Celina currently serves as the Sr. Advisor of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Initiatives and Adjunct Lecturer at Queen’s University. Her national bestselling book, Can You Hear Me Now? was released in February 2021, and published by Penguin Random House Canada. It is available online and wherever books are sold. Her equity based leadership development app, MaximizingU, is available through the Apple Store and Google Play.
Celina was the former Member of Parliament (MP) with the Government of Canada, representing the Town of Whitby, a suburb east of Toronto. As a Liberal MP, she served as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from Dec 2015 – Jan 2017, and served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development et la Francophonie from Jan 2017 to Aug 2018. She sat as an Independent Member of Parliament from March 2019 until the end of her term in October 2019.
As an MP, Celina advocated for people suffering with mental illness and was awarded the Champion of Mental Health Parliamentarian in May 2017 by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health.
Her advocacy related to equity and justice resonated in Canada and around the world as she was also named one of the Most Influential People of African Descent, Global 100 Under 40, Politics & Governance and Black Parliamentarian of the Year in 2017, and featured in the April 2018 edition of O (Oprah Winfrey) Magazine entitled, “What would you stand up for?”
Celina received a number of awards during her term, and was also named Chatelaine Magazine’s 2019 Woman of the Year.
Before entering politics, Mrs. Caesar-Chavannes was a successful entrepreneur, launching and growing an award-winning research management consulting firm, with a particular focus on neurological conditions.
She was the recipient of both the Toronto Board of Trade’s Business Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012 and the 2007 Black Business and Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Young Entrepreneur Award.
Mrs. Caesar-Chavannes is a renowned research consultant and has worked with a variety of private, government and non-government organizations.
Her work required her to build and manage effective collaboration across a wide range of interests and perspectives, and she has years of experience managing complex projects involving industry, federal agencies, health care professionals, researchers, and patient advocacy groups.
Astute Academic with Commitment to Service
Ms. Caesar-Chavannes has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, an MBA in Healthcare Management from the University of Phoenix, an Executive MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and is a [Deepak] Chopra Certified Health Instructor. She is currently enrolled in a PhD program with the Department of Neurosciences at Queen’s University exploring the intersection of equity and empathy.
Celina is a member of the board and director at Lakeridge Health Foundation, as well as a member of the Black Scientists’ Taskforce on Vaccine Equity with the City of Toronto. She is a past member of the Governing Council of the University of Toronto, and also served as member of the Institutional Advisory Board for the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, which is part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She is also a member of the Congress of Black Women.
You can follow Celina on all social media platforms @iamcelinacc. You can download her short & readable bio below.