Staff and Volunteers

Michelle Keast

…is the Director of the Centre of Research, Policy & Program Development. She is also the Management Team Lead for the John Howard Society of Ontario. She began her career with the Centre in 2007. Michelle holds a honours B.A. in Child and Youth Studies with a minor in Criminal Justice from Brock University and a M.A. in Criminology from the University of Toronto. She is responsible for the supervision and facilitation of all Centre activities, including research and policy initiatives, public education and communications, as well as program evaluation and development functions within the John Howard Society of Ontario.

Graham Brown

… is a Policy Analyst at the Centre of Research, Policy & Program Development. He joined the Centre in 2016. He participates in the Centre’s research and policy activities, supports the public education activities of the Society, and liaises with local offices and community partners on reform initiatives. Graham holds a BA and MA in Criminal Justice Policy from the University of Guelph and a JD in Common Law from the University of Ottawa. He has taught criminal justice courses at the University of Guelph and Wilfrid Laurier University and worked as a legal researcher with the Canadian Centre for International Justice. During his legal and graduate studies, he focused on sentencing law and policy, bylaws targeting the homeless and panhandlers, and international law.

Sunny Dhillon

…is a Researcher and Program Evaluator with the Centre of Research, Policy & Program Development. He joined the Centre in 2014. He is involved in the evaluation of a variety of local office programs, and provides support to current research projects. He has completed an MSc with Distinction in Criminology and Criminal Justice Research Methods at the University of Oxford, as well as an MA in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto. He has also worked as a Senior Statistics Officer for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. During his graduate studies he focused on the operation of the criminal justice system, access to justice, and emerging methodologies in criminological research.

Reza Ahmadi

…is a Researcher and Program Evaluator at the Centre of Research, Policy & Program Development. He joined the Centre in 2013. He is the project lead for a number of diverse research and evaluation projects including the SSHRC-funded Association for Effective Reintegration in Ontario (AERO). He is also responsible for providing the Centre with ad hoc data management, analysis and IT support. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in History from York University and the University of Toronto respectively, as well as a Research Analyst Postgrad certificate from Humber College. Reza combines his academic and professional background to bring a multidisciplinary approach to all his work and is passionate about human rights, diversity and equality issues.


The Centre would like to acknowledge the dedication and contributions of its current volunteer team – Jessica, Ben, Vanessa, Alan, Monica, Kate and Hayden – as well as the commitment of our Research Ethics Board members.

Current Research Ethics Board Membership

Voula Marinos (Chair)

Jane Sprott

Kim Varma

Nathan Innocente

Marianne Quirouette

Nicole Myers