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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights


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.


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.ma1560653720fxo@s1560653720noita1560653720nimon1560653720.

In the coming three years, our Board will play a crucial role in:

  • Implementation and oversight of the Oxfam 2020 governance and programming changes
  • The implementation of the Oxfam Canada Strategy (2020 and beyond)
  • Strategic thinking, oversight and contributions to Oxfam Canada’s role as an influencing organization
  • Contribute to the success of Oxfam Canada as a leader on women’s rights and gender equality
  • Strengthening accountability to partners, funders, members, donors and the public

Candidates require a strong commitment to our mission and values and should have:

  • substantial experience on a not-for-profit board or relevant governance expertise
  • experience in financial and risk management
  • readiness to support fundraising through ideas, contacts and experience
  • a commitment to women’s rights and gender justice
  • knowledge of international development and human rights
  • strategic leadership experience

Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to stand for election.

Nominations close July 14, 2019. We urge you to put forward nominations as soon as possible so that we can recruit a strong Board.

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.ma1560653720fxo@p1560653720ihsre1560653720bmem1560653720 or 613-627-8601.

We encourage you to play an active role in strengthening our governance by giving some thought to who could make the greatest contribution to Oxfam’s impact as a member of our Board.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.


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.
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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.
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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.
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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!

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