I would like to receive email updates from Oxfam Canada. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.
Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Our
People

Oxfam Canada is part of
a global movement of people

We depend on and value our staff, volunteers, members and Board, who provide the hard work, experience, commitment and vision that ensures our organization achieves its goals.

BOARD ELECTIONS

To Active Oxfam Canada Members:

At the Annual General Meeting in September, Oxfam Canada will elect a new Board. Here’s your chance to make a difference in charting Oxfam’s future!

Members are invited to nominate candidates – or stand as candidates – for a three-year term (2019 – 2022). Submit your nominations to the Nominating Committee at ac.ma1563488302fxo@s1563488302noita1563488302nimon1563488302.

Nominations close July 14, 2019.

A job description for Directors can be found here, the nomination form can be found here, and the candidate profile form is available here. Note that both forms must be completed in order to nominate or self-nominate.

Remember that to nominate a candidate, stand for election or vote, you need to renew your membership. You can register at https://www.oxfam.ca/join.

If you have questions, please contact ac.ma1563488302fxo@p1563488302ihsre1563488302bmem1563488302 or 613-627-8601.

Below are the bios for each of the 13 nominees in the proposed slate:

Ricardo Acuña, AB
Ricardo has spent over 25 years as a staff member, consultant, volunteer, and board member for numerous community, non-profit, labour, and political organizations. He has managed and monitored overseas development projects and provincial funding organizations, and built strong relationships with overseas communities. As Executive Director of a university-based think tank, he has extensive experience in financial management, fundraising and governance. Ricardo has been a Board member since 2013.

Bilan Arte, ON
An experienced social justice advocate, Bilan is currently a National Women’s & Human Rights Representative for the Canadian Labour Congress. Previously, Bilan was the Chair and Manitoba Representative for the Canadian Federation of Students. As an activist within Canada’s labour and student movement, she brings a wealth of experience on educating and agitating young people on issues of social concern. This is Bilan’s first term on the Board of Directors and she is excited to contribute to a team that is committed to advancing a progressive agenda for our world.

Delvina Bernard, NS
Delvina has spent the past 20 years working for not-for-profit organizations and has been involved in women’s rights and gender issues for the past three decades. Currently a doctoral student in the faculty of International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, her area of study examines the political economy of globalization which focuses on promoting a clearer understanding of how local development and global factors interact; alternative development paradigms; new forms of social agency in the global south which move beyond mainstream concepts of human development; a critical analysis of global development institutions; and an understanding of local responses – in particular, civil society organizations and social movements – to the activities of transnational capital and global enterprise. Delvina is starting her second term on the Board of Directors.

Leilani Farha, ON
Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, the world’s top watchdog on housing, has set out to reignite the idea that housing is a social good not an asset or commodity. In the role since 2014, Farha has presented reports to the UN on homelessness, the connection between housing and life itself, and the treatment of housing as a commodity and its consequences for people who are poor as well as the middle class. She has traveled to India, Chile, Egypt, and Portugal among other places to investigate whether governments are meeting their human rights obligations with respect to housing. In 2017, Leilani launched a new initiative called The Shift, a global movement which calls for everyone to approach housing as a human right, not a commodity – now gaining traction in every part of the world. A lawyer by training, Farha has worked to advance the rights of poor and marginalized groups throughout her career. She is the Executive Director of the NGO Canada Without Poverty and was instrumental in launching a historic constitutional challenge to government inaction in the face of rising homelessness in Canada. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by a Canadian university in recognition of her work, the Barbra Schlifer Award for her commitment to advancing women’s rights, and most recently the Jack Layton Social Progress Award for Leadership.

Amelia Martin, BC
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 view-point 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 by-laws 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.

Mary Ellen MacCallum, BC

Mary Ellen worked in international development as a senior manager for over twenty years. Her career in environmental management, first with Canadian First Nations people and Inuit, 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 field project manager and a capacity development specialist she saw first-hand 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 6. She is the Chair of the Policy Committee 2016-2019.

Jessica McCormick, NL
Jessica is the Communications Officer for Fish, Food and Allied Workers, Unifor. She has served on various non-profit boards over the past six years, including as the Student Representative on the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and as a regional representative and 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 extending her activism and experience to the global fight to end poverty and injustice. This will be Jessica’s first term on the Board of Directors.

Rita Parikh, BC
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 graduating from Carleton’s School of Journalism, Rita worked as a feature writer for The London Free Press before completing a Masters in International Affairs, which 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 in solidarity around the world to create viable and sustainable economic alternatives. Rita is the Director of the Nursing Community Assessment Service for the BC College of Nursing Professionals. Rita lives and works in Victoria, BC.

Karen Sander, BC
Karen has deep global experience building charitable initiatives that scaled rapidly from zero to millions of dollars in funding and had massive impacts. A serial philanthro-preneur, Karen has played leading roles in the launch of multiple groundbreaking charitable foundations that used business and entrepreneurship as key components.Her experience ranges from executive work with the World Bank (Washington, DC) to a private foundation that drilled 300 clean water wells in South Sudan over the course of two years, to building all the funding and partnerships for The Next Big Thing a charity co-founded by Ryan Holmes of Hootsuite. She has over 15 years of experience in building cross-sector partnerships and is a strong believer in the power of women, technology and entrepreneurs to be nation builders and drivers of social change.

Paulette Senior, ON
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 first-hand 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, ON
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, MB
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 Nation 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) Van Den Berg, ON
Robert is a credentialed program evaluator with more than 10-years of professional experience conducting evaluations. He has 30-years’ 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.

Board of Directors 2016-2019



Ricardo Acuña
Board of Directors, Chair, Alberta
Ricardo has spent over 25 years as a staff member, consultant, volunteer, and board member for numerous community, non-profit, labour, and political organizations.
+ Read More
He has managed and monitored overseas development projects and provincial funding organizations, and built strong relationships with overseas communities. As Executive Director of a university-based think tank, he has extensive experience in financial management, fundraising and governance. Ricardo has been a Board member since 2013.
Karen Sander
Board of Directors, British Columbia
Karen has deep global experience building charitable initiatives that scaled rapidly from zero to millions of dollars in funding and had massive impacts.
+ Read More
A serial philanthro-preneur, Karen has played leading roles in the launch of multiple groundbreaking charitable foundations that used business and entrepreneurship as key components.Her experience ranges from executive work with the World Bank (Washington, DC) to a private foundation that drilled 300 clean water wells in South Sudan over the course of two years, to building all the funding and partnerships for The Next Big Thing a charity co-founded by Ryan Holmes of Hootsuite. She has over 15 years of experience in building cross-sector partnerships and is a strong believer in the power of women, technology and entrepreneurs to be nation builders and drivers of social change.
Bilan Arte
Board of Directors, Ontario
An experienced social justice advocate, Bilan is currently a National Women’s & Human Rights Representative for the Canadian Labour Congress.
+ Read More
Previously, Bilan was the Chair and Manitoba Representative for the Canadian Federation of Students. As an activist within Canada’s labour and student movement, she brings a wealth of experience on educating and agitating young people on issues of social concern. This is Bilan’s first term on the Board of Directors and she is excited to contribute to a team that is committed to advancing a progressive agenda for our world.
Andy Joyce
Board of Directors, Ontario
A retired lawyer, Andy spent significant time during his legal career working in the governance and accountability areas and presenting seminars and workshops to non-profit boards on liability and governance issues.
+ Read More
Andy has extensive experience on boards, and over the last several years, has volunteered with CUSO and had placements in four countries. He is looking forward to his continued involvement on issues of equity and justice both internationally and within Canada with Oxfam. This is his first term on the Board of Directors.
Jessica McCormick
Board of Directors, Newfoundland & Labrador
Jessica is the Communications Officer for Fish, Food and Allied Workers, Unifor.
+ Read More
She has served on various non-profit boards over the past six years, including as the Student Representative on the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and as a regional representative and 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 extending her activism and experience to the global fight to end poverty and injustice. This will be Jessica’s first term on the Board of Directors.
Delvina Bernard
Board of Directors, Nova Scotia
Delvina has spent the past 20 years working for not-for-profit organizations and has been involved in women’s rights and gender issues for the past three decades.
+ Read More
Currently a doctoral student in the faculty of International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, her area of study examines the political economy of globalization which focuses on promoting a clearer understanding of how local development and global factors interact; alternative development paradigms; new forms of social agency in the global south which move beyond mainstream concepts of human development; a critical analysis of global development institutions; and an understanding of local responses -- in particular, civil society organizations and social movements -- to the activities of transnational capital and global enterprise. Delvina is starting her second term on the Board of Directors.
Nidhi Tandon
Board of Directors, Ontario
Originally from East Africa, now based in Toronto, Nidhi designs and facilitates grassroots workshops for women’s organizations, small business and farmer communities, enabling women to organize and articulate their priorities around sustainable development.
+ Read More
Much of her work revolves around the relationships between women and water, energy, natural resources, food security and policy decisions, but she also works on issues related to information and communications technologies and applications that enhance women’s livelihoods in developing countries. Nidhi is the founder of Networked Intelligence for Development. Nidhi is returning for her third and final term on Oxfam Canada’s Board of Directors.
Oliver Martin
Board of Directors, Ontario
A stakeholder engagement specialist with more than 15 years of international experience working with leadership organisations, Oliver is an expert in the design and execution of research to identify innovations in marketing, brand and reputation strategy.
+ Read More
A partner at Canada’s first innovation-focused travel and tourism development consultancy, Twenty3, he works closely with senior leadership teams. Oliver was formerly with reputation and sustainability consultancy GlobeScan, where he led thought leadership and stakeholder engagement projects for numerous multinational/multilateral organizations. Oliver is returning for his second term on the Board and is Chair of the Governance Committee.
Mary Ellen MacCallum
Board of Directors, British Columbia
Mary Ellen worked for many years on international development projects and has been an Oxfam supporter for all of her adult life.
+ Read More
Her work, first with First Nations people and Inuit, and subsequently overseas, has underscored the value of diversity and increased her awareness of the injustices experienced on a daily basis by people who are marginalized. To be effective as a board member, she believes it’s essential to recognize the role of equity and inclusiveness in counteracting injustice, to be respectful of all and know how to listen. Mary Ellen is returning for her second term on the Board and is Chair of the Policy Committee.
Gerry Barr
Board of Directors, Secretary, Nova Scotia
Gerry has years of experience as a professional manager for labour and civil society organizations and coalitions.
+ Read More
As a community organizer and trade unionist, and as a leader in the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC), he has worked to advance human rights and equity which has included supporting and, as a public spokesperson, promoting women’s rights and gender equality as part of CCIC’s “Ten Point Agenda” for Global Development. Gerry is returning for his second term on the Board of Directors.
Saad Bashir
Board of Directors, Treasurer, Ontario
Saad is currently the Chief Information Officer for the City of Ottawa and brings experience from multiple non-profit boards, providing both strategic planning advice and financial management oversight.
+ Read More
During the last six years, as Director of Economic Development at the City of Ottawa, he has built strong relationships within the business community, as well as political space. His experience of growing up in Pakistan and seeing first-hand many of the poverty and injustice issues gives him a perspective to better guide Oxfam's strategic planning and program development efforts. This is Saad’s first term on the Board of Directors.

Communications



Management Team



Kate Higgins
Deputy Executive Director and Director of Communications, Ottawa
Kate Higgins is the Deputy Executive Director and Communications Director at Oxfam Canada, where she oversees Oxfam Canada’s policy, advocacy, campaigning and media work.
+ Read More
Prior to joining Oxfam, Kate worked at CIVICUS, the North-South Institute, the Overseas Development Institute and AusAID in a number of strategy, policy and research roles focused on global sustainable development, inequality, women’s rights and citizen action. Kate has lived and worked in Australia, Canada, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Thailand and Uganda and has worked on assignments in many other countries, including Colombia, Indonesia, Peru, Tanzania and Yemen. Kate’s work is driven by her deep commitment to women’s rights and social justice and her belief that people and their organizations can drive long-lasting, progressive change. Kate has degrees in economics and development studies from the University of Oxford and the University of Sydney.
Lauren Ravon
Director, Policy and Campaigns , Ottawa
Lauren Ravon is the Director of Policy and Campaigns at Oxfam Canada. She leads a team of campaigners and policy experts working to advance Oxfam’s influencing agenda on a range of issues, ranging from women’s rights and economic inequality, to food and climate justice.
+ Read More
Prior to joining Oxfam, Lauren worked for five years at the International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Rights & Democracy) where she was responsible for managing programs in the Americas. She has also worked on programs to tackle gender-based violence and promote women’s reproductive rights with Planned Parenthood in Sub-Saharan Africa and the International Rescue Committee in East Timor. She holds Masters Degrees in International Affairs from Columbia University and the Institute of Political Science in Paris (Sciences Po).
Christina Polzot
Director of International Programs

Jennifer Luedey
Director of Fund Development

Diane O’Reggio
Director of Finance and Operations

Our Executive Director



Julie Delahanty
Executive Director, Ottawa
Julie Delahanty, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada is a committed feminist and leader on gender equality and human rights with more than 20 years of international development experience.
+ Read More
Before joining Oxfam, she was the Director of the Central America Program for Global Affairs Canada and served in many other posts in government including as Director of the Gender Equality and Child Protection Division, as Deputy Director for Pakistan and Deputy Director for Human Rights and International Women’s Equality. Julie has written extensively and campaigned on issues of gender and employment, trade, agricultural biodiversity, sexual and reproductive health and rights and globalization. She sits on the Executive Board of Oxfam International where she acts as the gender champion for the world-wide influencing and campaigning work of the confederation. Julie has lived and represented Canada in a number of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In 2016, she was named one of the 100 most influential women in Canada.

 

Meet Our Canvassers

If you are approached by someone in an Oxfam t-shirt or vest, talking animatedly about ending global poverty, you have likely met one of our face-to-face canvassers!

Join the Oxfam Team

Discover Careers
Become a Member
Volunteer
Share This