Social innovator, scholar, activist, parent advocate
Radical advocate for the health and wellbeing of children, youth, families, communities, and organizations
Lisa Lachance is President of Wisdom2Action Ltd (since April 2013) and is currently pursuing her PhD in Health from Dalhousie University. She is a recognized youth mental health youth engagement and knowledge translation expert, with a specific focus on participatory and transformative approaches.
Lisa started her career in the public sector, working at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) where she promoted children’s rights and participation worldwide. She also worked in the Privy Council Office on Indigenous issues. She returned to Halifax in 2008, as the inaugural Director of Policy for the Nova Scotia Department of Finance. She has consulted for Canadian, international, and United Nations organizations on children’s rights, youth engagement, gender equality, and evaluation projects. In 2018, Lisa led the transition of Wisdom2Action from a government supported network to a social entreprise.
Lisa is currently a Doctoral candidate (ABD) in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University. In her national work in youth mental health, Lisa became aware of the development of Integrated Youth Services models. Knowing from W2A work how critical community-based organizations are for supporting the mental health and well-being of young people, she was particularly intrigued at the emphasis on better integration with community-based youth programs and services. She started her Doctoral studies in 2017 to examine how the community-based sector can be better integrated into mental health treatment planning for youth and what systems and approaches are needed to support this. Her doctoral work is supported by the Government of Nova Scotia and Dalhousie University.
Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced Major) in International Development Studies and a Masters in Public Administration, both from Dalhousie University. She has completed graduate-level studies in evaluation methods, and has completed professional development in evaluation methods and issues at the Canada School of Public Service and with EvalPartners/UNICEF.
Lisa and her partner Heather were one of Canada’s first same-sex couples married in 2003. They have two children (Jason,17 and Keira, 14). Lisa is a fierce parent advocate for inclusive education and access to youth mental health services, and she is a member of the FRAYME Family Advisory Council.
Lisa is bilingual and provides services in English and French.
Community Leadership & Advocacy
Chair, Board of Directors, Stepping Stone
Secretary, National Alliance for Children and Youth
Board member, Canadian Coalition for the Rights of the Children
2012 – 2014
Board member, Heartwood Centre for Community Development
2009 – 2012
Board member, Bryony House Transition House, Halifax
Volunteer Advisor, Canadian Executive Services Overseas
2005 – 2006
Board member, Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre
2005 – 2008
Volunteer, Minwaashin Lodge for Aboriginal Women
2004 – 2005
National President, Lambda Foundation for Excellence
2003 – 2004
National Co-Chair, Canadians for Equal Marriage
2002 – 2005
National President and Board member, Egale Canada
Awards & Recognition
Award for Excellence in French language services, Government of Nova Scotia
President’s Award for Excellence, Canadian International Development Agency
Community Human Rights Leader Award, Ottawa
Golden D, Dalhousie University
Dalhousie Board of Governors Leadership Award