Coleen MacKinnon is the Quebec representative for Catalyst, a global organization dedicated to the advancement of women in the workplace.
Prior to joining Catalyst, Coleen spent over 15 years as a social sector consultant, providing counsel in the area of advocacy, strategic planning, PR/communications and fundraising—in Montreal and Sydney, Australia. Since 2008, she has dedicated her career to facilitating progressive social change through a ‘collective impact’ (multi-stakeholder, cross-sector) approach.
In 2012, Coleen established Les Affranchies, a community organization dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging supportive policies to combat human trafficking in Quebec. Despite the fact that one-third of the country’s human trafficking cases were based in the province, awareness was remarkably low. Through a collective impact approach, Les Affranchies facilitated a comprehensive community consultation; hosted an awareness event (1000+ participants); produced a mini-documentary featuring a Quebec survivor of human trafficking; launched a 12-week radio campaign; and, met with elected officials across three provincial parties.
Coleen began her collective impact work in Sydney, Australia. Under the auspices of the St James Ethics Centre, Coleen led a successful campaign to end a disciminatory education policy impacting New South Wales primary schools students. The 18-month effort resulted in the replacement of the policy with socially progressive legislation.
In addition to consulting, Coleen held senior management positions with The Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation (1998-2000) and McGill University (1991-1996). She began her career with Corporate Communications, a Halifax-based public relations and advertising firm.
Coleen holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and English) from Saint Francis Xavier University, a Diploma in Public Relations from McGill University, and a Diploma in French from l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.