Co-Founders and Senior Partners
Shakil Choudhury (M.E.S., B.Ed., B.P.E.), Senior Partner
As Co-Founder of Anima Leadership, Shakil Choudhury is an award-winning consultant with more than 25 years experience in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion. He has trained senior leadership teams across sectors and developed measurement tools for organizations, helping improve their diversity outcomes. Internationally, Shakil has designed and led peace-building projects for communities in conflict, specifically in Europe and South America. His book Deep Diversity®: Overcoming Us vs. Them is a practical, scientific and compassionate approach to tackling systemic discrimination. Written in a Gladwell-meets-racial-justice style, many are calling this a “breakthrough” book on racism and social identity offering an innovative approach to building more inclusive environments. He is currently experiencing his most challenging and rewarding management experience: his two toddlers teaching him about fatherhood! For more about Shakil.
Annahid Dashtgard (M.Ed., B.A.), Senior Partner
As Co-Founder of Anima Leadership, Annahid is a diversity and leadership consultant with over 25 years experience designing, leading, coaching and guiding change on individual, organization and system levels. Annahid has managed national campaigns, advised on policy and led many organizational development initiatives. She has worked nationally and internationally across different sectors (education, healthcare, government, private and non-profit) and regularly writes and speaks on issues of democracy, citizen engagement, diversity and belonging. Trained in various psychological and systemic change approaches, Annahid specializes in designing solutions that marry the internal with external, personal with political. Her published writing credits include the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Briarpatch magazine, and CBC Radio First Person recorded essay. Annahid is creator and host of Breaking the Ocean podcast: Soundwaves of Belonging, and her upcoming memoir Breaking the Ocean: Race, Rebellion and Reconciliation is in press (coming fall, 2019). Her passion is using stories to foster empathy, the oldest recipe for inclusion on the books. For more about Annahid.
Diversity Training and Mediation
Brook Thorndycraft (M.A., B.Ed., B.A., Q.Med.), Conflict and Diversity Specialist
Brook Thorndycraft is a mediator, facilitator, and coach, with over 15 years experience facilitating trainings, meetings, and group processes. She encourages people to understand conflict as an opportunity for change and growth, and supports them to develop their emotional capacity and practical skills in order to have difficult conversations that heal and build relationships. Through mediation, facilitation, coaching, and training, Brook works with clients to improve working relationships and develop effective systems for managing conflict in the workplace. She also offers workplace restoration, a comprehensive approach to restoring good workplace relationships after a major conflict, investigation, or other workplace trauma. Brook has training and experience in popular education, restorative justice, and narrative practices. She brings many years of experience in community work and education, and has been involved in social justice work and organizing around issues including equity and inclusion, community healing, anti-poverty, sexual health, LGBTTIQ2SA issues, and migrant justice work. Brook is dedicated to supporting people to recognize and build their own capacity, experience, and knowledge to transform conflict and relationship strife in all aspects of their life. For more about Brook.
Eddy Nason, Senior Consultant, Research and Evaluation
Eddy Nason is an leading researcher, analyst, evaluator and manager with a decade of experience in research and public policy from think tanks, universities and private non-profit corporations. Eddy is well-versed in a wide variety of public policy issues and contexts in Canada, the UK, the US and Europe, and an acknowledged international expert in research evaluation. In his work over the years, Eddy has provided evaluation and policy research, support and advice on equity issues including youth justice, disability and independent living, accessibility and equity in the workplace. A dynamic thinker able to combine complex issues from varying disciplines to provide effective policy solutions, Eddy is committed to providing an evidence-base for equity and diversity issues. Eddy is currently the Assistant Director at the Ontario SPOR Support Unit, working to create a more patient-oriented approach to health research in Ontario.
James Beaton (M.A., B.A.), Office Manager
James has held a number of positions prior to becoming the Office Manager for Anima Leadership. James came to to Toronto to work on a PhD in Sociology after he completed a Master’s of Arts in Sociology at the University of Victoria focusing on the privatization of education. He has worked as a researcher at both the National and Provincial level for the Canadian Federation of Students. James has worked with the Centre for Research on Work and Society as well as on the Gender Work database at York University. James brings administrative experience from the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Education where he most recently worked prior to Anima Leadership. He balances his work life at Anima with his passion for creative writing and caring for his two cats, Billie and Boo.
Dan Bashaw, Associate, Online Learning and Facilitation
Dan focuses on helping organizations use web, post-web, and social technologies effectively as tools for global learning and collaboration. He is employed with Victoria-based PathWise Solutions Inc., an innovative company developing online learning. He is also a partner in SocialChina Communications, a Toronto-based social media consultancy specializing in helping Canadian organizations connect through Chinese social media channels. Dan is an active member of the Web of Change community, an annual conference which connects thinkers and do-ers in social media, technology, and social change, and a former Dreamfish Labs Fellow, where he facilitated a globally distributed team of designers, developers, artists and entrepreneurs involved in innovative projects promoting the ‘reinvention of human work in a globalized world’. His ongoing work with Anima includes e-learning course development and the management of the Anima online learning and web environments.
Associates – Europe
Christien Oudshoorn (Bachelor & Masters in Communication Sciences), Associate
Christien is based in The Netherlands but has been working internationally with groups and individuals for over 15 years. She has a background in communications and a strong commitment to helping both youth and adults find authentic ways of developing their leadership skills. She has been actively involved in designing and leading programs on integration and leadership in the context of Europe, Canada and Latin America over the past decade. She has extensive experience in both the profit and the not-for profit sector. Participants describe Christien as committed, knowledgeable, respectful and engaging. They appreciate her ability to challenge in a way that is both stimulating and empowering.