About Us

Steering Committee

Betty Plewes lives in Carp Ontario. Before her retirement, she worked in international development with a focus on African development, gender relations and civil society organizations. She was Overseas Director of CUSO, CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, and participated in the creation of Partnership Africa Canada, the Voluntary Sector Roundtable and the McLeod Group. Her experience in the voluntary sector includes serving on boards, editing a journal, and writing on many aspects of sector work.

Rieky Stuart lives in Victoria and still works part-time as a consultant on organizational change and gender equality with UN organizations, governments and NGOs. Her daughters roll their eyes when she says she plans to retire. She has lived across Canada—from Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan—and also in Asia and Africa. Her last staff position was as Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, and she also worked as Deputy Director of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation and taught at St. Francis Xavier University’s Coady Institute. She has been a volunteer teacher, consultant and Board member, and is currently affiliated with Gender at Work and with the Climate Legacy Project.

Roy Culpeper is an Ottawa-based economist who has devoted his career to social justice issues. His work as a researcher and a public servant has focused on development in Canada and internationally. He is particularly interested in the crucial role of financial markets, institutions and policies, in shaping livelihoods and economic outcomes. He led the North-South Institute, an organization whose motto was “Research for a fairer world”, for fifteen years. Since then he has occasionally been a consultant. He is the volunteer Chair of the Group of 78 which works to advance the causes of peace, justice, and planetary survival; and of the Coalition for Equitable Land Acquisitions and Development in Africa, which focuses on the rights and access to land, particularly of women farmers.

Tim Brodhead started a lifelong interest in development and social change as a volunteer in Nigeria. As first executive director of a network of European NGOs, co-founder of Inter Pares and President of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, he spent twenty-five years in international development work before becoming President of the J.W. McConnell Foundation in Montreal. The Foundation, with a mandate to enhance Canada’s sustainability, resilience and innovation, supports projects nation-wide. Since his retirement, Tim attends meetings of the many non-profit boards he sits on and helps his brother run a small farming operation near Ottawa.

Emma Bider is a student and writer living in Ottawa. She has worked in communications for NGOs and start-ups for the last five years. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and African studies, and a Master’s in anthropology. Her doctoral work explores how local climate action and powerful environmental symbols can affect municipal policy change.


Léanne Colbeck is currently pursuing a double-major B.A. in International Development (Environment and Sustainable Development) and Philosophy. Her studies are focused around the sustainable and ethical development of communities, through policy, project development, advocacy, and on-the-ground engagement. She has worked in digital marketing, admin, and volunteer management for non-profits for six years.