Critical Link International Governance

Angela Sasso, President

Maria Aguilar Solano, Vice President

Philippe Ramsay, Treasurer

Kiran Malli, Secretary

Naoko Ono, Asia Representative

Lluis Baixauli Olmos, Research and Development

Michal Schuster, Research and Development

Paola Gentile, Member At Large

Maria Wattne, Member At Large










Board of Directors

Angela Sasso, President

Angela brings close to three decades of experience as an intercultural communication expert, working since 1989 to promote access, inclusion and quality language services. A senior level executive, educator, program manager, policy developer and expert consultant, Angela is currently fulfilling a second, 3-year term as President of Critical Link International. The Co-founder and President of Toc, the Interpreters’ Co-op, Founder and Director of Shifting Pictures, International Expert to the ISO TC 37/SC 5 Terminology and other language content and resources, Co-chair, Health Standards Organization, Technical Committee for Communication in Health Services.

Angela is a veteran educator and curriculum developer dedicated to quality education and professional development opportunities for community and health care interpreters and has been instrumental in affecting systemic change in the provision and utilization of interpreter services in BC. Ms. Sasso has been training community and health care interpreters to work in community, healthcare and mental health settings since 1995. In 2012, Angela founded and implemented Interpreter’s Lab, which has become a leader in interpreter training in British Columbia, Canada. Angela also teaches at Vancouver Community College – Interpreter Programs in addition to giving courses for health care providers, social workers, correctional officers, and professionals, on how to most effectively work with language services.

Maria Aguilar Solano, Vice President

Maria Aguilar Solano is an Assistant Professor of Interpreting at the Department of Translation and Language Sciences at the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. She has been committed to the development of the profession and improving interpreters’ working conditions since 2007. Through her PhD in Translation and Intercultural Studies from the University of Manchester, her research agenda and her community work, she has contributed to the training of community interpreters and development of syllabi that capacitate interpreters to empower themselves and the community. She has collaborated with other organizations in Spain and the USA. Her research agenda on non-professional interpreting, community-driven interpreter training and migration places her in a unique position between research, professional practice and community interpreting.

Philippe Ramsay,  Treasurer

Philippe was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada.  A Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Management Accountant by trade, he has spent the majority of his career working for Not-for-Profit organizations in Ottawa and Montreal.  Philippe is currently the ED of the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario.

While his main focus has been on strategic management and operational excellence, Mr. Ramsay acquired a diverse experience working for local, regional, provincial, national and international organizations at the management and executive levels.  Along with his CPA, CMA designations he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Administration from the Université du Québec à Hull, a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences (Leisure Studies) from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa.

Kiran Malli – Secretary

Kiran Malli, has worked in the area of improving access to health care for people with limited English proficiency since 1996. Over that time, Ms. Malli has developed and implemented interpreting service programs within various health care institutions and health regions across the Greater Vancouver area. Kiran is currently the Director of the Provincial Language Service (a program of BC’s Provincial Health Services Authority) and is in her second, 3-year term as a board of director with Critical Link International.

Kiran Malli fully understands that meaningful access to health care begins with the ability to effectively communicate with the health care provider. She is a strong advocate for equitable access to care which ties to her experience in the field of anti-racism, diversity and access. She is an established curriculum developer and facilitator/trainer. Kiran has been training community interpreters in various aspects since 1996. She has extensive experience developing training modules to suit organizational and group needs.  She has a strong background in program planning and development as well as extensive experience consulting with community groups in designing programs and projects that reflect their needs and concerns.

Lluis Baixauli Olmos

Lluís Baixauli-Olmos started working at the Classical and Modern Languages Department at University of Louisville in 2013 as an Assistant Professor in Translation & Interpreting (Spanish). Before that he had taught at Jamia Millia Islamia University (New Delhi, India) for three years and Universitat Jaume I (Castelló, Spain) for two years. Dr. Olmos completed his PhD in 2012, with the help of a government funded doctoral scholarship program. His doctoral dissertation focused on interpreter ethics and its application to the prison setting.

His research interests include: public service interpreting, cognition of interpreters, intercultural communication, professional ethics, moral philosophy, sociology of professions. His most recent research work focuses on codes of ethics for interpreters and on memory in consecutive interpreting.

Maria Wattne

Maria Wattne is a long-term member of Critical Link International with a strong commitment to community interpreting. She is based out of Oslo, Norway and focuses on the professionalization of Norwegian interpreters, and has been involved in advancing their professional interests through organizing, in the establishment of the National Register of Interpreters, and in the processes of testing and training of interpreters. Originally an interpreter of Thai/Norwegian and a qualified journalist, Ms. Wattne worked for nine years as a communications executive in Norway’s largest union. Since 2016, she was employed at OsloMet University, piloting, establishing and managing the Bilingual Proficiency Test, an oral screening test for aspiring interpreters of Norwegian. From November 2018, she has been focusing on her PhD fellowship at the Department of International Studies and Interpreting, Faculty of Education and International Studies, OsloMet University: “Interpreter-mediated Communication as Part of the Education of Professionals in the Public Sector”.

Michal Schuster

Michal Schuster  is a community interpreting researcher and trainer in Israel. Michal received her BA in International Relations and Linguistics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and her MA at the department of Translation Studies at Bar-Ilan University. In 2009, Ms. Schuster received her PhD on telephone interpreting services in the health care system. Michal implements her theoretical studies in an effort to improve language access and cultural competence in Israel. She is involved in various programs in the public, non-profit and academic sectors, specifically in the area of health care. Since 2006 Michal manages the first telephone medical interpreting service in Israel for Ethiopian-Israeli patients and their care providers. She’s an active member of a nationwide movement for the advancement of cultural competence in Israel’s health care system and medical services. As part of the Israeli Community-Academia Partnership, Michal teaches the course “Community Interpreting” which trains students in interpretation skills in and supervises their volunteer activities as community interpreters in public institutions and NGOs.  

Naoko Ono

With a background in teaching intercultural communication in the medical field, Naoko works as a translator, interpreter, educator and researcher in the medical industry. Ms. Ono graduated with a PhD in Health Communication from the University of Tokyo (Japan) and her PhD thesis focused on medical interpreter training. She is currently working on a number of research projects on health communication and medical interpreting, and continuously achieving research funding from the Japanese government.

Naoko is the CLI Board lead for the CLI9 Conference taking place this coming June in Tokyo, Japan.

Paola Gentile

Paola Gentile holds an MA in Conference Interpreting and a PhD in Translation and Interpreting Studies from the University of Trieste. Her PhD thesis, The Interpreter’s Professional Status: A Sociological Investigation into the Interpreting Profession investigated interpreters’ self-perception of their status with a survey that obtained 1693 responses worldwide. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven with a project focusing on the reception and image of contemporary Dutch and Flemish literature translated into Italian. Ms.Gentile’s  research interests include: sociology of the professions, the status of the interpreting profession and the professionalization of conference and public service interpreting, the interpreter’s social role and Dutch studies. She has participated as a speaker in several international conferences and has published several papers on the sociological aspects of the interpreting profession. She works as a freelance interpreter and translator and is a member of the Italian Association of Conference Interpreters.