our leadership team

Bob Francis >

Gayle Turner >

Charles Duff >

Dr. Bernadette Whitelum >

Thomas Hehir >

Ruža Obad >

Kate Shanahan >

Kendra Toby >

Sonja Vandermeer >

Shelley Priebe >

Joanne Menard >

Kristy Thomson >

our leadership team

Bob
Francis

Gayle
Turner

Charles
Duff

Dr. Bernadette
Whitelum

Thomas
Hehir

Ruža
Obad

Kate
Shanahan

Kendra
Toby

Sonja
Vandermeer

Shelley
Priebe

Joanne
Menard

Kristy
Thomson

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

our leadership team

Bob Francis >

Gayle Turner >

Charles Duff >

Dr. Bernadette Whitelum >

Thomas Hehir >

Ruža Obad >

Kate Shanahan >

Kendra Toby >

Sonja Vandermeer >

Shelley Priebe >

Joanne Menard >

Kristy Thomson >

DUFF, CHARLES
Vice President & Managing Director

With more than 30 years of experience implementing international development services for private and public sector clients worldwide, Charles is Vice President of Alinea International (Canada) and Managing Director of Alinea International (UK and Australia). Previously, he led the global international development business of Palladium International Development and the European operating companies of Coffey International Development and Enterplan. An agricultural economist and rural livelihoods specialist, his background also includes managing businesses operating in the fields of geotechnical engineering, environment, commercial advisory and construction project management. Charles is a Fellow of the UK Institute of Consulting and the Royal Geographic Society.

FRANCIS, BOB
President & CEO

Alinea International’s President and CEO, Bob founded the company – previously Agriteam Canada – in 1986. He built the company on a foundation of agriculture consulting, which diversified over more than 35 years to provide services across a wide range of sectors and countries around the world. With graduate level qualifications in agriculture and animal science, Bob specializes in food and agriculture systems. In addition to running the day-to-day operation of Alinea, he owns and operates a cattle ranch in Priddis, Alberta, Canada.

HEHIR, THOMAS
Chief Operating Officer

Thomas is an experienced executive and worked closely with the Founder to establish the company in Asia Pacific, growing it from a micro-enterprise to a medium-sized organisation. His technical expertise spans all aspects of corporate management including overseeing and managing growth, strategic planning and day-to-day functions for business development, human resources, finance, procurement, and policy development. He has worked on a variety of donor funded programs and tenders. Thomas is passionate about corporate ethics, impact investing and market systems development, and holds a postgraduate qualification in social policy.

MENARD, JOANNE
Office Manager, Gatineau

With Alinea International for more than two decades, Joanne is a professional administrator and manages the Gatineau office. She has more than 35 years of experience in international development working with the Government of Canada, NGOs and private sector, including as Coordinator on multiple Alinea projects. Joanne brings this experience to her knowledge in office management, project administration, policies, procedures, recruitment and contracting. She contributes to the development, training and implementation of Alinea processes, guidelines and procedures, as well as provides ongoing support and guidance to colleagues around the world.

OBAD, RUŽA
Chief Financial Officer

Alinea International’s Chief Financial Officer, Ruža is a finance professional with progressively senior experience in accounting, complex analytics, budgeting and forecasting and treasury. A Chartered Professional Accountant, she specializes in treasury, including cash management, banking operations, syndicate management, hedging and risk mitigation. Ruža’s skill set spans financial reporting, system implementation, operating and capital budgeting and forecasting. Previously, she held senior treasury positions with UFA Co-operative Ltd. and Canexus. Her background also includes working as Associate Director of Compensation and Sales Analysis with Bell Canada. 

PRIEBE, SHELLEY
Executive Assistant to the President & CEO / Office Manager, Calgary

With Alinea International for more than three decades, Shelley is Executive Assistant to the President & CEO and manages the Calgary office. She has coordinated the administration of more than 15 donor-funded projects worldwide, totaling more than $100 million CAD in cash flows. Shelley develops orientation materials and administrative policies, guidelines and manuals for each project undertaken by Alinea, and develops and delivers training to Canadian and international staff, partners and consultants to ensure adherence to Government of Canada policies and procedures. As a member of the corporate Management Committee, Shelley contributes to the development and oversight of human resource policies, and develops individual training plans for administrative staff.

THOMSON, KRISTY
Communications Manager

With more than a decade of experience covering politics and engaging in the policy arena, Kristy blends her ability to build narrative with understanding of public policy to share stories about meeting the world’s changing challenges with new ideas. As a journalist, she produced news magazine programs, current affairs panel debates, daily newscasts, budget day coverage and election specials. In public affairs, Kristy developed strategies in the areas of communications, government relations and stakeholder engagement for clients across multiple industries, including health and life sciences, energy and environment, infrastructure and the non-profit sector.

 

TOBY, KENDRA
Vice President, Business Development 

With Alinea International for more than a decade, Kendra is Alinea’s Director of Business Development. She leads the company’s business development portfolio and team in proposal preparation, project design and opportunities across all sectors. With a background in communications, Kendra previously held the position of Senior Communications Specialist with NIVA Inc. where she managed projects, researching, writing and editing for a variety of scientific communication materials. Clients spanned the private sector and government departments and agencies. Her background also includes working as Editor for Canadian Wildlife and Wild Magazines.

TURNER, GAYLE
Vice President

With Alinea for more than 30 years, Gayle is Vice President of Alinea International (Canada) and leads education and governance sector programming for Alinea worldwide. In education, Gayle has recently been engaged in technical education projects in Vietnam and Ethiopia, which involve work with universities and colleges; upgrading undergraduate curricula; and strengthening the provision of technical vocational pedagogy. In governance, Gayle’s recent work involves developing and directing a project in Ukraine following the Maidan Revolution. She is the team leader for the succeeding project, which continues to support reforms of national government departments in Kiev. Gayle’s background also includes work on education sector reform in Jordan, juvenile justice reform in Ukraine, women’s empowerment in Indonesia, and basic human needs in Tibet. Gayle has worked in more than 30 countries and lived in Nigeria, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Indonesia.

VANDERMEER, SONJA
Finance Manager

With Alinea International for more than two decades, Sonja is Alinea’s Finance Manager. She has held positions as an accountant, project financial management specialist and leader of Alinea’s team of Project Financial Controllers in Canada. In addition to expertise in budgeting, reconciliation, audit and full-cycle accounting, Sonja has a Graduate Certificate in Organization Design and Development, which allows her to extend her experience to training and facilitation. As a financial capacity development specialist, she has developed and delivered the training of policy manuals, guidelines and capacity development programs on financial and administrative management in Canada and developing countries. With extensive experience applying contractual terms and conditions, auditing and reconciliation, she has in-depth understanding of contract interpretation and has managed more than 20 donor compliance audits. 

WHITELUM, DR. BERNADETTE
CEO, Alinea International (Asia-Pacific)

With a commitment to building thriving communities and responsive governments spanning more than 25 years, Bernadette is CEO, Alinea International (Asia-Pacific) and founder of the Whitelum Group, which joined the Alinea family in 2020. She works with governments, NGOs and private sector clients to support them to think and act strategically, set goals, and establish pathways for their achievement. Bernadette specializes in supporting organizations and programs to apply adaptive management principles and practices to their work and utilize evidence to inform policy and practice directions. Her background includes working within the Australian community development sector, NGOs, Australian Government aid program and United Nations Development Program. Notable roles include Counsellor for the Aceh Reconstruction Program in Indonesia in the wake of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami; Head of the Poverty Reduction Unit for UNDP overseeing the Papua Development Program and HIV/AIDs portfolio; and Program Director for the Australian Civilian Corps Deployment Support Services.