Karlee Silver is Co-CEO of Grand Challenges Canada, giving leadership and oversight to all aspects of the organization’s activities together with Co-CEO Jocelyn Mackie.
Prior to being appointed co-CEO, Dr. Silver was VP Programs where she set strategy for development and humanitarian innovation initiatives, and enabled the programs, investments, and knowledge management teams to source, support, and transition to scale promising innovations for social impact in low- and middle-income countries. She represents Grand Challenges Canada in the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA) and in the Grand Challenge network, and advises on a range of global initiatives aligned with women’s and children’s health and development and global mental health. She is the Chair of the Every Woman Every Child Innovation Marketplace Steering Committee.
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 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. 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 empowering women and girls.
In her spare time, Dr Silver explores the outdoors with her dog, practices yoga, and studies wine tasting.