Meet Our
Experts

Our Experts

Our experts and thought leaders research, analyze policy, and help design programs that transform how we approach women's rights and poverty through collaboration and innovation.



Lauren Ravon
Executive Director, Ottawa
Lauren Ravon, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada is a committed feminist and social justice advocate with more than 15 years of international development experience.
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Lauren has been with Oxfam Canada since 2011, holding a number of roles – including Director of Policy and Campaigns – and working tirelessly to put women’s rights at the heart of the global Oxfam confederation. Before joining Oxfam, Lauren worked at the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Rights & Democracy) where she was program manager for the Americas and oversaw the Centre’s office and human rights programming in Haiti. She has also worked on programs to tackle gender-based violence and promote sexual and reproductive rights with Planned Parenthood Global and the International Rescue Committee. Lauren has conducted extensive policy research and campaigned on issues of food justice, women’s economic equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights and the role of women’s movements. She holds Master's Degrees in international affairs and development studies from Columbia University and the Paris Institute of Political Studies.

Lauren sits on the Board of Directors of the Humanitarian Coalition and is a member of the Equality Fund collective.
Kate Higgins
Deputy Executive Director and Director, Communications, Ottawa
Kate Higgins is the Deputy Executive Director and Director of Communications of Oxfam Canada. Prior to this position, Kate was Oxfam Canada's Director of Policy and Campaigns.
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Before joining Oxfam, Kate worked for CIVICUS, where she led the development of the CIVICUS five-year strategy and spearheaded the organization’s work on data, sustainable development and citizen action. She has held senior policy and research roles at the North-South Institute and the Overseas Development Institute, where she led work on chronic poverty, inequality and women’s economic justice. Kate started her career at the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) working on the Indonesia and Papua New Guinea programs.

Kate has lived and worked in Australia, Canada, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Thailand and Uganda and has worked on assignments in a number of other countries, including Colombia, Indonesia, Peru, Tanzania and Yemen. Kate has degrees in economics and development studies from the University of Oxford and the University of Sydney.
Diana Sarosi
Director, Policy and Campaigns, Ottawa
Diana Sarosi is the Director of Policy and Campaigns, leading a team of campaigners and policy experts working to advance gender justice, tackle growing inequality, support social movements and promote active citizenship.
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She is a long-standing feminist advocate, with more than 15 experience working with non-governmental organizations in Canada and throughout Southeast Asia.

At Oxfam Canada, she is advancing policy files related to economic inequality, gender budgeting, humanitarian assistance, peace and security, aid and foreign policy and women’s leadership, all with an emphasis on feminist approaches, targeting the Canadian government and multilateral fora. She is an ongoing analyst and commentator on Canada’s federal budget. Diana previously worked for the Nobel Women’s Initiative and grassroots organizations throughout Southeast Asia. She lived five years in Thailand and founded a NGO working to protect human rights defenders.
Anya Knechtel
Policy Specialist, Climate and Natural Resources, Ottawa
Anya Knechtel is a policy specialist leading policy work on climate change and natural resources. Anya holds a Master's in Planning from UBC, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Politics and Development Studies from Queen’s University.
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Anya is an intersectional feminist focused on issues related to climate change and natural resources. She has extensive experience working with NGOs on environmental, energy and gender issues in Canada and internationally. She has previously worked with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Banff Centre, Pembina Institute and the World Bank on projects related to rural energy and climate change in Latin America and Africa, as well as advancing ICTs for development. Anya has volunteered on rural development projects in India and Ecuador, as well as with local environmental groups and organizations providing support to recent immigrants in Canada.
Brittany Lambert
Women's Rights Specialist, Policy and Advocacy, Ottawa
Brittany Lambert is a Women’s Rights Policy and Advocacy specialist at Oxfam Canada. She has over a decade of experience in international development research, policy and advocacy.
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She has worked extensively on issues such as economic inequality, women's rights, Canadian aid and foreign policy, rights-based approaches to trade and investment, and social determinants of health. Currently, she leads Oxfam Canada’s policy and advocacy on humanitarian and refugee issues, bringing a strong gender lens to this work. Brittany is a proud feminist. Women’s rights and human rights are at the heart of her vision for social change. Prior to working for Oxfam, she worked at the Canadian Council for International Cooperation and the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy. She has a Master’s degree from McGill University.
Amar Nijhawan
Women's Rights Specialist, Policy and Advocacy, Ottawa
Amar Nijhawan is a Women’s Rights Policy and Advocacy Specialist leading policy work on economic justice, care, and the UN Women Beijing +25 process at Oxfam Canada.
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Amar is an intersectional feminist with a decade of experience working on policy issues related to gender justice, economic development, and sustainability across Canada and internationally. She has held positions in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, where she led an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) initiative focused on SMEs, innovation policy, and entrepreneurship in Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Peru. Amar has also worked in the NGO world in India, engaged in issues around gender equality, communal violence, and urban homelessness in New Delhi. Amar holds a MSc from the Gender Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.A in Political Science and International Development Studies from McGill University.
Dana Stefov
Women's Rights Specialist, Policy and Advocacy (On Leave), Ottawa
Dana Stefov is Women’s Rights Policy and Advocacy Specialist and the policy lead on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) at Oxfam Canada. She also supports the team’s work on women’s economic equality.
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Dana is a committed feminist that has worked in women’s rights, climate and food justice programming and policy, in Canada, throughout the Americas and internationally. She has lived and worked in several Central American countries – Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica - and is particularly fond of the region. She has held recent positions with USC Canada, the Halifax Initiative Coalition, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation and a coalition of human rights organizations in the Americas advocating to strengthen the Inter-American Human Rights System.

Dana hold a M.Sc. in Development Management from the London School of Economics and a B.A. (Hons) in Development Studies and Political Science from Queen’s University. She lives with her partner Sébastien and two children, Alexis and Sacha, in a house they built with their own hands in Wakefield, Quebec in the national capital region of Canada. Dana is a beer-loving foodie who speaks Greek, Romanian, Spanish, French and English.
Ian Thomson
Manager, Policy, Ottawa, Ottawa
Ian is the Manager of Policy, leading a dynamic team of policy and advocacy specialists promoting gender justice in Canada and internationally. He brings more than twenty years of experience in policy advocacy and global solidarity work, and holds degrees from the University of Toronto and Queen’s University.
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At Oxfam Canada, he coordinates government relations and private sector engagement on a broad range of policy areas including women’s economic equality, climate justice and natural resource governance, and gender in humanitarian emergencies.  Previously, he was the policy specialist on gender justice in extractive industries from 2017 to 2021, collaborating with a global team of Oxfam colleagues and partners across Latin America, Africa and Asia to bring a gender lens to injustices in the mining, oil and gas sectors.
 
Prior to joining Oxfam, Ian spent a decade coordinating the human rights and natural resources program of a national social justice initiative of the Canadian churches.  He has also worked as a researcher and campaigner on labour rights in the global apparel industry.  He lives on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe people in Ottawa, and loves running, cycling and spending time in the kitchen.
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