Chief Executive Officer


Akela Peoples is pleased and honoured to be leading Mental Health Research Canada. She holds a master’s degree in Education and Executive Leadership Certificates from Harvard University, Western University’s Ivey School of Business and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. A values-driven, impact-focused leader, Akela has twice been awarded the WXN Top 100: Canada’s Most Powerful Women award, as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the YWCA Award of Distinction and the Paul Harris Award from Rotary International.

Akela, who serves on the Board of Governors of Humber College in Ontario, has a distinguished track record of strategically leading and successfully growing other national charities. She is committed to building bridges and relationships to unify and strengthen communities and indeed Canada at large. She views collaboration and partnerships as important pillars supporting growth and impact in the charitable sector. In addition to impact, strategy and Innovation are two key areas of focus in Akela’s leadership because she believes innovation and a “forward looking stance” are critical for continued organizational growth.

Akela’s personal interests include a lifelong passion for international travel and a strong commitment to personal fitness and wellness. She has visited 10 new countries in the last two years alone and volunteered in Chile and El Salvador with Habitat for Humanity to build houses for those who are less fortunate. In her spare time, she can be found in a hot yoga studio, playing tennis or golf, or spending time with her close family.

She feels fortunate to always have had work that she loves and is proud to live a life of contribution through her leadership roles and volunteer activities.

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