Governance and Leadership
The structure and mandate of the Society are defined by the By-laws under which it is incorporated, any special purposes legislation governing its mandate, the letters patent, and the governance policies and procedures enacted under the authority of the By-laws.
The 2019-2020 Board of Directors
Eileen McMahon, RN(EC), MN, PNC(C) (President)
Eileen graduated from the University of Toronto with a baccalaureate degree in Nursing Science, a Masters in Nursing, and a post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner degree. She has also successfully obtained her Extended Class qualification and holds specialty certification in Perinatal Nursing from the Canadian Nurses Association. She is a Nurse Practitioner at Mount Sinai Fertility and an Adjunct Lecturer in the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. Eileen was awarded a Mount Sinai Hospital Research Award in 2011 and is actively involved in all aspects of fertility nursing, but focuses primarily on fertility preservation and counselling. She also has an interest in gender inclusive care.
Eileen is an active member of the CFAS Nurses Special Interest Group, the Fertility Preservation Special Interest Group, and is a member of the Board of Directors. Eileen is helping to lead a Nurse Education Project Team in developing national fertility nurse competencies and this is a joint venture between CFAS and ASRM.
Dr. Jason Hitkari, MD (Vice President)
Dr. Jason Hitkari is the Medical Director of Olive Fertility Centre in Vancouver. He did his Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellowship at the University of Toronto (Mt. Sinai) before moving back to Vancouver to start his clinical practice in 2007.
He is also a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia where he is the Week Chair for the medical undergraduate “Reproduction Week”. He has received three teaching awards from UBC during his time there.
He lives in Vancouver with his wife, Lucy, and their twins (from IVF!). In his free time, Jason likes to enjoy good food and good wine with family and friends. He also enjoys being active and getting out on the water.
Dr. Cliff Librach, MD (Past President)
Dr. Clifford Librach is the founder and Director of the CReATe Fertility Centre (Toronto, Ontario). He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto, and holds cross-appointments with the Department of Physiology and Institute of Medical Sciences.
Dr. Librach played an integral role in the establishment of the reproductive biology clinical and research programs at Women’s College Hospital and in 1991 and later Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, and since then has made significant contributions to current fertility practice in Canada. He served as Division Head of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Women’s College Hospital for 23 years. Dr. Librach also served on the committees for development of standards for the Canadian Royal College REI fellowship and for development of CPSO standards for REI practice in Ontario. Dr. Librach was the Chair of Ontario Medical Association Reproductive Biology from 2004 to 2016. He co-founded the CFAS IVF Improvement Committee in 2004 and has presented analysis of clinic specific data at the IVF directors meeting for the past 12 years.
Dr. Librach was also involved in development and reporting of the Canadian Reproductive Technologies Registry (CARTR) and more recently served on the committee for development of the CARTR plus BORN ART database. He has spoken to a government committee regarding the prioritization of funding for ART in Ontario, and presented at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health regarding the Assisted Human Reproduction Act. He has served on a committee to implement funding for IVF in Ontario and is currently on a committee to set standards for IVF in Ontario. He has been interviewed extensively on ART-related topics in the national and international media.
Dr. Simon Phillips, PhD (Treasurer)
Simon Phillips is a CFAS certified Embryology Laboratoary Director. He has been a clinical embryologist for over twenty years. He is currently the Embryology Laboratory Director for OVO Fertility and the Scientific and Operations Director of Ovo Cryo.
Simon has previously been the chair of the ART Lab SIG and a member of the subcommittee that wrote the CFAS ART Lab SIG standards for Canadian ART professionals as well as developing the certification program. He has been part of various advisory boards and currently advises the Quebec College des Médecins in the development of a professional status for embryologists in that province.
Simon also holds a position in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montreal as a clinical lecturer and sits on the board of directors of the Centre de recherche en reproduction et fertilité (CRRF) at the University of Montreal in Ste-Hyacinthe.
Dr. Kaajal Abrol, MD (CPD Director)
Dr. Kaajal Abrol graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at McMaster University, and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto. In 2010, she became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Obstetrics and Gynecology; and in 2012, she completed a Fellowship in Gynecologic Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) at the University of Toronto.
Throughout her training, Dr. Abrol received many distinctions, honours, scholarships and awards of excellence. She has authored and co-authored a range of scientific posters, research papers, and presentations on a range of topics related to the treatment of infertility. Her current clinical and research interests include polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), fertility preservation for oncology patients, and improving clinical outcomes through assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization and frozen embryo transfer.
Dr. Abrol is currently a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS), the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) among others
Dr. Greg FitzHarris, PhD
Greg is currently Chercheur Regulier at CRCHUM, and Prof Agregé in OBGYN at Université de Montreal. The focus of the lab is to understand how defects in oogenesis and early embryogenesis can cause fertility problems. We specialise in harnessing live imaging approaches in the mouse and human oocyte and embryo, and pair this with micromanipulation and gene-targetting approaches to examine the mechanisms of cell divisions. Gregs lab has published extensively in this field in the past 10 years, including papers in leading journals including PNAS, Current Biology, and Development. Greg’s lab is funded by grants from CIHR, NSERC and Fondation J-L Lévesque. Greg is Editor in Chief of REPRODUCTION (2018-2023, jointly with Chris Price, UdeM). Most pertinently, Greg has been the Co-chair of the Basic Science SIG (Scientists in Endocrinology) of CFAS (2016-2017), and is presently on the CFAS Board of Directors in an advisory capacity.
Sherry Levitan, BSc, LLB
As a lawyer, being part of the CFAS community means advising physicians and patients without bias, helping share knowledge within the Society, and advocating for reproductive freedom in Canada. Sherry Levitan has been part of the CFAS community since she was first invited to speak at the 2008 annual meeting and has consistently brought her insights and quest for knowledge to the Society since.
Sherry is proud to have been the first lawyer to have been elected to the Board of Directors in 2014, and is seeking re-election. Over the last four years, Sherry helped create and curate the Science Light Lectures (to make medical and scientific topics accessible to all members), is the Chair of the Research and Development Fund (to distribute funds to research initiatives that will benefit the Society’s mission), and also sits on the Government Relations and Communications Committees.
Sherry has been practicing in the world of assisted reproduction for over 25 years, and firmly believes that being a good lawyer means understanding the perspectives of all the different disciplines housed within the Society. She may never be able to differentiate polar bodies from a trophoblast, but she has learned the value of glycine in cell development, the importance of implications counselling, and why we need to make fertility preservation more accessible. Above all else, Sherry knows that she wants to continue to learn from and contribute to the Society.
Dr. Heather Shapiro, MD
Heather Shapiro is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto and an REI based in Toronto. Currently she is the co-course director for the MHSc program in Laboratory Science in Embryology at U of T (the program expects to open its doors to the first class in 2019) and is cross appointed to the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation where she developed and teaches a leadership curriculum for residents. Her previous university positions include eleven years as the Residency Program Director and six as the Vice Chair, Education.
Heather is an active member of the CFAS. She is currently a member of the Clinical Practice Guidelines committee, where she is working on guidelines to reduce viral transmission in ART, and the government relations committee, for which she recently traveled to Ottawa. Along with Jeff Roberts and Sherry Levitan, Heather is working to further the Society’s mission to help authorities modernize the AHRA, specifically with respect to surrogacy. Her work on the Embryology MHSc program is being done in close collaboration from the CFAS and members of the Embryology SIG.
Heather’s research interests are reflected in her recent publication “Delaying Thyroxine Until Positive Beta-Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is Safe for Patients Receiving Fertility Therapy” and her upcoming publication “A step toward equitable access –understanding the use of fertility services by immigrant women in Toronto”. Heather’s other research interest include IVF trends and data analysis. In 2016, she was a co-recipient of a CFAS seed grant awarded to Vanessa Bacal for evaluation of the validity of the Canadian Assisted Reproductive Technologies Register (CARTR) Plus database.
“The CFAS is the bridge between clinicians and scientists, providing important links between research and clinical care. I am proud to have been involved in the past and to continue my involvement in the future. Active members make for a strong organization, and a strong organization benefits both professionals and patients, and ultimately Canadian society.”
Sara Cohen, LLB
Sara R. Cohen, LL.B. is a fertility law lawyer based in Toronto, with clients throughout Canada and beyond. Sara is the founder of Fertility Law Canada at D2Law LLP where her entire practice is devoted exclusively to the practice of fertility law. She regularly acts for intended parents, surrogates, donors, cryobanks, hospitals, distributors and fertility clinics on a wide range of fertility law issues.
Prior to her career as a fertility lawyer, Sara practiced commercial litigation and public law at Canada’s then largest law firm.
Sara was recently named by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada. She is the President of Fertility Matters Canada, past co-chair of the Ethics and Law Special Interest Group of Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, and an adjunct professor of reproductive law at Osgoode Hall Law School. Sara co-chaired Canada’s first national symposium on fertility law in Canada, is one of two international members of the executive council of the Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee of the ABA’s Family Law Section, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAAA). Sara has given expert testimony on third party reproduction and legal parentage issues at Queen’s Park for the Standing Committee on Social Policy, and has been invited by the Ontario and Canadian government to confer on various fertility and parentage related legal issues.
Sara has been published on issues relating to reproductive law in the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, Huffington Post, BioNEws, and Lawyers Weekly and a frequent contributor to The Globe and Mail on fertility law issues. She is an in-demand speaker, having lectured at Suffolk University Law School, University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall Law School, McMaster University, AAARTA, Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, Law Society of Upper Canada, American Bar Association, National Family Law Program, CLEBC, and Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society. She is the winner of the 2013 Precedent Setter Award and a Clawbie Award for her blog about fertility law in Canada.
Dr. Marc-André Sirard, PhD
After graduate studies at University Laval on in vitro fertilization to generate the first clinical method to produce test-tubes calves in 1985, Marc-Andre went for a post-doctoral training to the laboratory of Neal First in Wisconsin to study in vitro maturation of oocytes. He came back to Québec in 1987 and became an industrial chair professor in 1990. He founded the Centre de Recherche en Biologie de la Reproduction in 1995 which has grown to include more than 100 people today. He obtained a senior Canadian Research Chair in 2000 on genomics applied to reproduction and is leading an international effort to define the normal genomic program in early mammalian embryos which has become an NSERC strategic network in 2008. He has published over 300 scientific papers and has been invited to give over 85 invited lectures in international meetings. His current research activities are focus on the influence of the ovarian environment on oocyte quality in human and large animals. Marc-Andre has served on the Board before and is currently chairing the Basic scientist SIG. He has knowledge in the scientific, politic, economic context of ART in humans and has interest in the future of CFAS.
The Board is in turn supported by an Advisory Council consisting of:
Chair of the IVF Medical Directors Group
Albert Yuzpe, MD
François Bissonnette, MD
CFAS Special Interest Groups
CFAS-SIGs: organized groups that are authorized by the CFAS Board to represent people with similar interests in an area of reproductive medicine and/or science.
Danielle Dubois, RN • Nurses
Alexander Lagunov, MSc • ART Lab
Sharna Cohen, MA • Counsellors
Sarah Kimmins, PhD • Andrology
Mike Hartman, MD • Imaging
Deborah Myers, M.Mgt, CCPE • Administrative
Karen Glass, MD • Fertility Preservation
Andrée Gauthier-Fisher, PhD • Scientist in Reproductive Endocrinology
Marc-André Sirard, PhD • Scientist in Reproductive Endocrinology
Shirley Levitan, LLB • Ethics and Law
Chair of the Communications Committee
Goldi Gill, MBA