James Clark works as an Advisor in the Canadian Office at the World Bank Group in Washington DC. Prior to this he held positions in the Department of Finance Canada and Global Affairs Canada working on issues including housing and homeless, justice and security and international development. James joined the Government of Canada through the Advanced Policy Analyst Program, a rotational leadership development and training program. He holds an Honours Business Administration degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Toronto. James has been an active Cahdco board member since 2019.
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Abra has been actively engaged in research and policy for nearly 20 years, focused on the intersections of urban planning, housing and homelessness in Canadian cities. She completed her doctorate in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University in 2012 and later partnered with Cahdco on a post-doctoral research project to identify how best to leverage city planning tools to advance the creation of more affordable housing in Ottawa. Since 2016, Abra has worked in the federal government, first in the federal homelessness program at Employment and Social Development Canada and more recently as an Advisor in Housing Policy and Research at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Abra served on the Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation board from 2017 to 2020 and is very happy to now contribute as a board member of Cahdco since 2022.
Professor Benjamin Gianni’s research interests focus on the areas of housing and urban development. Of particular interest are 1) the development and redevelopment of public housing constructed in the decades following WWII in Europe and North America, 2) urbanization, suburbanization and the study of large-scale housing ensembles in contemporary China, 3) the redevelopment of informal settlements, using design as a form of research to explore adaptable, culturally resonant, and market-friendly approaches to redevelopment, and 4) housing affordability as it cuts across a broad range of demographic categories. He is currently finishing a book on pre-WWII suburbanization in Pittsburgh, PA. Prof. Gianni teaches courses on housing and urban history, as well as leading the housing studio in the 4th year of the BAS program. A former Director of both the School of Architecture and the School of Information Technology at Carleton, he coordinates the School’s Urbanism major.
Catherine Boucher was the Executive Director for Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC). Catherine worked at CCOC for over 30 years and has experience in developing and managing social housing under most programs available from federal, provincial and municipal governments. She retired from this position in October 2009. She has been on the Cahdco Board since 2016. She sat on the Board of Directors of CHRA from 2006 to 2012 and received the association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She also volunteers as the President of her local Community Association to make trouble for bad developers and encourage good ones.