President and CEO
Barbara Grantham has 30 years’ experience as a successful senior executive and consultant in the philanthropic, non-profit and public sectors, across BC and nationally. She is recognized as a charismatic and engaging leader with proven experience in building long-term partnerships with government, and with business and community leaders striving to leave a legacy and have a positive impact on their communities. She has held executive positions with some of Canada’s foremost non-profit organizations, including the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Canadian Mental Health Association and the StreetoHome Foundation. She also established and ran her own highly successful consulting practice.
Barbara served as President & CEO of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation—one of Canada’s top five revenue-producing health care foundations—from 2013 to 2019. Through her years as CEO, Barbara oversaw a revenue increase of 84% to current annual revenue of approximately $100 million. She and the Foundation team successfully repositioned the organization as BC’s philanthropic hub for funding health care innovation and research, inner city/urban health, specialized surgery, oncology, heart and lung disease, mental health/addictions and other elements of Canada’s largest and most complex academic health authority—Vancouver Coastal Health.
Active as a community leader, Barbara serves on the Board of Directors of YMCA of Greater Vancouver, the largest ‘on the ground’ social service organization in BC, and on the Board of jack.org, a national organization working to revolutionize the conversation for Canada’s young people around mental health. She also serves as a volunteer with the national Loran Scholars program.
Barbara thrives in opportunities that stimulate Canadian dialogue on important public policy issues, with organizations and teams that share an innovative and ambitious vision, are committed to excellence in strategy and execution, welcome new ideas and change, and where philanthropy is an important element in success.
Barbara has been repeatedly recognized by both the business and philanthropic communities. In 2016, she was named one of Women’s Executive Network‘s annual Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. Most recently, she received the 2019 AFP Lifetime Achievement in Fundraising Award in recognition of her decades of philanthropic leadership. She holds a BA degree from Queen’s University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Carleton University.
Mara O’Brien James
Executive Vice President
Mara O’Brien James has over 18 years of senior leadership experience with direct organizational responsibility in Partnership Building, Brand/Marketing, Communications, Human Resources, Government Relations and Advocacy, Volunteer Management, International Safety and Security, Information & Technology, Knowledge Management and Strategic Planning. Before joining CARE Canada in 2009, Mara worked in management in healthcare, and also had a successful consulting practice with a wide range of clients, including healthcare agencies, UN agencies, high-tech firms, and government organizations.
At CARE Canada, Mara is responsible for leading the organization in fulfilling its mission to serve individuals and families in the poorest communities of the world. Leading the successful execution of CARE Canada’s strategic and business plans, Mara continues to position the organization for success in a constantly changing global environment, ensures the acquisition of timely and essential human and financial resources and actively engages in the governance of CARE Canada and CARE International.
Mara has a BA from Trent University specializing in Canadian History (with an emphasis in Indigenous Studies) and has also studied organizational development at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business. Having lived and worked on three continents Mara came to CARE because of our commitment to women’s and girl’s empowerment.
Acting Vice President, People & Culture
Grant Carioni brings 19 years of HR practitioner and leadership experience to CARE Canada. With both an international and Canadian focus, Grant leads his team to deliver operational, compliance and systems support while evaluating, monitoring and influencing employee engagement and culture. Grant Joined CARE Canada in 2014 from the private sector where he held leadership roles at TD Bank and BlackBerry. Grant brings a wealth of HR practitioner experience from the telecommunications, manufacturing and insurance industries. Grant holds a bachelors degree in Environmental studies, with a minor in Human Resources from the University of Waterloo as well as a Masters in Industrial Relations from Queens University.
Vice President, International Operations and Programs
Kadry Furany has been engaged in international development since 1993, mostly with CARE. Mr. Furany started his career as a Field Officer and moved into higher levels of management, specializing in micro-finance and micro-enterprise development. Mr. Furany served several missions at the senior management level nationally and internationally. He joined CARE Canada overseas in 2003, and moved to headquarters in Ottawa in 2006. Mr Furany now leads the CARE Canada International Operations and Programs department which oversees the infrastructure of CARE’s Canada work around the globe. The department provides support both for CARE Canada’s programs and for the programs that other CARE members operate in the countries that CARE Canada manages in behalf of CARE International.
Vice President, Corporate Services
Chief Financial Officer
Ed Grasmeyer is a CPA with more than 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector with extensive expertise in budgeting, forecasting and financial reporting and strategic planning. He joined CARE in 2015 after serving fifteen years in a senior finance role with the Conference Board of Canada, one of Canada’s most respected independent research organizations. Ed leads the Corporate Services Department which provides support for CARE Canada and the CARE country offices operations and provides strategic support and direction to the organization.
Vice President, Partnerships for Global Change
Jessie Thomson has been working on issues related to international development and humanitarian assistance for more than 15 years. She has a Masters in International Development Studies from the London School of Economics, with a focus on conflict, humanitarian action and forced migration. With a career spanning multiple sectors, including the Canadian public service, the United Nations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and now CARE Canada, Jessie brings a unique perspective on the critical operational and policy questions facing international development and humanitarian action. She is a respected thought-leader and partnership builder, with both programming and operational experience. Jessie joined CARE Canada in 2011, focused on Humanitarian Assistance and Emergency Response. Now, as Vice-President of the Partnerships for Global Change team, Jessie is responsible for ensuring that CARE Canada is at the leading edge of innovation, tracking the evolving nature of INGOs, mobilizing resources and developing future-ready and impactful programs and partnerships to meet the needs of the most vulnerable communities around the world. Jessie is a passionate feminist and gender equality advocate, bringing this lens to all of her work with CARE.