Project Executive

Alissa Watt - Founder, Executive Director 

Alissa is a researcher and writer. She has years of experience studying violence and oppression in Canada. She is passionate about advocacy and action in service of marginalized communities. She holds a Master's degree in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory from McMaster University and has her Private Investigator's licence. 

alissa@missedlives.org
 

Rachelann Pisani - Lead Researcher, Assistant Director

Rachelann is an Information Professional. She specializes in digital collections, information visualization, professional and academic research. She is passionate about open information, and equal access to resources. She holds a Master's of Information from the University of Toronto and has her Private Investigator's licence.

rachelann@missedlives.org

 

Ian O'Neill - Investigator

Ian O’Neill became a licensed Private Investigator after many years as a freelance journalist and researcher. He also spent a dozen years as a copywriter in the advertising industry. His previous careers have given him many skills and contacts that are well suited to his current role in investigation. As a Private Investigator, his primary focus is on missing persons.
 
Born in Scotland, Ian grew up in Mimico, Ontario. He graduated from Humber College and currently lives in Burlington, Ontario with his wife and their dog. He is an author who enjoys photography and making independent short films.

ian@missedlives.org


Advisory Committee

The Honourable Wally Oppal, Q.C.

Former BC Attorney-General and judge, the Hon. Wally Oppal was the Commissioner of the 2012 Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. The Commission produced a 1400-page report with 63 unique recommendations for reconciling, remedying, and preventing the epidemic of missing women. The Hon. Oppal has dedicated his career to issues of social justice and community safety.

 

Bob Hunter

Bob is a Deputy Coroner Investigator with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, in charge of the Missing and Unidentified Person's Division. He has worked in law enforcement for 38 years, and is a Diplomat with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, holding a position on the Board of Directors.  He is also a member of the California State Coroner's Association and sits on the California State Coroner's Association Curriculum Development Committee. 

 

Dr. Melina Buckley

Dr. Melina Buckley is a lawyer, legal policy consultant, and published author with a focus on equality rights, constitutional law, access to justice and legal aid, and international human rights law. Melina served as policy counsel to the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in 2012, and chairs the Canadian Bar Association's National Access to Justice Committee. She remains active in community service, including the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) and the Women's Court of Canada Project.
 

Dr. Amber Dean

Amber is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and Critical Theory and the Gender Studies Graduate Program at McMaster University. Her upcoming book Remembering Vancouver's Disappeared Women: Settler colonialism and the difficulty of inheritance analyzes and highlights the representations of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.
 

Caroline Schmid

Caroline Schmid is a registered social worker who has been practicing social work for over 20 years. At present she is employed by the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board where she advocates for and provides counselling to at risk and marginalized youth, as well as their families, and is an integral member of the board's Compassionate Care Crisis Support Team. Caroline has dealt with having her own brother go missing and can relate to the feelings of fear, frustration and helplessness associated with the disappearance, as well as being uncertain who to turn to for assistance. Caroline has a desire to contribute on both a personal and professional to support families experiencing similar losses.


Board of Directors

Nicky Bomberry

Nicky is the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Coordinator at the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre. She has a background in community outreach and research. She sits on the Women Abuse Working Group (Chair of Action Committee), Domestic Violence Court Advisory Committee and Hamilton Anti Human Trafficking Coalition. She has her degree in Social Work and Health Studies from McMaster University.

 

Samantha Craggs

Samantha is a veteran journalist who has honed her skills reporting for a variety of media. She currently works at the CBC. She is an avid volunteer for organizations dealing with women's issues, mental health and street-involved youth.

 

Laura Williams

Laura is an Outreach Worker for the Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy. She is a Seneca Nation member of the Six Nations of the Grand River, with an honours degree from the St. Lawrence College Social Service Program. She is a past co-chair of Stolen Sisters/Sisters in Spirit committee, and a past member of the Aboriginal Education Councils of Mohawk, Brock University, Laurier University.


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