The Power of Parenting

Monday, 19 October 2020

Our Spokespeople

Our Spokespeople

Our Spokespeople are experts in early child development, parenting and, of course, the work of Invest in Kids.

To arrange an interview, click here

Dr. Chaya Kulkarni

Vice President, Parent & Professional Education

Dr. Chaya Kulkarni, Vice President, Professional Education, leads the development and implementation of curricula and materials to support professionals working with families of young children. Dr. Kulkarni also plays a significant role in the creation and development of parent education resources. She brings more than a decade of experience in the field of children’s services and early childhood education to this work.

Prior to joining Invest in Kids, Dr. Kulkarni served as the Senior Policy Analyst and Researcher for the Office of the Official Opposition at Queen’s Park where she was able to influence and inform practices surrounding early childhood care and education. She has also worked directly with children and families in the childcare sector.

Dr. Kulkarni has lectured with Ryerson University and the Canadian Mothercraft Society, an organization that provides educational and support programs for mothers and their children. She is an effective and fervent facilitator for numerous training seminars and has served on a variety of boards and associations in the children’s services sector. Dr. Kulkarni also sits on the selection committee for the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence.

Dr. Kulkarni received her B.A.A. from Ryerson University and attained her Masters and Doctorate in Education from the University of Toronto.


Dr. Carol Crill Russell

Senior Research Associate


Dr. Carol Crill Russell provides leadership to all major research and evaluation initiatives and ensures that all Invest in Kids’ initiatives are based on a sound scientific or evidence-based foundation. She has been the recipient of a multi-year grant from The Lawson Foundation to support the research and development of “how to” programs that translate research knowledge about social, emotional and cognitive development of young children into effective programs.

Prior to her position at Invest in Kids, Dr. Crill Russell served for over a decade as the Senior Research and Policy Advisor for Children’s Services in Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services. In that capacity Dr. Crill Russell initiated and monitored population-based and intervention research on healthy child development.

Dr. Crill Russell is a member of the Core Research Team for Ontario’s Better Beginnings, Better Futures Project, the National Centre of Excellence on Early Child Development Directing Council, the Expert Advisory Group for Evaluating Ontario’s Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program and the expert Advisory Group for The Lawson Foundation’s TLC3 Project.

Dr. Crill Russell holds a B.A. in Psychology from Manchester College, a Master of Science in Sociology from Indiana University, and an M.S.W. and a Ph.D. in Social Work and Sociology from the University of Michigan.


K. Michael Edwards


Michael Edwards is Chair of Invest in Kids’ Board of Directors. He is a founding board member and has served the organization with great distinction since 1993. Mr. Edwards also serves as Campaign Chair of Invest in Kids’ $20M national fundraising campaign and as a spokesperson for the organization.

A leading figure in the business community, Mr. Edwards began his career with McLeod Young Weir Limited and in 1984 moved to Gardiner Watson/Dean Witter as President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1987 he joined Richardson Greenshields of Canada Limited as Executive Vice-President, was appointed Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer two years later, and by 1991 was President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1996, following the purchase of Richardson Greenshields by RBC Dominion Securities Inc., he steadily moved up the ranks of RBC Financial Group, retiring in 2002 to pursue community and personal interests.

He is an active member of the investment community and holds several corporate directorships serving Epcor Preferred Equity Inc., Newport Partners Income Fund, Energy Split Share Corporation I and II and the Mt. Pleasant Group. He has served the Canadian Investor Protection Fund, the Mutual Fund Dealers Association and the Toronto Stock Exchange as a member of its board of governors, Vice-Chairman and Chairman. He is a past member of the executive committee of the Investment Dealers Association and the Dey Commission on Corporate Governance.

Mr. Edwards has given his time and talents equally to the causes and organizations for which he is most passionate: the Children’s Aid Society Foundation of Metropolitan Toronto; The Banff Centre; the Business Advisory Council, School of Business, University of Alberta; and the Stratford Festival Foundation.

He was born in Hamilton, Ontario and attended the University of Alberta, graduating with a bachelor of commerce degree in 1971. He is married with four children and six grandchildren and enjoys golf, skiing and sailing.