Silo Busting: Reaching Across Sectoral Divides to Activate Our Work on the Violence Link


Barbara Cartwright, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS)

This dynamic facilitated discussion will create small, mixed-sector teams to dive deep into four "big picture" questions on the violence link, designed to kick off cross-sector discussion at the conference. This will be your first chance to connect with representatives of the more than 10 sectors attending the CFHS Canadian Violence Link Conference.


An award-winning leader in animal welfare, conservation and education, Barbara Cartwright’s work has spanned five continents and 25 years. Her extensive experience in developing and facilitating relationships with stakeholders, including governments, corporations and NGOs has led to innovative programs with dynamic results, including working with First Nations to initiate community-based companion animal welfare programs, partnering with the BC government to implement the first grizzly bear rehabilitation program, supporting east coast fishermen to protect the endangered right whale, working with the Ontario government to develop marine mammal captivity legislation, consulting with Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith to create new language for the animal cruelty provisions in the Criminal Code, and mobilizing African communities across the continent to conserve chimpanzees. Barbara is sought after for her knowledge of policy and public affairs. She has secured amendments to federal legislation, including updates to the Criminal Code, the Migratory Bird Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Barbara has advised some of the top organizations in the world on animal welfare policy direction, including working with online giant eBay Inc. to end the illegal ivory trade on its site worldwide.

Today, as the CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS), Barbara convenes and represents the largest animal welfare community in Canada, working to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals. She leads CFHS in fulfilling its mission to create a humane Canada through the successful execution of strategic and business plans. Over the past five years, Barbara has launched the annual CFHS National Animal Welfare Conference, the National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty and has spearheaded the first empirical sector-wide research project on humane societies and SPCAs. She is consulted by all political parties on issues of animal welfare, including updating legislation and consulting on policy documents, such as agricultural and food policy.

Barbara has provided expert testimony to the Justice Committee of the House of Commons, the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, the Liberal Animal Welfare Working Group, the all-party International Conservation Caucus, the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the IUCN World Congress. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Education and Communication, is a published author and lecturer, and received the Governor General’s Gold Medal in 2006. She is the former President of the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada and Advisor to the Pan-African Sanctuary Alliance as well as sits on the Board of PetSmart Charities of Canada and Safe Pet Ottawa. Barbara is a member of Women’s Executive Network, the Council of Women Executives and part of the Distinctive Women network.