Board of directors

Our Board of Directors and the standing committees which report to the Board provide strategic direction and oversight for our program and operations. Board members bring experience in management, agriculture, radio broadcasting, development communications, finance, legal counsel and – last but certainly not least – fundraising.

The committees provide specific direction and also help staff to implement some of the activities directed by the Board.

Officials:

Directors-at-Large:


Kevin Perkins, Executive Director and Secretary

Kevin Perkins has been the Executive Director of Farm Radio International since May 2006. Prior to joining Farm Radio, Kevin was the Director of Programs for Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR) in Toronto.  Between 1997 and 2004, Kevin turned his attention to his own Toronto neighbourhood, establishing the ACCESS Riverdale Community Loan Fund and leading the Riverdale Community Development Corporation as the Executive Director.

Doug Ward, Chair

Doug worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for 28 years as a radio producer, station manager, regional director and vice president. He was on the team of producers that started CBC Radio’s long-standing program “As It Happens”. Later, he directed CBC’s northern operations, emphasizing the recruitment and training of native northerners. Since 1988 he has served on the board of Inter Pares, a Canadian international social justice organization. He joined the board of Farm Radio International in 2001, and has been Chair of the board since September 2002.

Charles Marful, Vice-Chair

Charles is the Director of Human Resources for Ernst & Young’s Tax Practice. As the leader of the Tax People Team, he oversees the design and implementation human resource development strategies and initiatives. In addition to a career in human resources management, Charles has significant international experience. He was AIESEC’s Regional Development Officer for Africa in 1986/87, and a Working Group Chairperson for the International Conference on Sustainable Development in Tokyo. In 2002, he co-facilitated a workshop in Accra, Ghana, on Developing an Indigenous Leadership Model for Africa. He serves on two Boards in addition to Farm Radio International’s: Youth APEEL, a development initiative for youth in the Peel Region of Ontario, and GLOKAM, an international NGO that provides medical and health assistance to African Countries

Nancy Brown Andison, Treasurer

Nancy is a former management consultant for IBM in Toronto, and specializes in change management, program design and evaluation, and agriculture and agri-food industry programs and policies. Nancy has a family farming background and remains active in her parents’ family farm business. She holds a B.Sc. (Agriculture) from University of Guelph, and an MBA from Queen’s University.

Sarah Andrewes

Sarah is a Vice President at Hill & Knowlton, Canada’s industry leader in public relations, public affairs and strategic communications. Sarah has over 12 years of communications experience during which time she has worked with many leading Canadian companies in the agriculture and food, professional services, financial services, technology and other sectors. Sarah holds a bachelor of arts degree from Carleton University and a public relations certificate from Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology. The eldest grandchild of Farm Radio International founder, Dr. George Atkins, Sarah first learned about the organization watching her grandparents stuff scripts into envelopes destined for faraway places.

Pierre Cadet

Pierre is a food security and nutrition specialist with over 13 years of academic, humanitarian assistance, and development aid experience in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin and Central America. He is currently CARE Canada’s team leader for Food Security and Resilience to Climate Change and the co-chair of the Canadian Food Security Policy Group. Pierre has worked previously with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Norwegian Refugee Council, Action Against Hunger, and as an independent consultant. Pierre holds a PhD in Physical Geography and Rural Planning from Montpellier University in France.

Jean Christie

Jean has worked with civil society organizations for over four decades, in Canada and internationally. Except for a short foray into the domestic not-for-profit sector in Canada, her paid work has been international in scope. She served as the Executive Director of Inter Pares in the 1980s, the Director of International Liaison for the Rural Advancement Foundation International (now the ETC group) in the 1990s, and as Executive Director of the Voluntary Sector Forum in the early 2000s. Since then, she has been engaged as a consultant by a wide variety of civil society organizations. She has a special interest in the relationship between organized citizens and their governments, and in the role of civil society organizations in government and multilateral policy processes.

Heather E. Hudson

Heather is Professor of Communication Policy at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and former founding director of the Telecommunications Management and Policy Program at the University of San Francisco. She also served as Coordinator for Evaluation and Learning Systems of IDRC’s Acacia Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa. Her work focuses on applications of information and communication technologies for socio-economic development, regulation and public policy issues, and policies and strategies to extend affordable access to new technologies and services, particularly in rural and remote areas. She is the author of many articles and several books, and has planned and evaluated communication projects in North America and more than 50 developing countries and emerging economies in Africa, Asia and the Pacific as well the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. Awards include two Fulbright Fellowships, a Sloan Industry Fellowship, and IEEE Distinguished Lectureship. Heather holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from Stanford University in Communication Research, J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, and Honours B.A. from the University of British Columbia.

Liz Hughes

Liz has worked for the CBC for more than 35 years. She has a wealth of experience in radio, television and online formats, and as a reporter, producer, executive producer, managing editor, bureau chief and most recently as a senior director of CBC News. Throughout her career she has been as a passionate advocate for local news. Liz was one of the first internal consultants at the CBC, applying her expertise in change management to some of the biggest and most complicated change projects in recent decades. She also led the CBC’s leadership training department, which took her to South Africa before the country’s first post-Apartheid election to train radio journalists and editors. Liz lives with her family in Vancouver, but developed her lifelong appreciation of farmers while growing up in rural Quebec, south of Montreal.

Morag Humble

Morag has been working in international development for over 25 years, focused primarily on gender and women’s health issues. She is a senior project manager and gender team co-lead at Agriteam Canada. She has managed or contributed as a technical advisor to projects in Pakistan, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Tanzania. From 1999 to 2001 she was field director for a health and population project in Bangladesh, and from 2011 to 2014 she was a health and HIV/AIDS technical advisor at the Canadian Cooperation Office in Mozambique. She served for many years on the Board of Directors of Action Canada for Population and Development and Canadians for Choice, stepping down after the successful merger of those two organizations with the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health. She has a BA (University of Alberta) and MA (Carleton) in Political Science, and a Master’s of Public Health from Harvard University.

Heather Meek

Heather is a management consultant for PwC in Ottawa and specializes in business and operations transformation for government, corporate, and not-for-profit organizations. In addition to over 15 years of management consulting experience, Heather owned and developed a rapidly growing retail franchising business from 2008 to 2015. She has a family farming background and has had a lifelong involvement in the agriculture and agri-food industry. Heather holds a B.Sc. (Agriculture) and an M.Sc. (Agricultural Economics) from the University of Guelph.

Glenn B. Powell

Glenn grew up on a small farm near Paris, Ontario where the family raised Jersey cattle, laying hens, and turkeys for the year-end festive market. He graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College, B.Sc.A.(Animal Science) in 1962 and was employed as a provincial government agricultural extension agent. Glenn later joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) as a farm commentator and there began a career in journalism and communications that was very much influenced by the founder of FRI, George Atkins. Glenn and George worked together for many years and remained lifetime close friends. As a National Reporter for CBC Radio News, Glenn travelled extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico and Western Europe – including one assignment to Western Samoa where he served as lead trainer for rural broadcasters of the South Pacific. Today, Glenn continues to work as a freelance writer and communications consultant.

Caitlynn Reesor

Caitlynn lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where she works as the writer, host and producer of a popular agriculture radio show called Call of the Land.  It is broadcast by 27 radio stations across Alberta. Prior to taking the helm at Call of the Land, Caitlynn was the writer, host and producer of The Agri-business Report, a one-hour daily radio program broadcast by CFCW. Caitlynn is strongly connected to and respected within the agriculture and agricultural communication field in Canada. She has been recognized with a number of awards and is frequently invited to make presentations, emcee events and give media interviews.

Gulzar Samji

Gulzar is an independent consultant on international development, the empowerment of women and children, alleviating ultra-poverty, and the environment who has worked with all levels of government and provided training to visiting government and non-government delegations including those from Indonesia, China, and India. She was appointed as an NGO representative on Canada’s delegation to the UN Preparatory Meetings for the 4th World Conference on Women. She has also served as a member of the Human Rights Tribunal for the Government of Canada. Gulzar is currently the vice president of the Women’s World Summit Foundation, an international organization whose focus is empowering rural women and preventing violence against women and children. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Makerere University in Uganda and a post-graduate diploma in Animal Physiology and Biochemistry from the Food and Agricultural Organization of United Nations Faculty at Royal Agricultural and Veterinary University in Denmark.

Jacqueline Toupin

Jacqueline has 30 years of experience as a communicator, journalist and broadcaster dedicated to issues of development, rural and hinterland regions, peace and conflict, human rights and health, in particular women’s and children’s health. She has a wealth of experience in radio and TV production (on air, writing, technical operation and producer) as well as radio training, including with First Nation communities in Canada’s north. She also spent three years in Mozambique training journalists at Radio Mozambique, and trained local broadcasters in East Timor during the United Nations’ UNTAET mission. She also brings expertise in communications and web-based social media development, having worked on media and advocacy work for the World Health Organization in Geneva. Jacqueline is fluently bilingual in English and French and can converse in Portuguese and Spanish.

John van Mossel

John has worked for over 30 years in international development and environmental programs. He has considerable Africa experience, including the last 13 years focused on governance and sustainable development/climate change programs. Currently he is a senior consultant for ICF Marbek (Ottawa) where he has recently managed a five-year climate change adaptation project in Nigeria. As a private consultant, John has worked several clients including CARE, Commonwealth of Learning, the Canadian Coalition for Climate Change and Development, Development and Peace, Development Workshop (Angola), Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAIT), One Sky and Greenpeace International. Earlier, John was a senior consultant with GCSI Inc, (Ottawa) where he was the operational manager for two multi-year climate change adaptation projects (Nigeria and the Caribbean), participated in World Bank environmental projects and prepared environmental reports for Canadian clients. Prior to 1999 John worked for CUSO for 18 years, including 6+ years as Country Director (Botswana) and Regional Program Coordinator (Zambia). He has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Waterloo) and a Master of Arts – public administration/innovation, science and environment (Carleton).