Our Team

Jaime Smith
Director, Social Innovation, Coady Institute and St. Francis Xavier University, and Executive Lead, Centre for Employment Innovation

“Innovation through collaboration is the cornerstone of our engagement, learning and research agenda. 

At the CEI, we focus on bringing together the people, knowledge and assets that strengthen communities and organizations, and build capacity for positive social change.”

Dr. Paula Romanow
Manager of Research and Evaluation

"We do research you can use. Our exploration of career development is practical, community-focused and above all, practitioner led.” 

Jessica Popp
Manager of Engagement and Partnership

“The voice of the community is at the core of our work. We believe collaborative relationships are key to fostering a future that works for all.”

Angela Bear
Navigator of New Initiatives

“Supporting new employment initiatives, in collaboration with service providers, allows us to witness firsthand the breadth of innovation occurring within our province’s employment services system.”

Brenda Gatera
Engagement and Stakeholder Coordinator

"Our biggest asset is the diversity of our communities. Our differences in perspectives, stories, knowledge and experiences are exactly where innovation emerges. Our work prioritizes inclusivity and collaboration in finding what is working and how these best practices can be shared, ensuring that those who are impacted by decisions have a voice throughout the process."

Alfred Burgesson
Project Lead, Nova Scotia Young Leaders Program

“Together we will explore how we might create pathways for young people across our province to be community connectors. Our challenge is creating the infrastructure for youth to develop leadership skills within organizations, that are also collaborating across silos and contributing to the success of communities.”

Carrie Ferguson
Research Coordinator


Andrea Curley
Research Coordinator

“The capacity to work with the people for the people on various levels has always been my passion. During our earth walk we are medicine to one another.”

Jody Cook
Financial and Administrative Coordinator

“CEI provides Social Innovation Labs and Communities of Learning to foster collaboration; bringing community and system partners together to share, learn, and develop innovative initiatives that ultimately lead to meaningful employment for all.”

Brian Lazzuri
Coady Institute Manager of Marketing and Communications

“There are so many positive stories happening in our province and by sharing them we hope to continue to build upon that momentum.” 

Joel Murphy
Youth Leadership Intern

“Creating avenues and spaces for research to be initiated, driven, and informed by community and individual experiences within those communities is an integral act to encourage radical system changes”

Alyssa Mansfield
Future of Work Intern

“The work of the CEI centers communities, and the people that live and work within these communities. Through this work the CEI is able to better help make meaningful change and ensure that individuals and their communities thrive. The inclusive nature of the CEI allows for the innovation necessary to continue make a difference in regard to employment in Nova Scotia, today and in the future.”