Karlee Silver is Interim Co-Chief Executive Officer for Grand Challenges Canada. Dr. Silver was until recently VP Programs, where she set strategy for programmatic investments, and enabled the programs, investments and knowledge management staff to source, support, and transition to scale promising innovations for social impact. She is the senior technical advisor for the Every Woman Every Child Innovation Marketplace, represents Grand Challenges Canada in the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA), and is a steering committee member for mhNOW.
Dr. Silver has been with Grand Challenges Canada since it launched, and led the process of selecting the organization’s prioritized grand challenges. Prior to joining Grand Challenges Canada, Dr. Silver trained in the laboratory of Dr. Kevin Kain at the Sandra Rotman Centre in Toronto, first as a Canadian Institutes of Health Research postdoctoral fellow, then as a MITACS Elevate postdoctoral fellow, where she helped to identify host responses of malaria infection in pregnant women to harness for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
Dr. Silver received her doctorate in 2006 from the University of Oxford, where she attended as a Rhodes Scholar and trained in genetics and immunology under the supervision of Professor Richard Cornall and Professor Sir John Bell. An accumulation of inspirations, including traveling through southern Africa after Oxford, led to a refocus towards global health. Witnessing both the strength of women to sustain their families and communities, and the vulnerability of these same women to the consequences of poverty inspired Dr. Silver to apply herself to health issues of women in developing countries.