Staff & Board

Our Team

Get to know us! Our team is comprised of two sub-teams: the ACGC core team addresses non-profit capacity building in Alberta, while the Spur Change team works to build the capacity of teachers and SMOs (small and medium organizations) across Canada.

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LEAH ETTARH

Executive Director

director@acgc.ca

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.

andreanne martel

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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RUMBI ZINYEMBA

Program Manager

projects@acgc.ca

Rumbi Zinyemba is ACGC’s Program Manager responsible for Gender Equality and SDG Programming. She is responsible for leading the ACGC Inspiring Action team to achieve the results as outlined in our Inspiring Action for Global Citizenship Programming (GAC). She leads ACGC’s capacity building program, which includes our annual conference, our leaders retreat, and regular member and cross-sectoral networking, learning, and capacity building.

Rumbi has extensive experience and academic background in International Development. She recently returned to Canada from Zimbabwe, where she has been managing grassroots development projects funded by multiple donors including USAID and DFID amongst others, valued at over $1million. Her focus in Zimbabwe was working with the human rights sector, victims of political violence and election monitoring. Prior to this she worked at Homeward Trust Edmonton where she was part of the Research and Engagement team coordinating programming across partner organizations in Edmonton in the homeless serving sector. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Political Science and French from the University of Alberta, as well as a Masters Degree in International Development Management from the London School of Economics.

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NICOLÁS PEÑA

Learning Content Designer

spurchange@icn-rcc.ca

I am committed to SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities). There is no doubt that cities will become hubs of collective solidarity and creativity. We need to ensure that we make cities and communities as inclusive and equitable, including quality education and lifelong learning opportunities. As an adult educator and community engagement practitioner, I am part of the Spur Change
Program, responsible to design capacity-building opportunities for organizations and educators.

Prior to joining ACGC, I worked closely with non-profit organizations to develop community-based programs in inter-generational learning, food security, social innovation and social transformation. Using a participatory-based approach, I work collaboratively with stakeholders to tackle complex challenges and create more healthy, equitable and sustainable communities. Similarly, I am also a board member at Singa Quebec, a citizen-led organization that works in intercultural mediation with refugees and immigrants in Québec. In my spare time, I enjoy the outdoors by exploring new climbing and hiking areas, always interested in nature’s teachings.

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KARSEN MITCHELL

Communications Coordinator

communications@acgc.ca

I am committed to SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) because how we move and live together in community demonstrates what our values are and influences what they will become. To have sustainable communities and cities we must also meaningfully address other goals such as SDG1 No Poverty and SDG 13 Climate Action to ensure we leave no-one behind today and tomorrow.

I am ACGC’s Communications Coordinator, responsible for coordinating and executing ACGC’s communications strategy. I find meaning in my work as it wholly integrates my values and allows me to use my skillset and play a small role in creating effective messaging to enact the larger vision of seeing Albertans engaged in a healthy and sustainable world. I have completed my Bachelor of Design at the University of Alberta and treat learning as a continuous pursuit – necessary to get the most out of life! 

Outside the office I wear many hats including a, volunteer, parent in training, home-cook, and outdoor enthusiast. I find in each of these spheres, I am greeted with the challenge to grow and the privilege to walk the journey with others. It is my pleasure to be of service to ACGC through the work that I do!

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LASHA AYTENFISU

Project Officer

projects@acgc.ca

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.

cedar staff photo

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).

brett mcmillan staff photo

BRETT MCMILLAN

Public Engagement Program Coordinator

projects@acgc.ca

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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SEBASTIÁN VIELMAS

Global Citizenship National Program Coordinator

spurchange@icn-rcc.ca

I am committed to Goal 4 because lifelong, public and free education should be a right for all, never a privilege for a few. As a global citizen, I also support Goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) because a sustainable, feminist and social justice rooted approach to development needs an enabling civic space where citizens, journalists, activists, trade unionists, and human rights advocates can fully enjoy their freedoms of expression, assembly, and association.

I am the Coordinator of the National Program for Global Citizenship of Spur Change. Our main focuses are on engaging youth and educators to increase their effectiveness and capacities on Sustainable Development. Prior to joining ACGC, I worked at the Canadian Council for International Co-operation as the Regional Working Groups Officer supporting member-led coalitions working for feminist and social justice approaches to development in Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. My background is on social movements, particularly students’ movements and movements for the right to education in Chile, my country of origin, Quebec, my adoptive home, and internationally. I have also been active on the World Social Forum process to build transnational networks between movements, NGOs and engaged academics.

I have a Master’s degree in Political Science from the Université Laval (Québec City) and a BA. in History from the Pontifical Catholic University (Santiago of Chile). In my free time, I am an amateur cook!

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KIM TURCOTTE

Communications and Monitoring & Evaluation 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.

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!

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 Director

Leah Ettarh – ACGC Executive Director (Acting)

Chair

Danielle Gibbie – Operation Eyesight Universal

Vice-Chair

Jamie Charlebois – University of Calgary International

Treasurer

Fredda Cherlet – Nafasi Opportunity Society

Secretary

Ana Hoepfner – Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST)

Member at Large

Bill Howe – Edmonton Public School Board

Directors

Bashir Ahmed – SCERDO

Nina Delling – United Nations Association in Canada (Edmonton)

Wendy Fehr – CAUSE Canada

Monica Nino – Development and Peace, Caritas Canada

Flora Trebi-Ollennu – TKOFCD