In profile: CARE Canada’s Jessie Thomson
Jun 10, 2019
What do you do at CARE?
I am currently the Vice President of the Partnerships for Global Change unit at CARE Canada. In this role, I am responsible for ensuring that CARE Canada is at the leading edge of innovation, tracking the evolving nature of INGOs (International Non-Government Organizations), mobilizing resources and developing future-ready and impactful programs and partnerships to meet the needs of the most vulnerable communities around the world.
How did you decide that this what you wanted to do with your career?
I started my career volunteering with refugees in Canada. This taught me about our shared humanity and gave me perspective on the privilege I have, simply because I was born in Canada. Those early experiences inspired me to pursue a career in humanitarian action and led me to work with CARE. Since joining CARE, I have had a number of different roles that have all enabled me to contribute to CARE’s mission in a meaningful way.
What is the biggest challenge you face in this role?
As the VP of Partnerships for Global Change, I am trying to broker partnerships and re-imagine how we fund and deliver our work, all while trying to keep up with a rapidly changing operational environment. As a non-profit, we are too often trying to innovate on the side of our desks, and this is a critical challenge when our work is more urgently needed than ever.
What do you have coming up next?
This July, I am participating in the UN Refugee Agency consultations. UNHCR (the United Nations refugee agency) is one of our biggest and most important partners and is critical to our ability to respond to the needs of refugees around the world. We’re working together to bring strong gender-transformative approaches to the work that we do together and to ensure that refugees have not only life-saving assistance, but also durable solutions that enable them to restart their lives and help bring about change in their communities. Taking time to build meaningful partnerships is a key part of my role and I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet with UNHCR and its partners and begin crafting solutions and strategies together.
What should Canadians know about our work?
CARE works in more than 90 countries around the world and we have been delivering humanitarian relief and long-term development programming for over 70 years. Our work is rooted in the communities where we work, it is led by those same communities and it plays a critical role in alleviating suffering and helping to lift the most marginalized communities, particularly women and girls in those communities, out of poverty. Our work is changing and we are working hard to transform the way we work in order to ensure that communities are in the driver’s seat. I am proud to work for CARE, I’m inspired by our gender equality work and I feel passionately that we must all continue to contribute to fighting the injustice of poverty. We are in this together.