Grand Challenges Canada Welcomes Dr. Karlee Silver as CEO and Expresses Gratitude to Co-CEO Jocelyn Mackie

A New Chapter of Leadership and Innovation

Grand Challenges Canada / Grand Défis Canada (CNW Group/Grand Challenges Canada)

Key Takeaways:

  • Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) has appointed Dr. Karlee Silver as CEO, effective September 11, 2023, while bidding farewell to Co-CEO Jocelyn Mackie, who has been instrumental in the organization’s success for the past 11 years.
  • Under the leadership of Dr. Silver and Ms. Mackie, GCC has secured substantial funding, fostered partnerships, launched initiatives in conflict areas and indigenous communities, and addressed critical global health challenges.
  • The board of directors expresses gratitude to Jocelyn Mackie for her exceptional dedication and leadership, while welcoming Dr. Karlee Silver’s extensive experience and innovative vision to drive GCC’s mission forward.

Introduction: Leadership Transition at Grand Challenges Canada

Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) proudly announces the appointment of Dr. Karlee Silver as CEO, effective September 11, 2023. The organization also bids farewell with gratitude to Co-CEO Jocelyn Mackie, who has decided to step down after 11 years of invaluable contributions to the organization’s growth and impact.

Dr. Karlee Silver and Jocelyn Mackie’s Achievements at GCC

As Co-CEOs of Grand Challenges Canada, Dr. Karlee Silver and Jocelyn Mackie have made significant contributions to the organization’s success. Their leadership and collaborative efforts have resulted in notable achievements:

  • Secured approximately $300 million in funding to support innovations in low- and middle-income countries, building strong relationships with partners and funders, including Global Affairs Canada.
  • Established Creating Hope in Conflict as a platform to deliver Humanitarian Grand Challenges, fostering innovative solutions in conflict areas.
  • Supported the incubation of the Indigenous Innovation Initiative, addressing critical health challenges in indigenous communities.
  • Launched the Being Initiative, a global collaboration of funders and partners focused on youth mental health.
  • Incubated and invested in global health impact investment funds, driving sustainable solutions in the healthcare sector.
  • Initiated new challenges related to climate and health, as well as the development of sustainable diagnostic labs in low- and middle-income countries.

The Board’s Perspective

Guylaine Saucier, Chair of the Board at Grand Challenges Canada, commends the successful Co-CEO model that has served the organization exceptionally well over the past five years. With Jocelyn Mackie’s decision to step down, the board is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Karlee Silver as the CEO of Grand Challenges Canada. Driven by her extensive experience in innovation for impact, Dr. Silver has been an integral part of GCC’s success since its inception.

The board expresses deep gratitude to Jocelyn Mackie for her outstanding dedication and leadership during her tenure as Co-CEO. Her strategic vision and relentless efforts have resulted in significant achievements for the organization, positioning it as a leader in addressing global health challenges.

Dr. Karlee Silver’s Vision for GCC

Dr. Karlee Silver enthusiastically embraces her new role as CEO of Grand Challenges Canada. She expresses her deep honor in assuming this position and acknowledges the exceptional work accomplished by the team, partners, and stakeholders under the leadership of Jocelyn Mackie. Dr. Silver is committed to building upon their achievements, transforming innovative ideas into sustainable solutions, and pushing boundaries to make a lasting impact on the health and well-being of people worldwide.

Jocelyn Mackie’s Reflections

Jocelyn Mackie reflects on her incredible journey at Grand Challenges Canada, spanning over 11 years and her five years as Co-CEO. She expresses her appreciation for the dedicated advisors, staff, funders, and partners who have worked collaboratively to support hundreds of inspiring innovators who are making a difference in the world. Mackie values the partnership and friendship forged throughout her tenure and expresses gratitude for the opportunity to learn and grow with the organization.

While there is never a perfect time to leave an organization one loves, Jocelyn Mackie believes the time has come for her next challenge. She expresses delight in having worked alongside Karlee as Co-CEO, highlighting the strength of their partnership. Jocelyn is confident in Karlee’s ability to lead as CEO and looks forward to collaborating with her and the entire GCC team to ensure a smooth transition.

About Dr. Karlee Silver

Dr. Karlee Silver is the incoming CEO of Grand Challenges Canada. Over the past five years, she has served as Co-CEO alongside Jocelyn Mackie, leading various teams and initiatives focused on global health innovation. Dr. Silver’s extensive experience in innovation for impact and her contributions to the development and selection of prioritized Grand Challenges have been instrumental in driving GCC’s success. She is recognized as a leader in women’s and children’s health, global mental health, and international development.

About Grand Challenges Canada

Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting bold ideas that integrate scientific, technological, and business innovations to address critical global health challenges. The organization empowers innovators by providing funding, resources, and expertise to create scalable and sustainable solutions that improve outcomes for populations in need. Grand Challenges Canada is funded by the Government of Canada and other partners.

To learn more about Grand Challenges Canada and its commitment to driving innovation, visit the official website at

Written by Shantel

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