25 Nov 13 11 Apr 18

Board of Directors - Doctors Without Borders Canada


President, elected 2015-2018

Dr. Wendy Lai is an emergency physician at Humber River Hospital in Toronto. She has worked with Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins Sans Frontieres since 2006, in a variety of settings including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti both before and after the earthquake, and Central African Republic. Domestically, she has practiced in rural community hospitals and in the Canadian Arctic. She is currently on the board of directors for MSF-Canada, elected in 2015.

Wendy earned a biochemistry degree with great distinction from McGill University, a medical degree from the University of Western Ontario, and studied Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. Her Emergency Medicine qualification was earned through years of practice. She is currently working towards a Masters of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

Wendy is the inaugural chair of the Global Health committee at Humber River Hospital, which has a mandate to connect local health equity issues in Toronto’s northwest neighbourhoods with global health-related activities.



Vice-President, elected 2015-2018

Saleem was born in Kenya and raised in Toronto, where he obtained a medical degree from the University of Toronto and specialized in cardiology. Currently Saleem practices cardiology at Rouge Valley Health System in Toronto, and is the cath lab director. Additionally, he has a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology.

Saleem has worked with MSF since 1999 in DRC, Zambia, Kenya and Haiti as field MD and project coordinator. In Canada, he has volunteered with the MSF peer-support network, has done numerous public talks and outreach events, and supports the MSF telemedicine project. He speaks English, French and Gujurati.

Saleem is a father, husband, son, brother and friend to many.  He enjoys a good movie, a warm tea by a campside fire, and early morning trail runs. 


Treasurer, co-opted 2012-2016

Frank Copping is a Chartered Accountant and has served as the Chief Financial Officer for three well known Ontario charities. Additionally, he has been on the boards of various local, provincial and national charities.  



Board Member, co-opted 

Marie de Buissonière

Marine de Buissonière is an independent consultant, specializing in the fields of global health and humanitarian action. She started with MSF in 1995 and worked for several years in China, the Palestinian Territories, Japan, and the two Koreas. After four years as secretary general of MSF International (2003-2007), she undertook studies in Public Policy and Public Health at Princeton University. Marine later became the director of the Public Health Program at the Open Society Foundations, where her work focused on advancing the health and human rights of marginalized groups including people who use drugs; transgender people; people living with disabilities; people in need of palliative care; sex workers; the Roma, etc. She is a member of the Editorial committee of the MSF Speaking Out Case Studies, and a selection committee member of MSF’s Transformational Investment Capacity (TIC). She also is a member of the Advisory Council of Last Mile Health (LMH).  




Secretary, elected 2017-2020

Daphne Hemily’s training is in Biomedicine, International Development, and Business. She started working with MSF in 2010, with field placements in Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan as either project coordinator or logistician. She has held various roles in MSF Canada’s Program Unit, working on institutional funding, telemedicine, and innovation. Daphne co-authored an operational review (Adapting MSF interventions in middle-income contexts) and teaches a global health module at University of Toronto. She is currently working as a management consultant.



Board Member, elected 2012-2015, 2015-2018

Chris Houston has an educational and professional background in risk management and has been involved in a management capacity with several organizations. He teaches a global health module at University of Toronto and runs a pediatric urgent care clinic in Toronto.  Chris has worked with MSF as a logistician, project coordinator and deputy head of mission in Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Turkey and Pakistan.  He has also worked for the Canadian Red Cross and World Health Organisation. 


Board Member, elected 2017-2020

Anne Connelly is an entrepreneur and consultant who has been working in the technology sector since 2012. She previously worked with MSF in Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in the Toronto and Dublin offices. She is passionate about blockchain technology and harnessing its potential to transform the lives of people in developing countries. Anne recently graduated from Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program at NASA Ames. She also has a Bachelor of Life Sciences from Queen’s University, an MBA from McMaster University, and a Fintech Certificate from MIT. Anne was honoured as one of CBC’s 12 Young Leaders Changing Canada.


Legal Officer, 2009 – 2016


James Lane is a commercial litigation lawyer practicing in Toronto. He has been involved as an MSF volunteer in Canada beginning in 1990 and served as the first General Director when the Toronto office was opened.



Elected, 2017-2020



Veronica Van Dam was born and raised in Holland, but started wandering around the world at the age of 19. While traveling in Africa, she met Sandy, her now Canadian husband of many years. Together they decided to become nurses so they could work with MSF overseas, as well as with First Nations people in Canada.  In 1995, after first working for 1.5 years in Attawapiskat, they both did their first mission with MSF. The wandering continued and along the way they both became nurse practitioners and had two daughters. Veronica pursued additional education in Public Health, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Human Security & Peacebuilding. After five years in Malawi working for Dignitas International, Veronica and the family moved to Toronto in 2011, for a temporary break from wandering. Currently Veronica divides her time between studying, working up north, doing short contracts in Community Health Centres in Toronto, family mediation, and raising teenagers. She is excited to add responsibilities as a Director on the Board of MSF-C to the mix. 



Elected 2016-2019



Ivan Buendia Gayton worked for 13 years with MSF, primarily in the field in various roles including logistician, project coordinator, head of mission, emergency coordinator, and cleaner. Additionally, he worked in several HQ roles including Humanitarian Affairs Advisor focusing on migrants, and GIS and Technological Innovation advisor focusing on gadgets, maps, and collaborations with the tech community. Ivan co-founded the Missing Maps initiative while working at MSF-UK’s Manson Unit in 2014, and continues to be involved with this initiative on a volunteer basis. He now works at a Silicon Valley firm working to increase financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa, and divides his time between British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley and West Africa.



Elected 2016-2019


Marie-Michele is a nurse practitioner, specializing in primary care (IPSPL) in Montreal since 2015. She has worked as a nurse in multiple departments of the pediatric hospital St-Justine. Since 2015, she has worked as an IPSPL in two different local health care centers in Montreal, and occasionally works at Phare, a palliative pediatric care house.

Marie-Michele joined MSF in 2009. After five missions in various contexts, she worked in the MSF - Switzerland emergency specialist team in 2014. Her year in emergency contexts brought her to the heart of conflicts in South Sudan, Central African Republic, and twice to the front line of the Ebola epidemic.

In addition to her experiences in the field, she was also a stakeholder of the revival of the MSF Québec Association in 2013. Whether through diverse conferences via the speaker’s bureau or organizing events to promote MSF’s work (refugee days on the subject of the Syrian crisis in 2015), she remains an active member of the Association. Furthermore, she was in charge of establishing content for the first e-briefing on cholera for the Program Unit of MSF-Canada in 2013.



Board Member, elected 2016-2019

Oscar Niragira is a doctor who started his humanitarian work with MSF in 2003 in Burundi. After 2 years of hospital work, he went on 10 missions as international staff in 9 countries (Congo Brazzaville, Nepal, Chad, Uganda, Congo, DRC, Nigeria, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Central African Republic), where he in turn served as hospital doctor, head of medical team and medical coordinator in different contexts.Dr. Oscar Niragira has worked for the recognition of MSF East Africa Association (MSF EAA) on an international level, has been the President of MSF EAA and has represented the association in MSF’s highest international body. In Canada, Niragira has worked in scientific research. He is a member of the MSF Canada association for which he is one of the board members since June 2016.