Board and Staff
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Susan Watts, Chair
Susan Watts has worked in the insurance sector for over 35 years. She joined Chubb in 2006, where she has held several senior leadership positions both in Canada and globally before occupying her current role as a Senior Vice President at the Chubb Group of Companies. Prior to joining Chubb she held several executive insurance positions and has been an industry consultant. She has successfully executed multiple business transformation mandates, deployed global service strategies, and has demonstrated strong skills in risk management. Susan enjoys mentoring and assisting in identifying and developing talent. She is a sought after mentor and has chaired a corporate diversity council.
Susan previously served on the board for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Ontario Region. As part of her fundraising efforts she climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with her two daughters in January 2008 and reached the Mt. Everest Base Camp in May 2010 with her husband.
Julie Mills, Treasurer
Julie Mills is an Associate Partner and leader in the Public Sector Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young LLP. She has over 30 years of diverse financial management and process improvement experience in the corporate and not for profit sectors. Her experience includes transformation, process improvement and project management assignments for a variety of public sector and not for profit clients.
Prior to joining EY in 2008, Julie worked in a variety of senior finance roles at Canada Post Corporation. Over the years, Julie has served as Treasurer and Board Member for many not for profit organizations. Julie’s daughter, Kendra Hughes, was a Crossroader (Bolivia) in 2011. Julie is a Chartered Accountant and CPA. She is a graduate of Concordia University, where she obtained her Bachelor of Commerce.p>
Ian B. Anderson
Ian B. Anderson is a full time Arbitrator and Mediator. Prior to April, 2013 Ian was a full-time Vice-Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board for 9 years and a part-time Member of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario for 8 years. He remains a part-time Vice-Chair of the OLRB. Prior to his appointment to the OLRB in 2004, Ian practiced law for 17 years in the areas of labour, workers' compensation, human rights, constitutional and civil litigation and other areas of administrative law. Ian was the founder of the Workers' Rights Group at Parkdale Community Legal Services. Ian was the Chair of the Board of Directors of Crossroads International and was the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Work & Health, the Chair of the Board of Directors of Injured Workers' Consultants (a community legal clinic), the first Chair of the Workers' Compensation Section of the Ontario Bar Association and a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada's Workers' Compensation Specialist Certification Committee. Ian is a graduate of Queen's University (Hons. B.A. (Econ.)) and of Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.B.).
Laxmi Parthasarathy, Vice-Chair
Laxmi Parthasarathy is the Director of Global Media Partnerships for Ashoka: Innovators for the Public in Washington, DC. She is also a media development professional and the founder of MY ROOTS, a Toronto based newspaper for youth. She has worked on media, communications, and development projects in Canada, Swaziland, India, Rwanda, Mexico and the UK. Laxmi has been engaged in the civil society sector for over 12 years and is a recent Crossroader (Swaziland 2011). She has spoken about Social Entrepreneurship, Media Development and the Future of Journalism at Universities and Summits across North America and Europe. Laxmi received a BA from Carleton University and an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science where she assessed the effectiveness of rural community radio for development on supporting gender equity programs in Southern India. She is a recipient of the TD Canada Trust Scholarship for community leadership, Top 20 Under 20 in Canada and the Boehm Media Fellowship.
Carine Guidicelli, Secretary
In addition to holding various leadership positions in community organizations over the years, Carine has 12 years of international cooperation experience. She is the Executive Director of Crossroads International since May 2nd, 2016.
For five years, Carine was based in Senegal as CECI’s Regional Director for Africa, responsible for five regional offices and operations in eight countries. She has also held other key positions, as Director, Humanitarian Aid, and Director, Fundraising and Communications.
Ms. Guidicelli has a deep understanding of international development and programming. During her career, she has initiated and brokered innovative strategic alliances and consolidated key relations with private and public funding agencies. Her career achievements show outstanding leadership, such as increasing a budget from $2 million to $30 million and managing more than 150 volunteer cooperation mandates annually.
Omar Allam is an international business consultant who works with Canadian and global clients to expand their businesses in international markets.
Mr. Allam currently serves as chief executive, founder and chairman of the global firm Allam Advisory Group (AAG) an integrated consulting firm with international business development & strategy, market entry assistance, export promotion and investment attraction at its core. With 17 years of international business experience, Mr. Allam brings a strong background of entrepreneurship and hands on experience in business, government, civil society, and international agencies to Crossroads International. He also brings a unique blend of international business, development, foreign policy and government relations experience as a former senior Canadian diplomat in India and Africa, a liaison officer to the United Nations, an executive advisor with the Canadian Bureau for International Education, and consultant with both the World Bank Group and the Canadian International Development Agency —having worked across range of industries such as agriculture, aerospace & defense, environment, mining, oil & gas, life sciences, healthcare, education, infrastructure, e-commerce, and information and communications technology. Throughout his career, Mr. Allam successfully built and managed five global companies in Australia, Canada, India and Singapore in multiple industries. Named as one of Ottawa’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2015, he garners extensive media coverage from BNN, Canadian Business, ProfitGuide.com, The Globe & Mail, The Vancouver Sun, and other outlets. Mr. Allam has worked to support youth employment and improve access to health care, housing and education. He currently serves on the Advisory Board at University of Ottawa’s Brain and Mind Research Institute and is an Adjunct Professor of International Business at Algonquin College. Mr. Allam holds degrees from Bishop’s University, NPSIA/Carleton University, the Canadian Foreign Service Institute, and is pursuing an executive diploma at the Harvard Business School, and speaks English, French and Arabic.
Adjoa (Thérèse) Akakpo
Adjoa (Thérèse) Akakpo is the NGO Coordinator at LA COLOMBE (Crossroads partner organization since Jan. 2012). Thérèse has more than 15 years’ experience in the field of development. Under her leadership LA COLOMBE has initiated and carried out education and professional training programs for more than 500 poor and illiterate girls and women. She is a strong, passionate and engaged advocate for the most vulnerable, women in particular. For four years she was the Treasurer for the board of the Federation of NGOs in Togo (FONGTO), a national network of forty non-governmental organizations. For the last two years she has been on the board of the Office of Support for Grassroots Initiatives (AGAIB) - Maritime Region, a network of NGOs financed by the Togolese government and World Bank. Thérèse holds a Master 1 in Communication Marketing and a Bachelor in Business Administration at the International Institute (IIM) at the University of BK Group Lomé.
Mary Donlevy-Konkin, Q.C.
Mary is a Lawyer from Saskatchewan and Senior Counsel with McKercher LLP. Mary returned to McKercher LLP after serving for more than 7 years in the Saskatchewan Provincial Government.
In her recent roles with the Saskatchewan Government, she served as the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration, Minister of Labour, Minister Responsible for SaskPower, Innovation Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Opportunities Corporation, Saskatchewan Research Council, and the Status of Women. Most recently she served as the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General and the Minister Responsible for SaskBuilds, Priority Saskatchewan and the Financial Consumer Affairs Authority. Her experience in Government includes initiatives such as the development of the Provincial Immigration strategy, the establishment of the Global Food Institute, the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation, establishment of Innovation Saskatchewan, construction of the first Women’s Shelter built by the Provincial Government since 1989, the creation of the Office of the Counsel for Children, and changes to the Human Rights Code regarding transgender persons and Kate’s Place, a supportive residence for women who are attending Regina Drug Treatment Court. Mary also assisted with the negotiations for Saskatchewan’s participation in the Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System. She is currently sitting on the Board of the Saskatoon United Way and Emmanuel Care. She is very interested in issues regarding girls and woman and supports the Crossroads mission.
Joan is a Crossroader (Grenada 1981) and a lawyer and contract manager with Accenture. Joan brings a creative, innovative and entrepreneurial approach to the business, legal and financial communities. She is a highly accomplished leader, who builds strong relationships with effective communication and negotiation skills. She has specialized expertise in privacy legislation and compliance. For many years she practiced law and then served as a mediator. She established the first Canadian commercial mediation service in Ontario: the Canadian Dispute Resolution Corporation (CDRC), an organization aimed to design and develop system of mediation for large number of unsettled litigation and developing training curriculum for mediators. The success of the CDRC mediation model established a foundation for the Province of Ontario mandatory mediation programs, currently used in the province today. Her past volunteer work includes Erin Oak kids (EOK) in Ontario, The Grenada project and Children of Grenada and Crossroads International as a member of the Nominating Committee until 2013. Most recently she has joined the Crossroads Day of the Girl Committee.
Alain is a Crossroader (Togo 2016) who brings more than 30 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, business developer and lawyer. He has a rich work history having served a notary, a lawyer, bank manager and city councillor in a small town in Quebec. He has lived abroad for the last six years and is returning to Montreal. His volunteer work includes assignments in Haiti, Mali, Cameroon, and Togo focussing on microfinance, construction of a school, organizing a cooperative for sheep farming, business development plans, disaster planning and more.
Susan Green has more than 30 years of executive experience in the public sector including as Vice President of External Relations at the University of Alberta; VP of the Alberta Cancer Board; and CEO of the Alberta Cancer Foundation, in addition to senior positions in the Government of Alberta’s Ministries of Health, Culture and Intergovernmental Affairs. Susan is presently Acting Chair of the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, which generated more than $2.2 Billion designated for volunteer, public, and community focused programs and services in 2013. She is also a director and principal of a number of privately held chemical companies.
Susan has had a lifelong commitment to serving communities both in Canada and abroad; in recent years this includes roles as Chair of Habitat for Humanity Edmonton; Chair of the Advancement Committee at Pearson College of the Pacific (a United World College based on Vancouver Island); Chair of Edzimkulu, a society for children affected by AIDS in South Africa; and Director of Edmonton Northlands. In the summer of 1972 Susan was a Crossroads volunteer in Sierra Leone, where she spent four months working in a health clinic. Following this experience she served on the national board of Crossroads with Dr. Jack Sibley in the mid-70s. Susan has a BA from the University of Alberta, has taken executive courses at the Banff School of Advanced Management and the Niagara Institute, and she recently earned her Institute of Corporate Directors ICD.D designation.
Christine is a Crossroader (Swaziland 2012) and a public health professional who, as Data and Research Coordinator, manages data collection efforts on an international scale through the Annual Global Survey and Epidemiological Research Program with the World Federation of Hemophilia, based in Montreal. In Swaziland, she volunteered with SWAGAA as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. Since then, she stayed very engaged with Crossroads by providing guidance as a mentor to new volunteers and e-volunteering. Her overseas experiences working in Ghana, Malawi, Swaziland and Kenya gave her a strong understanding of international development dynamics. She is very engaged in women’s issues and has strong experience in fundraising as she has served as a Resource Mobilization advisor in Malawi for MANASO, in partnership with the World University Service of Canada. Christine holds a Master of Public Health in Global Health from the University of Alberta, a Post-Graduate Certificate in International Project Management from Humber College and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University. She is fluent in English and French.
Cebile Nompumelelo Manzini–Henwood is the Executive Director of the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA). She previously worked with the National Emergency Response Council on HIV / AIDS (NERCHA) where she held the position of National Strategic Planning Co-ordinator. She has also worked for the WK Kellogg Foundation Leadership Regional Network for Southern Africa (LeaRN). Cebile holds an M.A. Policy Studies (2001/2003) from the Southern African Political Economy Series, (SAPES) Trust, Harare, Zimbabwe, and a B.A. in Sociology and Public Administration from the University of Swaziland. She is a WK Kellogg Foundation Grant Fellow and has received numerous awards including a WK Kellogg Foundation Scholarship Award, and the Swaziland Women in Leadership Award. From an international point of view, Cebile has worked as a Technical Team Member of the East Central and Southern African Regional Health Community (ECSA-HC) and She is on the Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Regional Network. At a national level She serves as the Chairperson of the Gender Consortium of Non-Governmental Organizations under the Coordinating Assembly of NGO’s; a Member of the Swaziland National Inter Agency Task Force on Human Trafficking (2009 to date); and a Member of the UN Civil Society Advisory Committee. Cebile also represents civil society organizations on the UN Expanded Theme Group on Gender (2009 to date) and she is a member of the HIV and AIDS Consortium of Non-Governmental Organizations (2009 to date).
Marli Ramsey is a lead analyst of strategy and leadership at Info-Tech Research Group in Toronto. From 2010 to 2012 she was Executive Consultant of Banking Solutions and Consulting at CGI, and she held the post of VP of Performance Improvement in Advisory Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers Toronto from 2004-2009. Marli has also been an independent consultant to the financial services industry, developing and executing solutions to reduce costs, increase capacity, and improve customer service.
Marli is Six Sigma Green Belt certified at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and she is a Certified Management Consultant, CMC-Canada. She also holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Science, both from Dalhousie University in Halifax. She served on the board of YWCA Toronto from 2006 to 2012, where she continues to participate on committees.
Gisele Yasmeen Ph. D.
Gisèle Yasmeen is currently Director of Social Protection for Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (www.wiego.org) and Senior Fellow at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Institute of Asian Research. She is also currently on the Board of the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective and was a Board member of the Foundation for International Training for nine years. She has worked in research and higher education for more than 20 years across the academic, public and not-for-profit sectors. Gisèle has published widely in scholarly and other types of publications and provides regular media commentary. Her work has taken her all over Canada and around the world, particularly South and Southeast Asia. Before joining WIEGO and UBC, Gisèle was Vice-President of Research and Partnerships at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) from 2007 to 2014. Gisèle also previously worked in a number of research-related executive and managerial positions in the academic, public, and not-for-profit sectors. Gisèle has done consulting work for the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada, the FAO, IDRC, and CIDA (before it was merged into Global Affairs Canada) among other clients. She was also a member of the International Scientific Advisory Board for the Continuous Access to Cultural Heritage (CATCH) program funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research as well as a member of former US Ambassador Jacobson’s Canada-US Innovation committee. Gisèle has a PhD from the University of British Columbia, an MA from McGill University and a BA Honours from the University of Ottawa. She is fluent in English and French and has studied Thai, Urdu, Spanish and Mandarin.
National Director, External Relations
Communications & Outreach Officer
Resource Development Officer
Resource Development Officer
Naheed Mustafa Ahmed
Program Manager - Volunteering
Moustapha Ali Liman
Monitoring, Evaluation and Knowledge Management Officer
Annie Kashamura Zawadi
Program Officer - Swaziland and Tanzania
Program Officer - Senegal and Mali
Program Officer - Volunteering
Program Officer - Volunteering
Program Officer - Mali, Togo and Burkina Faso
Program Officer - Ghana
Adam El Sioufi
Program Assistant - Volunteering
Director, Finance & Administration
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