matsushita
Knowledge Broker


Portrait of Renée NossalRenée Nossal
Knowledge Broker


Portrait of Natalie Markoff

Natalie Markoff
Family Engagement Specialist


Portrait of Patricia Silva Roy

Patricia Silva Roy
Youth Advisor