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.
Goldi Gill, MBA, PhD(C) (CFAS Executive Director)
Goldi Gill is an experienced executive leader who has demonstrated excellence in strategic and operational management in multi-site for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Her professional experience is based on a strong foundation of evidence based organizational practices, theory, and research. Goldi comes to this position having been the Executive Director of The Arthritis Alliance of Canada, a pan-Canadian assembly, where she was successful in developing and implementing strategic goals in awareness, advocacy and fund development. Prior to working with The Arthritis Alliance of Canada, she held several roles within the public and private sectors. She has a solid background in leading teams in the areas of advocacy and strategic planning. Goldi possesses a strong political acumen and is well versed in working with not-for-profit organizations and government agencies. Goldi has a high regard for continuous learning and education. Her educational background includes a degree in communications, a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Queen’s University and she is a candidate for a PhD in Business Psychology at the Chicago School of Psychology.
The 2020-2021 Board of Directors
Dr. Jason Hitkari, MD (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. Simon Phillips, PhD (Vice President)
Simon Phillips is a CFAS certified Embryology Laboratory Director. He has been a clinical embryologist for twenty-five years. He has a PhD in Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacology from the University of Portsmouth, a MSc in Clinical Embryology from Leeds University and a BSc in Biological Sciences from Plymouth University. He is currently the Scientific Director at OVO Fertility.
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.
Outside of work, Simon and his family enjoy spending time in their sailboat during the summer months.
Dr. Sony Sierra, MD (Treasurer)
Dr. Sony Sierra has been a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility since 2006. She completed residency at the University of Toronto, and then went on to a fellowship program at the University of British Columbia in GREI. During her fellowship, Dr. Sierra was trained in Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss at the University of Chicago, under the mentorship of Dr. Mary Stephenson.
She is currently a physician in the practice, a partner at TRIO Fertility and the Deputy Medical Director, along with Dr. Ken Cadesky. In addition to her busy fertility practice, Dr. Sierra and Dr. Carl Laskin run the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss program at TRIO Fertility. This program continues to be the largest program in Canada focused on the investigation and management of recurrent pregnancy loss.
Dr. Sierra is also an Associate Physician at Women’s College Hospital where she specializes in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Toronto. She enjoys her participation in teaching and training in undergraduate medical program, residency, and fellowship programs in both Gynecologic Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and Maternal Fetal Medicine.
Dr. Prati Sharma, MD (CPD Director)
Dr. Sharma received her Obstetrics and Gynecology and REI training in the United States from two centers of excellence in New York City, Cornell and Columbia University Medical Centers. She combines her love for research in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility with “patient-centered” clinical practice, to provide the utmost care for patients. Dr. Sharma is a graduate of the Seven-Year Accelerated BS/MD Medical Program in New Jersey (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-UMDNJ), after which she pursued her Specialty Residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cornell University Medical Center. She became American Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) in 2007. Dr. Sharma then pursued further sub-specialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at one of North America’s largest and well-known IVF centers: The Center for Women’s Reproductive Care at Columbia University Medical Center. There, she completed a three-year Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) and became American Board Certified in REI in 2011. During her training, Dr. Sharma received several commendations and awards for her teaching abilities from both junior residents and faculty, including the Chief Resident Teaching Award and AAGL Laparoscopy Award for Excellence in Surgery from Cornell University.
Dr. Sharma currently practices Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at CReATe. She is an active member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is also a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
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. Greg's 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 been serving the Board for many years, and he was previously the Chair of the Research in Reproductive Science SIG. He has knowledge in the scientific, politic, economic context of ART in humans and has interest in the future of CFAS.
Eileen McMahon, RN(EC), MN, PNC(C) (Past 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.
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.
Andrology • Sarah Kimmins, PhD
ART Lab • Alexander Lagunov, MSc
Counsellors • Sharna Cohen, MA
Counsellors • Holly Yager, Med
Ethics and Law • Shirley Levitan, LLB
Ethics and Law • Shruti Ghandi, MD
Fertility Preservation • Karen Glass, MD
Genetics • Svetlana Madjunkova
Imaging and Reproductive Surgery • Mike Hartman, MD
Leadership and Management • Deborah Myers, M.Mgt, CCPE
Nurses • Nicole Lee, RN
Research in Reproductive Science • Andrée Gauthier-Fisher, PhD
Research in Reproductive Science • Jay Baltz, PhD
Chair of the Communications Committee
Goldi Gill, MBA