Leadership Team | About D2L
IE Not suppported

Sorry, but Internet Explorer is no longer supported.

For the best D2L.com experience, it's important to use a modern browser.

To view the D2L.com website, please download another browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Leadership

Meet the team who is transforming the way the world learns. Learn more about senior leadership at D2L.

Senior Leadership

Board of Directors
John Baker image

John Baker

President and CEO

John founded D2L in 1999, at the age of twenty-two, while attending the University of Waterloo. Today, he devotes his efforts to supporting young entrepreneurs who are developing and applying technology to improve society.

Read more about John Baker

John Baker

John Baker

President and CEO

John founded D2L in 1999, at the age of 22, while a student at the University of Waterloo. He envisioned D2L as a global software company dedicated to changing the way the world learns.

John is a strong believer in community involvement and devotes both his personal and business efforts to supporting young entrepreneurs who are developing and applying technology to improve society worldwide. He was appointed to the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He is also a member (Entrepreneurs’ Circle) of the Business Council of Canada and the Business Higher Education Roundtable, is past chair of the board of Communitech, and is a board member of Canada’s National Ballet School. John has been awarded the Meritorious Service Cross, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year (Ontario for Software and Technology), the Young Alumni Achievement Medal from the University of Waterloo, and the Intrepid Entrepreneur of the Year in the Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.

John graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours B.A.Sc. in systems design engineering, with First Class Honours and an option in management sciences.

Melissa Howatson image

Melissa Howatson

Chief Financial Officer

Melissa has over twenty years of experience enabling business growth by leading key financial and administrative functions. She brings this experience to D2L to support and identify business opportunities which enable the development and scalability of the organization.

Read more about Melissa Howatson

Melissa Howatson

Melissa Howatson

Chief Financial Officer

Melissa has over twenty years of experience enabling business growth by leading key financial and administrative functions in emergent companies. Coupled with her passion for community involvement, and helping to improve access to numerous social services including education, makes her a valued member of the executive team.

Prior to joining D2L in 2013, Melissa worked as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for the technology startups, Qwalify, Primal Fusion, as well as within the automotive industry with Bend All Automotive. Proving her expertise, Melissa has consistently been instrumental in helping companies grow exponentially in dynamic industries. She brings this experience to D2L to support and identify business activities and opportunities which enable the development and scalability of the organization.

Melissa has an Honors Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a CPA-CA designation obtained while working at KPMG. As well, Melissa is an active community volunteer, having been involved with Junior Achievement, Women’s Crisis Services, Communitech, as the President, Treasurer, and Board Member for Family and Children’s Services Foundation and as a member of the Board of Governors for St John’s Kilmarnock School.

Puneet Arora image

Puneet Arora

Chief Revenue Officer

Puneet is responsible for Global Revenue. He has over twenty years of sales and go to market experience with early stage, mid stage and very successful SaaS companies.

Read more about Puneet Arora

Puneet Arora

Puneet Arora

Chief Revenue Officer

Puneet leads Global Revenue for D2L. He has over 20 years of sales and go-to-market experience with early-stage, mid-stage, and established SaaS companies. He joined D2L from 8×8, a global telephony and cloud communications leader, where he was SVP of global sales. In that role, he was instrumental in the company doubling its revenue by moving upmarket and expanding globally through both direct and indirect channels.

Before 8×8, Puneet ran North American sales for Liveperson, a leader in enterprise digital engagement solutions for midmarket and enterprise accounts. Before Liveperson, Puneet ran Americas West Cloud CRM sales for Oracle and was vice president of corporate sales at Salesforce.com. Earlier in his career, Puneet saw successful IPOs with Selectica and pcOrder.com.

Puneet received his bachelor’s in computer engineering from Iowa State University and his MBA from Babson College. Puneet lives in the Bay Area in California with his wife and two children.

Anna Forgione image

Anna Forgione

Chief Legal Officer

Anna joined the company in 2013 and brings over 20 years of experience in corporate leadership, technology advocacy, business development, negotiations, and strategic planning. She is the Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary for the company and oversees all legal, governance, regulatory and compliance matters for D2L worldwide. Her responsibilities include directing company transactional, intellectual property, litigation, and acquisition matters.

Read more about Anna Forgione

Anna Forgione

Anna Forgione

Chief Legal Officer

Anna joined the company in 2013 and brings over 20 years of experience in corporate leadership, technology advocacy, business development, negotiations, and strategic planning. She is the Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary for the company and oversees all legal, governance, regulatory and compliance matters for D2L worldwide. Her responsibilities include directing company transactional, intellectual property, litigation, and acquisition matters.

Before joining D2L, Anna served as general counsel Americas for Open Text Corporation and assistant general counsel for Geac Computer Corporation. Anna was also a founding executive of Telephony@Work. Anna is an engaged community leader and holds various directorships for non-profit organizations, including The Canadian Children’s Opera Company.

Anna holds a J.D. from Osgoode Hall and has been a member of the Ontario Bar Association since 1994.

Aly Scott image

Aly Scott

Chief Marketing Officer

Aly is responsible for D2L’s brand identity, product marketing, demand generation, digital marketing, marketing communications, and events programming. She works cross-functionally building integrated go-to-market strategies to drive market penetration worldwide.

Read more about Aly Scott

Aly Scott

Aly Scott

Chief Marketing Officer

Aly leads D2L’s brand identity, product marketing, demand generation, digital marketing, marketing communications, and events programming. She works in partnership with the product and sales teams to build integrated go-to-market strategies that drive market penetration worldwide.

As a corporate executive and three-time CMO, Aly brings with her more than 25 years of marketing and corporate communications experience, including investors relations work in both Toronto and New York. She understands the importance of collaboration when bringing products to market, accelerating the development pipeline, and retaining customers. She has also spent considerable time developing and launching brands, building media and public market awareness, and cultivating analyst, partner, and influencer relationships.

Aly has also served on the board of a leading secondary school for the past 20 years, where she is currently chair. In this capacity, she worked extensively on strategic planning to advance the program and pedagogy with international initiatives as well as blended and remote learning models. She is based in Concord, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston.

Nick Oddson image

Nick Oddson

Chief Technology Officer

Nick brings over twenty years of design and enterprise-level software experience to his role with D2L. He’s responsible for guiding the product team as they continue to scale and develop the company’s industry-leading learning solutions.

Read more about Nick Oddson

Nick Oddson

Nick Oddson

Chief Technology Officer

As its chief technology officer, Nick brings over 20 years of design and enterprise-level software experience to his role with D2L. He leads the product team as they continue to scale and develop the company’s industry-leading learning solutions.

Before joining D2L, Nick was SVP of research and development for Open Text Corporation. He supervised an engineering organization of more than 1,000 employees distributed globally across 40 offices as the company scaled through significant acquisitions. During that time, Nick worked to drive common technology approaches, efficiency, and KPIs in product teams, and deeper integration between product portfolios.

Nick continues to support technology start-ups locally (previously through work on the Communitech board and various programs like Hyperdrive and VeloCity), with the goal to contribute to the next generation of sustainable and inclusive software companies and the evolution of our unique region in Canada. In 2013, he was awarded the Region of Waterloo’s Top 40 Under 40 Award in recognition of his contributions to the arts and technology communities.

Nick studied computer science and physics at the University of Waterloo.

Tom Donnelly image

Tom Donnelly

Chief Corporate Development Officer

Tom leads corporate development and new business ventures at D2L. He is focused on building and managing a rich ecosystem of partners and new business models that support D2L’s goal of transforming the way the world learns.

Read more about Tom Donnelly

Tom Donnelly

Tom Donnelly

Chief Corporate Development Officer

Tom leads corporate development and new business ventures at D2L. He is focused on building and managing a rich ecosystem of partners and new business models that support D2L’s goal of transforming the way the world learns.

Tom is the former chief operating officer of Sandvine Incorporated, a Waterloo-based networking company he co-founded in August 2001 that began to trade on the London and Toronto Stock exchanges in 2006. Sandvine was acquired by American private equity firm Francisco Partners in 2017. Before Sandvine, Tom was vice president of global sales and subsequently vice president of strategic partners at PixStream Incorporated. Cisco Systems acquired PixStream in 1999. Tom also served as vice president of sales and marketing for West End Systems, an affiliate of Newbridge Networks. Tom has lived and worked in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan, and now he and his family call Ottawa home.

Tom is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and the Executive Development Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

April Oman image

April Oman

Senior Vice President, Customer Experience

April is responsible for D2L’s end-to-end customer experience. She oversees several globally distributed teams that are jointly responsible for ensuring the quality and seamlessness of the customer experience.

Read more about April Oman

April Oman

April Oman

Senior Vice President, Customer Experience

April is senior vice president, customer experience, and is responsible for D2L’s end-to-end customer experience, from the moment their initial onboarding begins throughout their entire journey of launching, optimizing, and expanding their adoption of the Brightspace platform and relationship with D2L.

April is a transformative and proactive global customer success executive who has a keen understanding of the customer journey, and she enacts the strategies, processes, technology, and operational mindset that delivers value to customers.

April oversees several globally distributed teams that include D2L’s services and consulting, training, global support, technical account management, customer success management, learning administrative management, community, and documentation teams.

Before joining D2L, she held leadership positions in customer success and technology program management with Zuora, Salesforce, and Cornerstone OnDemand. She holds a Master of Science in industrial/organizational psychology and a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Yvonne Bell image

Yvonne Bell

Senior Vice President, People and Culture

Yvonne leads D2L’s People and Culture team, including talent acquisition, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, talent management, total rewards, retention, and career coaching. She works closely with D2L’s business leaders to ensure that D2L’s People and Culture strategy aligns with D2L’s business strategy to drive the company’s organizational performance and growth.

Read more about Yvonne Bell

Yvonne Bell

Yvonne Bell

Senior Vice President, People and Culture

Yvonne leads D2L’s People and Culture team, including talent acquisition, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, talent management, total rewards, retention, and career coaching. She works closely with D2L’s business leaders to ensure that D2L’s People and Culture strategy aligns with D2L’s business strategy to drive the company’s organizational performance and growth.

Before joining D2L, Yvonne was the VP of global HR organization effectiveness and talent at OpenText, where she was involved in more than 35 acquisitions, led or contributed to People and Culture teams, successfully worked to assimilate acquisitions into company standards and practices, and merged organizations focusing on the engagement and integration of cultures, leaders, and employees. Yvonne has also held successive positions of responsibility at KPMG Canada and Toyota.

Yvonne is passionate about caring for others and healthy living, and is a huge supporter of dogs, having successfully adopted several dogs of her own. She holds a degree in sociology and psychology from the University of Waterloo, Post Grad Diploma in career development from Conestoga College, and a Leadership Development Certificate from the University of Western Ontario.

Jeremy Auger image

Jeremy Auger

Chief Strategy Officer

Jeremy drives D2L’s strategy, public affairs, strategic communications, D2L Labs, new ventures, IP strategy, and philanthropy.

Read more about Jeremy Auger

Jeremy Auger

Jeremy Auger

Chief Strategy Officer

Jeremy drives D2L’s strategy, public affairs, strategic communications, D2L Labs, new ventures, IP strategy, and philanthropy.

Jeremy has been actively involved in starting and running transformative tech companies for over 20 years and was part of the founding team at D2L. Since D2L’s founding, he has served as the COO and CTO, and continues to take a leadership role in driving the organization’s success as its chief strategy officer.

Beyond the tech sector, Jeremy has helped advise policymakers in a variety of ways—most recently as a member of the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Council, where he advised on a national strategy on the future of skills, work, and learning. He is also an advisor on ISTE’s Education Industry Advisory Council and is a national board member for TECHNATION—Canada’s Technology Industry Association. He is a past chair of the Economic Development Advisory Board for the city of Kitchener, Canada, and a former board member for the IMS Global Learning Consortium.

David Koehn image

David Koehn

Senior Vice President, Product Management

David leads the product management organization and several strategic portfolios at D2L. He commits time to giving back to literary arts, education, literacy, and wellness non-profits — and is committed to innovation through his accelerator, the Batchery.

Read more about David Koehn

David Koehn

David Koehn

Senior Vice President, Product Management

David Koehn is senior vice president of product management for D2L.

David was formerly the chief evangelist for Oracle Cloud Architecture and the VP of product management for the Oracle Learn Cloud (formerly Taleo Learn). Prior to Oracle, David held positions at Apollo Group and at Saba. At Apollo Group, David was the Senior Director Solutions, Apollo Global and Apollo Education Services. At Saba, David led the learning product strategy for Saba (Cornerstone). Before Saba, David ran his own consulting business, and prior to that was the founder of the venture-backed mobile edtech start-up Tailwind. In his early career, he led the corporate learning efforts at AvantGo (Sybase/SAP).

David holds an MFA from the University of Florida as well as a BA from Carnegie Mellon, and he received an Annenberg Fellowship for the Breadloaf Teacher Network from Middlebury’s Breadloaf School of English and an MEd from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; he is pursuing an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. David commits time to giving back to literary arts, education, and wellness non-profits, including being the chairman of the board for the award-winning literary non-profit Omnidawn Publishing. David remains committed to the start-up economy and innovation through the accelerator The Batchery.

Christian Pantel image

Christian Pantel

Senior Vice President, User Experience Design and Product Development

Christian is responsible for the Brightspace user experience. With a deep empathy for learners and educators, Christian and his teams design and build experiences that foster lifelong learning for everyone.

Read more about Christian Pantel

Christian Pantel

Christian Pantel

Senior Vice President, User Experience Design and Product Development

As senior vice president, user experience design and product development, at D2L, Christian leads teams of UX researchers, product designers, developers, testers, and accessibility specialists in all D2L’s locations.

In the design and development of products, Christian’s focus is on users. With deep empathy for learners and educators, D2L delivers user experiences that support lifelong learning for everyone. During his more than six years at D2L, Christian has led a transformation of Brightspace. Always known as a full-featured and flexible learning platform, Brightspace is now also recognized for its modern and intuitive user interface.

Christian has over 20 years of experience designing and building software at notable enterprise software companies, including Workday, Infor, and PeopleSoft. Christian earned a Master of Science in computing science from Simon Fraser University, specializing in human-computer interaction and Web-based learning environments. He also holds a Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) from the University of Manitoba. Christian lives in Winnipeg with his wife and four children.

Adam Moore image

Adam Moore

Senior Vice President, Strategic Accounts

Adam is responsible for overseeing strategic opportunities while supporting critical business development opportunities. He works with both the sales and account management teams at D2L on a global basis.

Read more about Adam Moore

Adam Moore

Adam Moore

Senior Vice President, Strategic Accounts

Adam is responsible for overseeing strategic opportunities while supporting critical business development opportunities. He works with both the sales and account management teams at D2L on a global basis. He is focused on expanding D2L’s business and strengthening partnerships across core higher education, K-12, corporate, and government segments while ensuring the highest level of customer commitment, satisfaction, and retention.

Adam brings over twenty years of leadership experience to D2L, having held senior positions with a number of Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller, mid-market, high growth organizations including Purolator Courier, Ryder, and Descartes Systems Group.

Adam graduated from Bishop’s University with a Bachelor of Business Administration.

Elliot Gowans image

Elliot Gowans

Senior Vice President, International

Elliot Gowans is senior vice president, international, at D2L, and leads the company’s commercial activities outside of North America—across the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America regions.

Read more about Elliot Gowans

Elliot Gowans

Elliot Gowans

Senior Vice President, International

Elliot Gowans is senior vice president, international, at D2L, and leads the company’s commercial activities outside of North America—across the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America regions. Before joining D2L in 2015, Elliot spent more than 10 years at software and services firm Blackbaud Inc., where he served in a variety of senior commercial roles, including as general manager within Blackbaud’s European division. Elliot hails from Scotland but has called London, England, where he lives with his wife and two kids, home for more than 15 years.

Elliot holds an MA (Hons) in philosophy from the University of Glasgow, an MSc in international finance and management from The Open University Business School, and a PgDip in information management systems from Glasgow Caledonian University. Elliot is passionate about formal and informal education, lifelong learning, and technology.

Board of Directors

John Baker image

John Baker

Chairman of the Board

Read more about John Baker

John Baker

John Baker

Chairman of the Board

John founded D2L in 1999, at the age of 22, while a student at the University of Waterloo. He envisioned D2L as a global software company dedicated to changing the way the world learns.

John is a strong believer in community involvement and devotes both his personal and business efforts to supporting young entrepreneurs who are developing and applying technology to improve society worldwide. He was appointed to the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He is also a member (Entrepreneurs’ Circle) of the Business Council of Canada and the Business Higher Education Roundtable, is past chair of the board of Communitech, and is a board member of Canada’s National Ballet School. John has been awarded the Meritorious Service Cross, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year (Ontario for Software and Technology), the Young Alumni Achievement Medal from the University of Waterloo, and the Intrepid Entrepreneur of the Year in the Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.

John graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours B.A.Sc. in systems design engineering, with First Class Honours and an option in management sciences.

J. Ian Giffen image

J. Ian Giffen

Lead Director

Read more about J. Ian Giffen

J. Ian Giffen

J. Ian Giffen

Lead Director

Mr. J. Ian Giffen FCPA, joined the D2L Board in 2016 and is currently Chairman of Kinaxis Inc. ( KSX.TSX ) and a Director of a number of other private companies. In addition, he is active in the not for profit sector and currently serves on the Boards of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank.

From 1992 to 1996, Mr. Giffen was Vice-President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Alias Research Inc. (until it was sold to Silicon Graphics Inc. for approximately $500 million). Since 1996, Mr. Giffen has advised several private venture investment funds, and has served on the boards of a number of public and private companies including Macromedia Inc., (from 1997 to 2005 until it was sold to Adobe Systems Inc. for $4 billion), Descartes Systems Group Inc. (Chairman from 2004 to 2011), Ruggedcom Inc., MKS Inc., DPS Inc., Corel Corporation Inc., Certicom Corporation Inc., Financial Models Inc., 724 Solutions Inc. (Chairman), Sierra Systems Group Inc., and Open Text Corporation Inc. Mr. Giffen is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario).and has a Designation in Corporate Finance. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and worked with KPMG in Glasgow from 1978 to 1982.

Robert Courteau image

Robert Courteau

Director

Read more about Robert Courteau

Robert Courteau

Robert Courteau

Director

Bob is an accomplished senior executive with extensive experience in leading new business initiatives and achieving growth objectives with some of the world’s foremost companies. From 2012 to 2020, Bob was the Chief Executive Officer of Altus Group Limited, a leading provider of independent advisory services, software and data solutions to the global commercial real estate industry. Most recently, he was President of SAP North America, a global market leader in enterprise application software, with other previous roles including COO of its Global Customer Operations. Bob has been an active board member of numerous North American not-for-profit organizations and has served on the boards of several publicly traded organizations.

Bob graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from Concordia University.

Tim Connor image

Tim Connor

Director

Read more about Tim Connor

Tim Connor

Tim Connor

Director

Tim Connor is the Operating Partner of NewView Capital, a venture firm based in Burlingame, California and is a Board Member at Sovrn Holdings, Inc.. Tim has 35 years of experience working with high-growth, technology-driven companies from all sides of the entrepreneurial ecosystem as a venture capital investor, investment banker and operating executive with private and public companies. Before joining NewView, Tim was the Chief Financial Officer of Code42, a global enterprise SaaS provider of endpoint data protection and security to more than 50,000 organizations, including the most recognized brands in business and education. He was also Executive in Residence at New Enterprise Associates (NEA) in Menlo Park and CFO with Datalogix — a big data company that optimized marketing by connecting offline consumer spending with online advertising before being acquired by Oracle in January 2015. Tim holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Washington College.
Tracy Edkins image

Tracy Edkins

Director

Read more about Tracy Edkins

Tracy Edkins

Tracy Edkins

Director

Tracy brings over 20 years of experience as a business-oriented HR partner for industry leaders, including Splunk, eBay, and Starbucks. She currently serves as an advisor to Generation Investment Management, Plan C Advisors, iCIMS, Findem and Bettr.me. She is also a board member for ArtHouse Studio, a non-profit focused on partnering Fortune 500 companies to bring innovation and creativity to underserved students.
Right Honourable David Johnston image

Right Honourable David Johnston

Director

Read more about Right Honourable David Johnston

Right Honourable David Johnston

Right Honourable David Johnston

Director

The Right Honourable David Johnston was Canada’s 28th governor general. During his mandate, he established the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), a registered charity that supports and amplifies the Office of the Governor General in its work to connect, honour and inspire Canadians. Today, he is actively involved as Chair of the RHF Board of Directors.

In 2018, David was appointed Colonel to the Royal Canadian Regiment. Prior to his installation as governor general, David was a professor of law for 45 years, and served as President of the University of Waterloo for two terms and Principal of McGill University for three terms. He was president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and of the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec. He was the first non-U.S. citizen to be elected chair at Harvard University’s Board of Overseers from which he graduated in 1963 magna cum laude and was twice named all-American in hockey and was named to Harvard’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

David holds degrees from Harvard University, the University of Cambridge and Queen’s University, and has received more than three dozen honorary degrees or fellowships. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 books. He was named Companion of the Order of Canada in 1997. He has chaired or served on many provincial and federal task forces and committees and has served on the boards of more than a dozen public companies.