Michelle Cruickshank is a Program Officer with Grand Challenges Canada. Michelle is responsible for the Saving Brains portfolio, leading impact investments in innovations to improve early brain and child development globally.
Michelle holds a Master of Science in Psychology from the University of London (Royal Holloway College), and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Public Policy from the University of Guelph. She has close to a decade of experience in research and program development, primarily focused on child development, education, and mental health and has guest lectured on Children, Media, and Education at York University.
Previously, Michelle led a portfolio of research and evaluation in child mental health, forensic mental health, and Autism at Ontario’s largest child mental health agency and consulted for several Ontario Autism service providers. In this capacity, she conducted research and provided provincial leaders with evidence-based advice, strategies, and recommendations on children’s mental health programs, policy, and healthcare systems. Prior to that, Michelle managed evaluations and partnerships across Canada, the US, and the UK in the global child education and empowerment sector. She was seconded to rural Rajasthan, India where she spent time working with communities on access to education and gender equality initiatives.
Passionate about child rights and social progress, Michelle has held multiple Board positions at children’s charities in the Greater Toronto Area. She is currently Vice President of the Board at Girls Inc. York Region, a female empowerment organization focused on equipping girls with the tools to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers, so that they can grow up healthy, educated, and independent.