Oxfam Canada is part of
a global movement of people

We depend on and value our staff, volunteers and Board, whose hard work, experience, commitment and vision ensures our organization achieves its goals.

Board of Directors, 2019-2022

Bilan Arte

Board of Directors, Ontario
Bilan is a Black, Muslim feminist residing on unceded and never surrendered Algonquin Territory.
She is an activist with more than a decade of experience in grassroots and youth-led movements and is fueled by her passion for social justice and equity. Today, Bilan is the National Representative for Women and Human Rights at the Canadian Labour Congress.

Delvina Bernard

Board of Directors, Nova Scotia
Delvina Bernard is an educator, institutional change strategist, human rights advocate, cultural activist and songwriter.
She holds degrees in business administration, adult education and is currently pursuing her PhD on the topic of Reparations. Her thesis working title is: Reparations for Trans-Atlantic Slavery – An Economic Development Strategy and Alternative to Aid. For 20 years, Delvina led the nationally-acclaimed female a capella quartet Four the Moment – gaining international recognition for award winning compositions themed around gender justice, anti-racism and wider social justice issues. As a principal founder of the Afrocentric Learning Institute of Nova Scotia (ALI), she has been at the forefront of the Canadian Afrocentric education movement and is most noted for establishing Canada’s first ever university degree in Afrocentric Educational Leadership at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. She served as Executive Director of CACE (an educational advisory committee) from 1997 – 2015; prior to that she held leadership positions in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Including: Youth Employment & Training organizations, Women’s Shelters, Federal Human Resources Development Canada and a sessional lecturer with both Dalhousie and Mount Saint Vincent University. As an Afrocentrist, Feminist and student of Global Development, Delvina has a significant interest in the political economy of globalization; the interaction of local development and global factors; alternative development paradigms; new forms of social agency in the global south; Anti-Racist models of human development; Feminist analysis of global development institutions; and reparatory justice approaches to understanding local responses to the activities of transnational capital and global enterprise. Delvina has traveled widely, is an active volunteer in her Halifax community and is the mother of two daughters.

Mary Ellen MacCallum

Board of Directors, British Columbia
Mary Ellen worked in international development as a senior manager for more than twenty years.
Her career in environmental management, first with Canadian First Nations and Inuit people, and subsequently in Asia and the Middle East, was rooted in listening deeply, respecting diversity and working with partners to find a path forward. She brings those same skills to her work on the Oxfam Canada Board.

As a field project manager and a capacity development specialist she saw firsthand the difference that development based on gender equality can make in the lives not only of girls and women, but of entire communities. She has been an Oxfam supporter all of her adult life and is proud that Oxfam Canada reflects those values. She has been an active Oxfam volunteer for more than 10 years, and a member of the Board for the past six. She has been the Chair of the Policy Committee from 2016 to 2019.

Amelia Martin

Board of Directors, British Columbia
Amelia is a feminist lawyer with a commitment to achieving long-term social change by ensuring that women and other equity-seeking groups achieve justice.
Beginning with her commitment to social justice as a director of her university’s women’s centre, Amelia has continued her work on women's issues with legal organizations, including the Ontario Bar Association. Amelia relies on her unique viewpoint as a bi-racial woman to assist her in her understanding and analysis of social justice issues. In her work with METRAC, Amelia was instrumental in developing a three-year strategic plan, as well as assisting in the planning and execution of a large-scale fundraising gala in 2015. Since relocating to the interior of British Columbia in 2016, Amelia has developed her understanding of the challenges facing women in rural and small urban settings, especially indigenous women. In her capacity as Board member with the Vernon Women's Transition House, Amelia reviewed and revised the organization's bylaws to ensure compliance with new provincial legislation concerning charitable organizations. She also assisted in the planning and execution of a gala fundraising event, including securing sponsors and reviewing financial documents. After becoming a mother in January 2019, Amelia's commitment to social justice for women has deepened considerably.

Jessica McCormick

Board of Directors, Newfoundland & Labrador
Jessica is a feminist and activist from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.
She is the Public Relations, Communications and Research Officer for the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE), the largest union in the province. She has served on various non-profit boards over the past ten years, including as Vice President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour, as the Student Representative on the Board of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and as a regional representative and two-term national chair of the Canadian Federation of Students. These experiences have provided her with extensive experience in governance, accountability and strategic planning. Jessica is looking forward to continuing her activism with Oxfam Canada in the fight to improve the lives of women and girls around the world and end poverty and injustice.

Rita Parikh

Board of Directors, British Columbia
Rita brings to the board table a long and abiding commitment to community development, and to supporting local aspirations for safe, just and sustainable livelihoods.
After completing a Master’s of International Affairs, Rita launched her career in the field of international development. She spent two decades working alongside women and refugees, Indigenous peoples and farmers, unions and students in Asia, Latin America and the South Pacific. Her work for groups like Inter Pares and Pacific Peoples’ Partnership – where she served as Executive Director – helped her gain a deep appreciation for the creative and determined efforts of communities, activists and social movements working to create viable and sustainable economic alternatives. Rita has served as the Chair of the board of directors of Mountain Equipment Coop – Canada’s largest retail cooperative – and is currently a board director with Vancity Credit Union – BC’s largest credit union with more than 550,000 members, and $24 billion in assets. She has also served as a director with Canadian Parents for French, which advocates for better access to French second language education for youth. At a local level, Rita has been on the boards of the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre and the Victoria International Development Education Association. As a board member, Rita has served on and/or chaired the Audit, Executive, Environmental, Nominations, Risk and Governance committees of these organizations. Rita is the Executive Director of the Nursing Community Assessment Service, an organization working to ensure that internationally-educated nurses can enter practice in Canada safely and quickly. Rita lives and works in Victoria, BC.

Karen Sander

Board of Directors, Chair, British Columbia
Karen is a feminist and a serial philanthro-preneur. She has played leading roles in the launch of two charitable organizations that took an innovative approach, using social purpose business and entrepreneurship as drivers of social change.
Her experience ranges from executive work with the IFC (Washington, DC) to the Obakki Foundation that drilled water wells and supported micro finance projects in rural villages in South Sudan, to building funding and partnerships for The Next Big Thing a charity co-founded by Ryan Holmes of Hootsuite. Karen is the Chair of the Board of the West Vancouver Community Center, sits on the Patrons Council of Vancouver General Hospital and on the Board of the Vancouver Rent Bank, which provides crisis funding to those at risk of losing their homes.

Karen has decades of experience in building cross-sector partnerships and is a strong believer in the power of Social Purpose Businesses and Women Leaders to be drivers of social change. Ending poverty begins with women's rights.

Paulette Senior

Board of Directors, Ontario
Paulette Senior has devoted her career to empowering women and girls to overcome barriers and reach their full potential.
She faced her own set of barriers when she immigrated to Canada from Jamaica as a young girl – an experience that ignited her interest in justice and activism. Paulette began her career on the front lines of social service organizations in some of Toronto’s most economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. She saw firsthand the urgent need for social resources and systemic change to transform women’s lives. Through her work and advocacy with shelters, as well as employment and housing programs, she has earned numerous awards and become one of the most respected women leaders in Canada. Paulette joined the Canadian Women’s Foundation in 2016, after 10 years as CEO of YWCA Canada. She is a sought-after speaker and commentator on issues including gender equity, gender-based violence, women’s poverty and the wage gap, girls’ empowerment and leadership.

Larry Swatuk

Board of Directors, Ontario
Larry Swatuk is a Professor at the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development and is also a Faculty Member of the Water Institute, the Balsillie School of International Affairs and is cross-appointed to the School of Planning and the Department of Geography and Environmental Management.
Dr. Swatuk's research focuses on the political economy of natural resources with a particular focus on freshwater governance and management in the Global South. He teaches courses in global political economy, theories of international development and water security. Larry is also Associate Editor of the open access journal Water Alternatives and a founding member of the Environmental Peacebuilding Association.

Dudley Thompson

Board of Directors, Manitoba
Dudley is Principle in Dudley Thompson Consultancy – a consulting firm focusing on Sustainable Community, Regenerative Architecture, Advocacy, Stakeholder Engagement and Climate Change Mitigation.
He works in Winnipeg for a variety of corporate and not-for-profit clients. He was the founding principal of Prairie Architects Inc. in 1981 and has practiced as an architect in Manitoba since 1976. He holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from the University of Manitoba and a graduate degree in Architecture from the University of Toronto. He transferred Prairie Architects in 2017 to four employees. Dudley nurtured Prairie as an architectural firm that was committed at its roots to sustainability, stakeholder participation in design and building community. Prairie demonstrated this commitment to Sustainable Buildings with an integrated staff of building scientists and 90% of staff members that are LEED accredited. Prairie certified over 30 LEED buildings under Dudley’s leadership including Manitoba’s first LEED GOLD Building, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and several LEED Platinum projects including Manitoba Hydro Place and Amber Trails School. In his 35 years of practice, Dudley guided Prairie Architects Inc. as an Integrated Design Process Facilitator on numerous projects, in the regeneration of dozens of historic buildings, the renewal of many urban sites, the creation of many First Nations projects, as well as a wide variety of residential, community and educational projects. Mr. Thompson recently served on the Board of Directors of Manitoba Hydro and was chairperson of the non-profit Winnipeg Housing and Rehab Corporation.

Robert (Bob) Vandenberg

Board of Directors, Ontario
Robert is a credentialed program evaluator with more than 10 years of professional experience conducting evaluations.
He has 30 years of experience as a senior-level manager, and as an international management consultant with bilateral donors, non-governmental organizations and multilateral organizations, and has led numerous contracts for the United Nations: WFP, FAO, OCHA, PAHO, UNICEF and UNDP. Robert has advised clients in 23 countries on a full range of program and management issues. His experience includes practical, front-line work managing humanitarian and development projects while based in Africa and Asia. Robert is an accredited adult educator and is experienced designing and delivering directly applied experiential learning activities. His strong adult training and facilitation skills come from direct experience leading face-to-face working sessions for small and large groups in diverse cultural contexts.

Our Executive Director

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.
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 Opens in a new window and is a member of the Equality Fund Opens in a new window collective.

Management Team

Carolina Palacios

Deputy Executive Director, Ottawa
Carolina Palacios is the Deputy Executive Director of Oxfam Canada. Prior to this position, Carolina was Oxfam Canada’s Manager of Program Development.
Carolina has more than fourteen years of increasing experience in international development, with previous positions as Head of Programs, Quality and Learning at World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and at Cuso International and a number of roles in Colombia, where she grew up. She has led teams to design and secure funding for international development programs valued at CAD$220+ million in more than 20 countries. Carolina has a passion for advancing gender equality and the rights, empowerment and leadership of women and girls in all their diversity. She holds a Master’s degree in Conflict Studies from Saint Paul University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Armed Conflicts and Peace from Universidad de los Andes and a Bachelor’s degree in Government and International Relations from Universidad Externado de Colombia.

Erin Kiley

Director, International Programs, Ottawa
Erin Kiley is the Director of International Programs at Oxfam Canada. Prior to this position, Erin was Oxfam Canada’s Manager of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Programming since 2019.
Erin is a feminist dedicated to community and international development and has spent much of the last 21 years working for social justice and development organizations. Before joining Oxfam, Erin was a Senior Manager at United Way of Ottawa and oversaw community grant allocations.

With 12 years of experience working in international development in a variety of program and project roles and two years completing a research-based international development Master of Arts at Guelph University, Erin has worked and lived in a variety of contexts. This includes seven years based in Africa (Botswana, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Senegal) and several years in Europe in her youth (Romania, Germany and Austria). Born in Deep River, Ontario, Erin left the area with her family as an infant and grew up in New Brunswick. Erin settled in Gatineau, Quebec in 2013.

Jennifer Luedey

Director, Philanthropy and Development, Ottawa
Jennifer Luedey is the Director of Philanthropy and Development at Oxfam Canada, where she leads a team of enthusiastic and committed fundraisers for the public fundraising program.
Jennifer has more than twelve years of experience as a fundraising professional for women's rights and international development organizations, and is a proud feminist and activist. Her education and background in social services and community work has brought a deep understanding of the importance of working within an anti-oppression framework. With a focus on women's rights and gender equality, she has worked with girls in rural communities around healthy relationships and media literacy, coordinated a community advocacy and public education program for sexual health and reproductive rights in Toronto, and as a residential counsellor at a shelter for women fleeing violence.

When she isn’t trying to convince you that direct mail is still relevant, you can find her supporting the local music scene or painting at home in Wakefield. Originally from New Brunswick, Jennifer has lived in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, a ski resort in the Rocky Mountains (although she doesn’t ski) and New Zealand, where she managed a hostel and had a short stint on a soap opera!

Diane O’Reggio

Director, Finance and Operations, Ottawa
Diane O’Reggio is the Director of Finance and Operations where she works with a team of experts and oversees operations, finance, human resources, information technology and systems units for Oxfam Canada.
Diane O’Reggio has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the non-profit, public and private sectors, working collaboratively with boards of directors, staff, volunteers, stakeholders and community partners. Diane’s work and volunteer experience has focused on human rights, social justice, civic engagement and improving how non-governmental organizations do their work using a rights-based approach. Prior to joining Oxfam Canada, Diane served as the Executive Director of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, a national feminist women’s rights organization.

Diane holds a Master's in the Study of Human Rights from Columbia University. She also holds degrees in public administration from Ryerson University and economics from the University of Western Ontario.

Diana Sarosi

Director, Policy and Campaigns and Acting Director, Communications, 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.
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.

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