Foundation Staff

Meet the staff at the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. For information about our sister organization, the Greenbelt Fund, including staff, please visit

Office of the CEO

Edward McDonnell

Namgyal Dolker
Executive Assistant      


Susan Murray       
VP Communications and Operations

Michele Jenkinson

Steen Lyder
Finance and IT Coordinator



Susan Murray
VP Communications and Operations

Megan Hunter
Director, Engagement and Digital Strategy 

Brianna MacLellan
Digital Engagement and Fundraising Coordinator


Cheryl Weldon
Director of Development



Shelley Petrie
Program Director

Bizhan Roshan
Grant Officer

Phaedra Maicantis
Grant Coordinator

Kevin Beaulieu
Municipal Planning Director

Research and Policy

Kathy Macpherson
VP Research and Policy

Thomas Bowers
Research Manager

Anna Shortly
Research & Policy Analyst






Edward McDonnellEmail.gif  

Edward McDonnell joined the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Greenbelt Fund as CEO in October 2017, bringing more than 20 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, public sector executive and senior advisor to a broad range of public sector organizations.

A social entrepreneur and passionate believer in public service and the power of civil society, Edward co-founded MD+A Health Solutions, a leading Ontario-based health planning professional services firm with clients in Canada and the Caribbean. A mission driven organization, MD+A was established to support not-for- profit and public-sector organizations with socially-significant mandates in the innovative use of information and management systems to deliver and improve programs and services.

Edward has also held senior executive roles in public institutions and organizations in the education and health sectors. A former senior advisor to the Ontario Minister of Finance, he oversaw policy, regulatory, and legislative initiatives related to consumer protection, community access to capital, and alternative financial services.

Edward’s background in public and community health has reinforced his belief in the interconnected nature of health, environment, urban design and access to fresh, local food. Having grown up in rural Ontario, he is excited for the opportunity to work to strengthen rural economies in and around the Greenbelt.

Edward has a Masters of Health Administration (MHsc) from the University of Toronto – Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. He has also received a number of awards for his professional contributions to the public service including the Government of Canada, Head of the Public Service Award for Excellence in Service Delivery.

Edward has served on the boards of a variety of health, cultural and environmental organizations including currently serving on the board of Regent Park Community Health Centre.  




Namgyal Dolker  Email.gif
Executive Assistant

Namgyal was raised in close proximity to nature, as she was born into a farming family. As she grew up, she was trained as an administrative assistant for the hospitality industry.

Barely three years in Toronto, after completing the Finance and Office Assistant Program from Skills for Change, she found herself working with Friends of Greenbelt Foundation under the Investing in Neighbourhood program and recently hired by the Foundation as EA to the CEO. Namgyal brings excellent inter-personal and organizational skills that proved to be a great addition to the Foundation.

She believes in the adage “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible". She is passionate about helping people, taking social responsibility and working for organizations that touch people's lives. 




Susan Murray  Email.gif
Vice President, Marketing and Operations

Susan joined the Foundation in September 2009 after almost five years as an Account Director with Manifest Communications, one of Canada's premier social marketing agencies. She brings over 15 years of marketing, communications, and branding experience to her role, and has worked in Toronto, New York and Poland for a broad range of clients including the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, OCAD, Artscape, Goodwill, Mountain Equipment Co-op, the Ontario Centres of Excellence, Baycrest, Ophea, the Arthritis Society and Doctors Without Borders Canada.

Susan holds an M.A. in Political Philosophy with a focus on International Negotiations from the University of Toronto, a B.A.H in Political Science from Queen’s University and a diploma in Conflict Management from Columbia University. She volunteers as a mediator at St. Stephen’s Conflict Resolution Service in Toronto.


Kathy Macpherson

Kathy Macpherson  Email.gif
Vice President, Research and Policy

Kathy joined the Foundation in May 2008, bringing more than 25 years of management, policy and program development, and evaluation experience in Canada and abroad. Kathy worked for 11 years in Southeast Asia, including with the World Bank on poverty reduction and directing a CIDA project to help build evidence-based policy development capacity within the Indonesian government. Prior to that Kathy worked in different Ontario ministries and Ministers’ Offices on a range of policy and program reforms. She was delighted to return to Ontario to find that the province had permanently protected prime farmland and areas of environmental significance in the Golden Horseshoe where she grew up. She enjoys everything the Greenbelt has to offer—from Niagara's peaches and other tender fruit to hikes on the Escarpment—and is looking forward to cycling the Greenbelt Cycling Route in 2015. 

Kathy has volunteered with a variety of organizations for the last 30 years and is currently on the Executive and Board of Crossroads International.  



Shelley Petrie  Email.gif
Program Director

Shelley came to the Foundation in January of 2006, from the Toronto Environmental Alliance, where she served as Executive Director for almost five years and as campaigner for ten years. Shelley has also worked for Great Lakes United and for Greenpeace. She has served on the Boards of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the Wildlands League, and Greensaver. Hailing from New Brunswick, she went to Mount Allison University. Her interests lie in broad community partnerships to further the environmental, economic and cultural evolution of communities towards a healthy future.



Michele Jenkinson  Email.gif

Michele joined the Greenbelt Foundation in February 2013, bringing over a decade of experience in the accounting arena. Michele has worked primarily with small to mid-sized companies and her knowledge of software and databases has streamlined the Foundation's reporting. Since the Foundation utilizes public funds, she understands the importance of transparency and accountability, and works diligently to ensure the Foundation meets the highest standards of accounting.

 Having grown up on the Oak Ridges Moraine, Michele watched the development of the marshland and saw its impact on the local wildlife. A strong advocate for responsible development, she enjoys contributing her skill set to the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation team. Since joining the Foundation, Michele has developed a new appreciation for Ontario's Greenbelt and all it has to offer local residents


megan hunter

Megan Hunter  Email.gif 
Director, Engagement and Digital Strategy

Megan Hunter joined the Greenbelt Foundation in 2014 after four years working for the Greenbelt Fund. Working on both the Market Access Grant Stream and during her tenure at the Greenbelt Fund, Megan helped develop market opportunities for local food in the Greenbelt and throughout Ontario. Megan now manages the Greenbelt Foundation's public engagement program.

Megan has a degree from the University of Toronto in International Relations and Environmental Policy with more than a decade experience in sales, communications, public relations, and foodservice.



Thomas Bowers  Email.gif
Research Manager

Tom joined the Foundation in December 2014 bringing more than 10 years’ experience of research and analysis from working in the public, private, and not-for profit sectors. He began his career in the UK working for local government before undertaking an MSc in Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy. This led to work for an international NGO before starting up a boutique environmental research and consulting company that worked with organizations wanting to improve the sustainability of their operations. He is passionate about building sustainable and resilient communities and enjoys the many opportunities for outdoor fun the Greenbelt has to offer.




By entering my email above I consent to receive emails containing information about the Greenbelt and the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. I may revoke my consent by unsubscribing.