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    Board Candidates for 2020

    Each candidate has provided a personal statement and a video statement when possible.

    The personal statement provides candidates the opportunity to summarize their skills, experience, characteristics and strengths that they would bring to the Board, as well as to provide a personal rationale for pursuing a position on the Board of Directors. Candidates have been limited to 250 words.

    The personal and video statements for each candidate can be viewed by clicking the links below.


    Position: Board Chair (1 Year Term)

    Candidate: Lana Verran 

    Personal Statement:

    Serving as Board President for the past 4 years, I am seeking your vote to serve the Chair’s 1-year term. I have been an Amnesty supporter, member and donor for close to 20 years.

    During my past 5 years on the Board, plus the 4 I served from 2009-13, I have gained comprehensive knowledge of Amnesty’s national and international work, while continuing to strengthen my governance proficiency. I have attended 6 international meetings, 3 as our delegation Chair, allowing me to leverage best practices from around the movement. I am currently on two global working groups and for the past two years I have been acting Chair of the Regional Forum Steering Committee for the Americas Region. I will provide necessary continuity as Chair of the Search Committee to select our next Secretary General in 2020.

    The skills and experience from my 25 years leading and managing teams, combined with my passion for Amnesty, provide me with both the energy and capability to continue to drive our 5 key priorities over this next year; Leadership Transition, our next Strategic Goals, Anti-Oppression and Well Being, Growth, and Youth. Driving operational excellence, collaboration, communication and building consensus, are strengths I demonstrate, that will contribute to strong governance and financial management for our section as we navigate these uncharted waters over the next 12 months.

    With your vote I am committed to supporting our work toward achieving even-greater levels of human rights impact.

    Video Statement

    Competency Framework Survey



    Position: Board Vice-Chair (2 Year Term)

    Candidate: Sarah Damberger

    Personal Statement:

    I've been involved with Amnesty for more than 10 years in several roles including as a university group leader, contracted organizer, Local Organizer, and Fieldworker. I’ve spent the past 4 years on the AICES
    Board as a Director, which has been extremely rewarding and I’m interested in continuing my involvement on the Board by running for Vice-Chair this year.

    Amnesty Canada is going through a great deal of change right now including recruiting a new Secretary General, setting a new international and national strategic vision, addressing challenges with wellbeing and organizational culture, and creating a more financially stable international movement. The COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated a complex situation and I feel that my institutional knowledge and experience on the Board will be valuable as we navigate through the next 2 years.

    There are several initiatives I would like to see through to completion during my final Board term, but my interest in the Vice-Chair position also stems from a desire to leverage my knowledge and experience to provide added support to our Board Chair in these challenging times.

    I’ve held volunteer and paid positions with the University of Calgary and STARS air ambulance that have strengthened skills that would be valuable in the role of Vice-Chair (e.g. communications, fund development,
    governance, and strategic planning).

    More information about these experiences can be found in my full bio. Thank you for your consideration.

    Video statement

    Competency Framework 


    Position: Treasurer (2 Year Term)

    Candidate: Tara Vicckies

    Personal Statement:

    Finishing up my first year on the Board of Amnesty Canada, where I completed the former incumbents’ term, I take a moment to reflect. What I know for sure is the invaluable experience I have gained working with this
    Board of Directors – they and the work, have made me better, personally and professionally. As the Board brings oversight and governance to a breadth of issues, as the Treasurer, I add a lens of fiscal responsibility. My 20-plus years working as a professional accountant in my hometown of Ottawa, Canada, taught me to speak to the financial aspects of business issues; bringing attention to potential risks or subduing anxiety in translating financial information for my colleagues. Also, an entrepreneur, I have a complete understanding of what it takes to run an organization – the foundation to build upon, the ability to pivot with change, and strength to persevere. To be a servant to my community, whether at home in Ottawa, or the world community, is why I am dedicated to continuing to support Amnesty’s Human Rights work in the role of Treasurer, especially during this unprecedented economic turmoil. 

    Video Statement

    Competency Framework Survey


    2 DIRECTOR POSITIONS (2 Year Term)

    There are 6 candidates for these 2 positions. The order in which they are listed is not preferential, they are listed in alphabetical order from Z to A.


    Candidate 1: Mohamed Fetaih

    Personal Statement:

    I was a leader of the student movement in Egypt (1972-1977). In that time, I advocated for freedom of expression, fought for democratic changes to the one-party system, and for people’s right of assembly - focusing on social justice for the poor and marginalized. Throughout this time, I was a prisoner of conscience in 1972, ’73, ‘75 and ‘77 - for a total of two years behind bars without any charges. Amnesty sent lawyers and was instrumental in securing a fair trial that led to the acquittal of all student leaders.

    Having emigrated to Canada, I deemed it necessary to do my part to help others who are unable to escape persecution. I am a long-time supporter and active member of Amnesty Canada, serving on the AITO board of directors, and co-chaired the Iran Action Circle. I joined the fieldworker program in 2018 and established Amnesty Mississauga, with 25 young professionals and students. I also provide guidance to Amnesty Brampton to help the growth of their membership and visibility in the community.

    If elected, I will bring a solid track record of grass roots activism and deep connections with the Middle Eastern (ME) communities in Ontario. With support from the AI Board, I will strive to engage more people with a ME background into Amnesty’s campaigns and issues, to bolster AI’s image and increase membership and donations. I will also work towards more cooperation with other human rights organizations. Looking forward to join the board to achieve these objectives.

    Video Statement 
    Competency Framework Survey


    Candidate 2: William Jackson 
    Personal Statement: 

    I've been a supporter and regular Amnesty donor for over 25 years. As a candidate for the board of
    directors of Amnesty International Canada I bring four qualifications:

    • A longstanding commitment to human rights and economic dignity for all,
    • Governance experience,
    • Practical human rights know-how, and
    • Dispute resolution skills.

    Governance experience: For 19 years I was on the board of directors of the Canadian Mothercraft Society, a not-for-profit organization with an annual budget of $8 million. Mothercraft trains early childhood educators, and its programs support young children at risk because of parental substance abuse. I served as treasurer, secretary, and executive committee member while on the board.

    Economic dignity: In the 1970s, I organized migrant farm workers in south-western Ontario. I started a mail and media campaign that resulted in legislative changes; now these seasonal workers are covered by Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act and Employment Standards Act.

    Human rights know-how: Later, as a Human Rights Officer I investigated and resolved complaints in northwestern Ontario, with a focus on the concerns of Indigenous peoples.

    Dispute resolutions skills: Before my recent retirement, I mediated labour and employment disputes at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. I helped labour and management negotiate first collective agreements in provincial jails and service industries, and I resolved workplace safety complaints.

    As a member of Amnesty International Canada's board, I pledge to devote my time and to contribute my qualifications to the position.

    So, please cast your vote for me, William Jackson.

    Video Statement 
    Competency Framework Survey


    Candidate 3: Andrew Lodge 
    Personal Statement: 

    In a world where violence, exploitation, oppression and injustice remain endemic, the struggle for human
    rights today is as prescient as ever.

    Which is what renders the work of Amnesty International fundamental. I have been an Amnesty member since the nineties. My education and career have been contoured by social justice concerns, whether in the context of remote Indigenous communities here in Canada, conflict settings in Africa, South Asian brothels, to name a few of the frontlines where I have been privileged enough to serve.

    I work as a physician, and I view health as a human right. I am currently the Medical Director at a community health centre in inner-city Winnipeg and I sit on numerous committees and boards.

    While health care is undeniably critical, it has become apparent to me that the objective of assuring human rights for all inhabits a plethora of other dimensions.

    To that end, I have additional training in the form of four Master’s programs: Human Rights Law, Public Health, Adult Education/Community Development, and Tropical Medicine. I have also written extensively in
    the popular and academic presses.

    I believe strongly in volunteerism, especially in the space where the grassroots and the global intersect. Amnesty embodies this ethos.

    Diversity is what makes our world beautiful. In order to celebrate differences of race, class, gender, sexual and gender orientation, ability, and so on, this diversity must be fiercely protected. I want the world to be a fair and kind place for everyone.

    Video Statement
    Competency Framework Survey


    Candidate 4: Andrea Oakunsheyld

    Personal Statement:

    Hello! My name is Andrea Oakunsheyld and I am running for a Director position on the Board of AI Canada. I am a white settler on the traditional, ancestral, and stolen lands of the the xwməθkwəyə̓ m (Musqueam), səlilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and Swwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations. I am a bigender queer woman. I am curvy, neurodivergent, and a survivor of many contexts. These identities are all perspectives that I will bring to the diversity, equity, and inclusion work that I will do as a Board member. As a professional planner, I have diverse skills in strategic planning and governance that will benefit the Board’s current work on the new Global Strategy and Amnesty Canada’s following strategic plan. My identities and planning background will complement the current Board to lead Amnesty at this time, as equity and strategic planning are two of the Board’s top priorities. In addition to acting as the Equity Coordinator on the UBC Planning Students’ Association and organising around LGBTQIA.2S+ rights and Indigenous sovereignty, I have 10 years of experience with Amnesty in many different roles, including my current position as Co-Chair of the Fieldworker Coordinating Committee. I am running this year because this feels like the right time to serve the organisation that means so much to me as well as to continue my own learning in a new role. I plan to be a part of Amnesty for the rest of my life and I hope that you will consider voting for me to continue my activism in this new role.

    Video Statement

    Competency Framework Survey


    Candidate 5: Salahuddin Rafiquddin

    Personal Statement:

    My name is Salahuddin (Saladin) Rafiquddin and I am seeking your support for my bid to join the Board as a Director.

    I have been an Amnesty member for over nine years, first as a youth intern in the National Office and then as a Fieldworker. In this time, I’ve been a grassroots organizer leading a university group, human rights educator delivering workshops, and have had the pleasure of serving in many leadership roles in the branch, such as a member of the Fieldworker Coordinating Council and as a delegate to the 2019 Global Assembly. I have learned our culture, strengths, as well as areas where we can be a more effective and inclusive organization. Further, I am confident that my professional experiences would be an asset on the Board. At present, I am a lawyer working at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission where I have obtained a great deal of experience reviewing corporate finances, capital allocation decisions, and financial models. In my previous professional roles, I worked on technology and human rights issues in organizations such as the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic and the Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion within Global Affairs Canada.

    As we prepare for our next Global Strategy, welcome a new Secretary General, and navigate unprecedented social and economic uncertainty, I believe the Board will be stronger with my breadth of experience and commitment to the human rights movement. I hope I can count on your support.

    Video Statement

    Competency Framework Survey