Community / Governance

EMSB formally begins its search for a new Director General

image of the administration building
Montreal - Wednesday, September 23, 2020

EMSB Trustee, Marlene Jennings, today announced that Mandrake, an executive search firm, has been awarded a mandate to lead the recruitment process for the new Director General of the English Montreal School Board. The position has been held on an interim basis by Evelyne Alfonsi since August 13, 2020 when former Director General Ann Marie Matheson stepped down from the position.

Formation of a selection committee

A five-member selection committee has been created with the mandate to identify the best candidate to lead the EMSB in the future. Joining Ms. Jennings on this committee are:

Ms. Ann Watson, EMSB Director of Human Resources

  • Watson has over 18 years of service in human resources at the EMSB, including the last two as director. Prior to that, she spent 15 years as a human resource and labour relations professional and consultant in the private sector.

Mr. Peter Dunn, Chairman, Holdun Investments and Educational Philanthropist

  • Dunn spent a quarter century in public service for the Quebec government, which included postings to New York, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto. Semi-retired since 2000, he is an active volunteer at Bishop’s University, Lakefield College School, Canadian Friends of the University of the Bahamas, and DESTA Black Youth Network.

Ms. Caroline Phaneuf, Chair, EMSB Parents Committee

  • Phaneuf has two girls attending Edinburgh Elementary in Montreal West. She runs her own international communications and marketing firm and spent 10 years as a broadcast journalist in Montreal. She is the outgoing president of the EMSB Parents Committee; her mandate continues until October 15, 2020.

Ms. Isabelle Girard, Mandrake

  • Girard is a Vice-President and practice leader of Mandrake’s Montreal office. Over the course of her 20-year career in human resources, she has developed a multi-specialist practice in the search for middle and senior executives within the Quebec market.


“I feel very fortunate to have such a stellar and seasoned group of individuals available to take part in this very important process of selecting our next Director General,” said Ms. Jennings. “It is my objective to lead an open, transparent, rigorous, yet short recruitment process. Our new Director General will have the important mandate to lead our board at a time of important transformation and change, while leading a team of over 4000 extraordinary people working to provide the best and safest possible learning environment for our Youth and Adult sector students.”

Ms. Jennings said that the committee hopes to recommend the final candidate for Director General by early November. The official posting can be consulted here :

About the English Montreal School Board

With a youth and adult sector population of more than 44,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines. Our network consists of 77 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at

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