Staff & Board

Our Team

Get to know us! Our team is comprised of two sub-teams: the Alberta-based team addresses non-profit capacity building and public engagement in Alberta, while staff working on the Spur Change project on behalf of the Inter-Council Network are based across Canada and build the capacity of teachers and SMOs (small and medium organizations) across Canada.

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LEAH ETTARH

Executive Director

I am committed to SDG 4 (Quality Education) because access to quality education is key to a democratic and inclusive society.

I spent five years as ACGC’s Program Manager prior to taking on the Executive Director role, where I was responsible for public engagement and monitoring and evaluation of ACGC’s programming. With a BPhil in Leadership and a BEd in Secondary Education, from the University of New Brunswick, and a Masters degree in International Humanitarian Action from Uppsala University in Sweden, I have spent my career blending my passions for education and international development. This included working in the field of Education in Emergencies as a consultant with the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies in New York; and teaching secondary school in Bolivia, China, Kenya, and Canada. 

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ANDRÉANNE MARTEL

National Program Director

spurchange@icn-rcc.ca

I am committed to Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goal) because working in collaboration is the only way to face current challenges including climate change. I also support Goal 5 (Gender Equality) because it’s through empowerment and access to decision making that marginalized people will swift the power balance. 
 
I am the Director of the Spur Change Program, which is a 5 years initiative aiming to increase the effectiveness of Canadian small and medium organizations (SMOs). Prior to joining ACGC, I was the lead of the Next Generation: Collaboration for Development program, a joint initiative between the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) and the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID) aiming to foster better collaboration between practitioners and academics in the Canadian global development sector. My background is in research and M&E. I held a Research Award position in the Policy and Evaluation Division at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and used to be the coordinator of a research centre on international development at the University of Québec in Montréal (UQAM). Since 2010, I have also evaluated several major post-earthquake projects and programs implemented in Haiti by NGOs and international organizations. I have a Master’s degree in Political Science from UQAM.
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BLESSING MUYAMBO

Learning and Engagment Manager

membership@acgc.ca

Coming soon

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MADALYN NIELSEN

Learning and Events Coordinator

spurchange@icn-rcc.ca

I am committed to SDG 2 – Zero Hunger and SDG 5 – Gender Equality. The right to sustainable and healthy food sources is a basic need that unites us all. It is important to work collaboratively towards solutions that ensure this while empowering farmers of diverse backgrounds and identities through food sovereignty approaches. I am also passionate about SDG 5 – Gender Equality. It is imperative that people of all gender identities have equitable access to opportunities free from discrimination. People of all genders should be fully seen, heard, and respected.

As Learning and Events Coordinator for the Spur Change Program, I work to coordinate effective capacity building training activities for SMOs across Canada, and to organize the Spur National Conference. Prior to joining the Spur Change team, I have actively been involved with the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC) as a board member and volunteer. I have also worked for two international development projects in Ethiopia and in India, focusing on agricultural development and training for students and staff at agricultural colleges in rural areas. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree and a Certificate in International Rural Development from Dalhousie University – Faculty of Agriculture, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Global Development Studies from Queen’s University. 

When I am not working, I love spending time with my pets (and animals in general), gardening, and exploring my home province of Nova Scotia!

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NICO PENA

Learning and Engagement Coordinator

spurchange@icn-rcc.ca

I am committed to SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 14 (Sustainable Cities and Communities). There is no doubt that more people are moving into cities and are creating a wide range of socio-economic challenges. Nonetheless, they are also becoming hubs for collective solidarity and creativity. We need to ensure that these urban spaces are both inclusive and equitable, including quality education and lifelong learning.

My role at Spur Change intersects community-oriented practices with peer-to-peer learning methods to help SMOs achieve their projects/programs. Prior to joining ACGC, I worked closely with many non-profit organizations to develop community-based programs in intergenerational learning, food security, social innovation and social transformation.

I hold a Masters in Adult Education and Community Development from the University of Toronto focused on sustainable and social justice practices.

During my spare time, you can find me enjoying natural spaces in and around Montreal. 

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CEDAR MACRAE

Financial & Administrative Officer

finance@acgc.ca

I am committed to SDG 1 (No Poverty). Poverty, to me, means the difference between short term thinking and long term goals. Only when an individual’s basic needs are secure, can one move on to long term considerations, meaning access to choice and opportunity in the pursuit of happiness. Then we may all truly aspire to be the best version of ourselves. Other SDG’s that resonate strongly with me are SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 13 (Climate Action).

KIM TURCOTTE

Communications and M&E Coordinator

spurchange@icn-rcc.ca

I am committed to Goals 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 13 (Climate Action) because challenging our patterns of consumption and addressing climate change are crucial to build a more sustainable and fairer world. As global citizens, we all have responsibilities towards each other and the planet as we’re all interdependent and to make a positive global impact I strongly believe it starts with individual engagement.

In the past years, I’ve been delighted to contribute to the development and implementation of projects for renewable energy technology and social justice, here in Canada and in South America. I’ve also been involved in welcoming refugee and immigrant families as a volunteer with the Service d’aide aux Néo-Canadiens (Sherbrooke, Qc). My role within the Spur Change team is to coordinate the communications and oversee the execution of the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan.

I have a Master’s degree in International Development Management and a BA in Communications & Marketing. I’m a nature lover – you’ll most likely find me there camping, trail running, mountain biking, in the middle of a yoga session or drinking a cup of (fair trade) coffee!

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MARIE-CATHERINE THOUIN

Global Citizenship National Program Coordinator​

spurchange@icn-rcc.ca

I am committed to SDG 4 – Quality Education and SDG 5 – Gender Equality. I believe that providing a quality education to young people is key to developing a democratic society. A quality education helps youth, women, marginalized groups and people in general, become more aware of their rights, be more inclined to claim them and become more confident in their leadership abilities.

Educating girls and women helps build stronger families and communities and contributes to their economic growth.

Providing girls with an education has important economic impacts that can help achieve both SDG 1 – No poverty and SDG 8 – Reduced inequalities. By investing in education for girls, it is possible to help families who live in poverty send their girls to school, increasing their future job prospects and growing their economic outcomes, which can end vicious circles of poverty.

When girls attend school, there is a better chance to achieve SDG 3 – Health and well-being. When girls go to school, they are better informed about health issues. In a (post) pandemic era, it will be important for girls and women to be informed of the risks related to health to make the best decisions for their family and community.

Prior to taking the role of Spur Change’s Learning Coordinator, I was an Education Specialist at Equitas for a project on gender equality in Haïti. I am also a trained ESL teacher and I have taught for a few years both in Quebec and abroad.

Needless to say, that for me education is not only essential, but it’s fun!

As the Project Officer of the Spur Change program, I hope to support these goals by bringing together youths, educators, and SMOs from all over, and by delivering projects that stimulate curiosity and the desire to learn while aligning with their educational needs and own goals. Before joining ACGC, I worked with non-profit organizations developing communication and digital strategies and planning events, whether in person or online. These include organizations whose mission is to promote inter-generational and lifelong learning, climate action, and women empowerment around the world through entrepreneurship. I have a Bachelor in marketing and a postsecondary degree in science, and have completed the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Global Training. In my spare time, you’ll find me in nature either hiking, swimming, or trying out new outdoor activities, or at home, reading a book, trying new cooking recipes, or attending to my plants!

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HOPE SALIM

Administrative Assistant

info@acgc.ca

I am committed to SDG 5 (Gender Equality) because people of all genders must be safe, heard, and active in order to build thriving communities. Inclusivity promotes health and wellbeing, which then further fosters good community, creating a sustainable cycle. Gender Equality is a win for everyone involved! I am also passionate about SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) because there is a critical need to address world hunger as millions of people go hungry every day. I am always interested in seeing what roles science and technology play in potential solutions.

As ACGC’s Administrative Assistant, I am involved in general administration, programming, and finance but am also happy to lend a hand wherever needed! My previous experiences include programming, event planning, and customer service. I have a degree in Psychology and International Studies from the University of Alberta. International development has always been near to my heart, and I had the opportunity to intern with two NGOs in Fiji as part of the Certificate in International Learning. Outside of work, I am an equally big fan of volunteering with children and all things Marvel Studios.

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JOHN KUNICKI

Project Officer - Spur Change

spurchange@icn-rcc.ca

I am committed to SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). Ensuring just wages, fair labour practices, and opportunities inclusive of gender identity strengthens collective voice and unites communities for further sustainable change. In the same way, I also am committed to SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goal) as I believe meaningful change and development can only occur through cooperation and collective engagement.

As a Project Officer with Spur Change, my role entails a few different responsibilities: project support, financial administration, communications and the like. Essentially, I’m here to help out wherever I can. I have a Bachelor of Arts in French Language and Literature and English from the University of Alberta with a Certificate in Translation Studies. All that being said, I look forward to working with the Spur team and our partners in promoting global citizenship and sustainable development

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RAIN BOSSERT

Communications Coordinator

communications@acgc.ca

I am committed to SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 5 (Gender Equality). I am passionate about literacy (language and other) equality, as well as the importance of providing education around the world that is equal, accessible, and sustainable. I am committed to the global movement for gender equality, and believe in the vitality of safe and equal spaces/rights for people of all genders, sexualities, orientations, etc.

As Communications Coordinator at ACGC, I am responsible for working alongside the ICN’s network of communications professionals, as well as the rest of ACGCs team, to communicate with the public about ACGC’s work, messages, ideas, and programs. I have a Bachelor of Professional Communication from Grant MacEwan University, and a rich history of experience in the communications field and the not-for-profit sector.

When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and our two puppies, and volunteering with various organizations in my spare time.

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JASMEEN BRAICH

Public Engagement Coordinator

projects@acgc.ca

I am committed to SDG 5 (Gender Equality) because people of all gender deserve to perceive themselves as equally valuable human beings and deserve to live a life free of discrimination. I have worked in the Public Sector for the past 4 years, and before I received a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in International Relations from Syracuse University. I have travelled around the world to places like Costa Rica, Jordan, and Indonesia and have seen first-hand the beauty in the world and how we all deserve the opportunity to provide for our families, gain opportunities, and have equal rights. My dedication to the Public Engagement team is to provide an avenue where Canadians can have this realization as well from right here in Canada.

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ZAINAB AZHAR

Communications Officer

info@acgc.ca

The SDGs central to my mission are 10, 11 and 17. Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10) is a vision of yesterday which means we cannot work hard enough to bring light and an uplifting, transformational effort to ensuring everyone is awarded opportunity, dignity, and safe wellbeing no matter their walk of life. Sustainable Cities (SDG 11) will become the sowing grounds of our future, where innovation and oneness with the natural cycles of our planet are symbiotes of eachother. And of course, a sustainable future is hardly imminent without interweaving all the communities, minds and their respective contexts together in a synergetic and vibrant mosaic (SDG 17).
 
My academic and professional journey exists at the intersections of international development, social innovation and interdisciplinary leadership and art. My aim is to disturb the conventionalism between these same ideological coordinates by drawing connection, inspiration and growth where previously unfound. I consider myself a translator and as such, I am learning to speak the symbolic languages of those from a diversity of socioeconomic, spiritual or sustainability backgrounds; this includes work with newcomer families, community building through innovation and serving the underrepresented. The artist in me is always in awe of the bigger picture, but what’s a big picture without every little context that intertwines to create it?
 
At ACGC, I fuel the fire of youth changemakers. As caretakers of the future, our youth play a unique and unmatched role in visualizing sustainable growth and (re)storing resiliency within the vitality of our planet and people.

Board Members

About the ACGC Board

ACGC is governed by an elected Board of Directors comprised of not less than seven and no more than thirteen persons, being Directors at large, and drawn from a representative mixture of diverse organizations. The Board of ACGC is a working board, made up of volunteers committed to the goals of the Council. The activities of ACGC are planned, implemented and evaluated by standing sub-committees. Standing committees are composed of Board members and persons drawn from the larger membership as required. The Executive Director works with the Board to carry out programming and the administration of the Council. ACGC is a member of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation.

Executive Committee

Chair:  Felipe Civita Ferreira – Norquest College

Vice-Chair: Bev Carrick – Embrace International Foundation

Treasurer: Lorraine Swift – Change for Children Association 

Secretary: Danielle Skogen – Canadian Humanitarian

Member at Large: Aditya Chaudhuri – Engineers Without Borders Calgary 

 

Contact the Chairperson

chairperson@acgc.ca

Directors

Carrie Malloy – University of Alberta International – Global Education, University of Alberta International

Daniel Zopoula – Bridges of Hope

Flora Trebi Ollennu, Trebi Ollennu Foundation for Community Development (TKOFCD)

Katrin Hoffman – Sombrilla International Development Society

Kristin Poch – Operation Eyesight

Murwarid Ziayee – Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan

Nina Delling – United Nations Association of Canada, Edmonton Branch

Tahira Ebrahim – Bow Valley College