Heather Arnold is a founding member of the Board, and the President of CMETrust. She became involved in the Trust in 2006 after returning from Nairobi where she participated in a CIDA internship at the United Nations Environment Programme. She was inspired by her time in Nairobi to give back to the community there.
Heather now lives in Toronto where she works at Environment and Climate Change Canada as a Senior Policy Analyst.
Jimena became a CMETrust volunteer in 2007 and has contributed to the Ottawa chapter in several ways since then. She was elected to the Board in April 2014 and took on the Vice-President role in 2016.
Jimena is a climate change adaptation specialist with over 12 years’ experience in providing research, analysis and advice to inform policy and program decisions by the Canadian federal government. After seven years in government, she transitioned to the private sector and works with a small firm as a consultant.
Jimena is passionate about strengthening institutions as a way to help people make better, more equitable decisions. When she isn’t working on this in her day job, she pursues that passion by volunteering. Intrigued by the promise of social tipping points and cross-scale change, she recently completed a graduate diploma in social innovation at the University of Waterloo.
Anthony joined CMETrust in 2016. He is preparing to take on the Treasurer role in March 2017.
Prior to joining CMETrust Anthony was the President of the Guelph chapter of Students Offering Support (SOS) a national student-run social enterprise dedicated to helping students succeed both domestically and abroad.
Anthony holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Guelph with a specialization in Accounting and is currently in the process of completing his CA/CPA designation. He currently works in the Audit and Assurance practice at Ernst and Young in the Financial Services group.
Caroline Kent joined CMETrust in 2011, first as a member of the Toronto Chapter and then as Toronto Chapter Co-Chair. She was elected to the Board in April 2014 and to the Executive as the Secretary in March 2015.
Caroline’s academic background is in Community Development, Political Science, and International Project Management. Caroline has spent time working in communities similar to Mathare near Cape Town, South Africa and in Takoradi, Ghana. Caroline values the importance of using education as a tool to lift individuals out of poverty and create positive change.
Melanie brings over a decade of international development and education experience to the board. She first visited Mathare in 2005 as an undergraduate and returned a year later to live and work in the Eastlands of Nairobi as a CIDA intern. Later, her graduate work at McGill University examined the community perception of a pilot project of the Kenyan Slum Upgrading Programme (KENSUP) and, in tandem to that research, she worked with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to help conduct an impact-assessment of the same project. She has also worked with the Canadian Field Studies in Africa (CFSIA) programme – providing technical and academic support in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania – and helped connect CMETrust to CFSIA during that time. Melanie will be formally elected to the Board in 2017.
Melanie has a strong understanding of how issues of poverty, education, and health intersect, and is committed to using her experience in East Africa and knowledge of innovative education and outreach strategies to help CMETrust grow and thrive.
Co-Founder, Past President, Tenth Anniversary Co-Chair
Victoria co-founded CMETrust in 2006 along with then Kenyan Field Representatives Benedict Kiage, Titus Kuria and Charles Omondi. She was CMETrust's President from 2006 to 2016, when she stepped down to take on the exciting role of CMETrust's 10th Anniversary Campaign Co-Chair. During Victoria's early years with the organization, she also established CMETrust's Toronto and Ottawa chapters.
Since 2006, Victoria has returned to Mathare in 2007, 2010, 2014 and in 2016 to celebrate CMETrust's 10th birthday. Victoria is thrilled to have these opportunities to meet and talk with the scholars, alumni and their families, who are always filled with such gratitude, inspire such hope, and offer such innovative ideas for ways to make our program even better.
Victoria lives in Ottawa with her partner, Jonathan, daughter, Nia, and step-daughters, Madison and Kara. Victoria works at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as the Deputy Director of International Regulatory Cooperation. Victoria was previously employed at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and started her career in the federal public service at Natural Resources in Canada when she returned from Kenya in 2006. Victoria enjoys being outdoor with family, dining with friends, gardening and travelling.
Neera joined CMETrust in 2016 as the Volunteer Coordinator. Her passion lies in educating and contributing towards creating a world where equality exists and all children have access to education. CMETrust’s mandate is near and dear to her heart as she was born in Nairobi, Kenya (a few kilometers from Mathare). She has over 15 years of experience in adult learning within the corporate and academic sectors with proven experience across a variety of industries including: telecommunications, healthcare, pharmaceutical, financial, community services, manufacturing, insurance and now legal.
In her current role, she is responsible for managing the IT Training function for a large law firm. She is known for delivering results and using her expertise to drive change in the spheres of adult education, corporate training and organizational development. Her past projects (national and global) are examples of her strategic thinking, innovation, business acumen, and ability to leverage technology to gain efficiencies.
Communications Coordinator, Tenth Anniversary Co-Chair
Leah first became involved with CMETrust in 2009. She founded a CMETrust chapter at the University of Ottawa and led this chapter from 2009-2012. She was also the Volunteer Coordinator for the Ottawa chapter for two years, and event lead for the 2012 Mathare in Focus event. She joined the Board as Volunteer Manager in 2013 and transitioned into the Communications role in 2015.
Leah has had the privilege of visiting Kenya twice and was inspired both times by the incredible dedication and spirit of the students and community that CMETrust supports. Leah believes strongly in the importance of education and critical thought, and in the power of individuals to challenge assumptions and transform their communities.
Over the past 7 years, Leah has worked and volunteered with numerous initiatives focused on education, women’s empowerment, leadership and civic engagement. After completing an undergraduate degree in International Development, Leah worked for several years with a Cameroonian NGO focused on various facets of rural development. She is currently pursuing graduate studies in Adult Education and Community Development in Toronto.
Consuelo van Beek
Consuelo started volunteering with CMETrust in 2007 and joined the Board in 2008. Over the years Consuelo has provided leadership to CMETrust by taking on various Board and executive roles such as the Ottawa Chapter co-chair and Vice President.
In 2014, Consuelo had the opportunity to visit CMETrust operations in Mathare and met CMETrust scholars, their parents and guardians, alumni and CMETrust partners. Seeing first-hand the impact of CMETrust's efforts in helping kids and their families break the cycle of poverty through education was highly motivating and has significantly added to her enthusiasm for the important work of CMETrust!
Consuelo lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children and is a Manager in the Office of the Chief Scientist at Natural Resources Canada. She has a Master's degree in Local Economic Development (M.A.E.S) and a Bachelor degree Economics & Geography (B.Sc).
Jonathan joined the Board in 2013 and served as President from 2015 to 2017. He is a proud champion of CMETrust’s efforts to advance the right to education through cross-cultural collaboration.
As a law student, Jonathan brings expertise on governance, risk management, and compliance to the Board. He holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa. Before attending graduate school, Jonathan worked as legislative assistant to a Canadian senator.