Heather McPherson

Executive Director (ON LEAVE)
I am committed to SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) because unless we strengthen current and develop new partnerships we will not be able to achieve the global by 2030. Doing more of what we are already doing will not get us there. Working together, developing new partnerships and new ways of finding solutions is how we will move our collective agenda forward.

  I am the ACGC Executive Director. Prior to ACGC, I spent many years working with Canadian and international educational and community development organizations around the world. I have a Masters Degree from the University of Alberta in Educational Policy Studies in International Education where my thesis focused on the vital incorporation of indigenous knowledges in the achievement of development priorities. Envisioning new possibilities and developing innovative ways to support our members and partners is the most rewarding part of my job.   Along with my delightful partner, my two amazing children, and my two huge dogs, I love living in Edmonton taking advantage of the proximity to mountains, forests, and lakes.

Leah Ettarh

Executive Director (ACTING) Email:
I am committed to SDG 4 (Quality Education) because access to quality education is key to a democratic and inclusive society.   I am ACGC's Acting Executive Director.  Prior to this role, 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 spend my career blending my passions for education and international development, through 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. Leah is based at ACGC's office in Edmonton, Alberta.

Laveza Khan

Gender Equality & Sustainable Development Coordinator Email:

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. 

Robbie Ishimwe

Youth Program Officer Email:
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 me excites 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, and engaging youth on their role in achieving a prosperous world through work they do in their communities and thinking of how it is connected to the achievement of 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, summer bike rides, and the Edmonton culinary scene.

Karsen Mitchell

Communications Coordinator Email:

I am Karsen, and 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!

Sara Michel

Manager - National Education Programmes Email:
Sara is 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. She was born in Alexandria, Egypt and moved to Canada with her family in 1995. She has 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. Sara has 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. She has 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, Sara worked for almost 7 years for Development and Peace – Caritas Canada, facilitating and leading workshops on global social justice issues to all age groups. She has also worked for local non-profit organizations in Bolivia and Cuba, and has spent time with local partners in the Philippines, Madagascar, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso. She loves reading, walking, dancing and good company.

Cedar MacRae

Financial & Administrative Officer Email:
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.


Public Engagement Program Coordinator Email:
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 on 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!