The council’s mandate is to support and enhance the personal and professional growth of Concordia women — students and alumnae — by creating meaningful opportunities to unite, celebrate, empower and learn from each other, while strengthening connections, networks and a culture of philanthropy within the community.
- Propose ideas and solutions to improve equity, diversity and inclusion across the university
- Increase alumnae engagement within the Concordia community via events and mentorship
- Increase the number of women donors and philanthropists within the Concordia community
The international leadership council is made of up of one chair and 12 to 15 members of the Concordia community, including alumnae, donors and friends. Members represent a diverse group of women with varied backgrounds and experiences.
The chair and council members serve a two-year term; no member will serve more than two consecutive terms.
The work of the council is supported by Concordia’s Alumni Engagement team.
Christine Lengvari, BSc 72
Christine is president and CEO of Lengvari Financial Inc. Trained as a chartered accountant, she has lectured in financial accounting at both McGill University and the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa, where she spent six years. She set up a non-profit organization to raise funds for job-creation projects in disadvantaged communities in Zululand. Returning to Montreal, Christine joined the family business, was later appointed president and eventually purchased the firm.
Actively involved in the community, Christine serves on boards and committees at Concordia University and its John Molson School of Business, McGill University’s School of Continuing Studies, St. Mary’s Hospital Centre and the International Women’s Forum. In 2014, she was named one of 50 Women of Influence in Canada’s Life Insurance Industry by The Insurance and Investment Journal.
Susan Brissette, BComm 89, MBA 91
As the founder and principal consultant of Wild Matriarchs Inc., as well as the co-founder of Amelia Alliance, Susan Brissette is an entrepreneur providing award-winning client services with more than 25 years of experience in the clean-energy sector, and is known for getting innovative ideas off the ground and delivering results.
Through her Wild Matriarch boutique consultancy, Susan and her team of collaborators provide high reliability organizations with the know-how to assess and improve their culture for safety, to engage with diverse publics, and manage their reputation. Susan is also the co-founder of Amelia Alliance, a social enterprise connecting women and gender-diverse entrepreneurs to opportunities in the clean economy with corporations committed to lower their carbon footprint while diversifying their supply chain. Her approach has been shaped by experiences in the international nuclear industry and project work in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. She founded Women-in-Nuclear Canada in 2004 and has been advocating for inclusion of underrepresented groups throughout her career.
Kathleen Browne, MSc 17
Kathleen is a research analyst at iPerceptions, a leading digital customer research firm based in Montreal. She recently completed her MSc in marketing at Concordia's John Molson School of Business. Combining it with her honours BSc in psychology from Queen’s University, she has become an expert in studying and uncovering insights in consumer behaviour. While at Concordia, Kathleen was captain of the cross-country running team and volunteered at Career Management Services, teaching workshops on job search and career skills to John Molson students. Kathleen is passionate about women’s issues and representation, especially in the domains of athletics, leadership, and public health.
Julia Sutera, BA 18
Julia Sutera Sardo is a women’s rights activist whose research focuses on the judicialization of politics, the emergence of bills of rights in parliamentary systems and medical assistance in dying. Currently pursuing an MA in Public Administration at Concordia and a Common and Civil Law degree at McGill University, Julia is working to become an attorney specialized in health policy. She recently completed her BA in Political Science and Public Policy at Concordia, where she held leadership roles in the Concordia Student Union and Arts and Science Federation of Associations.
Caroline van Vlaardingen, BA 84
Caroline is a veteran news reporter at CTV Montreal and a part-time journalism instructor at Concordia. She joined CFCF-TV (now CTV Montreal) soon after graduation. Over her 30-plus year career, she has researched, reported, anchored, produced and hosted for the station’s news broadcasts and covered a variety of beats. As one of the first reporters on the scene at Montreal’s Polytechnique massacre, she holds a particular interest in matters of education, women, children and human rights.
Recognized with many journalism awards, Caroline received Concordia’s Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award in 2016. She volunteers for children’s and other organizations and has served on the boards of Aids Community Care Montreal and the Concordia University Alumni Association.