foundation governance

Anita Nowak is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Sauvé Foundation.

Anita graduated from McGill with a Bachelor of Commerce (1997), completed a Graduate Diploma in Communication Studies at Concordia (1999), obtained a Master’s in Media and Communication Studies from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (2001) and successfully defended her PhD in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill in August, 2011.

In May 2012, she became certified as a Professional and Personal Coach and plans to soon launch Legatum Coaching, devoted to helping individuals develop their Lifetime Legacy Plan.

Anita’s doctoral work involved narrative inquiry interviews with social entrepreneurs to inform a concept she calls “Empathic Action.” Her long-term goal is two-fold: First, to inspire individuals (especially youth) to become more socially engaged. Second, to work with enlightened business leaders and social entrepreneurs to fast-track a vibrant pluralist social economy.

Anita is the author of more than a dozen conference papers and co-editor of two anthologies: Rethinking Media Education: Critical Pedagogy and Identity Politics (Hampton Press, 2007) and Women/Advertising/Representation: Extending Beyond Familiar Paradigms (Hampton Press, 2010).

She is currently writing a book with the working title The Power of Empathy.

Anita regularly lectures at McGill, having taught courses such as Communication in Education (2010 & 2011); Media, Technology & Education (2005, 2006, 2007 & 2011); and Media Relations (2007). She is currently teaching a graduate-level course (Introduction to Educational Theory & Research) and will be teaching Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship in the fall.

As of January 2012, Anita assumed the role of Integrating Director for the Social Economy Initiative at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management.

From July-December 2011, Anita worked as a post-doc research consultant for EURICSE (European Research Institute on Cooperatives and Social Enterprises). As part of a feasibility study, she conducted an exhaustive mapping project with 150+ leading business schools around the world to identify if/how Social Entrepreneurship Education is being delivered. She also identified best practices and the strengths of different programs & curricula.

Prior to this, Anita served as Director of Advancement & Alumnae Relations for The Study (2007-11), a leading independent girls’ day school in Westmount. She was responsible for growing the Study School Foundation’s Endowment, as well as elevating the school’s Annual Giving program and forging ties with a variety of constituent groups (i.e. alumnae, parents, past parents, foundations, corporations, etc.)

Anita also worked in the Development, Alumni & University Relations (DAUR) office at McGill University, heading up the fundraising efforts for the Faculty of Education (2005-7) and leadership giving at the Desautels Faculty of Management (2004-5).

She joined McGill after many years in the private sector where she gained a wide range of experience in Corporate Communications & Speechwriting, New Business Development, Strategic Marketing and Event Planning.

Anita’s commitment to the non-profit sector runs deep, having served as a volunteer in many capacities, including Board membership for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (2006-7), Committee Membership for Media Awareness Network (2006-7), Action Refugiés Montreal (2006), Leave Out Violence (2002-3), the Montreal Sexual Assault Centre (1997-8) and as a participant in a sustainable development project for a native hill tribe in northern Thailand (1999). In July 2008, she conducted a needs assessment for a women’s collective in Kigali, Rwanda that provides trauma counseling and micro-credit loans to survivors of the genocide.

Today, she sits on the Advisory Board for Artistri Sud, a nonprofit organization that provides artisans in the developing world with the support they need to enhance their capacity to develop equitable and sustainable products and relations with local and global markets.

Anita is fanatical about travel, inspirational quotes, chocolate and running.

As a Sauvé Visiting Fellow, Anita supports Sauvé Scholars in their projects and other goals. 

“Leaders must dream of changing the world.

They must have an inspired vision of the changes they want to make and be prepared to consecrate all
their energy to that purpose. A capacity to communicate their objectives is indispensable to sustain
the enthusiasm of their collaborators and their perseverance in action.”
— The Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, Opening Speech to the National Conference for Young Leaders, June 2-8, 1991