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Meet the Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption

Photo of the Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption

Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption
Back row (left to right): Jan Silverman, Art Leader, Marjorie Dixon, David Johnston, Will Falk
Front row (left to right): Robin Cardozo, Cheryl Appell, Mary Wong, Sharon Sell
Absent: Carol Herbert, Danny Roth


David Johnston, Chair, is President, University of Waterloo and has degrees from the United States (Harvard, A.B.), England (Cambridge, LL.B.) and Canada (Queen’s, LL.B.), and is a Companion of the Order of Canada. He has held many academic positions, including Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario and Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University. David has served on many boards, and provincial and federal task forces and committees. He has also chaired many bodies, including the National Round Table on Environment and the Economy, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and Harvard University’s Board of Overseers. David and his wife have five daughters and six grandchildren (two through adoption, two through IVF and two through surrogacy).

Cheryl Appell is a lawyer with the firm Dickson MacGregor Appell LLP in Toronto and has extensive experience in the area of adoption law. Over the past 28 years, she has acted as an advisor in adoption proceedings. She is also licensed to place children for adoption. Cheryl is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the Ontario Association of Practitioners in Private Adoption.

Robin Cardozo is an adoptive parent. Since 1999, he has been Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario. The Foundation is a catalyst that enables Ontarians to work together to enhance the quality of life in their communities. Previously, he held progressively senior positions with United Way Toronto, culminating in his appointment as Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. Robin is a chartered accountant and currently serves on the boards of Bridgepoint Health and Diaspora Dialogues Charitable Society.

Dr. Marjorie Dixon is an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto (U of T) and co-founder of First Steps Fertility in Toronto. She is a graduate of McGill University’s School of Medicine with postgraduate training from U of T in obstetrics and gynecology, and in reproductive endocrinology and infertility from the University of Vermont. Dr. Dixon is now on staff at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center and her current practice deals with infertility, reproductive ageing and recurrent pregnancy loss. She is actively involved in undergraduate and professional medical education in both national and international forums. Her professional affiliations include the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologist of Canada. She lives in Toronto with her partner and two children.

Will Falk is the Managing Partner of Accenture’s Health and Life Science Practice in Canada and leads a team of professionals serving health care clients across the country; he is also a member of the firm’s global leadership team for health and life sciences. Will has been a strategic consultant for more than 17 years based in New York and Toronto and has served many of North America’s top academic medical centers, as well as health ministries and regional authorities across Canada. He is an adjunct professor at the Center for Health Strategy at the Rotman Business School at the University of Toronto and was a visiting research fellow at Yale University’s School of Management for the 2002-03 academic year. He serves on several boards, including the Children’s Aid Foundation, the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences and the Information Technology Association of Canada – Health Division. He and his wife are foster and adoptive parents licensed through the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and previously through Bucks County Children and Youth Services.

Dr. Carol Herbert is Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario and a professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Pathology. She graduated in medicine from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and practised as a full-service family physician, including in maternity care, for nearly 30 years. She was head of the UBC Department of Family Practice (1988-98) and a founder of the UBC Institute of Health Promotion Research. She has served on many boards, task forces and committees and she co-chaired the Health Canada Advisory Committee on Inter-professional Education for Patient-Centred Collaborative Care. Carol has three children, three stepchildren, and 10 grandchildren.

Dr. Art Leader is a physician and professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Medicine at the University of Ottawa, and a co-founder of the Ottawa Fertility Centre. He is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Canada) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and is a past president of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS). Art has received Awards of Excellence from both the CFAS and the University of Ottawa. He has also chaired expert working groups for Health Canada and is currently chair of a Canadian Standards Association subcommittee on assisted human reproduction. He is the father of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) daughter.

Danny Roth is the founder and President of Brandon Communications, a Toronto-based public relations firm. He currently serves on the board of the Save A Child’s Heart Foundation, Canada. He is also an officer and executive member of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region and is on the Board of the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada, where he’s been a committed advocate for Canadians struggling with infertility. Danny and his wife Jillian are proud adoptive parents.

Sharon Sell is a Private Adoption Practitioner in the Halton region and a social worker. She completed her undergraduate degrees in psychology and social work at York University and her masters in social work at the University of Toronto. Sharon has a private practice working with adoptive parents who are adopting internationally, privately in Ontario or through a children’s aid society. She has more than 23 years’ experience in child welfare, including seven years serving as a supervisor of an adoption department.

Jan Silverman co-founded the first Canadian infertility support network, Infertility Facts and Feelings. In 1992, after earning a second masters degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, she established the Infertility Support and Education Program at Women’s College Hospital. In her work there, she continues to counsel on infertility and related reproductive issues, lectures and supervises nursing and medical students. She is a past chair of the Ontario Women’s Health Network and created her family by adopting two children.

Mary Wong is the founder of ALIVE Holistic Health Clinic, located in downtown Toronto, specializing in women's health, gynecology, and fertility by integrating acupuncture and Chinese medicine with mainstream medicine. She completed her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at McMaster University and went on to receive her doctorate in traditional Chinese medicine in 1993 from the Canadian College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Victoria, British Columbia. She is a member of the Canadian Society of Chinese Medicine (CSCMA), the Ontario Acupuncture Examination Committee (OAEC) and is a Fertile Soul practitioner. Mary is a practitioner and educator committed to making a difference for people struggling with infertility. Having faced fertility challenges herself, she is currently looking at adoption through China.