Mindfulness Without Borders is led by an eclectic team of educators, practitioners and professionals from around the world dedicated to advancing knowledge and the practice of mindfulness and social and emotional learning in all walks of life. In 2005, The Huffington Post recognized Mindfulness Without Borders as one of the next ten generational organizations that are changing the world.
Theo is a former corporate VP turned award-winning social entrepreneur who passionately advocates for social and emotional health and secular mindfulness in society, with a special focus in conflict and post conflict countries. She oversees MWB’s strategic long-term initiatives and is the steward for international partnerships. Her background as a mindfulness practitioner informs her work as a Lead Facilitator of MWB’s programs and Senior Faculty member at University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Education.
Executive Director & Lead Trainer
Leah is responsible for management of program strategy, stakeholder relations, research and day-to-day operations – making her an incredibly valuable part of the MWB team. She is a seasoned facilitator, leading MWB’s professional development programs and Facilitator Certification trainings, globally, including at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. Leah directs MWB’s research projects in Canada and the United States – including the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychoses (PEPP) at London Victoria Hospital, Ontario. In her spare time, you can find Leah reading, lifting and enjoying the city with her dog, Stanley.
Music Advisor and Global Facilitator
Gary is an integral member of the Mindfulness Without Borders since its inception in 2007. He has led workshops and trainings in select locations in Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, U.S, and Canada, including, AVEGA, Hope North Academy, Toronto Catholic District School Board and the York Regional Police Department. As an educator, Gary teaches in the Expressive Arts Department of Fleming College and lectures at various universities in Canada and abroad.
Strategic Initiatives Lead
Charles is the driving force behind new projects. Through the work he leads with Mindfulness Without Borders, he builds capacity around strengthening the soft skills in LGBTQ+ communities. His intention and passion are to help build skill sets that will help queer individuals thrive in an increasingly complex world. His goal is to support this community to navigate adversity with social and emotional intelligence so that they are able to successfully represent their best selves in both personal and professional relationships with The Mindfulness Ambassador Program. He also serves as the outreach coordinator for the RETHiNK Digital Kit. Charles’ ultimate goal is to open shelters across the globe to provide relief to LGBTQ youth.
Amber is responsible for developing stakeholder relations and educational programs in the Barrie-Essex County. She is a seasoned facilitator and leads mindfulness-based programs in schools health settings and correctional settings. She is an author, public speaker, child and youth counselor and is passionate about strengthening mental health in young people. Amber is founder of Move-It For Young Minds, a charitable organization supporting children and youth who are living with mental health challenges, and has been recognized for her exceptional work and leadership within her community. She was awarded the 2018 Leading Women Award, as well as, the recipient of Georgian College’s Distinguished Alumni 2019.
Lead Facilitator & Latin America Program Manager
Ronit teaches MWB’s educational programs for youth and professionals in both Toronto and Latin America. Born in México, she is fluent in Spanish, English and Hebrew and has a diverse academic background spanning from literature, to performing arts to Gestalt Therapy, and includes a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies with special focus on social transformation from York University. Ronit’s teaching style is informed by her own mindfulness practice, and focuses on generating community by weaving together Buddhist thought and practice with emerging forms of social and community engagement. Ronit loves to write, cook, share meals with friends and ask questions that bring people together.
Lead trainer, Corporate programs
Moustafa leads all MWB’s professional development programs in corporate and healthcare settings in the Greater Toronto Area. He is the founder of The Mindful Practice and is certified by the University of Toronto as an applied mindfulness meditation specialist. Moustafa has been recognized by VitalSigns Canada for his leadership in teaching mindfulness meditation to hundreds of individuals within the LGBTQ community. His knowledge and expertise in program facilitation has helped to foster highly productive collaborations including, CAMH, 519 Community Center, Johnson & Johnson, and The Great West Life Insurance. Moustafa continues to widen his breadth of knowledge, and is currently studying Contemplative Psychotherapy at The Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science (NYC).
Artistic & Marketing Lead
As Artistic and Marketing Lead, Rachelle brings a wealth of knowledge and creative talent to the MWB team. She is an independent art director with 17 years in the creative field. She has worked as an illustrator, Art Director and Video Producer. Her client list includes The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Globe & Mail, Humber College, Nienkamper and many more.
Nova Browning Rutherford
Since 2017, Nova facilitates the Mindful@Work and Mindfulness Ambassador Program for youth in the Greater Toronto Area. As one of the newest facilitators on the team, Nova is most recognized as a Wellness Expert. Passionate about mental health, self-care and meditation, Nova is recognized as an educator and an award-winning speaker with the National Speakers Bureau. She is trained in The Way of Council with New England Collective and Ojai Foundation and offers their shared learning process in her workshops for public and private sector organizations. When not speaking on the internationally syndicated talk-show CTV's The Social, you can find her enjoying time with her twin daughters, gardening and working out for triathlon competitions.
When not facilitating the Mindfulness Ambassador Program in the Greater Toronto Area, you can find Natalie busy leading mindfulness-based workshops to women entrepreneurs, and coaching one-on-one sessions on meditation to people from all walks of life. An advocate for wellness and positive workplace cultures, Natalie uses her skill-sets to lead conversations that embrace wellness, inside and outside of the office, including at We Work, RBC and KOBO. Her dedication to community-building and connection has led her to leading meditation and mindfulness classes, workshops and camps all around the Toronto area.
Patrick is responsible for developing stakeholder relations and educational programs in health and corporate sectors in Rwanda. As a certified Mindfulness Without Borders facilitator and Masters graduate from the University of Innsbruck, he integrates his conflict transformation training in all aspects of his work. In his spare time, Patrick is a prolific writer and advocate for mental health and social justice in underserved and at-risk populations.
Dr. Emmanuel Ivorgba
Dr. Emmanuel Ivorgba holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Comparative Religion and is the strategic lead for MWB’s programs in schools, youth leadership groups and universities in Nigeria. He is the founder of Creative Minds International Academy, a K-12 school focused in empowering Nigerian students with the tools and motivation to think critically, explore the inter-connectedness of all life and establish sustainable relationships with the world that surrounds them. Emmanuel’s life work is reaching out to youth around the world to create a culture of peace and justice. He is recipient of the 2014 Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award in San Francisco for his leadership, service to humanity and peace building efforts, around the world.
Founding Curriculum Advisor
Soren Gordhamer is a valued co-author of MWB’s first-ever Mindfulness Ambassador Program. During 2009- 11, he-co-lead our professional development workshops and high school programs at select NGO’s and schools in Rwanda and Nigeria. Currently, host of the Wisdom 2.0 Conference, Soren brings technology leaders along with teachers from wisdom traditions to explore how we can live mindfully and engage the great technologies of our age in ways that benefit us, our society, and our world. He has been featured in various media, including GQ Magazine and Newsweek.com, and has taught mindfulness programs in a wide variety of settings, including to youth in New York City juvenile halls, to trauma workers in Rwanda, teachers in Nigeria, and to staff at US technology companies.
Emily is a creative, and passionate writer with a wide range of professional experience across the media industry. Her editing talents have contributed to MWB’s curriculum and marketing materials and monthly newsletters. Over the course of her career has worked for a variety of companies including Facebook, NBC News, Weight Watchers, Mount Sinai Hospital and Gawker Media. Emily primarily works as a writer, editor and journalist, but has experience as an indexer, researcher and proofreader.
Wendy is the principal lead for MWB’s expansion In England and senior facilitator for MWB’s Certification Trainings. She is a Resilience Coach and is focused on working with people to help strengthen their ability to face their challenges and find a path to move forward. She facilitates and deliver workshops on personal development and leadership, mindfulness, social - emotional intelligence and positive psychology.
Andrew Roach is a school psychologist and former elementary and middle school teacher. Prior to working at Georgia State, he coordinated family-centered positive behavior support services at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University. In 2010, Andy received the Lightner Witmer Early Career Research Award from the American Psychological Association – Division 16 (School Psychology). He also received the Council for Exceptional Children’s Early Career Publication Award in 2007 for a study that examined the influence of access to the general curriculum on the assessment performance of students with disabilities (Roach & Elliott, 2006).
An experienced educator, Amira oversees MWB’s program strategy, stakeholder relationships, and leads professional development programs in healthcare, education and corporate settings in Mexico. Trained in chemistry, psychobiology and contemplative neuroscience, she holds a degree in Chemistry from the Faculty of Chemistry, UNAM, a degree in Education from the Montessori Teacher Training Institute, and several certifications in Mindfulness in Education. She is a talented public speaker, mother and the founder of Elephant Wise LLC.
Team Mascot & Therapy Dog
When Stanley is not sleeping, eating or playing with toys, he is busy being our therapy dog, hosting games of scrabble and chasing squirrels. He enjoys being cuddled, going for walks and reruns of Friends. In 1980 he made an appearance on David Letterman. He is also an Instagram sensation with over 800,000 followers.
Daniel Rechtschaffen, Marriage and Family Therapist, is the author of The
Way of Mindful Education:Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students. He founded the Mindful Education Institute and the Omega Mindfulness in Education conference. He leads mindfulness in education trainings and conferences at institutions such as the Omega Institute, Esalen, and California Institute of Integral Studies. He has helped create curriculum for organizations such as Mindfulness Without Borders, Mindful Schools, and The Mindful Mothering Project. Daniel leads mindfulness trainings for schools and communities around the world.
US Office Manager
Kathy brings over 20 years experience doing accounting, office management and human resources for companies in the wholesale, marketing/PR, architecture, interior design, engineering, food service, retail, advertising, health care, education industries, non-profits and internet start-ups. She keeps everything running smoothly and efficiently.
Board of Directors
From the onset, Mindfulness Without Borders engaged a trusted Board of Directors and advisors that are passionate about education, mental health and well-being to lend their expertise and perspective on the direction of our work, including:
Certified Public Accountant
Dr. Lorna Jean Edmonds
Vice Provost for Global Affairs and International Studies, Professor of Health Sciences and Professions, Ohio University
Co-Founder, past Chairman & CEO, Mind and Life Institute
Independent Consultant, Educational Innovations,and Special Advisor to the Provost, University of the Pacific
Founder and Executive Director, Mindfulness Without Borders
Independent Financial Consultant
CEO, Lisa Rogers Lifestyles & Design Enterprises
Psychotherapist, Founder, Stressed Teens. Author: The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens (2009)
Consultant and Author: Community: The Structure of Belonging (2008)
Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Endocrinologist, Co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, and Author: Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine (1989)
Psychologist, Lecturer, Journalist and Author: Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships (2006)
Susan Kaiser Greenland
Founder, The InnerKids Program and Mindfulness Together. Author: The Mindful Child (2010)
Founder, Connecting for Change, Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education
Raphael Ogar Oko
International Coordinator, Global Educators for All Initiative (GEFAI)
Clinical Psychologist, Consultant
Chair of Psychotherapy, Morgan Firestone; Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Toronto; Author: The Mindful Way Through Depression (2007)
Former President and Executive Director of Accrediting, Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, Western Association of School and Colleges.
Certified Coach, Mediator and Consultant