Staff

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LEAH ETTARH

Executive Director (Acting)

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, responsible for public engagement and monitoring and evaluation of ACGC’s programming. With a BPhil in Leadership, BEd in Secondary Education, and a Masters degree in International Humanitarian Action, 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; teaching secondary school in Bolivia, China, Kenya, and Canada; and now in my role at ACGC.

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LAVEZA KHAN

Gender Equality & Sustainable Development Coordinator

I am committed to Goal 5 (Gender Equality) because humanity at large will succeed a lot further when women and girls are given equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making. I also support Goal 8 (Decent Work & Economic Growth) because access to productive employment and decent work is crucial to human development as well as sustainable development.

I am ACGC’s Gender Equality & Sustainable Development Coordinator. I completed my postgraduate studies at Humber College in International Development and have an Honours BA from McMaster University in Labour Studies and Sociology. I am passionate about social justice, gender equality, employment and human rights policies and am excited to engage with these issues directly through the work of ACGC members.

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ROBBIE ISHIMWE

Youth Program Officer

I am committed to SDG 2 (No hunger). There is no reason for some people to go hungry or not know where their next meal is coming from when the world has abundant resources for everyone. SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) also excites me a lot. The role of community in our daily life is undervalued and not utilized enough.

I am the ACGC Youth Program Officer, responsible for developing The Hub’s programming. I engage youth in their role of achieving a prosperous world through work they do in their communities and help them think how their work is achieving the SDGs. Prior to ACGC, I was working in refugee sponsorship, support and advocacy, as well as public engagement with student leaders across Western Canada and the Prairies. I am always encouraged by scores of young people I have met who are shaping their communities. Indeed, we can always dream of a better world.  I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacology from McGill University. Outside of work, I enjoy listening to podcasts on behavioural economics, going on summer bike rides, and taking part in the Edmonton culinary scene.

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KENDRA THOMPSON

Communications Coordinator

I’m committed to SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) because the peace and freedoms we enjoy in Canada are not the global norm. I believe that strengthening peace, justice and institutions plays a huge role in removing systematic barriers.

I am the Communications Coordinator at ACGC and my responsibilities include maintaining our online presence as well as piloting our Top 30 Under 30 campaign. I keep a pulse on what’s happening in the ACGC office and with our members so I can keep the world in the loop. Prior to this position, I work as a website copywriter for marketing agencies as well as an in-house digital coordinator. I completed my Bachelor of Communications with a major in Professional Communications from MacEwan University. Outside of work, I like to volunteer with a few different organizations in the Edmonton community, read historical non-fictions and spend my time outdoors.

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LASHA AYTENFISU

Project Officer

I am committed to SDG 4 (Quality Education), as it is an essential part of uplifting communities and diverse voices. With more accessible and inclusive education, I believe that the world will be filled with global citizens.

I am ACGC’s Project Officer, and I am involved in supporting the various public engagement projects going on. I completed my Bachelor of Arts in History and Spanish at the University of Alberta, with a Certificate in International Learning, and spent time studying in Mexico. I am also committed to supporting Edmonton’s newcomer and immigrant communities by volunteering with youth programs and education programs. I am passionate about development work and I look forward to engaging with it through ACGC’s members.

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CEDAR MACRAE

Financial & Administrative Officer

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).

As ACGC’s Financial & Administrative Officer, I am responsible for the development and oversight of financial activities, reporting and processes. With postgraduate studies completed in Business Administration and Accounting, I choose to work within non-profit, contributing to the betterment of society and our communities. Engagement is crucial and I look forward to becoming a more involved citizen through initiatives with the ACGC and partnerships. A sample of my many interests includes biking, discovering new music, movies, and short stories.

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BRETT MCMILLAN

Public Engagement Program Coordinator

I am committed to SDG 17 (Collaboration for the Goals) because I believe it’s going to take everyone to solve the problems the world is facing – everyone talking, dreaming and working together.

I am ACGC’s public engagement program coordinator. My work focuses on engaging Albertans in development and helping them take active steps on creating change in the world. With my academic background in engineering, I found my way to development through extra-curriculars, by challenging (and being challenged by) my peers to be more globally conscious. I’ve worked with post-secondary students across Canada to amplify their efforts in actively learning about and taking actions towards different social initiatives in Canada and around the world. Joining ACGC has given me the great chance to connect with  Albertans – from elementary students to seniors – on pressing development issues and encouraging them to engage in acting towards a better tomorrow!

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SARA MICHEL

Manager - National Education Programmes

I am committed to SDG 16 and particularly the end to all forms of violence, as both cause and effect of the denial and neglect of the rights and dignity of people and communities.

I was born in Alexandria, Egypt and moved to Canada with her family in 1995. I have a BA in History, a Certificate in Middle Eastern and African Studies and a Masters in International Affairs, with a specialization in conflict management and resolution. In the past I’ve worked as an Analyst for the Government of Canada’s Departments of National Defense and Foreign Affairs, in Ottawa, for several years, as well as an Early Warning Analyst for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Rome. I have also worked on developing the methodology for a Humanitarian Early Warning System as part of a WFP-led UN Interagency program. Prior to working with the ICN, I worked for almost 7 years for Development and Peace – Caritas Canada, facilitating and leading workshops on global social justice issues to all age groups. I have also worked for local non-profit organizations in Bolivia and Cuba, and have spent time with local partners in the Philippines, Madagascar, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso. I love reading, walking, dancing and good company.

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KIM TURCOTTE

Communications and Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator

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.

I completed my postgraduate studies in International Development Management and my BA in Communications & Marketing. In the past years I’ve been delighted to contribute to the development and implementation of communications strategies
for renewable energy technology and social justice projects, and so am I to be part of the Spur Change team and support organizations and educator’s capacity-building towards gender equality, women empowerment, poverty reduction and the sustainable development goals. 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!