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Advocacy School Mentors and Coaches

The focus of Advocacy School is to help individuals and organizations learn and develop their capacity to be effective advocates in their own right. 

And because “learning by doing” is a key feature of our approach to advocacy training, Advocacy School also works to match up interested individuals and employer organizations with mentors and coaches who bring long-experience and helpful advice and support to students and participating organizations.

The emphasis among Advocacy School’s Mentors / Coaches is to advise and guide clients and to help them learn, develop and practice effective advocacy. It is NOT to undertake the advocacy work itself on behalf of the client. Our primary goal is to help people and organizations do it themselves and do it well.

Two Types of Mentor / Coach
Advocacy School has two types of Mentor / Coach – those who provide their services for no fee (Pro Bono Mentors / Coaches) and those whose services are available on an hourly-fee or project-fee basis (Consulting Mentors / Coaches. )

  1. The Pro Bono Mentors / Coaches are generally retired senior public office holders (both elected and non-elected), NGO / business executives or retired / semi-retired advocacy practitioners.  To protect their privacy and enable them to consider potential mentees discretely, their identities and biographies are not posted on Advocacy School’s website.

    Qualified organizations (registered charities, community non-profits etc.) interested in a gaining the advice and support of a Pro Bono Mentor / Coach are required to fill out an application form available on the Advocacy School website (www.advocacyschool.org/mentors/applicants ). This information is reviewed by Advocacy School and Pro Bono Mentors/ Coaches and  matches between Mentors / Coaches and clients are established where possible

    (Though the Pro Bono Mentors / Coaches charge no fees to users for their services, there is a one-time, Advocacy School set-up fee ($500 - including HST) charged to organizations which are matched with a Mentor / Coach. There is no charge for merely submitting an application.)

  2. Consulting Mentors / Coaches are experienced practitioners of one dimension or another of advocacy. Many are veteran practitioners; some  are former public officials; some are Advocacy School instructors. Their services are available on a hourly or per project basis through Advocacy School. Consulting Mentors / Coaches fees vary according to a number of variables – the nature of the applicant organizations (charity versus non-profit versus commercial or professional organization etc.); the length and intensity of the assignment; other details of the service relationship.

    Any individuals or organizations (registered charities, community non-profits, commercial and professional associations, public / private or non-profit sector etc.) interested in a gaining the advice and support of a Consulting Mentor / Coach are required to fill out an application form available on the Advocacy School website (www.advocacyschool.org/mentors/applicants ). This information is reviewed by Advocacy School and Pro Bono Mentors/ Coaches and matches between Mentors / Coaches and clients are established where possible

Advocacy School provides orientation, training, client-selection assistance and support to both Pro Bono and Consulting Mentors / Coaches as well as oversight and administrative management of the Mentoring / Coaching program. It also assists potential clients / students with advice and guidance in their needs determination of mentoring or consulting services  

Advocacy School is always interested in hearing from perspective Mentors and Coaches. If you are interested in being considered for a position as an Advocacy School Mentor or Coach, please fill out the application form found on this page (www.advocacyschool.org/mentors/mentorcoach ).

Following are sketches of some – but not all - of Advocacy School’s Consulting Mentors / Coaches

  • Jennifer Hollett

    Jennifer Hollett is an award winning cross-platform journalist with range. Not many reporters can say they have been tear gassed alongside Israeli conscientious objectors in Palestine and flustered Beyonce in an interview.

    With 15 years experience in broadcast journalism and digital media management, she has worked with CBC, CHUM, CTV, and Sony Music. Jenn is also passionate about international development and social change. She founded YouthCARE with CARE Canada, managed e-communications for Plan Canada, and worked in Sierra Leone with Journalists for Human Rights.

    Jenn recently completed her Master in Public Administration at Harvard University where she learned the art of Public Narrative with Marshall Ganz, whose work inspired the organization of Barack Obama's presidential campaigns. She also studied at MIT's Media Lab, where she co-founded Super PAC App.

  • Tony Macerollo

    Tony Macerollo has more than 15 years experience in government, public policy and politics. For more than a decade, he served as Chief of Staff and strategic advisor to a senior federal cabinet minister, John Manley, through such positions as Minister of Industry, Finance, Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister. This provided Tony with valuable top-level experience in government operations, public policy development and political decision-making at the most senior levels. He followed this with more than four years as Vice President, Public Policy and Government Affairs for a major national industry association, the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute. Now serving as government-relations consultant, Tony is also available through Advocacy School as a Mentor / Coach and Instructor

  • Coleen MacKinnon


    Developing strategy, engaging stakeholders, mobilizing and managing public support, establishing strategic communications and securing required financial resources are all part of an effective advocacy campaign. Coleen MacKinnon brings a wide range of experience from a background in public relations, communications and financial campaign management to these practical aspects of advocacy management.

    Ms. MacKinnon most recently led a public policy reform initiative in Sydney, Australia. Working with St James Ethics Centre and advocating on behalf of the Parents and Citizens of New South Wales, Ms MacKinnon was responsible for proposing strategy, leading a broad-based stakeholder consultation, fostering community consensus, proposing and overseeing a government and media relations strategy, managing a team of volunteers and providing fundraising counsel to support the effort. The result was state government approval of a pilot project as a first step in amending a discriminatory and anachronistic primary education policy.

    Ms MacKinnon’s interests lie in the area of social justice, progressive education and health care reform. She believes strongly in the consultative process and is a supporter of contemporary and inclusive change management techniques.


    Organization: Strategic Advocacy Management
  • Marg McAlister

    Marg McAlister provides strategic and operational support to organizations within the health care industry. Marg has over 30 years in management and senior executive positions in health care – both in the institutional and community sectors, and brings experience and practical knowledge in operations & change management; administration & human resources; and communications to her work. As a registered lobbyist, Marg applies ‘strategic inquiry’ as an approach to advancing the interests of family caregivers and the home care sector.

    Organization: MMC Consulting
  • Sean Moore

    Sean Moore is Founder and Principal of Advocacy School and one of Canada’s most experienced practitioners, writers and teachers on public-policy advocacy. He has more than 30 years experience in public-policy and advocacy (i.e. lobbying) related to local, provincial/state and federal government affairs in Canada and the United States. He designs and conducts professional-development training in advocacy for industry and professional associations and NGOs. He is a former Partner and Public-Policy Advisor at the national law firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP,  a former president of what was then Canada's largest government-relations consulting firm and a former vice-president of a Washington DC public policy research and government relations company.

    He has taught graduate courses on public-policy advocacy at Carleton University’s Graduate School of Public Policy and Administration and the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management Executive MBA program. He has been a faculty member of the Maytree Foundation’s Public-Policy Training Institute and an advocacy mentor to grantees and fellows of a number of Canadian foundations.

    Sean is also the recipient of the 2013 Bissett Distinguished Alumni Award from Carleton University's School of Public Policy & Administration (SPPA).

    Organization: Advocacy School / Sean Moore Advisory Services Inc.
  • Elizabeth H. Mulholland

    Elizabeth Mulholland is an independent public policy consultant specializing in social development, R&D policy in relation to economic development and sport for development. Prior to launching her consulting practice, Ms. Mulholland served as the Senior Advisor on Social Development in the Office of the Prime Minister, providing strategic direction on national social and health policy issues. In addition to her experience at the federal level, Ms. Mulholland directed United Ways of Ontario’s government relations program for four years and served as a senior policy advisor to the Task Force on the Future of the Greater Toronto Area.

    Organization: Mulholland Consulting
  • Carole Presseault

    Carole brings to the Advocacy School extensive experience advising associations and organizations in the development of advocacy programs. 

    As a strategist and public policy issue manager, she has helped organizations navigate challenging waters.  As a strong communicator, she has managed outreach programs on complex issues covering the gamut from health policy, international trade, tax and economic policy.

    Carole’s approach is one of inclusiveness and she has built a reputation as an effective coalition-builder with robust relationship management skills.

    She has considerable board experience acquired both as a volunteer and as a senior leader in large national associations.

    A bilingual (French, English) public affairs practitioner, Carole has been a frequent presenter before Parliamentary Committees and conferences and she has led numerous workshops coaching staff and volunteers in the development of advocacy strategies.

    Carole holds hold a graduate diploma in public administration from l’École nationale d’administration publique (2003) and has studied journalism and political science at the undergraduate level. 



    En tant que stratège et gestionnaire des enjeux publics depuis une vingtaine d’années, Carole a piloté de nombreux dossiers dans des secteurs diversifiés dont la santé, les finances publiques et les ordres professionnels.

    Elle est une professionnelle reconnue pour sa rigueur et son expertise et compte de nombreuses réussites dans ses dossiers de lobby dont l’établissement d’un fonds de recherche en soins infirmiers et l’extension des droits de pratique pour les CGA dans diverses provinces canadiennes. 

    Carole accorde beaucoup d’importance à la gestion de bonnes relations et elle est respectée pour son expertise dans l’établissement de partenariats constructifs et mutuellement avantageux pour les milieux des associations, des affaires et le gouvernement. 

    Elle a œuvré auprès de conseils d’administration autant en tant que bénévole, qu’à titre de membre de la haute direction d’associations.

    Une professionnelle bilingue (français, anglais), Carole a agi à titre de porte-parole pour diverses organisations lors de présentations en comité parlementaires, de conférences et d’entrevues médiatiques.  Elle a dirigé de nombreux ateliers de formation en lobbying pour des bénévoles et du personnel d’association.

    Carole détient un diplôme d’études supérieures spécialisées en administration publique de l’École nationale d’administration publique (2003) et elle a aussi fait des études en journalisme et en sciences politiques.


  • Judith M. (Judy) Roberts

    Judy Roberts has over 25 years' experience in national and international applications of learning technologies, with particular emphasis on distance and open learning, and telemedicine. Before starting her consulting practice, she worked from 1974-1990 as senior founding staff member of projects such as telemedicine in Newfoundland and Labrador, Telemedicine for Ontario in Toronto, and Contact North/Contact Nord in Sudbury Ontario.

    Organization: Judy Roberts & Associates
  • Tom Robson

    Tom Robson is an independent strategic communications and public affairs consultant based in Ottawa. He has over 30 years of professional experience as a senior advisor on strategic communications to corporations, governments, universities and the non-profit sector.   He is an authority on advocacy communications, government relations, crisis communications and issues management in the complex and intensely competitive public policy environment.  His professional experience includes leading communications advisory roles during major public controversies and crisis events: tainted blood, silicone gel breast implants, consumer product tampering and recalls, environmental and safety incidents, among others.  Previously he was a senior executive with various leading international communications and public affairs consulting firms. 

  • Nora Sobolov

    Nora Sobolov, for 25 years has led major multi-party negotiations to create changes in policy and to create new programs at all levels of government. As an executive in the cooperative, nonprofit and business sectors and as a VP of government relations for the cooperative and credit union system, Nora has created and led many successful campaigns and policy development programs, among them the development and introduction of a new Cooperatives Act, which received support from every province, the development of a new funding mechanism for support centres for people who were homeless or in danger of becoming so and funding for a new Lung Health Framework. As a mentor and coach, she has worked with leaders in the cooperative, nonprofit and private sector and was a the chair of a two CEO groups which provided leaders in the private and nonprofit and government sector with a sounding board and planning process to move forward on key issues for their organizations.

    Nora holds an LLM in negotiation and Dispute resolution from Osgoode Hall, a MSW in nonprofit management from Carleton University and certificates in coaching and ethics.

    Organization: Nora Sobolov Consulting