Management Team

Rita S. Karakas

Rita S. Karakas

President and Chief Executive Officer

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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.

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Arnold Blackstar

Arnold Blackstar

Director, Indigenous Programs

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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.

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Joseph Ngom

Joseph Ngom

Director, Finance and Administration

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Joseph Ngom joined Canada World Youth in June 2016. Previously, he held senior finance positions for Farm Radio International, the World Health Organization (WHO) in Burkina Faso, as well as for the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Senegal, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Joseph is recognized for his strong financial, accounting and management skills and for his ability to solve complex financial problems, offering innovative solutions and high quality services to strategically support the programs under his administration. In addition, he has carried out capacity building and education activities in business schools in Canada and Africa to contribute to the emergence of the next generation of business leaders.

Joseph Ngom holds a Certificate in Economics as well as a BBA and an MBA from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), and pursued postgraduate studies at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, and at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University in preparation for CPA certification.

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Fabienne Pierre-Jacques

Fabienne Pierre-Jacques

Director, Monitoring and Evaluation

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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.

Mike Power

Mike Power

Vice-President, Programming and Operations

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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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