dr. Jennifer Charlesworth

Lead of org change

Four decades ago, when she was a biologist experiencing career doubts, Jennifer met Dr. Penny Parry who introduced her to the world of child, youth and family care. That extraordinary two-hour conversation set the stage for a beautiful friendship and a diverse career in the social and health care field. Jennifer has a practice of saying ‘yes’ to interesting opportunities so she has been a front line youth worker, child day care worker, policy analyst, fund developer, professor, researcher, advocate, Cabinet advisor, and CEO – to name just a few of the 15 different job titles she lists on her CV!

Along the way she had a few crises of faith that left her trying to figure out what she could do differently to bring about deep social change. Another beautiful conversation with long time mentor Dr. Frances Ricks lead to her getting an interdisciplinary PhD from the University of Victoria. Serving on the Premiers Advisory Council on Social Innovation then inspired her to pursue a Global MBA in the UK. And for the past 6 years Jennifer has been co-designing and co-delivering transformational leadership programs for people working in Indigenous and non-Indigenous social care organizations.

Fun facts: Jennifer is an avid sailor and delivered boats between Northeastern US and the Caribbean. And when her kids were young, Jennifer and her 2 daughters would take off on their small (often engineless) sailboat with the 100lb dog, cat, guinea pigs and hamster and spend the summers exploring coastal BC.