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. 

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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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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.

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THOMAS COLDWELL

Global Citizenship Education Specialist

projects@acgc.ca

I am committed to Goal 1 (No Poverty), Goal 5 (Gender Equality), and Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities) because alleviating poverty and inequality means more opportunity for individuals and communities to thrive.  

I’ve been working in the international development sector for about seven years with nonprofit organizations. Before joining ACGC, I worked in various positions focused on program coordination, youth engagement, communications, and leadership, and I’ve been privileged to engage with partners in several places, including Kenya, Palestine & Israel, Nepal, and North Korea. As a Global Citizenship Education Specialist, I hope to equip others to grow as active global citizens through merging my passions for youth engagement and international development. I hold a BA (Hon) in Sociology (Social Justice) and an MA in Globalization and International Development specializing in Feminist and Gender Studies from the University of Ottawa. 

When I’m not in the office, I’m an avid outdoor enthusiast and can often be found hiking or camping in the Rockies. I also spend time volunteering with conservation organizations (with a limited science background!) to learn more about environmental sustainability. I’m learning how to better protect the wild spaces we hold dear. I suppose that’s connected to Goal 13 (Climate Action), right?

Originally from Nova Scotia, I currently live and work in Calgary (Treaty 7).

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DONNA NG

SDG Youth Coordinator

SDGhub@acgc.ca

I am all about inclusive and collective approaches to strengthening communities. As someone that has worked locally (in Calgary) and abroad as a communications practitioner in maternal newborn and child health, sexual reproductive health and rights, homelessness and drug policy, I am passionate about the intersections between different development and social justice issues. For this reason, I am most committed to SDG #17: Partnerships for the Goals.

In my role as SDG Youth Coordinator, I strive to amplify diverse youth narratives, create spaces for meaningful conversations and action, and support youth in realizing their potential. I have a BA in Communication and Media Studies with a Drama Minor from the University of Calgary. Outside of work, I enjoy volunteering, activating events, and seeing/creating art. 

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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.

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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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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!

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MARIE-CATHERINE THOUIN

Learning 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.

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


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