Leadnow appoints new Executive Director, Shanaaz Gokool

Dear Friends and Allied Organizations,

I want to begin this announcement by recognizing and thanking Maggie Chao, our talented Campaigns Director at Leadnow. In addition to her existing duties, she fulfilled executive responsibilities with the board’s support as we conducted our search for Leadnow’s next Executive Director. We are grateful for her stewardship and ongoing contributions.

After a comprehensive recruitment process, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Shanaaz Gokool to the position of Executive Director at Leadnow, effective September 12, 2022.

Shanaaz joined the Leadnow team in 2014 as our Operations Manager and later left to pursue an executive role at Dying with Dignity Canada (DWDC).

She has been a lifelong human rights activist since she began her career advocating for racial justice, equity, and meaningful inclusion in her youth in Halifax-Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She now has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the non-profit and private sectors and is an emerging governance expert on systemic racism and discrimination.

She is the former CEO of DWDC, and in 2016, she spearheaded a national human rights movement supporting end-of-life issues. Under her leadership, DWDC emerged as a key player in Canada and internationally with successful court interventions, strategic government relations, legislative advancements, public mobilization campaigns, $5-6 million in earned media, and national fundraising recognition with the Moe Davies Award for fundraising excellence.

Shanaaz was the Chair of Amnesty International Toronto Organization and served on staff with Amnesty International Canada, Innocence Canada and, most recently, was the CEO of Fast and Female. She also has experience as a board director on national and local charities.

As a mixed-race immigrant, woman and person with disabilities, Shanaaz brings both a human rights lens and an intersectional framework to interrogate and challenge systems of power, discrimination and oppression.

We invite you to join us in welcoming Shanaaz back home to Leadnow!

We are thrilled to have her leadership as we navigate next-level impact to create a more just, equitable and sustainable society for generations to come.

To learn more about Shanaaz, you can read her bio here and connect with her on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/shanaaz-gokool

- The Leadnow board of directors