President and Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Karakas has over 30 years of global experience in both the government and non-government sector. Over the years, Ms. Karakas has specialized in developing solid strategies for policy development, advocacy, international program development and communications. She has a substantive track record as a determined and conscientious senior executive and has demonstrated her ability to bring about continual and recognizable transformation at Centennial College, Save the Children Canada, the YWCA of/du Canada, TVOntario, and other non-governmental organizations such as Oxfam International and Oxfam Great Britain.
Ms. Karakas was also the principal and managing partner of RSK Associates Inc. an international organizational development practice specializing in non-governmental organizations. She has worked extensively with global clients such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Australian Government’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Council, Oxfam Australia and Oxfam Quebec. She has served as an independent Director for Green Shield Canada from 1988 to 2007. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Montreal Oral School for the Deaf, and on the International Advisory Board of the McGill Institute for the Study of International Development.
Director, Indigenous Programs
A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan (B. Ed. and LL.B.) and brings 20 years of experience in the area of Aboriginal community development. He has worked in Aboriginal policing, education, labour force development and community partnerships. Arnold is fluent in English, Cree and Spanish, and originates from the Moosomin First Nation in Saskatchewan. Arnold is an alumnus from the Colombia-Manitoba exchange in 1986-1987.
Arnold’s area of interest is in Indigenous inclusion approaches to address the unique needs of Indigenous youth, communities and partners. Indigenous youth are the fast growing segment of the Canadian population and investment in youth leadership and skills development is critical to participation in labour markets, entrepreneurship and the economy. CWY’s experiential learning approach is an effective model in youth leadership development and achievement in community driven projects.
Director, Monitoring and Evaluation
Fabienne Pierre-Jacques’ position at CWY allows her to combine a strong track record supporting youth engagement and a commitment to community-lead development. Social justice and women’s rights have always guided both her paid and volunteer work, as demonstrated by her various positions in women’s groups including as Program Director at Girls Action Foundation in Montreal, and Director Socio-Economic Development at the Women’s Ministry in Haiti. As Civil Society Coordinator for the Lutheran World Federation and Country Representative for the International Cooperation for Development, she supported the implementation of health, agricultural, media and capacity building projects all over Haiti. Though of Haitian origin, she grew up in Montreal and holds a degree in Sociology from McGill University.
Vice-President, Programming and Operations
Mike has over 20 years experience with CWY designing and developing youth-focused and youth-led development initiatives. Working in collaboration with partners in dozens of countries and communities across Canada, he has had an opportunity to help create responsive programming that emphasizes youth’s key role as agents of change and as legitimate actors in development. Mike’s passion is to foster positive spaces for youth to acquire new skills and to frame responses to development challenges in their own communities and in communities around the globe.
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