Ben André joined the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF Canada) as its Executive Director (ED) in April 2018. Mr. André has over 12 years of experience in the Canadian non-profit sector, having served as an executive director for several organizations, including a legal professional organization in Vancouver, British Columbia and a settlement center for refugees and immigrants, in Atlantic Canada. Prior to moving to Canada, Mr. André practiced law in Belgium and France. He has been legal manager for large corporations, worked for the European Central Bank and was also an entrepreneur. He holds a Master’s degree in Law and a Master’s degree in Public Law from the University of Brussels, Belgium.
Donna Miller currently the Director of Operations & Engagement which encompasses International Human Resources, International Safety & Security, Health & Safety (HQ), Risk and Contract management, Fundraising and Donor Engagement. She has been working with CDF Canada since 2014 in a variety of capacities.
Ms. Miller says her greatest joy is managing CDF Canada’s Women’s Mentorship Program and hearing so many inspiring stories from graduates from around the world and how this program made a difference in their lives. Over the course of her long-standing, successful career in many sectors, Ms. Miller held several executive positions as well as served on non-profit Boards of Directors focused on alleviating poverty, empowering women and girls and reducing violence against women.
Amyn Hyder Ali is Director of Finance with CDF Canada and started in March 2018. At CDF Canada, Mr. Hyder Ali is accountable for the financial and risk management operations, including development of a financial strategy. He is also responsible to ensure the implementation of financial controls, policies and practice to achieve organizational goal.
Mr. Hyder Ali brings with him extensive finance experience in the non-profit/charity organizations sector in the senior financial management role. He has managed grants; accounting processes, budget and planning, forecasting and monitoring the budget by variance analysis.
Sanjeev Singh is the Director, Program Development with CDF Canada. Mr. Singh has been responsible for strategic, operational, and technical assistance for a multimillion-dollar portfolio across 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.
Mr. Singh brings over 25 years of professional experience in management consulting, international development, policy, and program management. He has collaborated extensively with NGOs, governments, the private sector, funding agencies, and multilateral organizations.
He has worked with and consulted organizations such as World Education Inc, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group), The European Commission, The German Technical Agency (GTZ), Cuso International, and CDF Canada.
Mr. Singh has a Bcom degree from the University of South Africa and an MBA from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom. Over the years, Mr. Singh has served on many different Boards.
Jane Kuluo is the Manager, Programs at CDF Canada. She has been working to support the implementation of projects to build the resilience of smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia. A fully PMP certified, Ms. Kuluo is adept in international development, gender equality, human rights and humanitarian issues, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation, and community development.
Before joining CDF Canada, Ms. Jane worked at the Parent Resource Centre (Canada), engaging with children, parents, and caregivers, supporting early learning and development, and connecting families with resources to facilitate lifelong learning and transformation. Ms. Jane previously worked at the Canadian High Commission (Kenya) within the Global Affairs Canada department, supporting international development projects across the East Africa region.
Jane Kuluo has recently been elected as a Board Member of the Kenya North America Diaspora Savings and Credit Co-operative Society Ltd (K-NADS). She is also part of the Executive Board serving as Honorary Secretary for K-NADS. In November 2021, Ms. Kuluo was nominated and appointed Board Member of CDF-Kenya.
Elizabeth Cook is a gender specialist at CDF Canada. She supports the development of gender strategies for new co-op projects across the globe, as well as supporting program managers and field offices with gender training, gender mainstreaming in project design and implementation.
By training and practice, Ms. Cook is a gender, outreach, and development specialist for public and private sectors with more than 9 years of experience in project and non-profit management, public affairs, M&E, communications, and digital engagement and has lived and worked in Canada, DR Congo, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Argentina, Israel, Palestine, United Arab Emirates and Australia.
She holds a MA in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, United Kingdom. Prior to joining CDF Canada in 2019, She worked for UN Women, Aga Khan Foundation Canada, APCO Worldwide and other international grassroots organizations.
Chima Okonkwo joined the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF Canada) as a Volunteer Officer in September 2021. Mr. Okonkwo brings over four years of experience in International Development and Project Coordination. He is responsible for recruiting Canadian and International volunteers for the VOICE for Women and Girls Project and the Women’s Mentorship Program. Mr. Okonkwo is passionate about gender equality and women empowerment. He holds a master’s degree in Public Ethics and a bachelor’s degree in Economics & Public Administration from the University of Ottawa. Before joining CDF Canada, he worked with the United Nations Association of Canada, FCNQ and built a small export business.
Qian Wan is Cooperative Development Specialist at CDF Canada. He supports the design and implementation of projects to use the cooperative model as a vehicle for local economic development and social resilience.
Mr. Wan has experience designing cooperative development strategies to facilitate technology adoption, access to financial services, agricultural value chain, women empowerment, climate-smart agriculture, childcare service provision, etc. He also provides technical support to the program team regarding cooperative governance, cooperative assessment, cooperative start-up, etc.
Before joining CDF Canada in 2019, Mr. Wan was completing his Ph.D. at the University of Saskatchewan. He received the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation (CASC) Scholarship in 2020.
Philippe Leroux, Program & Finance Officer with CDF Canada, support the implementation of international development programs within the framework of organizational strategies, policies, procedures, and goals. He collaborates with all levels of programmatic, financial, and business development staff in both CDF Canada headquarters and international locations.
Mr. Leroux brings over nine years of professional experience in financial roles in result-based management environments for projects and operations. Amongst those, he brings four years’ professional experience for women’s social development projects in a local Canadian NGO, responsible for the financial reporting to external funders and volunteer management. His motto is “I care about people.”
In 2022, Mr. Leroux completed an MA in International Development Policy and Data Science, preceded by a Bachelor of Commerce. Native French speaker, he also speaks English and Spanish fluently. With experience working in major corporations and small NGOs alike, an inquisitive mind, a self-starter attitude and a collaborative work ethic, he is proud to contribute to CDF Canada’s mission.
Chris Chung is the Donor Relations Officer of CDF Canada. He combines a strong background in human resources and technology from his previous work experiences. Mr. Chung pairs it with strategy and fundraising efforts that include major gifts, stewardship, donor relations, and data management at CDF Canada. He also supports Human Resources and Communications. Joined in 2019, Mr. Chung has been working to develop and implement a new donor engagement strategy and seek ways to improve fundraising and engagement objectives.
Before joining CDF Canada, Mr. Chung worked in human resources and web design & marketing in government, education institutions, and start-ups.
Sheila Vaselenak is the Executive Assistant at CDF Canada and brings 20 plus years of administration and client service experience. Ms. Vaselenak’s primary role is to provide administrative and organizational support to the Board, the Executive Director, and the CDF Canada engagement team. Ms. Vaselenak also provides administrative support to HR and the VOICE program and is the Coordinator for the flagship Women’s Mentorship Program (WMP).
In addition, Ms. Vaselenak is a creative and musician who enjoys helping others and bringing about team success. Before joining CDF Canada, she worked in the Investment and Financial Industry and is pleased she is part of an organization that empowers people and communities.
Alisa Gehrels is the Senior Business Development Officer at CDF Canada. She joined the organization in 2018.
She collaborates with the CDF team to develop new project initiatives that strengthen and use co-operatives as an international development approach. This process includes coordinating inputs and feedback from subject experts, partner organizations, project teams, monitoring and evaluation specialists, and financial experts. She works in collaboration with government representatives and foundations to secure support and move these initiatives toward implementation.
Ms. Gehrels has a multi-disciplinary background with a focus on monitoring and evaluation, non-profit management, and organizational development. Before joining CDF Canada, she consulted with several non-profits, working with ethno-cultural communities in Ottawa to create responsive programs in the settlement and mental health sectors
Jimmy Agbayani is Senior Programme Development Specialist at CDF Canada. Mr. Agbayani develops project proposals and concept notes in response to the development priorities of donors, multilateral finance institutions, governments, and the private sector. He also supports business development and project implementation. Joined in 2021, he is currently involved in project identification and project development activities in selected countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Before joining CDF Canada, Mr. Agbayani worked in international development for over 30 years in the education and social development sectors involving foreign-assisted projects in 18 countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Sharon Alexanian joined CDF Canada in 2007 and served as its Finance Assistant for six years before moving into the accountant position for the organization and has been the Manager of finance for the last three years. Before joining CDF Canada, she worked for Accenture Business in Enbridge billing.
Ibrokhim Karimov is an IT & Office Coordinator at CDF Canada. He manages IT systems, including the organization’s computers, networks, internet access, and other technologies. Mr. Karimov also works with management and other teams to implement a successful IT plan. Since his first day at CDF Canada, he has helped determine an organization’s IT needs and fulfill information systems requirements.
In the past, Ibrokhim participated in different IT projects abroad and gained valuable international experience in IT field.