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

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. 

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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NOMAZWE SIZIBA-SIVELA

Gender Equality and Sustainable Development Goals Coordinator

info@acgc.ca

Nothing beats inclusion and quality education, the keys to international sustainable development. Almost every language has a saying that resonates with “Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ve fed him for a lifetime” hence my commitment lies with SDG 5 (Gender equality) and SDG 4 (Quality Education). They both emphasize inclusion, which comes with security, access, availability, stability, use and utilisation. Gender equality gives value to every human being recognising intersectionality and ensuring inclusivity, this coupled with quality education form a solid foundation that will bring and ensure sustainable international development.  

Nomazwe has a PhD in Ag Economics from UFH, South Africa; MSc in International Rural Development from RAU, England, UK; BSc Hons Ag Economics from UZ, Zimbabwe which she has infused with a diverse international sustainable development practice that includes capacity building, research, consultancy, program management, coordination, planning and implementation experience from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi and the United Kingdom. Her work includes the fields of development economics, agriculture and rural development, gender equality, governance, health economics, disaster risk reduction, food security, building resilience, resource economics, water security and climate change adaptation.

She has worked as a development practitioner in the NGO sector, a consultant and advisor, a lecturer and high school teacher in economics, mathematics and Agriculture.

nicholas

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

Public Engagement Coordinator

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 passionate about development work and I look forward to engaging with it through ACGC’s networks as a Public Engagement Coordinator. I completed my Bachelor of Arts in History and Spanish at the University of Alberta, with a Certificate in International Learning. Outside of work, I am committed to supporting Edmonton’s newcomer communities by volunteering with various youth programs. 

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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).

CATHERINE KLOCZKOWSKI

Communications and M&E Coordinator

spurchange@icn-rcc.ca

I am committed to Goals 5 (Gender Equality) and Goal 4 (Quality Education) as I see these two goals working together to ensure a prosperous and equitable future for all. The most successful societies and economies are those with quality, public and free education whose graduates, including girls, are supported through to the workplace. Sustained support for Goals 4 and 5 would ensure positive steps could be taken towards many of the other UN Sustainable Development Goals as societies could take advantage of an educated, diverse and skilled population ready to tackle today’s most pressing concerns. 

Previous to this position, I was the Director of Communications for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and a Communications Advisor with the City of Edmonton. 

I have a BFA in Film Production from Concordia University and am completing my joint Master’s degree in International Humanitarian Action from the University of Warsaw and Aix-Marseille Université. In my spare time, I enjoy going to festivals with my two boys  and our dog, Rollo and camping in the great outdoors.

sebastian

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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SHANICE TADEO

Project Officer

spurconference@acgc.ca

I am committed to Goal 4 (Quality Education) because accessible, quality education for all fosters an inclusive society where diverse voices are heard, and unlocks opportunities for all communities. As a global citizen, I am also committed to Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) as the challenges we face intersect and have no geographical limitations.

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!

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.

Chair

Danielle Gibbie – Operation Eyesight Universal

Vice Chair

Felipe Civita Ferreira – Norquest College 

Treasurer

Lorraine Swift – Change for Children Association 

Secretary

Ana Hoepfner – CAWST

Member at Large

Daniel Zopoula – Bridges of Hope

 

Executive Director

Leah Ettarh – ACGC Executive Director

Directors

Bashir Ahmed – Somali Canadian Education and Rural Development Organization (SCERDO)

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

Danielle Skogen –
Canadian Humanitarian

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

Jamie Charlebois – University of Calgary International

Katrin Hoffman – Sombrilla International Development Society

Murwarid Ziayee –
Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan

Nina Delling – United Nations Association of Canada, Edmonton Branch