Michael McDonald

Executive Director
(613) 236-3457 ext 222

Michael McDonald has been committed to furthering the student cause for the better part of the past decade. Originally from Gatineau, Quebec, he completed a DEC at Heritage College, an undergraduate degree in Political Studies at Bishop’s University and a Master’s degree in International Environmental Law at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Throughout his education he was involved in student politics, with a specific focus on questions of accessibility.

Outside of his studies, Michael has worked in a variety of roles including positions with a political party, a bank, the federal government, and three years with CASA as Stakeholder Relations Manager. When not in the office, Michael always looks forward to a good debate, a discussion about hockey or a history lesson.


Patrick Snider

Director of Policy and Research
(613) 236-3457 ext 223

Patrick Snider brings a strong background in policy analysis and political experience to CASA. He graduated from Carleton University, acquiring a Master’s Degree in Political Science, and has experience performing research and policy analysis on Parliament Hill for a number of MPs, as well as off the hill with a number of advocacy groups and professional associations.

He has also worked on the ground in election campaigns at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. He has lived in Ottawa all his life, except for when he was living in Korea and Texas, and is an avid runner, skier and fencer.


Matthew Rios

Government and Stakeholder Relations Officer
(613) 236-3457 ext 221

Matthew is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia and completed his undergraduate degree at Acadia University. During his studies he was active in student politics, serving three years on the Acadia Students’ Union Executive. Further to that he served as Vice-Chair of Students Nova Scotia, and was engaged with CASA during his two years as a delegate. During his time at Acadia, he developed a strong passion for student advocacy and that is what guides his work at CASA today.

Away from work, Matthew is an avid reader, a full-time fantasy football coach and a diehard Manchester United fan.


Ellen Wightman

Office Manager
(613) 236-3457 ext 226

Ellen Wightman was born and raised in Blackpool, England where she earned a B.A. in Business Management. Ellen has gained a variety of professional experience, having worked in Oman as a controller for a national manufacturing company, a statistician for the German civil service and as a banker with HSBC UK. She brings to CASA over 25 years of experience in accounting and office administration.


Lindsay Boyd

Communications and Public Relations Officer
(613) 236-3457 ext. 224 

Lindsay is an Ottawa-native with a strong background in marketing and communications. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Communication at the University of Ottawa, and is fluent in both official languages of Canada. Lindsay brings a valuable set of skills to CASA, having worked previously in both the federal government and the post-secondary sector. 

Though she has lived in the nation’s capital for most of her life, Lindsay recently spent six months living near the beach in Sydney, Australia. In her spare time, she is also an avid coffee drinker and fiction reader, and is working towards becoming trilingual.