The Canadian Blood Services’ executive management team has nine senior members: eight vice-presidents and our CEO. The CEO is the organization’s most senior executive—accountable to our board of directors and responsible for ensuring we operate within the policy and strategy framework approved by the board. The CEO provides advice and counsel to the Board on all organizational matters and leads our management, staff and volunteer teams.
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Dr. Graham D. Sher
Chief Executive Officer
Graham has been with Canadian Blood Services since it began operations in September 1998. He first served as vice-president of medical, scientific and clinical management, and was appointed CEO in June 2001.
Graham continues to lead Canadian Blood Services through an extensive, multi-year transformation journey. The early phases of this transformation focused on a comprehensive service delivery model redesign to ensure safety, adequacy and modernization of systems. Leveraging these early changes, Canadian Blood Services’ current strategy positions the organization as a trusted partner in healthcare delivery across Canada and has at its roots a focus on quality excellence, sustainable efficiency and a committed, engaged workforce.
Graham is a recognized expert in transfusion medicine and science, and is a sought-after speaker both nationally and internationally. He sits on a number of blood system and healthcare-related boards and advisory bodies, and has provided consulting support to other countries in the transformation of their blood systems.
Graham is a founding member of the Alliance of Blood Operators and is the first international director on the board of the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks), serving as its president in 2013-2014. Beyond blood system governance, he is passionate about health system design and management, and is active in a number of areas of health system performance improvement and policy development.
A hematologist by training, Graham acquired his medical and doctoral degrees at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and his specialty certification at the University of Toronto. He was formerly a physician and scientist on staff at the Toronto Hospital and on faculty at the University of Toronto. He is happily married, has three sons, and is constantly struggling to find more time for his other passion in life: photography.
Mr. Jean-Paul Bédard
Vice-President, Public Affairs
Under Jean-Paul’s leadership, the Public Affairs division raises the awareness of the organization and builds productive and effective relationships to promote and enhance Canadian Blood Services’ contribution to health care in Canada. Known for his team-building and collaborative approach, Jean-Paul maintains his team’s focus on ensuring the Canadian public is actively engaged with Canadian Blood Services as a donor, recipient, partner or employee.
Canadian Blood Services’ Public Affairs division is responsible for the strategic development and implementation of fundraising, stakeholder relations, government relations, creative services, communications, and corporate reputation and health policy. Formerly of Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada and, before that, Bayer Healthcare, Jean-Paul has more than 20 years of proven success in government relations and public affairs in the biopharmaceutical industry. Over the years, he has served on various industry boards, committees and not-for-profit organizations. He is currently a member of the board of governors and an alumni association director at the University of Ottawa.
Jean-Paul holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology and a business administration certificate from the University of Ottawa.
Ms. Judie Leach Bennett
Vice-President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Judie leads a team of professionals who provide legal, governance, and risk guidance to Canadian Blood Services and its subsidiaries. Previously, Judie has held both business and legal roles with Canadian Blood Services, advancing initiatives in innovation, risk management, ethics, compliance, process improvement, and international collaboration.
Judie began her career as a lawyer with a Toronto law firm, acting in product liability litigation and class action proceedings. Having received her law degree from the University of Western Ontario and Master of Laws from the University of Ottawa, Judie is accredited by the Law Society as a Certified Specialist in Health Law and holds certifications in risk management and in healthcare ethics.
Judie volunteers as a member of the board of directors of Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa.
Dr. Christian Choquet
Vice-President, Quality and Regulatory Affairs
Christian joined Canadian Blood Services on Aug. 9, 2004. Christian is responsible for Canadian Blood Services’ quality management system and quality assurance program. His focus is on ensuring that all operations, products and services meet or exceed applicable standards and regulations. His team is also responsible for all interaction with federal regulatory authorities as it relates to the safety and quality of our products and services.
Christian holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and master’s degree in microbiology from Laurentian University, as well as a PhD in microbiology from the University of Ottawa. He also pursued post-doctoral studies at the National Research Council of Canada.
Between 1994 and 1999, Christian worked at Health Canada in the Medical Devices Bureau, during which time he gained considerable insight and experience in regulations and standards of medical devices, pharmaceutical drugs and biological drugs including blood and blood components. Prior to leaving the federal government, he was section head of in vitro diagnostic devices, device evaluation division, of the Medical Devices Bureau. He was also responsible for medical devices used in the manufacture of blood and blood components.
In October 1999, he joined Infection Diagnostic Inc. (IDI), based in Quebec City. IDI developed and manufactured rapid molecular diagnostic test kits for the detection of infectious microbiological agents. He was IDI’s vice-president, Regulatory, Clinical and Quality Affairs when he left in 2004 to join Canadian Blood Services.
Dr. Isra Levy
Vice President, Medical Affairs and Innovation
Isra joined Canadian Blood Services in January 2018 and leads the Medical Affairs and Innovation division. He is focused on providing leadership and oversight for the Centre for Innovation, organ and stem cell donation and transplantation, utilization, donor and clinical services, medical microbiology and epidemiology, and ensures Canadian Blood Services’ medical and scientific support is provided to the ongoing operations of every aspect of our work.
Prior to joining Canadian Blood Services, Isra was Medical Officer of Health for Ottawa Public Health. During his tenure with Ottawa Public Health, he guided innovative and important public health initiatives, and was awarded Physician of the Year by the Academy of Medicine Ottawa.
Isra is a physician who graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. After working in South Africa and England, Isra immigrated to Canada, where he obtained an MSc in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa, and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has also attended the Senior Executive Fellows Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Mr. Ralph Michaelis
Chief Information Officer
Ralph provides leadership and direction to the Information Technology (IT) division. IT is a critical enabler necessary for Canadian Blood Services to deliver its products and services safely and efficiently. Ralph is responsible for ensuring IT aligns with and enables business operations and strategy.
Ralph joined Canadian Blood Services in June 2012 and has extensive technology and business experience in both the private and public sectors ranging from high tech to higher education. Before joining Canadian Blood Services, Ralph was the chief information officer at Carleton University for 10 years. Other experience also includes a variety of senior business roles at Newbridge/Alcatel and technology development in research and development at Mitel Corporation.
Ralph holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Windsor and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Ottawa. He is a registered professional engineer in the province of Ontario.
Mr. Andrew Pateman
Vice-President, People, Culture and Performance
Andrew is responsible for providing leadership, guidance and direction for Canadian Blood Services' People, Culture and Performance division. Through his leadership of the organization’s Corporate Strategy function, he also helps shape the direction and execution of the organization's strategy. Andrew brings more than 24 years of public- and private-sector experience to Canadian Blood Services.
For the past decade, he has devoted his energy to helping organizations develop and implement their strategies. He has written and spoken on issues relating to leadership and the management and execution of strategy, and has published several articles on measure selection, organizational alignment and change management.
Andrew is an alumnus of the University of Western Ontario, where he received Bachelor and master’s degrees in Canadian history. He also holds a master’s degree in public administration from Queen's University.
Ms. Pauline Port
Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer
Pauline is responsible for providing the executive management team and board of directors with advice and counsel relative to financial and procurement strategies. Pauline is responsible for facilities and equipment services. She is also the chair of the Canadian Blood Services’ Defined Contribution Pension Plan and co-chair of the Canadian Blood Services’ Defined Benefit Pension Plan.
She joined Canadian Blood Services in 1999 as director of financial operations. She brings extensive senior level leadership experience in internal audits, financial management, operational services, logistics, facilities, procurement and the implementation of information technology solutions.
Prior to Canadian Blood Services, Pauline spent five years in public accounting followed by senior roles in internal audit and finance at CARE Canada, an international humanitarian and relief organization. She has bachelor’s degrees in arts and commerce and is a chartered professional accountant.
Mr. Rick Prinzen
Chief Supply Chain Officer
Rick ensures that Canadian Blood Services consistently provides high-quality blood, plasma protein and stem cell products to customers at the right time and right cost. He is responsible for maintaining predictability and consistency in meeting customer needs, providing an outstanding experience for donors, standardizing collection, production, testing and logistics processes across the country, and ensuring productive, efficient operations.
Rick joined Canadian Blood Services as the director of supply chain operations for South-Central Ontario in December 2013. In this role, he applied his expertise and leadership to launch several transformative initiatives to improve productivity in the region and accelerate our journey to becoming an outstanding manufacturer of biological products.
Prior to joining Canadian Blood Services, Rick was a successful executive in the pharmaceutical industry leading local, national and global supply chain operations. Rick is an alumnus of Queen’s University, where he completed an undergraduate degree in metallurgical engineering, followed by a master of business administration.