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Akela Peoples, M. Ed.

President and CEO
The Learning Partnership

Akela Peoples has a M.Ed. from the University of Toronto (OISE), a B.Ed., an Honours B.A. and her principal’s qualifications. She has degrees or certificates from Harvard, Ivey School of Business, York University, University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario. Born in Northern Ireland, Akela came to Canada at age three with her parents. Her North American Aboriginal name means “leader of the pack.” She is a graduate of Canada's public school system and is passionate about public education and its important role in securing a strong future for Canada.
 
Akela is the recipient of numerous awards and honours including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2015 and 2005, she was recognized by the Women’s Executive Network as a WXN Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner. According to WXN, the Top 100 Awards celebrate fearless female leaders whose efforts to succeed continue to inspire others. She has also won the prestigious Rotary International Paul Harris Award, the Toronto Sun’s Women on the Move Award, and was the youngest ever recipient of the YWCA's Women of Distinction Award for Entrepreneurship. Akela was invited by the President of PepsiCo to sit on their National Advisory Board for the innovative Pepsi Refresh Project. In early 2008, Akela was honoured to be appointed by the Ontario Minister of Education to chair the Premier's Awards for Excellence in Teaching.
 
Her professional career began in the public education system where she led the creation and implementation of two internationally renowned educational programs: a high-tech international business program and a regional performing arts school. She is also creator of Canada's Top 20 Under 20TM awards and mentoring program.
 
With proven expertise in the area of strategy, educational programming, strategic planning, marketing, partnerships and fund development, as well as organizational leadership, Akela is a dynamic, passionate and inspirational speaker. She has presented to business and education leaders, parents and youth nationally and internationally. She has been featured regularly on television, radio, live web casts, and in newspapers across Canada. She and husband Tom share a healthy, active lifestyle, have a mutual love of travel and enjoy spending time with their many nieces and nephews, who are all enrolled in public education.