Opening Plenary Speakers
Dr. A.M. Viens - Facilitator
Dr. A.M. Viens is the Director of the School of Global Health and the York Research Chair in Population Health Ethics and Law. His research focuses on demonstrating how philosophical analysis, legal epidemiology, and regulatory theory should shape global health policy. He is also an Investigator in the Global Strategy Lab and a member of the WHO Collaboration Centre on the Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance. He is an Honorary Member of the UK Faculty of Public Health, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health, and Editor-in-Chief of Health Care Analysis.
Dr. James Orbinski - Panelist
James Orbinski is a Canadian physician and humanitarian, known for his work with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) where he served as the organization's international president from 1998 to 2000. He has also held various positions at the University of Toronto and is an accomplished author on global health and humanitarianism. Orbinski has received numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 awarded to MSF.
Dr. Krishana Sankar - Panelist
Dr. Krishana Sankar is an award-winning researcher, trained scientist and a sought after speaker. She completed her PhD at the University of Toronto in the Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Sankar is currently the Science Advisor and Community Partnerships Lead for ScienceUpFirst, an initiative of the Canadian Association of Science Centers. Through her work with the organization, she has engaged and collaborated with several community partners that serve those in equity-deserving and marginalized populations. A major aim of her work is to remove barriers to access of accurate and relevant information and to tackle misinformation in these groups.
Dr. David Peters - Panelist
In January, 2023, David Peters began his tenure as the Dean of the Faculty of Health at York University in Toronto. Prior to that, Dr Peters was professor & chair of the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Peters' work focuses on strengthening health systems, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, and addressing policy and program issues to improve health equity and the performance of health systems, while contributing to critical models and methods for implementation research and systems science. He is widely published and among the top 1% of the most cited scientists in the world, and is an award-winning teacher.
Dr. David Etkin (Virtual)
David Etkin is a Professor of Disaster and Emergency Management at York University. Previously, he worked for Environment Canada from 1977-2005. During his career, he has been a weather forecaster in Nova Scotia and Ontario, taught meteorology to new forecasters, and done applied research in the Arctic and Industrial Climatology Divisions of the Canadian Climate Centre. In 1993 he joined the Adaptation and Impacts Research Group of the Meteorological Service of Canada, specializing in the interdisciplinary study of natural hazards and disasters and climate change. From 1996-2005 he worked at the University of Toronto with the Institute for Environmental Studies doing research on natural hazards and disasters. He has contributed to several national and international natural hazard projects including the 2nd U.S. national assessment of natural hazards, the IPCC, was Principal Investigator of the Canadian National Assessment of Natural Hazards and is Past President of the Canadian Risk and Hazards Network. His current areas of research are disaster risk assessment and disaster ethics. He has 90 publications including two textbooks and 6 edited volumes.