LIFT Philanthropy Partners welcomes Dr. Robert Thirsk to board of directors

Physician, engineer and former astronaut contributes to social change

VANCOUVER, CANADA, March 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LIFT Philanthropy Partners is pleased to announce Dr. Robert Thirsk, O.C., O.B.C., has joined its board of directors. The physician, engineer and former astronaut brings a wealth of knowledge to LIFT and its efforts to support health, education, skills training and employment across Canada.

"We are pleased to welcome Robert Thirsk to our board of directors," said Jane Pepino, chair of LIFT Philanthropy Partners. "Robert's knowledge, experience and proven leadership will play an integral role in LIFT's efforts to support large-scale social change in Canada."

Robert has flown on two space missions as a member of the Canadian Space Agency's astronaut corps. In 1996, he flew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia as part of a 17-day mission that studied life and materials sciences, and in 2009, he became the first Canadian astronaut to complete a long-duration expedition aboard the International Space Station.

Dr. Thirsk recently retired as vice-president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. In this position, he ensured that the organization's partnerships advanced health research for the benefit of patients and the health care system.

"Health, education and skills training have been the foundation for my career dreams. By working strategically with community organizations, LIFT Philanthropy Partners provides these same kinds of opportunities for people across the country," said Dr. Thirsk. "I am pleased to join LIFT's board and contribute to its efforts to drive social change in Canada."

Robert Thirsk holds degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Calgary and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds a doctorate of medicine from McGill University, and a master of business administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Read an interview with Robert Thirsk.

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About LIFT Philanthropy Partners

LIFT Philanthropy Partners invests in social change by increasing the impact and sustainability of social purpose organizations in Canada. LIFT uses a venture philanthropy approach to support these organizations to become sustainable and more effective at delivering measurable social impact that improves the health and productivity of Canadians. 

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