Our People

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, 2022-2025



Candice Shaw

Board of Directors
Candice is the executive director of the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre (ORCC). For nearly 50 years, this grassroots feminist organization has supported and empowered survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
Candice is a department of sociology doctoral candidate at McGill University. Her research focuses on the gendered experiences of an Indigenous community in Mexico experiencing land dispossession and forced migration.

She is also a member of the Urban Sub-Working Group for the development of the MMIWG2S+ National Action Plan Implementation Strategy. Through this work, she has witnessed and felt deeply humbled by the courage, lived experience, and knowledge shared by the Elders, grandmothers, Knowledge Keepers, survivors, families, and the communities she has worked with. For this, she is deeply grateful — Chi Miigwetch. Moving forward, she will continue to honour the lessons she has learned from these relationships.

Her career has focused on strategies to address broader systems of power that have marginalized Indigenous women, girls, 2SLGBTQIA+ people, their families, and their communities across Canada and globally. She wishes to continue to be part of the collective discussions and actions that seek to advance gender justice across the grassroots community and national and international spaces.

Pursuing gender justice and unpacking what it means to be genuinely intersectional has brought her to Oxfam Canada. With a great sense of responsibility, she puts her expertise and lived experience into action as a member of Oxfam Canada's Board of Directors.

Sahar Raza

Board of Directors
Sahar is an intersectional feminist dedicated to advancing socially just and rights-based systemic change.
Sahar is the director of Policy and Communications at the National Right to Housing Network. It's a group of over 400 organizations, advocates, and first voices working to end homelessness and implement the fundamental human right to adequate housing. As a daughter of immigrants and racial justice advocates, Sahar is passionate about amplifying marginalized voices and advancing practical pathways to social and environmental justice. She has spent over a decade strategically tackling human rights issues at local, national, and international levels. She uses research, public policy, legislation, and communications to mobilize communities and demand government and corporate accountability on human rights so that everyone can live a life of dignity and equitable opportunity.

Sahar holds a master's in Communication and Culture (Politics and Policy stream), a graduate diploma in Communication Studies, and an honours bachelor's degree in Arts and Science (with a mathematics minor).

Aubrey Charette

Board of Directors, Vice Chair
Aubrey is an Indigenous lawyer who practices Indigenous-side law exclusively across Canada.
Aubrey is a sole practitioner who collaborates with a group of brilliant female Indigenous lawyers on a range of issues affecting First Nation clients, from historical land claims to self-government work to matters arising in the day-to-day governance of First Nation lands and communities.

She has served and continues to serve on several other non-profit boards, including as treasurer of the Indigenous charity First Assist. Aubrey has advised corporate boards on legal compliance, committee structures, and best practices. She advises several non-profit boards on issues related to board members' fiduciary duties and best practices. Aubrey is a proud member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and looks forward to helping advance Oxfam Canada's reconciliation work and its global fight to end oppression, poverty and injustice.

Iraz Soyalp

Board of Directors
Iraz is dedicated to reducing inequalities among women and children.
Iraz is dedicated to reducing inequalities among women and children. She brings 15 years of experience developing social impact programs and partnerships for the United Nations and in the non-profit and private sectors. Her expertise spans building partnerships with community-based organizations, assessing the impact of social impact projects and advising organizations to incorporate human rights in their business operations. She has experience working on projects targeting East, West Africa, and the Middle East. Iraz is also an adjunct professor in the International Development Studies program at the University of Toronto.

She has a master's degree in International Development and a doctoral degree in Sociology. She has published work on inequalities among children from a gender perspective.

Amelia Martin

Board of Directors, Secretary
Amelia is a feminist lawyer committed 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. She 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 and assisting in planning and executing a large-scale fundraising gala in 2015. Since relocating to the interior of British Columbia in 2016, Amelia has developed an understanding of the challenges women face in rural and small urban settings, especially Indigenous women.

As a board member of 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.

Fae Johnstone

Board of Directors
Fae (she/they), MSW, is a leading voice on 2SLGBTQIA+ issues in Canada.
Fae is the executive director and co-owner of Wisdom2Action Consulting Ltd. It's a social enterprise and consulting firm working with non-profits and governments across Canada to advance 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion, improve mental health services, and combat gender-based violence.

She is also an opinion writer on issues of 2SLGBTQIA+ human rights and gender justice, whose work has been published in the Toronto Star, the Ottawa Citizen, and the Huffington Post. She frequently provides commentary to radio, print and television news outlets.

As an advocate, Fae has played an important role in the fight for trans rights legislation and the push to ban conversion therapy. She continues to advocate for greater leadership and investment in 2SLGBTQIA+ communities from governments at all levels.

At the helm of Wisdom2Action, Fae works with clients across Canada to advance 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion, tackle gender-based violence, improve mental health services and strengthen community engagement. Since joining Wisdom2Action, she has taken the firm from a team of three to a thriving business with more than ten full-time employees.

Fae was the 2019 LGBT Youth Line's Trans Activism award recipient. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for YWCA Canada. Previously, she served on the boards of directors of the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, Kind Space, and LGBT Youth Line.

Rita Parikh

Board of Directors
Rita brings to Oxfam Canada's Board a long and abiding commitment to community development and to supporting local aspirations for safe, just and sustainable livelihoods.
After completing a master's in International Affairs, Rita launched her international development career. 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. She is a board director with Vancity Credit Union, British Columbia's largest credit union with more than 550,000 members and $24 billion in assets. She has also served as Canadian Parents for French director, advocating for better access to French second language education for youth.

At a local level, Rita has been on the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre boards and the Victoria International Development Education Association. As a board member, Rita has served on or chaired, or both, the Audit, Executive, Environmental, Nominations, Risk and Governance committees of these organizations. She 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
Karen is a feminist and a serial philanthro-preneur. She has played leading roles in launching two charitable organizations that took an innovative approach, using social purpose business and entrepreneurship as drivers of social change.
Karen's experience ranges from executive work with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Washington, D.C., to the Obakki Foundation that drilled water wells and supported microfinance projects in rural villages in South Sudan, to building funding and partnerships for the Next Big Thing, a charity co-founded by Hootsuite's Ryan Holmes.

She chairs the West Vancouver Community Center's board. Karen also sits on the Patrons Council of Vancouver General Hospital and the Board of the Vancouver Rent Bank, providing crisis funding to those at risk of losing their homes.

She has decades of experience building cross-sector partnerships. She strongly believes 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
Paulette has devoted her career to empowering women and girls to overcome barriers and reach their full potential.
Paulette faced her own set of barriers when she immigrated to Canada from Jamaica as a young girl. This experience ignited her interest in justice and activism. She 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.

She joined the Canadian Women's Foundation in 2016 after ten years as the CEO of YWCA Canada. She is a sought-after speaker and commentator on gender equity, gender-based violence, women's poverty and the wage gap, girls' empowerment and leadership. Through her work and advocacy with shelters and employment and housing programs, Paulette has earned numerous awards. Paulette is one of the most respected women leaders in Canada.

Larry Swatuk

Board of Directors
Larry is a professor at the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development and a faculty member of the Water Institute at 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 an associate editor of the open-access journal Water Alternatives and a founding member of the Environmental Peacebuilding Association.

Dudley Thompson

Board of Directors
Dudley is principle in Dudley Thompson Consultancy – a consulting firm focusing on sustainable community, regenerative architecture, advocacy, stakeholder engagement and climate change mitigation.
Dudley works in Winnipeg for a variety of corporate and non-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 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 per cent 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, including 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. He was chairperson of the non-profit Winnipeg Housing and Rehab Corporation. He recently served on Manitoba Hydro's board of directors.

Robert (Bob) Vandenberg

Board of Directors, Treasurer
Robert is a credentialed program evaluator with more than ten years of professional experience conducting evaluations.

Robert 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 experienced in 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
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.

Management Team



Carolina Palacios

Deputy Executive Director
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
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
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 is not 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 does not 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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