January 18, 2022 (Ottawa) – The Board of Directors of Cooperation Canada is delighted to announce the appointment of Kate Higgins as its new Chief Executive Officer. Kate will take on her new role on April 4, 2022. 

“We are thrilled with this announcement and look forward to the energy and vision that Kate will bring to this role and to Cooperation Canada’s work to build a fairer, safer and more sustainable world. Kate is a strategic thinker and throughout her career has demonstrated her commitment to the principles of cooperation that Cooperation Canada endorses. We are in the best of hands with Kate at the helm, and look forward to working with her as she leads Cooperation Canada and its talented team into its next exciting phase,” said Eileen Alma and Richard Veenstra, Co-Chairs of Cooperation Canada’s Board of Directors. 

Kate is an accomplished leader and experienced manager, with over fifteen years of experience in international development, civil society, think tanks, and government. She is currently the Deputy Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, where she has led the organization’s work on strategy and communications and spearheaded a number of organizational change initiatives, in addition to serving as Interim Executive Director in 2020. Before joining Oxfam, Kate worked for CIVICUS, a global alliance of civil society organizations, where she led strategy development and the organization’s work on data, sustainable development and citizen action. She has held senior policy and research roles at the North-South Institute and the Overseas Development Institute, leading work on chronic poverty, protracted conflict, women’s economic justice and international assistance and building several global, multi-stakeholder initiatives. Kate started her career at the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), working on the Indonesia and Papua New Guinea programs. She has lived and worked in Australia, Canada, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Thailand and Uganda and has undertaken missions in several other countries. Kate has degrees in economics and development studies from the University of Oxford and the University of Sydney. 

“I have collaborated with, admired, and celebrated the work of Cooperation Canada for many years. I firmly believe that Cooperation Canada plays a critical role in representing Canada’s international development and humanitarian sector and in pushing for ambitious Canadian engagement in the world. It will be an absolute privilege to lead this organization, and work with the Board of Directors, staff, members and partners to position Cooperation Canada, and our sector, for the future,” said Kate Higgins, Cooperation Canada’s incoming CEO. 

Kate will replace Shannon Kindornay, who is currently serving as the Interim CEO. Shannon will continue as Cooperation Canada’s Chief Operations Officer. Maxime Michel, who replaced Shannon during her parental leave, served as Interim CEO in Shannon’s absence.  

“Cooperation Canada is fortunate to have such a strong management team. The Board of Directors warmly thanks Shannon and Maxime for their dedication, competent management and leadership during the transition,” added Eileen Alma and Richard Veenstra. 

About Cooperation Canada 

Cooperation Canada (formerly the Canadian Council for International Co-operation) brings together Canada’s international development and humanitarian organizations and advocates for them by convening sector leaders, influencing policy and building capacity. Together, we work with partners both inside and outside Canada to build a world that’s fair, safe and sustainable for all.   

Press contact 
Gabriel Karasz-Perriau
Communications Manager
Cooperation Canada
[email protected]
(514) 945-0309