Board of Directors

George Brown is a lawyer and social entrepreneur. He is Principal of George Brown Law. Prior to this, George spent nine years as President of the Ottawa Community Loan Fund. (OCLF) as well as 9 years as a City and Regional Councillor in Ottawa. As a Councillor, he served as Chair of the City’s Economic Affairs Committee and the Region’s Environmental Services Committee. As Chair of Economic Affairs, George played a significant role in initiating and developing the Ottawa Entrepreneurship Centre, as well as promoting community economic development throughout the City of Ottawa, including the establishment of the OCLF. He has a Master’s of Science Degree in Community Economic Development from New Hampshire College’s Graduate School of Business (now Southern New Hampshire University) and an LL.B. degree from the University of Ottawa Law School. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in September, 2003. George is a Senior Research Fellow with the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation as well as a Part-Time Professor at the University of Ottawa Law School. He is a member of United Way/Centraide Ottawa’s Community Investment Committee.

Duff Conacher, LL.B., is an internationally recognized leader in the area of democratic reform and government accountability. He is a former Ralph Nader’s Raider and he has worked as a researcher, community organizer and educator, legal intern and consultant. A graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, he has a long-standing interest in democratic process and corporate responsibility issues. He was the main Founder of Democracy Watch, was Coordinator from 1993 to June 2011, and is still a Director and spokesperson on many issues for the organization. He was the Coordinator from 2011 to 2013 of the national educational charity Your Canada, Your Constitution (YCYC), and also heads the firm Consulting which provides advice and services to governments, businesses and citizen organizations in the areas of good governance, ethics, responsibility, communications, stakeholder and public relations. He was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law from 2011 to 2014 and a Visiting Professor at the University of Ottawa's School of Political Studies from 2014 to 2016. For the 2017-2018 school year, he was an Part-time Professor at the University of Ottawa's School of Political Studies, and the Faculty of Law. He is also a Ph.D. in Law student at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.

As Coordinator of Democracy Watch, he led the organization to win more changes to laws, regulations and government policies than any other citizen advocacy group in Canada (as of June 2011, more than 110 changes strengthening government accountability and corporate responsibility measures in 16 key Canadian federal laws, 6 key federal policies, and 7 provincial laws). Many of the changes are world-leading.

Through this time period, Democracy Watch obtained national Canadian media coverage on average 10 times each month, and regional and local media coverage on average 40 times each month. As well, Democracy Watch’s website, with more than 1.4 million hits annually, is the #1 citizen group website in Canada when the Internet is searched using the search words “democracy” or “government ethics” or “honesty in politics” or “money in politics” or “bank accountability” or “corporate responsibility”.

Duff also led Democracy Watch to win the first-ever ethics court challenge (archive website) of the federal government in July 2004, and the second-ever ethics court challenge (archive website) in March 2009. Among the 40 leading good government and corporate responsibility reports he has authored or co-authored, he wrote the report on Canada for Transparency International’s 2004 Global Corruption Report (archive website) and wrote the first three reports on Canada for the 2007 Global Integrity Report (archive website), the 2008 Global Integrity Report (archive website), and the 2010 Global Integrity Report.

He also organized Democracy Watch’s many coalitions — the Canadian Community Reinvestment Coalition, (a nation-wide bank accountability coalition made up of 100 citizen groups), the Corporate Responsibility Coalition, the Government Ethics Coalition and the Open Government Coalition — which along with the Money in Politics Coalition are coordinated by Democracy Watch and its charitable partner organization, the Democracy Education Network (DEN).

Duff has also designed and delivered dozens of civics education and organizational development workshops over the past 17 years as Assistant Coordinator of DEN.

His past work includes organizing the first chapter of Quebec PIRG (Quebec Public Interest Research Group) at McGill University in 1988, serving as a member of the Board of Directors of University of Toronto and Ontario PIRG from 1988 to 1991, and playing a key support role in organizing PIRG chapters at four other universities in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Alberta between 1988 and 2002. He is is also co-author, with Ralph Nader and Nadia Milleron, of Canada firsts: Ralph Nader’s Salute to Canada and Canadian Achievement which spent six months on Canadian best-seller lists in 1993 and was the #1 best-seller for five weeks, and author of the best-selling More Canada Firsts: Another Collection of Canadian Firsts and Foremosts in the World (1999).

David Shulman is the Coordinator of DEN has written and spoken extensively on citizen participation and citizenship education in Canada and the United States. He has worked with governments, foundations and school boards on the planning, delivery and evaluation of citizen participation programs for youth and adults. He is the former president of the Ontario Community Education Association, and in 1993 became the founding Coordinator of the Democracy Education Network. Among his other responsibilities, he is a social studies, civics and communications teacher for for various school and church programs in Toronto.