Staff Profiles

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Executive Director 
Kimberly Gibbons

Kimberly Gibbons (she/her) has been the Executive Director of OCIC since 2005. Kimberly believes in supporting community-led development and an enabling environment for civil society organizations, and in mobilizing Canadians to achieve universal sustainable development. As an active contributor to the Inter-Council Network of Provincial and Regional Councils for International Cooperation (ICN) and Cooperation Canada (formerly CCIC), a member of the Humber College International Programs Advisory Committee, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) Programs Advisory Committee, Knowledge for Change Toronto Hub, and Global Affairs Canada Civil Society Partnerships Policy Advisory Group (CPAG), Kimberly is a vocal advocate for small and medium-sized organizations (SMOs) and their potential to strengthen local to global connections, transformative partnerships, and solidarity. Kimberly has worked in many formal and non-formal education settings with youth and adults of diverse backgrounds in Asia, Central America, Europe and Canada. She holds a Masters of Education in Adult Education and Transformative Learning from OISE, University of Toronto, and studied human rights at the graduate level at the Commonwealth Institute, University of London, England. Kimberly also has a Bachelor of Arts in International Development and Rural Extension Studies from the University of Guelph and completed her final undergraduate year of study at SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, India. Throughout the pandemic period, Kimberly’s love of plants and community gardening have grown as she has spent countless hours with her hands in the dirt in her balcony pots, and while connecting with neighbours and passers-by the Hopewell Community Garden.


Director of Operations 
Lisa Swainston 

Lisa Swainston (she/her) has worked at OCIC since 2008 in a number of capacities. In her role as Director of Operations, Lisa is responsible for developing and implementing operational processes and procedures that will better enable the staff and Council to achieve our strategic directions and funded programs. Lisa also supports financial and administrative management of all operations; oversees membership renewal and development; and provides direction on operational and member service activities. Outside of OCIC Lisa is a Board Director for Amnesty International Toronto, and is an advocate for human rights, social justice, equality and inclusion, with a strong interest in Indigenous rights and corporate accountability. Lisa has an Honours B.A. with majors in Criminology and Sociology and minors in French and Indigenous Studies (formerly called Aboriginal Studies) from the University of Toronto, and Certificates in Project Management from Humber College; Fundraising and Volunteer Management, and Practical Management Strategies from George Brown College. Lisa has taken several courses in Organizational Management and Human Resources from Ryerson University. She also enjoys camping and hiking, watching films, listening to music, reading, traveling and crocheting.


Community Engagement & Gender Equality Specialist
Aniqah Zowmi

Aniqah Zowmi (she/her) works from an intersectional, anti-oppressive operational framework. As a Muslim woman of colour with multiple other intersectional identities, she brings her lived experience authentically into her work. Some of her recent efforts have included supporting humanitarian projects in Jordan focused on mental health, psychosocial awareness, and economic empowerment, for the Italian NGO Un Ponte Per… (UPP) and for the Canadian NGO Menonnite Economic Development Associates (MEDA). Aniqah has also served as a Youth Representative to the United Nations’ Department of Global Communications’ Steering Committee, the Canadian Youth Delegate to the Youth20 (the official youth engagement arm of the G20) in 2018, and a member of the Joint Youth Delegation to the Commonwealth Youth Forum in 2015. She is currently the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Leading Change Canada, a Youth Advisor to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and the incoming Chair of Girls Action Foundation. Aniqah holds a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity Studies from Brock University, where she looked at feminist and anti-colonialist perspectives on social enterprise. Prior to her Masters, she completed her Honours Bachelors of Science in Neurobiology, specializing in learning, memory, and neurobiophysics.


Membership & Administration Coordinator
Marilyn Bastedo

Marilyn Bastedo joined OCIC in July 2019 and is responsible for supporting membership, logistics and administration for OCIC programs. She brings her passion for women’s empowerment, connecting with communities, and knowledge sharing to her work. Marilyn majored in Community Development at Brescia University College through Western University and in 2017 completed her postgraduate certificate in International Development with a partnering certificate in Global Citizenship from Humber College. Marilyn’s experience in the non-profit sector spans from volunteering locally with the United Way, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Culture Link and Progress Toronto. She has also worked internationally with CARE Canada in Zambia, with rural indigenous women weavers in Guatemala, and on social justice movements through the use of information and communication technologies in South Africa. Through her work she has specialized in community and public engagement, strategic partnerships, and gender equality. Marilyn currently volunteers for TEDxToronto supporting community partnership outreach and relationships. She is continually learning and is currently focusing on expanding her knowledge of local policy research and corporate social responsibility. She can most often be found out for a run or a bike in the city.

Communications & Content Specialist
Eliana Fleifel

Eliana Fleifel (she/her) leads communication efforts at OCIC and facilitates the multi-sectoral exchange of ideas, opportunities and knowledge in support of FIAP and the Global Goals. She holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo and a Master’s in Development Practice from the University of Waterloo. Eliana specializes in communications for network based organizations in the international cooperation sector, and has held leadership and advocacy roles in organizations like SDSN Canada, the Global Schools Program and the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC). For her, working with networks on a daily basis is a reminder of how much we need each other to create a better world, and how our diverse lived experiences can fuel this process with creativity, innovation and empathy. She feels grateful to serve a small role in a big, collective effort to make positive change.


Accountant
Eric Plato

Eric Plato (he/him) has been the Accountant at OCIC since the fall of 2019. Eric is a CPA, CMA who has worked in the charitable sector for nearly 30 years. He has experience working in organizations with budgets ranging from under $50,000 to over $100 million. Eric is an excellent trainer, speaker and facilitator in nonprofit financial management. He currently teaches financial management for NGO’s at Centennial College. His goal has always been to assist people to feel more confident and comfortable in managing their finances. Eric has served on several boards and is currently the Treasurer at North York Community House. Outside of work Eric enjoys running, travelling and cooking for friends.

Administrative Support Officer
Kyle Kirby

Kyle Kirby was one of OCIC’s summer staff for 2021. In his role as Administrative Support Officer, he works alongside the Community Engagement and Gender Equality Specialist in supporting the Youth Policy Hub, Policy Matters event for Fall 2021. Kyle is very passionate about environmental sustainability, technological innovation, policy development, and intersectional representation within the workforce. Outside of the OCIC Kyle volunteers with the Toronto South African Film Festival, which aims to present films/ documentaries with an educational and/or social justice message that highlight underrepresented South African film makers. Kyle has an Honours B.A. in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations from Carleton University, and will be finishing his Post-Graduate Certificate in International Development from Humber College in 2021. Outside of work and volunteering Kyle enjoys nature walks, playing basketball, listening to music, going to art galleries, and traveling.

Customer Service Assistant
Ruqaiyah Hassim

Ruqaiyah Hassim (she/her) is a creative, and ambitious young professional who is extremely passionate about international outreach and community empowerment efforts. Ruqaiyah joins OCIC as our Customer Service Assistant and works closely with our Communications and Content Specialist to develop and implement new and compelling content and maintain key stakeholder relationships. Major OCIC projects and initiatives that she supports include: the Global Citizen’s Forum, monthly e-bulletins, social media publication, and Youth Policy Hub blog pages. Outside of OCIC, Ruqaiyah enjoys facilitating activities for youth, coaching, and mentoring students, enhancing her digital communication skills, and volunteering at community events and programs. Ruqaiyah holds an Honours B.A. in International Studies from York University, and a Diploma with President’s Honours in Social Service Work from Seneca College. When she’s not working or volunteering, she’s most likely learning a new language, playing an instrument, or spending time outdoors.

Special Events Coordinator
Elizabeth Tuck

Elizabeth Tuck (she/her) is currently interning with OCIC in a short-term role as Special Events Coordinator. Elizabeth is a Rhodes Scholar (Maritimes & Linacre College, 2020) who recently completed her MSc in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford. She received her undergraduate degree from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick where she honoured in Human Rights and completed double majors in Political Science and Great Books. An advocate for gender justice, Elizabeth has held various volunteer and other leadership positions with YWCA Canada, Plan International Canada, Girls Guides of Canada, the Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity, and Fora: Network for Change (formerly G(irls)20). Elizabeth enjoys cross-stitching, hiking, cooking, and baking in her spare time and has recently started learning the sport of curling. She currently resides in Mi’kma’ki, known colonially as Nova Scotia.

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