Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Interim President & CEO

Biography of Sylvia Leonard

Sylvia Leonard has served the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada as Interim President and CEO since April 1, 2017. Since joining the MS Society in 2011, Sylvia held the position of National Vice-President, Talent, Programs and Services; as well as the dual role of President of Ontario Division and National Vice-President of Programs and Services. In her role as National Vice-President, Talent, Programs and Services, Sylvia provided leadership and vision to the development of the MS Knowledge Network. She brings with her a breadth of not-for-profit and health services experience spanning member-based associations, hospital corporations and health charities.

Sylvia’s 30 years of experience working in the health sector includes working at the Canadian Diabetes Association as Vice-President Research and Professional Education; and at the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division as Vice-President Community Engagement. She’s also served as Director, Medical Affairs and Risk Management at Hamilton Health Sciences; and as Director, Public Complaints, Investigations and Discipline with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Sylvia volunteered as a member of the board of directors at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington from 2014 to 2017, serving most recently as Chair of the Quality Committee and member of the Governance & Nominating Committee.

As someone who has a deep passion for the work that she does in serving people affected by MS, Sylvia identifies MS Summer Camp as one of her most enlightening experiences. Having been able to observe and listen to young people connect with each other at MS Summer Camp and seeing the relief on campers’ faces as they realize they’re not alone in their journeys with MS is what drives her in her work to end MS for all Canadians.

Originally from Toronto, ON, and now living in Burlington, ON, Sylvia graduated from the University of Toronto. During our short Canadian summers, she enjoys swimming in the cold waters of Georgian Bay at the cottage.

Contact information
416-967-3003 or 1-866-922-6065 ext. 3003

CEO Compensation

The MS Society of Canada’s work relies on the tireless commitment of thousands of volunteers and the hard work and passion of a few hundred employees. In pursuit of our mission, we have established strategic priorities to deepen volunteer engagement and to be an employer of choice.

As part of our strategy to be an employer of choice, the MS Society of Canada recruits and retains top-quality staff members. Equitable and competitive compensation as benchmarked against other not-for-profit organizations is part of this commitment. In determining staff compensation, we strive to balance the need to attract and retain quality staff with our commitment to careful stewardship of donor dollars.

Oversight to all aspects of the MS Society’s compensation strategy is provided by a committee of the national board that is comprised entirely of senior volunteers. On a periodic basis, the committee reviews information that is provided by an external independent compensation consultant who provides comparative information for equivalent positions within the not-for-profit sector.