Executive Director, Shalem Mental Health Network, Ontario, Canada

Mark Vander Vennen, M.A., M.Ed, R.S.W., is a marriage and family therapist and registered social worker who serves as Executive Director of the Shalem Mental Health Network in Ontario, Canada. Shalem is a community-based mental health organization that offers a variety of mental health supports in community settings with a clinical specialization in attachment psychotherapy. Shalem aims to exemplify restorative practices as a comprehensive way of thinking and being, offering a variety of specific restorative programs, including FaithCARE (Faith Communities Affirming Restorative Experiences), the Centre for Workplace Engagement, EduCARE and Restorative Families. 

Mark is a licensed trainer of the IIRP and has presented at numerous IIRP World Conferences. As a social worker who has coordinated services for children and youth with complex needs, he has testified in both criminal and family courts and has seen firsthand the negative impact of the adversarial justice system. He is the coauthor of Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for Confronting Global Crises, Foreword by Desmond Tutu, and author of “Towards A Relational Theory of Restorative Justice” in Restorative Theory in Practice, ed. Belinda Hopkins (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016).

Board member since 2019