MiningWatch 20th
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Blog Entry

MiningWatch Canada Personnel

The MiningWatch Canada national office staff consists of a Canada Program Co-lead, a Canada Program Co-Lead and Outreach Coordinator, a Communications Coordinator, a Research Coordinator, a Latin America Program Coordinator, a Resource Development and Administrative Coordinator, and a Financial Coordinator.

Communications Coordinator Valerie Croft works to make sure that MiningWatch's communications are as effective as possible in support of our campaigns and our partners' struggles. Val brings over a decade of experience accompanying communities resisting Canadian mining projects, amplifying their voices through strategic advocacy and communications campaigns. After living in Guatemala for several years, she returned to Canada in 2017 to work alongside grassroots and civil society organizations pushing for greater corporate accountability in Canada. With a background in journalism and political science, Val focuses on story-based strategy as a way to support community self-determination. She has a strong personal interest in urban agriculture and sharing food as a way to strengthen movements for social change.

Canada Program Co-Lead Rodrigue Turgeon leads MiningWatch's work on mining policy development and individual mining projects in Quebec and eastern Canada, leading policy reform and providing strategic and technical support to communities affected by mineral exploration and mining projects. Rodrigue holds a master’s degree in law and life sciences from the Université de Sherbrooke and a graduate degree in common and international law. As a proud resident of Abitibi, Quebec, Rodrigue has been part of several citizen groups advocating for the protection of the boreal region and respect for local and Indigenous decision making processes.

Canada Program Co-Lead and Outreach Coordinator Jamie Kneen leads MiningWatch's work on mining policy development and individual mining projects in western and northern Canada, leading policy reform and providing strategic and technical support to communities affected by mineral exploration and mining projects. He also leads the organization's strategic research and communications, as well as research and advocacy in Africa (and previously, Latin America), as well as on mine waste management, mining and Indigenous rights, uranium mining, and environmental assessment policy and practice in Canada. With a degree in Biology (ecology) from McGill University, Jamie has been involved with environmental and resource management issues, including mining, frequently related to indigenous land rights, for many years.

Research Co-ordinator Catherine Coumans provides expert support for MiningWatch’s research and publications. She has written reports and academic articles on mining since conducting her Ph.D. research in the Philippines (1988-1990). Catherine also monitors national and international government and industry initiatives, supporting participation of MiningWatch members and partners in consultations and negotiations, and preparing and/or co-ordinating written briefs and submissions. Her community-level human rights work and work with Indigenous peoples affected by Canadian mining companies is focused on the Asia-Pacific region.

Latin America Program Coordinator Kirsten Francescone works with communities, organizations, and networks struggling with mining issues throughout Latin America. She brings a strong commitment to social justice and comes to us with many years of experience working with activists, networks, and decision-makers in Canada and internationally, including several years living in Bolivia.

Alexandra Kazakova has joined MiningWatch for one year as Interim Fundraising and Operations Coordinator, replacing Diana Martin while she is on maternity leave. Alexandra is from Kazakhstan and immigrated to Canada in 2017. She has a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in economics, with her particular interests located within the policy research and program management spheres. Alexandra has 20 years of experience working with international and national development projects, supported by international agencies including the UN and the European Union.

Resource Development and Administrative Coordinator Diana Martin leads the development and operations of MiningWatch's fundraising program. Her work includes coordinating relationships with individual and institutional donors and supporters, overseeing grant opportunities with current and prospective funders, providing financial management, and working with the Board of Directors’ fundraising and governance committees. She has worked in the non-profit sector since 2010 and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She is on maternity leave until March, 2023.

Val CroftCatherine CoumansKirsten FrancesconeJamie KneenDiana MartinAlexandra KazakovaRodrigue Turgeon