Our team

Click here to meet the office staff and interns

Volunteers and interns

SJC volunteers

SJC interns hard at work in our office.

Volunteers and interns are the SJC’s most valuable assets, providing the organization with the substantial capacity required for its ambitious goals. Highly motivated and capable, they have an intense desire to make the best of their diverse talents on behalf of the organization.  At the SJC, they have the opportunity to achieve.

In terms of its human resources, the ability and capacity of the SJC is substantial. The people that work here are the best. The material resources required for our programs, on the other hand, are quite small – an office with sufficient hardware and software – so financial resources are used effectively.

Most of our volunteers and interns are, of course, at the beginning of their careers, and many are university students. We want their experience here to be fulfilling and helpful to their future careers, so we encourage their efforts to demonstrate what they can accomplish during their stay with us!

The office has twelve work spaces, where the volunteers and staff work alongside each other on individual projects or in teams. Most volunteers work off-site in the education program, providing workshops and training, or preparing and updating resources. This entails effective task coordination aided by project management software.

The success of the SJC volunteer and intern engagement is widely recognized (see, for example, the chapter “Success Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers” in the 2011 book “Activism that Works”). To ensure we make the most effective use of our volunteer and intern resources as program needs change, we continue to refine the process for applicants to allow a good match between our specific program requirements and the interests and abilities of the applicants.

By the way, you can see some statistics about what the team accomplishes for our education program, “Educonnexion,” here!

Permanent staff:

Derek MacCuish

Derek MacCuish Photo by Shoot to Help

Derek MacCuish, the executive director, has been with the SJC since the early 1990s, editing the Upstream Journal and coordinating our programs on economic policy and international institutional reform. Former adjunct professor at Concordia University (2000-2007) teaching seminars on global governance.
MA in public policy, BA in international development, Associate of Arts in audio visual production.

Philippe Tousignant Photo by Shoot to Help

Philippe Tousignant, the director of our education program, joined us on staff in 2013, after a time as a volunteer.
BA, International Relations and International Law; LLM. Master’s International Law (Chinese Law Specialization)
Co-director/editor of the first Code of International law on International Organizations available in French; Deputy Editor of the Quebec Journal of International Law, a peer reviewed journal.
He received the “Walk the Talk” award from the Centre for Community Organizations, and is now a Youth and Innovation Representative to the Civil Society Committee for International Day of Peace at the UN.

Sofia Laroussi

Sofia Laroussi joined the Educonnexion team in October, as program coordinator.
With a Master’s degree in public policy development project management from Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Sofia has worked primarily on the economic integration of women in the MENA region. In addition, as a political communication consultant, she was able to support several African countries in their communication, particularly in developing content for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP22. Earlier in her career, she served as a consultant to Canada’s Investment Cooperation Program, which aims to support the responsible engagement by the private sector in developing countries.

Interns and volunteers

Lea Levavasseur

Léa Levavasseur is a French student from Sciences Po Lille. She joins us as an intern from September to December 2017 in the advocacy team, studying the impacts on human rights of World Bank investments.  In 2018 Léa will be in Argentina to study at Torcuato Di Tella University, and then she will return to France where she hopes to complete a Master’s degree on Conflict and Development and work in international law. 

Mathilde Messersi

Mathilde Messersi is a soon-to-be graduate in political science at the University of Montreal with a keen interest in human rights and sustainable development issues. Currently an intern in advocacy work with SJC, she will then study at the University of Tel Aviv for one semester. After that, she hopes to undertake graduate studies in human rights or global development. 

Jessica Szarek

Jessica Szarek just completed her double major in linguistics and history at McGill University. She contributes to local radio station CKUT and is looking to pursue a master’s degree in public policy. As a volunteer with the SJC, she writes for Upstream Journal.

Linda Requieg

Linda Reguieg is a student in international cooperation at the University of Montreal. Currently at the end of her academic career, she also holds a bachelor’s degree in occupational psychology. She is an intern with the SJC’s Educonnexion program where she will participate mainly in the strategic support, research and development of social impact tools to reform school programs in Canada and abroad in order to infuse them with education for global citizenship and solidarity.  Linda aspires to engage professionally with global international organizations promoting international cooperation on human rights and children’s rights.

Aitana Juristo Andrade

A volunteer with Upstream Journal, Aitana Juristo Andrade is a second-year student at Marianopolis College in the Liberal Arts Program, planning on studying an undergraduate degree in history in London next year. She has volunteered as a preschool teacher in Querétaro, Mexico, and has done service trips to India and Nicaragua.

Léa Blard

Léa Blard is an intern with the Educonnexion team. Passionate about human rights and education, she has several responsibilities with the organization, including research and development for the curriculum reform program and the sharing of expertise with our Moroccan and Brazilian partners. Léa is in her third year of a Bachelor’s degree in international relations and international law at UQAM; she’ll complete her degree in Berlin at the end of this year.

Katrina St-Amand

“My name is Katrina St-Amand and I’m a graduate student of social work at McGill University, in the International Social Work and Community Development. Currently an intern in advocacy work with SJC, I am passionate about defending human rights and promoting social justice. In the future, I would like to work in an environment that looks at what is happening locally and at the national and international levels. I hope to change the world in my own way!”


Suganya Thangarajah. “I recently graduated with a BA Specialization in Sociology from Concordia University. I’ve been volunteering at the Upstream Journal for a few weeks and it has been a great learning experience. I’ve always been interested  in learning about the pervasive inequalities in our world (social, economic, gender, race etc). I constantly strive to learn more. For me, learning about the structures of our world is imperative to developing compassion for those around us.”