CAPP Organizational Structure

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Working Group

The role of the ASD Working Group is to consult with individuals and organizations across Canada on the options for a partnership model. This consultation, which includes individuals with ASD and their families and caregivers; the federal, provincial and territorial governments; Indigenous Peoples; researchers; service providers; thought leaders; and the public will take place through an extensive stakeholder engagement process starting in April 2016. It will engage stakeholders using a variety of methods including, but not limited to in-person interviews, online surveys, written submissions, and a series of community round tables that will take place in 10 provinces and territories.

The Working Group wants to ensure an inclusive process. A forum for dialogue will be created for Indigenous Peoples and northern communities to identify their priorities and appropriate methods to examine meaningful responses to their service needs, both on and off reserve.

Working Group Members

Cynthia Carroll, Chair of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA) and Executive Director of Autism Nova Scotia, serves as Chair of the Working Group. She reports directly to the Honourable Jane Philpott, Canada’s Minister of Health.

The Working Group brings together a broad range of individuals across Canada including:

  • Autism organizations on the frontline in providing services and support to those living with ASD and their families;
  • Health professionals dedicated to care and treatment; and
  • Researchers whose discoveries are answering critical questions about ASD.

Members of the Working Group include:

CAPP Chair

Cynthia Carroll
Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance
Executive Director
Autism Nova Scotia


Dr. Margaret Clarke
Senior Vice President
The Sinneave Family Foundation

Sergio Cocchia
Board Chair and Co-Founder
Pacific Autism Family Centre

Jill Farber
Executive Director
Autism Speaks Canada

Stelios Georgiades
ASD Researcher
McMaster University

Warren Greenstone
President and CEO
Miriam Foundation

Laurie Mawlam
Executive Director
Autism Canada

Dr. Stephen Scherer
The Centre for Applied Genomics
The Hospital for Sick Children

Dr. Robert Strang
Chief Public Health Officer
Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness

Dr. Jonathan Weiss
Research Chair
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Treatment and Care Research
York University

Margaret Whelan
Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance

Dr. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum
Co-Director, Autism Research Centre
Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital


Kim Elmslie
Kim Elmslie
Assistant Deputy Minister
Public Health Agency of Canada

Self-Advocates Advisory Group

The Self-Advocates Advisory Group consists of seven volunteers whose mandate is to advise the National ASD Working Group in fulfilling the project mandate and providing insights on the needs of the autism community across the country, spanning the spectrum and the lifespan.

Terms of Reference for the Self-Advocates Advisory Group can be found here.

Meet the team:

  • Patricia George-Zwicker, NS
  • Trudy Goold, NL
  • Kristian Hooker, MB
  • Georges Huard, QC
  • Jackie McMillan, ON
  • Jessica Pigeau, AB
  • Corey Walker, BC


The CAPP Secretariat supports the National ASD Working Group and the Self-Advocates Advisory Group and has day-to-day responsibilities for managing the project and developing the business plan. Key responsibilities include project leadership and risk management; reporting and financial accountability; communications and marketing; participant engagement and implementation of the process; strategy and business planning; and project administration.

Meet the team:

  • Margaret Whelan, Co-lead
  • Cynthia Carroll, Co-lead
  • Chris Hornberger, Project Manager
  • Ruth Blades, Engagement Coordinator
  • Lin Zhang, Website Development
  • Carol Cox, Administrative Lead
  • Allison Garber, Media contact