Director’s note and staff list

Over the past few decades, it has become increasingly clear that business activity is dangerously disembedded from the social and ecological fabrics on which it depends, and linked causally to a series of problems as diverse as climate change, childhood obesity, and global financial instability. The challenges of reinventing business as a force that enhances rather than undermines society’s deepest held values are significant – challenges that do not respect disciplinary boundaries and cannot be adequately tackled with knowledge from just one part of the university. As a result, the need for managers who can articulate and reconcile issues from multiple perspectives continues to grow. Responding to this need, the Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management advances an integrated approach to management – one that breaks down disciplinary barriers, embraces multiple perspectives, and encourages holistic thinking about organizations. - Professor Steve Maguire, Former Director, Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management (MDIIM)

Saku Mantere, PhD

Saku Mantere is an Associate Professor of Strategy and Organization in the Desautels Faculty of Management and Associate Director of the Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management. Following work as a high school philosophy teacher and telecommunications engineer, he completed his PhD in Industrial Engineering and Management in his native Finland. Prior to joining McGill, Saku taught at the Warwick Business School, UK; Hanken School of Economics, Finland; Rouen Business School (now NEOMA Business School), France and Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University), Finland.

Saku’s research focuses on strategic organizations with a particular interest in strategic change, middle management and organizational communication, as well as the methodology of studying management and organizations. He holds several awards for his teaching and research, most recently for his co-authorship of the best published paper in Organization and Management Theory (Academy of Management, 2015).


Managing Director, Strategy and Operations 
Anna Birnie-Lefcovitch, MA

Anna Birnie-Lefcovitch, Managing Director As Managing Director, Ms. Birnie-Lefcovitch is responsible for MDIIM’s general administration and oversees the development and implementation of the institute’s strategic initiatives. 

Anna previously held the position of Advisor in the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations) at McGill, where she was part of a core team tasked with research planning, advocacy, and policy review. Prior to arriving at McGill, Anna worked in academic publishing, and as a public historian for a community archive in Toronto. She has volunteered with several local and international organizations, and as a student she worked as a public policy analyst for both the Quebec and Ontario governments on women’s health and family violence programming. Anna earned a BA (Honours) in Political Science and History at the University of Toronto, and completed a Master’s degree in Canadian social history at Dalhousie University.


Managing Director, Program Development
Ellen McDill, MBA

Ms. Ellen McDill is responsible for facilitating the development of interdisciplinary programs and courses that partner the Desautels Faculty of Management with other McGill faculties and with other academic institutions. 

Ellen has experience in project management, business development and communications for academic, international development and management consulting organizations. She is a McGill MBA graduate and has participated in several McGill initiatives. She was part of the team who developed and launched the McGill-HEC Montréal Executive MBA and was Associate Director of the program. She was a communications consultant on the university’s Greening Lower Campus project, which partnered McGill with the Ville de Montréal, in creating a greener, pedestrian-friendly, downtown campus. Ellen has also worked in business development and program management in the McGill Executive Institute.


Project Manager
Megan Poss, MEB

Megan Poss, Project ManagerMs. Megan Poss is responsible for leading various programs primarily under the Social Economy and Sustainability Initiatives at MDIIM as well as being the first point of contact for students.

Prior to her position with MDIIM, she worked in the electricity industry facilitating applied research projects with utility companies and stakeholders around the world. Megan holds a Masters in Environment and Business (MEB) from the University of Waterloo’s School of Environment, Enterprise, and Development (SEED) and a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management.  



Associate Director, Social Economy Initiative
Dr. Emmanuelle Vaast, PhD

Emmanuelle Vaast Emmanuelle Vaast is Associate Professor of Information Science in the Desautels Faculty of Management. As Associate Director of the Social Economy Initiative, she works closely with colleagues from Desautels and across the university to develop new partnerships and programs in social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Emma holds a PhD in Management Sciences from Ecole Polytechnique, Paris. In her research, she explores how innovation, in particular Information Technology (IT)-related innovation, affects organizational, social, and societal dynamics. She has, for instance, investigated how social media enables non-governmental organizations as well as grassroots actors to develop new organizational forms and to enact emergent missions of social change. Emma’s teaching reflects her interests in IT, innovation, and social enterprise and encompasses issues such as IT management and technological innovation for sustainability.