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Press Release: Announcement – Leadership Team at Open North

It's official! Open North is excited to announce that the Interim Leadership Team that led the organization through our recent transition period will now be made permanent. 

Executive Director, Merlin Chatwin

Deputy Director - Program Delivery, Maria Tomovic

Deputy Director - Operations, Lana Petraznyk

As of December 1st 2021, Merlin assumes the permanent role of Executive Director, supported by Lana and Maria in newly established Deputy Director roles. The Board of Directors decided to solidify the leadership group after receiving consensus from staff which confirmed the Board's assessment that Open North is well-managed and positioned for increased impact. 

“We’d like to offer our heartfelt congratulations and appreciation to Merlin and the rest of the Team, '' says Board Chair Chad Lubelsky. “As we look to the future, we see that informed data policies make for smarter and more equitable social policy. Open North has a strong track record in supporting governments and social sector organizations achieving their aims, and we are confident that under Merlin’s leadership we will continue to grow our capacity and impact. These are exciting times.” 

We thank our partners for their ongoing support during this period of transition and we look forward to future collaboration to promote the responsible and effective use of data and technology in service to transparent, accountable and inclusive communities.

About Open North

Founded in 2011, Open North is Canada’s leading not-for-profit organization specialized in open smart cities, public consultation, open data and open government, and data governance. Our mission is to drive research, capacity-building and network collaboration across and within sectors to advance the responsible and effective use of data and technology in service to transparent, accountable and inclusive communities. With a multidisciplinary team of 15 staff (+ expert advisors), we work with the most innovative and connected communities and civil society organizations in Canada and internationally.

About the Leadership Team

Executive Director - Merlin Chatwin

Merlin Chatwin received his PhD from the University of Western Ontario in the Geography Department. His research area is urban policy and local governance with a specific focus on inclusive civic participation in distinct geographies. In 2018, Merlin was awarded the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship in recognition of his professional and academic pursuits. 

Merlin has over 10 years of domestic and international experience focusing on public consultation, policy development and local government reform. With an MA in Organizational Development and Leadership, he has a keen interest in the development of individuals to reach their full potential. He has significant experience in developing strategic alliances in governance, education and food security sectors. Merlin has expertise in project management and in leading cross-sectoral groups through strategic planning and collaborative processes. Further, he has extensive experience leading monitoring and evaluation projects across diverse sectors and geographic and cultural contexts.

Merlin can be reached at

Deputy Director, Program Delivery - Maria Tomovic

Maria Tomovic holds an MBA and an Engineering degree from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Trained as a project management professional, Maria has over fifteen years of experience working with clients in the private and public sectors, both in Canada and internationally. Maria is adept at liaising with donors and stakeholders and is skilled in managing multi-partner projects in complex environments and brings this experience to Open North and the Canadian context. Maria is a strategic thinker and effective communicator, fluent in both English and French.

Maria can be reached at

Deputy Director, Operations - Lana Petraznyk

Lana Petraznyk has over 20 years of Operations experience in the Montreal start-up market. Having worked in sectors such as algorithmic trading, e-commerce solutions and gaming, Lana brings a wealth of experience in establishing, developing and growing small tech-based companies into successful and impactful businesses. Open North is Lana’s second consecutive non-profit endeavour as she shifts her professional and personal commitment to philanthropy and important social issues.

Lana can be reached at

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