Ian Boeckh President and Director

Ian Boeckh, MA

President and Director

Ian is the President and a Director of the Graham Boeckh Foundation (GBF), a private family foundation that is dedicated to transforming mental health services. He was appointed President of GBF in June 2015 and had previously held the position of Executive Chair. During Ian’s tenure in senior management positions with the Foundation, he has overseen the development of the strategic plan and has been involved in a number of large-scale projects in Integrated Youth Services, indicators for Canada’s mental health care systems and some major collaboratives in the mental health sector in Canada and internationally.

Ian is also a former Director of the Fondation Jeunes en Tête of Québec, whose mission is to promote mental health and raise awareness through its Partners for Life program, educating secondary school students on how to recognize the signs of mental health problems and how to seek help.

Ian’s career has spanned a number of fields including mental health, natural resource management and policy, economic and financial forecasting, as well as investment management. His professional background is primarily in the area of economics and finance. He earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and Masters of Economics from the University of British Columbia.

Outside of work, Ian has a passion for outdoor activities including hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and canoe tripping. Ian and his wife, Karen, live in Montreal and are the parents of three young adults.

Robert Boeckh Western Canada Operations and Director

Robert Boeckh, MA

Western Canada Operations and Director

Rob is the Manager of Operations of Western Canada and a Director of the Graham Boeckh Foundation. He is also the Chief Investment Officer for Boeckh Investments. Rob is currently on the Board of Foundry and the Victoria Youth Clinic. Previously, he co-wrote the Boeckh Investment Letter, and worked in Resources Management for Parks Canada and the Capital Regional District of Vancouver Island.

Rob lives in Victoria with his wife and three children.

Danielle Kemmer Vice President and Executive Director, International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders

Danielle Kemmer, PhD

Vice President and Executive Director, International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders

As Vice President, Strategy and Initiatives, Danielle is involved in strategy development and oversees the Foundation’s projects and activities.

Danielle joined GBF in 2015, bringing her background in research and research management to the Foundation. She holds a Masters in biochemistry from Paris VII and a PhD in functional genomics from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. After pursuing postdoctoral studies at McGill University, Danielle joined Génome Québec, where she managed several large-scale genomics projects. In particular, she was the driving force within the organization to better understand the societal context and implications for genomics research.

Danielle is a board member of Mental Health Research Canada, a not-for-profit, national organization committed to working in partnership with stakeholders and funding mental health research that reduces the impact of mental illness among Canadians.

At GBF, Danielle plays a key role in strengthening the Foundation’s relationships within the research community, which is a vital part of GBF’s programs and initiatives. She is also the Executive Director of the International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders, a collaborative of research funders from around the world whose objective is to increase the impact of mental health research funding. Strengthening ties to key stakeholders from around the world, Danielle has been instrumental in contributing to the Foundation’s efforts to promote collaboration and unity within the mental health sector, a sector that has been highly fragmented.

Danielle is a socially conscious vegetarian who lives with her husband and two daughters in the Mile End in Montreal.

Elana Ludman Vice President, Youth Mental Health

Elana Ludman, BCom and Masters in Social Policy and Development

Vice President, Youth Mental Health

Elana Ludman is the Vice President, Youth Mental Health. In her role, she works with a variety of stakeholders, including policy makers, mental health experts, philanthropic foundations, service providers, and youth and their families to support Integrated Youth Services across Canada. Prior to GBF, Elana worked at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation where she was the Social Innovation Advisor and worked closely with the President to develop multi-stakeholder partnerships and advance organizational priorities in child and youth mental health, early childhood development and Indigenous reconciliation.

Before philanthropy, Elana worked at the Canadian Government as a Program Advisor in the Ministry of Employment and Social Development, where she advised on their children and families portfolio and supported non-profit organizations across the country as they scaled their social innovations. Elana has also worked in the community sector, with Habitat for Humanity Argentina as a Field Coordinator, and with Santropol Roulant, a youth-run non-profit organization in Montreal, where she served as the Director of Development and Communications for five years.

In her spare time, Elana sits on the Board of Directors of Apathy is Boring, a national organization looking to engage young people in democracy through art and technology, and the Museum of Jewish Montreal, a local organization re-defining the definition of museums as it looks to engage people across cultures and generations.

Elana holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University and a Masters in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics.

William Powell Secretary-Treasurer

William Powell, CA


Bill has been with the Graham Boeckh Foundation since its inception and is also the Chief Financial Officer of Boeckh Investments Inc.  Before Boeckh Investments Inc., he spent 16 years as CFO of BCA Research, a financial publishing firm in Montreal. Bill is a chartered accountant (CA), has a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University and a Graduate Diploma in Accounting from McGill University.  He also serves as a financial advisor to the Board of Directors to other private foundations in Montreal.

Gohar Topchyan Program Manager, Youth Mental Health

Gohar Topchyan, MA

Program Manager, Youth Mental Health

Gohar is delighted to join the Graham Boeckh Foundation as Program Manager, Youth Mental Health. In her role, she works closely with the Vice-President, Youth Mental Health, to support the Foundation’s pan-Canadian and provincial projects. Previously, Gohar worked in various capacities with the Laidlaw Foundation and the Rhema Foundation in Toronto.

Gohar holds an MA in European Interdisciplinary Studies from the College of Europe in Warsaw, an MA in British Studies from Humboldt University in Berlin and a BA in English and French from Yerevan State Linguistic University in Armenia. During and after her studies, Gohar volunteered and took traineeships with several international and European organisations, including the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels and the United Nations Development Programme in Yerevan. Before moving to Canada, Gohar worked for a number of years as Editor/Translator at a research institute in Yerevan.

In her spare time, Gohar enjoys travelling, hiking, attending concerts and art exhibitions.

Diane Viens EA for J.A. Boeckh, GBF Chair & Director of Operations - IAMHRF

Diane Viens, BA

EA for J.A. Boeckh, GBF Chair & Director of Operations - IAMHRF

Diane supports the Chair of the Graham Boeckh Foundation and the Executive Director of the IAMHRF.

She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Relations at McGill University in Montreal and has worked in human resources, office management and executive offices in the telecommunications and biotechnology industries.

Motivated by discovery, challenge and progress, she finds it inspiring to work for the Foundation as the team works to support the evolution of integrated youth services.

Rory White Science Communication Officer, International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders

Rory White

Science Communication Officer, International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders

Rory joined the International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders in April 2020 after relocating to Montreal from his homeland of Scotland. He is passionate about science communication and this is reflected in his role at the IAMHRF, which involves conducting data analysis and visualization, writing content for publications, presentations and conferences, designing graphics, and managing online communications.

He holds a B.Sc in Biotechnology and an M.Sc in Biomedical Research from the University of Edinburgh. For his master’s project, he worked in Busia, Kenya, tracking the spread of antibiotic resistance genes using a portable, laptop-powered DNA-sequencer. He has previously worked as a grant writer, touring science festival communicator, medical communications designer, and as a tour guide. His hobbies include playing blues/rock music, running, reading books and discovering new ideas.