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Introducing PWRDF’s new board members

November 16, 2023

By Janice Biehn

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At PWRDF’s Annual General Meeting in September, we welcomed Dr. José Bringas, Coordinator of the Comprehensive Development Program of the Episcopal Church in Cuba, who shared stories and successes of our long-term partnership. We also welcomed six new board members who were nominated to serve, and named three new Honorary Associates for their dedication to PWRDF. We are grateful for their willingness to support our mission to work towards a truly just, healthy and peaceful world.

Duncan Chalmers is from the Diocese of New Westminster and a long-time member of PWRDF’s Youth Council. He currently lives on the unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples (Vancouver) and works at the University of British Columbia. Duncan holds a Master of Development Practice (MDP) from the University of Waterloo, and has skills in project management, research, campaign development, new business development, policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation, proposal writing, curriculum design, and training facilitation. Duncan is passionate about sustainability and development. He has worked in youth empowerment, agri-food market systems development, community-based education, global engagement, and community-driven fundraising. With years of experience in the non-profit, higher education, and community-based sectors, both in Canada and along the Thai-Burma border, Duncan is always looking for new opportunities to support projects that aid in creating more equitable, resilient, and sustainable communities.

The Reverend Canon Donald Butler is from the Diocese of Toronto. He has been a priest for 38 years and brings a wealth of experience and a heart for the community to PWRDF. Born in Antigua, Donald has spent the past 34 years diligently serving in urban and suburban parishes. His commitment to both faith and community is evident through his extensive involvement in various diocesan committees, including the Doctrine and Worship Committee and the Diocesan Multicultural Committee. His service extends beyond the church, as he has served on numerous community boards and committees, including the Antigua and Barbuda Hurricane Preparedness Committee, TAIBU Community Health Centre Board, and the Province of Ontario Child and Family Services Review Board. Donald has a keen interest in sustainable farming and spends some of his spare time involved in urban farming in the Toronto area.

The Reverend Elizabeth Huether (they/them/per) is from the Diocese of Kootenay. Elizabeth has served in the Anglican Dioceses of Saskatoon, Niagara and Kootenay as a parish priest for many years. They also spent six years teaching practical theology and training clergy in the Diocese of Umzimvubu, South Africa. Elizabeth’s ministry included the position of Refugee Coordinator for the Anglican Dioceses of Kootenay (2015-2019) and Nova Scotia/PEI (2021-2022). Now ‘retired’ from active ministry, Elizabeth is a member and committee coordinator of KAIROS (Prairie North). They also lead an online weekly prayer group for the Diocesan Environmental Network (DEN) of NS/PEI. A strong passion for Social Justice and the Work of Decolonizing and Reconciliation inspires and motivates Elizabeth. Married to Joan Alexander, and companioned by their little dog, Beau, they have lived in Ontario, BC, PEI, and currently make their home in Lloydminster, Sask., (Treaty Six Territory and Métis Homeland). Elizabeth has numerous hobbies including colouring, golf, hiking and walking with Beau.

Chandra Madramootoo lives in the Diocese of Montreal where he is a Professor at McGill University, teaching and conducting research in irrigation, water management, food security and rural development. He completed his undergraduate and post-graduate training at McGill University. He has undertaken studies in the areas of his expertise in many developing countries, over the span of his academic career. He has served on the international boards of non-profits and brings his expertise in governance, strategic planning, fund-raising, and capacity development to bear in many national and international organizations, particularly where he is able to contribute to improving lives through economic empowerment in rural communities in Canada and overseas. Chandra is a deeply committed, long-standing member of the Anglican Church of Canada, and contributes at a leadership level in his local church. He is an ardent supporter of the work of the PWRDF and its short- and long-term developmental impact in low-income regions.

Ian Van Haren is from the Diocese of Montreal and is the Executive Director of Action Réfugiés Montréal, a non-profit organization supported by the Diocese and the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Action Réfugiés Montréal advocates for compassion and justice for refugeed persons and engages in refugee sponsorship, supporting individuals in administrative migration detention, and programming that promotes social inclusion and friendship for newcomers and long-term Montreal residents. Ian is also a PhD candidate in sociology at McGill and a course lecturer at Concordia University. His research and teaching focus on refugee protection, international migration, demography, social policy and the actions of civil society in supporting individuals seeking protection in new countries. Previously, Ian worked as a diplomat for the Canadian government with assignments focused on immigration and refugee resettlement in England, Lebanon and South Africa. As part of this work, he had the opportunity to visit different refugee camps in Southern Africa and become familiar with refugee issues in the Middle East. Ian is also the chair of the board of directors of Citizens for Public Justice, a progressive Christian public policy advocacy organization.

The Very Reverend Peter Wall is from the Diocese of Toronto, though worked for 22 years as Dean of Niagara and Rector of Christ’s Church Cathedral, Hamilton. Since retiring in 2019, he has done three interim appointments, the latest as Interim Dean of St. James Cathedral in Toronto since October 2022. He has been heavily involved in many aspects of Anglican life in Canada: several times a member of General Synod, Chair of the General Synod Planning Committee and the Worship Committee, a member for several triennia of The Council of General Synod, Co-Chair of the Planning and Agenda Team, a Deputy Prolocutor of General Synod, Acting General Secretary of General Synod, a Board member of the Anglican Foundation, a fundraising consultant to the Anglican Foundation, and an Honorary Associate Member of PWRDF. For almost 20 years, Peter was part of The Three Cantors, raising more than $1 million for PWRDF. He is delighted to be serving on the Board of Directors. He is the very proud ‘Poppa’ of Simone, who lives in Montreal, waiting for a new sister/brother.

PWRDF also bestowed the title of Hononary Associate to three people: Anne Walling, long-time PWRDF Representative in the Diocese of Fredericton, Liz McDonald, a volunteer and PWRDF committee member in the Diocese of New Westminster, and the Most Reverend Fred Hiltz, former Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.

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For media requests please contact Communications Coordinator Janice Biehn at (416) 924-9199;366.

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