Leadership Team view bio Meg French Executive Director (she/her) view bio Margaret Wright Senior Director of Operations (she/her) view bio Niambi Martin-John Director of Development (she/her) view bio Leah Odle-Benson Acting Director of Programs (she/her) view bio Esther Vise Director of Finance (she/her) Meg French Executive Director (she/her) Meg is a proven leader, effective collaborator, and human rights advocate with a deep commitment to social justice. Before joining the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) in 2020, Meg worked with UNICEF—the United Nations Children Fund—for 17 years. From 2018–2020, she was based in Geneva as the global lead for UNICEF’s Every Child ALIVE Campaign, focussing on newborn and maternal health and survival. She coordinated advocacy, fundraising and public engagement strategies across the organization to reach, engage and influence governments, businesses, and the public at global, regional, and national levels. Before 2018, Meg was Chief Program Officer at UNICEF Canada. There she led communications and programmatic work, and advocacy efforts with the Government of Canada, including for the Muskoka Initiative, which resulted in a significant global investment in maternal and child health. Meg worked with the chief development officer to establish an innovative public/private partnership with a group of 60 Canadian women, and the Government of Canada. Through her leadership, UNICEF Canada also launched the One Youth Initiative which leverages design-thinking approaches, partnerships and data to improve child and youth wellbeing in Canada. Prior to joining UNICEF, Meg was a teacher in Canada and the Marshall Islands. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Trent University in Development Studies and Women’s Studies, and Bachelor and Master of Education degrees from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, specializing in International and Development Education. Meg is an ardent advocate for women’s and children’s rights, including for families and communities affected by HIV and AIDS. As an early link to the SLF, she participated in the International AIDS Conference in Toronto in 2006, when the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign was launched. Margaret Wright Senior Director of Operations (she/her) Margaret’s approach is partner-centred and people-focussed. She is motivated and inspired by the transformational work being done by Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) partners, community-based organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. Guided by a steadfast commitment to social justice, substantive equality, and human rights, and with an aptitude for optimizing resources, systems, and processes, Margaret oversees key areas of day-to-day operations. She is also involved with communications and fundraising as the main contact for legacy giving, planned giving, and the Give a Day campaign. Joining the SLF in 2006, she has had the honour of visiting several SLF partners, and of hosting numerous speaking engagements for advocates visiting from partner organizations at events across Canada. She has also played a pivotal role in organizing four Grandmothers Gatherings: Eswatini (2010), Uganda (2015), South Africa (2016), and Tanzania (2018). Before joining the SLF, Margaret worked with Bell Canada in Client Services, Change Management, Human Resources, and Organizational Development. She has a Bachelor degree in Anthropology and a Certificate in Primary Education. Niambi Martin-John Director of Development (she/her) Niambi is a social change champion, community mobilizer, advocate, and fund development specialist who has dedicated her career to increasing capacity for marginalized, racialized and at-risk communities. For more than 20 years, Niambi has held leadership roles in the health charity, arts and social services sectors. Her approach is mission-centred, integrated, collaborative, and partner informed, with a focus on driving revenue, creating space, and empowering community members. She values the power of solidarity and allies in action. With a background in community development and storytelling, Niambi generates opportunities to learn from partners and communities by weaving their narratives and insights into organizational approaches, and through meaningful engagement to deepen relationships. Before joining the SLF in 2020, Niambi was National Director of Major Gifts with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She has worked with a number of national health charities – Diabetes Canada, Canadian Cancer Society, and Heart and Stroke Foundation. Niambi is also a professor in the Non-Profit Leadership Management Post-Graduate Program at Seneca College, and volunteers with charities, groups, and associations committed to women’s and youth empowerment. She believes everyone has a responsibility to drive change, end stigma, and eliminate barriers, until all people have equal access to power and personal agency. Leah Odle-Benson Acting Director of Programs (she/her) Leah actions her deep commitment to gender equality, supporting social justice initiatives, and building strong and healthy communities, in every area of her work. Committed to continuous learning, meaningful engagement, and advocacy, Leah joined the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) in 2016. As Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager and Programs Officer, she has worked closely and directly with SLF field representatives and community-based partner organizations. Leah, who is originally from Barbados, spent many years working in the Caribbean on gender and development issues, including violence against women, transformational leadership, and HIV and AIDS, through the UN Women Multi-Country Office – Caribbean. Leah was also a board member of the Redwood Shelter, a safe haven for women and children based in Toronto, Canada, and served on its Social Justice Committee for five years. Leah’s approach is human-centred and acknowledges the inherent power imbalance that occurs for all organizations working with a funder. She names and addresses that imbalance by prioritizing relationship building, mutual trust, solidarity, heart-centredness—resiliency, courage, integrity, authenticity and truth—meaningful collaboration, and capacity building. Esther Vise Director of Finance (she/her) Esther combines a lifelong commitment to social justice and human rights with a deep affinity for numbers, by building strong, reliable, and accountable financial systems in the not-for-profit sector. With particular focus on impact and sustainability, she integrates justice, equity and transformation into her work and leadership. Before joining the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) in 2016, Esther enjoyed and invested in a more than 30-year career in the not-for-profit and charitable sector managing budgets of all sizes. She has worked with and contributed to numerous organizations, including YWCA Toronto, Planned Parenthood Toronto, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Between the Lines Publishing, South Asian Visual Arts Collective, and Skyworks Charitable Foundation. Esther launched her career as a manager of the Toronto Women’s Bookstore, which is where she learned the joys of balancing books and collaborating for positive change in the world.