As Chair of the Board of Parkinson Canada, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Karen Lee as President and Chief Executive Officer to take effect on April 1, 2020. This appointment follows last year’s announcement by Joyce Gordon, Parkinson Canada’s current CEO, that she plans to retire in the first quarter of 2020.
Dr. Lee holds an Honours B.Sc. degree in Cell Biology from Western University and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the University of Ottawa. Dr. Lee comes to Parkinson Canada from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada after 12 years and a series of progressive roles. Most recently, she was Vice President of Research & Managing Director, endMS Research and Training Network and a valued member of the management team. In her capacity as head of research, Dr. Lee led significant efforts in creating a research program at the MS Society centered on people living with MS, making the MS Society a sector leader in focusing on patient-oriented research. She also drove nationwide discussions within the MS community, connecting MS researchers to people affected by MS in a dialogue about MS research priorities in Canada. Dr. Lee’s passion for science has benefited a number of communities in Canada. In addition to her corporate experience, Karen is an avid volunteer in the non-profit health care community, making meaningful contributions to a number of organizations and initiatives. Dr. Lee’s experience in neuroscience combined with her leadership, partnership building and people management skills make her the ideal choice to lead Parkinson Canada successfully into the future.
We are excited to welcome Dr. Lee to Parkinson Canada. At the same time we are grateful for the incredible impact Joyce Gordon has made and will continue to make as she helps ensure a smooth transition. Joyce was the driving force behind many of our significant successes including the 2016 integration of six Parkinson organizations creating a stronger Parkinson Canada. Joyce also led the drive to create guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s and in 2019 the second edition of the Canadian Guideline for Parkinson Disease was released. Joyce also was a guiding force behind the National Population Health Study on Neurological Conditions that provided important data on the depth and breadth of neurological diseases. Partnering with the scientific community and health institutions, Joyce led the formation of the Canadian Open Parkinson Network (C-OPN) with the public launch coming this spring. Over the coming weeks, there will be many opportunities to wish Joyce all the best in her upcoming retirement. In the meantime, the entire Board of Directors extends its wholehearted appreciation to Joyce for her continued commitment to Parkinson Canada and the people we serve. She has been an inspiration to us all.
A lifelong learner, Dr. Lee looks forward to leading Parkinson Canada to deliver on the next phase of our strategic plan.
Chair of the Board