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Board of Directors

Mary Gordon

Founder and President

Mary Gordon is the Founder, President, and inspiration behind Roots of Empathy. She is recognized internationally as an award-winning social entrepreneur, educator, author, child advocate and parenting expert who has created programs informed by the power of empathy. She is a member of the Order of Canada, the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador and the recipient of a number of awards, including a Public Education Advocacy Award from the Canadian Teachers Federation. In 2002 she became an Ashoka Fellow.

Dr. Mathias Terheggen


Dr. Mathias Terheggen is a global expert on corporate and private philanthropy. He brings over a decade of hands-on experience in addressing social and environmental challenges at a tactical and strategic level. A physicist by education he build his professional focus on social sector topics during his work at McKinsey & Company, through his position as Global Head Philanthropy Services at UBS and as COO of the Asia Philanthropy Circle in Singapore.

Susanne Wittig


Susanne Wittig is the co-founder of Brainforest and Founder and CEO of Impact Relation - a Swiss based consultancy and project management at the intersection of for-profit and impact, business and purpose.The organization aims to establish integrated business and impact strategies for new business models that create both economic value and social impact. It provides services associated with this, such as consultancy, advisory, project management, networking, workshops, mentoring, coaching, speeches as well as any other activities to enhance this new way of doing business.

Mirjam Schoening


Mirjam Schöning is a philanthropy professional with close to 20 years of experience in leadership positions in Foundations working globally. She is Senior Consultant at viaEd, founded in 2016, which helps meet the growing need for specialist consultancy in education. She is the former Vice President and Head of the Learning through Play in Early Childhood Program at The LEGO Foundation and former Senior Researcher at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. Mirjam serves on the board of various social enterprises and support organizations, including Dialogue Social Enterprises, Thomson Reuters Trust Law Foundation and the Duke University’s CASE Impact Investing Initiative. Mirjam holds an MBA from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and studied international business at ESADE, Spain and the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden.

International Advisory Board

photo of Gwynne Dyer

Gwynne Dyer

Advisory Board

Michael Gwynne Dyer OC is a Canadian military historian, author, professor, journalist, broadcaster, and retired naval officer. Dyer rose to prominence in the 1980s with the release of his television series War in 1983 and the publication of an accompanying book in 1985.
photo of Bruce Perry

Dr. Bruce Perry

Advisory Board

Neuroscientist Dr. Bruce Perry says we underestimate the importance of empathy in the world. He gives a compelling argument on how empathy is foundational to all healthy relationships and our success as human beings. Dr. Perry's most recent book, "What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing," co-authored with Oprah Winfrey was released this year.

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