Meet the Program Advisory Councils

Project Management

Debra Krar

Debra is a seasoned professional Management Consultant and Project/Program Manager with a pragmatic approach to problem solving. Debra is currently engaged as a Program Manager and Management Consultant at the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. Prior to joining the Ontario Ministry of Labour, she spent a decade in financial services as a Program Manager for BMO, Scotiabank, CIBC and Project Portfolio Manager at RBC.  Debra also has experience creating an Enterprise PMO within the healthcare sector.  She continues to serve as Secretary/Treasurer CMC-Ontario Executive Council since 2015 and served on the Board of Directors at the Project Management Institute, Toronto Chapter from 2006-2014.  Debra earned a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Biology from the University of Western Ontario and a MBA from the New York Institute of Technology – Old Westbury.   She holds/maintains the following certifications: PMP, CMC, CPHIMS-CA, and ITIL.


Rich Batchelor


Rich is the President & Chief Change Agent of Capillary Consulting. He has been successfully delivering change for over 25 years. He has consulted, coached and educated with organizations across all parts of the globe focusing on change enablement, leadership, organizational development and strategy alignment. He is passionate in developing change capacity for future generations and is engaged with a number of progressive higher education institutions as an educator and advisor. He is a founding member of the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) and was founding president of the Toronto Chapter for 6 years. He has also founded the Toronto Change Days conference, based on the highly successful Berlin Change Days, a hands-on weekend of fun learning about change unlike any other change conference in North America! He has a Masters in change management and is certified in Project Management, Process improvement, Facilitation, HR, Coaching, Counseling and Psychotherapy. He is also a Certified Lego® Serious Play® Facilitator & Workshop Designer, Certified in facilitating organizations through uncertainty and complexity and an accredited emotional culture deck “elephant rider”!


Lilian Abu-Halaga   

Lilian is a senior leader with over 20 years of experience in Project Management.  Lilian recently left the full time world to return to her consulting roots. She’s working with her current client Interac to help transform their PMO.  Prior to this, she was the Director of Enterprise Project Management at Meridian Credit Union with a team of ten project and program managers working on the organization’s largest strategic initiatives.  Before joining Meridian, her experience at other financial institutions included Senior Project Manager in the Project Management Office at HSBC Finance Corporation and Program Director in the Office of the Chief Data Officer, Integrated Data & Analytics Program at Toronto Dominion Bank Financial Group. Lilian works passionately to bring strategy to life and supports executive teams to execute initiatives beyond tactical project management to organizational transformation and change.  She has a proven history of leading, coaching, developing and mentoring project management teams to focus on delivering business benefits and believes that is what project management should be all about. Outside of work, Lilian’s volunteer efforts include mentoring new professional Canadians to find a job through the Toronto Regional Immigration Education Counsel (TRIEC).  She also provides leadership to community engagement corporate committees to help others find their volunteering passion.  Lilian is a member of the Project Management Institute and is PMP certified.  In addition, she holds a Change Manager Certificate from Prosci, a Risk Manager Certificate from the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies & Global Risk Management Institute, and a Scrum Master Certificate from the Scrum Alliance.




Marylka is a Fellow Certified Management Consultant with a proven ability to develop and implement strategic business solutions to drive organizational effectiveness, productivity, and profitability. As an advisor to CEOs and Boards, Marylka has successfully implemented transformational projects across organizations to secure an organization’s ability to attract, develop, and retain an engaged and high performing workforce. Marylka has more than 15 years of experience serving on various boards, at the local, provincial, and national levels, in various leadership roles, including Board Chair. She also has taught business courses at the University and College level. In 2019, CMC Ontario awarded Marylka the Fellow Certified Management Consultant (FCMC) to recognize her service to clients, the community, and the Association. Marylka earned an MBA in Organization Behaviour and Industrial Relations from the Schulich School of Business at York University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from McGill University. Marylka also earned a Certificate in Digital Transformation: Leading People, Data & Technology from the Haas School of Business, UC Berkley Executive Education.

Regulatory Affairs

Deborah Pinchev

Deborah is a Quality/Regulatory Affairs Manager at StarFish Medical, Canada’s largest medical device development company. Deborah has 5 years of Regulatory and Quality experience with a focus on the medical device industry. Prior to joining StarFish, she was a Laboratory Manager for a cell biology research lab at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Deborah earned her B.Sc. in Biochemistry at the University of Guelph, her M.Sc. in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, and has a graduate certificate in Regulatory Affairs at Humber College.


Paul Chipperton

Paul was co-founder & CEO of Profound Medical Inc. (tsx:prn) where he guided an MRI-guided, thermal-ultrasound technology for Prostate Cancer through ISO13485 and 510K with FDA. Most recently he has served as President & CEO of Mperia Therapeutics Inc., with a portfolio of high potency peptide analogs targeting the CD36-TLR2 receptor to optimize anti-inflammatory macrophage activity in preparation for an IND-submission. A former Senotor of Queen’s University, he also authors and lectures various courses on business, innovation, and biotechnology topics at the Masters level on both sides of the Atlantic. He holds a BSc Chemistry and MBA.


Eva Nalian

Eva currently serves as a Senior Manager of Regulatory Affairs at PerkinElmer, Inc. an American global corporation focused in the business area of diagnostics, where she creates and implements the company’s regulatory strategy for newborn screening and maternal health products by performing regulatory submissions in the US, Canada and internationally. She has a successful track record in developing global regulatory strategies and securing regulatory approvals for high risk products on a global scale. Eva has participated in Quality audits throughout her career, has developed and implemented Quality Systems for start-ups and managed clinical studies required for 510(K) submissions in the US and Canada.  Eva has worked with start-ups and mid-size medical device and IVD companies in Israel, California and Canada. Eva has an engineering degree in Biotechnology and Food Engineering from the Technion, Israel, as well as a Regulatory Affairs Certification through the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.


Maham Ansari

Maham currently serves as a Director of Regulatory Affairs at Synaptive Medical, a Toronto-based medical device manufacturer specializing in imaging diagnostic applications and surgical robotics in neurosurgery, where she built the regulatory department from scratch and played a large role in expanding the company’s international footprint. She has a successful track record in developing global regulatory strategies and securing regulatory approvals for high risk products on a global scale. Maham has also hosted numerous Quality audits throughout her career, has developed and implemented Quality Systems from scratch, and led companies through successful FDA and Notified Body inspections.  Her experience primarily spans within the medical device and in vitro diagnostic space in Canada and Europe, where she has worked for a mix of start-ups and larger organizations like QIAGEN, Nanogen and Mapi. Maham has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Master’s in Bioscience Regulatory Affairs from the Johns Hopkins University.  She also maintains a Regulatory Affairs Certification through the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.


Tracy Meffen

Tracy is a Regulatory Affairs & Quality Assurance professional with more than twenty-five years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. She is currently responsible for Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Genevant Sciences developing RNA-based therapies in multiple therapeutic areas. Tracy was previously responsible for regulatory and quality activities for Arbutus Biopharma developing a cure for chronic Hepatitis B, and prior to that for Lungpacer Medical, a start-up medical device organization developing a novel technology for use in critical care medicine. Tracy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, a Master’s degree in Regulatory Affairs from Northeastern University, and three Regulatory Affairs Certificates (EU, US, and Canada) from the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.


Bryan Li

Bryan is the founder of Cyber Tech & Risk, which is a platform for people who care about technology, risk, and security to get fresh ideas, learn latest skills, and expand business/professional networks. Cyber Tech & Risk organizes monthly industry events, People in Cyber Conference, and Cybersecurity Higher Education Contest. Bryan is the founder of the Cyber Career Centrewhich offers experiential learning, interactive hiring, and career events. Bryan has 20+ years of experience in the areas of enterprise solutions, information security, program management, software development, and IT consulting. His leadership and management experience include Head of Business Systems, Director of Product Development & Innovation, and Director of Program Management with multiple industry-leading companies. Bryan is dedicated to addressing the growing concerns about cybersecurity via training, career development, and collaboration. Bryan holds CISSP, CCSP, CEI, CEH, CND, CBP, PMP, CBAP, and several other professional certifications.


Niranjan Mayya

Niranjan is the Founder & President of RANK Software, a Toronto based start-up in the space of real time security analytics, threat hunting and detection.

Prior to founding RANK, Niranjan led the Big Data team at RIM (Blackberry) that was responsible for Contextual Systems and Analytics. His prior roles have been as VP of Technology at Viigo (acquired by RIM) and VP of Software Development at Pulse Microsystems. He has several worldwide patents in the areas of computer graphics, Internet systems and computer algorithms. Niranjan holds an engineering undergraduate from University of Poona, India and a PhD in Computer Science from University of Florida.


Ghayda Nassar 

Ghayda is a Sr. Director of Identity Access Management at Global Cyber Security Department at RBC. Ghayda currently runs Identity and Access Management (IAM) programs of multi million dollars and leads a team of 40+ IT professionals. Ghayda has 14 years of experience locally and globally in Technology for the banking and financial industry leading successful global cross-functional teams and transformational initiatives. Specialized in domains of: Identity and Access Management, Information and Data Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Wealth & Asset Management, Core Banking, Operations and Support. Ghayda has her Executive MBA from Rotman and a Bachelor degree in Computer Science and Computer Information Systems. Ghayda enjoys traveling, cooking, and reading. 


Guang Gong

Guang Gong is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, a University Research Chair, and an IEEE Fellow. Her research focuses on multiple areas such as design and implementation of lightweight cryptographic systems, cryptography and cryptanalysis; security and privacy of Internet-of-Things (IoT), privacy of blockchain and blockchain based IoT security, privacy preserving machine learning, security in cloud, network, ad-hoc network and RFID systems; wireless security, multimedia security, and physical layer security. Her research also lies in and signal design for wireless Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), Orthogonal frequency-division Multiplexing (OFDM) and Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) communications. In 2005, Dr. Gong, together with former Ph. D student Yassir Nawaz, proposed a new stream cipher, namely, a WG stream cipher family, which offers unique randomness properties that other ciphers do not have. Recently, together with Professor Mark Aagaard, some lightweight instances (i.e., WG-5, WG-7, WG-8) of this stream cipher family have been implemented in hardware for securing RFID systems and embedded devices. In Feb 2019, her team submitted 4 lightweight cryptographic schemes, i.e., ACE, SPOC, SPIX, and WAGE to the NIST LWC competition.


Gwen Beauchemin

Gwen has over thirty years in the cyber security and telecommunications industries, across government, not-for-profit and for-profit sectors.  She currently sits on the SERENE-RISC executive board and the Quantum Safe Canada management board. Her last role, before retirement from full time employment, was the Chief Information Security Officer at Payments Canada. Prior to Payments Canada, she was the Senior Director of the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC) at Public Safety Canada. From 2002-2013, she was a manager, then Director at Communications Security Establishment (CSE), where she led teams in a variety of roles , including special foreign liaison officer, and an executive in the IT Security and CIO branches, as well as the executive officer assigned to Public Safety Canada in 2006-7 to be part of the first Cyber Security Task Force. Prior to the Federal Public Service, Gwen held a variety of roles including managing Verification teams, Portfolio Management, Software Release Manager, Project Manager, Team Leader Sustainability and software developer with Bell Northern Research and later, Nortel Networks. Gwen holds an Honours Bachelor of Computer Science, Carleton University and the C|CISO Designation from EC|Council.


Ireen Birungi

Ireen Birungi is the AVP, Cybersecurity. Interac Corp. She is accountable for leading the IT security strategy and implementation at Interac Corp. This includes enterprise wide security programs; identifying, reporting and controlling security incidents and breaches; monitoring threats and taking preventative measures; IT security and risk assessments including recommendations to minimize threats; creating awareness and diligence among employees about cybercriminal methods and use and training and managing an effective and experienced security team. Ireen is responsible for operational compliance to industry standards, regulations and legislation. As part of her role, Ireen partners and works closely with various departments and teams to seek out and create new and innovative solutions to enhance cyber defence and protection. Ireen has worked in cybersecurity for nearly 20 years. She began her career in the security operations centre for a major Canadian bank, managing processes around network devices and systems, administering cryptographic keys for ABMs and conducting vulnerability assessments on varying technologies. She then progressed to senior roles in governance, risk management and compliance providing consulting advisory services, including recommendations for improving security posture, to a number of different clients in the healthcare sector and telecommunications and ultimately ending back in operations, where she managed individuals on a number of security operations capacity: vulnerability management and security event management. Ireen holds a degree in Economics from the University of Toronto and cybersecurity designations: CISSP, CISM, and CRISC.