Vice-President of Strategy, Research & Policy at United Way Toronto & York Region
Prior to joining United Way, Michelynn Laflèche studied and worked on social justice issues relating to race and gender in Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom.
She obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa, her Master’s degree at the University of Toronto and undertook postgraduate studies jointly at the University of Toronto and Karls Ruprecht University in Heidelberg (Germany). Michelynn worked as a research consultant on equalities and social justice for numerous organizations in Canada and Germany over a period of ten years, and was also a teacher of English as a Second Language and a university lecturer during that period before relocating to London (UK).
She joined the Runnymede Trust in 1997, the UK’s leading social policy research charity concerned with cultural relations and equality, where she established the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, developed the UK Race and Europe Network and managed Runnymede's projects relating to European social policy, citizenship, and employment.
She was appointed Chief Executive of Runnymede in February 2001 and led the organisation for eight of its most successful years until returning to Canada in 2009. From January 2009, Michelynn worked as an independent consultant focusing on the areas of equality and diversity, with a particular interest in migration and criminal justice issues. On returning to Toronto she joined the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance (formerly Toronto City Summit Alliance) where she directed the Greater Toronto Summit 2011. Michelynn joined United Way in May 2011 as Director of Research, Public Policy & Evaluation. She took up her current role in January 2017.
Areas of equality and diversity, with a particular interest in migration and criminal justice issues