Change of Leadership: Mike Perry



Mike Perry


As our Founder and former Executive Director Olivia Chow marked her first 100 days in office as Mayor of Toronto, ICL has also reached a landmark. I am delighted to announce that the Board of Directors has appointed Mike Perry as our new Executive Director.

Mike has an extraordinary record of achievement as a lawyer, teacher, organizer, and community leader. Among the highlights, Mike has served as Legal Advisor to the Métis National Council,  Executive Director of the City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team, Governor of Fleming College, President of the Lindsay & District Chamber of Commerce, Director of Communications for the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA's Capital Campaign, and Co-Founder of the Community Association of Kawartha Lakes. 


Mayor of Toronto Olivia Chow, Mike Perry, and Marshall Ganz


A natural storyteller and passionate teacher, Mike is well-known to the ICL community. His involvement began when he crossed paths with Olivia through the Public Leadership program at Harvard. Mike soon became one of our most active and effective trainers, joining Olivia and the team in teaching and coaching across the country. In 2021, as ICL faced challenges at the height of the pandemic, Mike spearheaded our first-ever major gifts campaign, which has helped ICL stabilize and grow. Early in 2022, Mike joined the Board of Directors, and we have benefited greatly from his knowledge, creativity, energy and enthusiasm.

Mike’s academic credentials are also a perfect fit for ICL, with Certificates in Public Leadership and Higher Education Teaching from Harvard, Master of Laws from Duke University School of Laws, and a Master of Social Work from York.  

True to the spirit of ICL, Mike considers his greatest achievements to be the achievements of others whom he has helped empower through public narrative training and coaching at Harvard, Trent, in the community and through ICL, including health care providers, survivors of sexual assault, union workers, student leaders, Francophone minority women, and Indigenous leaders. Mike is a proud citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario, and in 2022 was elected Councillor, Ward 3, in the City of Kawartha Lakes.


ICL Chair aman melles


As we welcome Mike, we extend our heartfelt thanks to Amrit Parhar, formerly our Education and Training Manager, who has served as Acting Executive Director since Olivia’s departure. Amrit remains a key member of the senior leadership team. We also thank all the staff and the entire ICL team of trainers, facilitators and volunteers for their support through the transition period. 

With Mike Perry’s leadership, our experienced team and the strong foundations established under the direction of Olivia Chow and the Board, we feel both confidence and excitement as ICL continues to move forward.

Yours sincerely, 

amanuel (aman) melles

Chair of the Board of Directors

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The Institute for Change Leaders is a Canadian registered charity that can issue official donation receipts (no. 763310679 RR 0001). ICL is brought to you by the Faculty of Community Services at Toronto Metropolitan University.

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