Tostan Canada Team

Tostan Canada was incorporated as a registered charity in 2012 to raise funds to support to Tostan’s transformational community work in Africa. Tostan Canada is run by a small group of volunteer directors. It has no staff and no office. One hundred percent of donations received in Canada go directly to Tostan’s programs in Africa.

We connect fierce women and men from across Canada who give of their time, talent and energy to enable human dignity for all.  


Kelly Hawke Baxter, Chair

Kelly Hawke Baxter has been working in the field of social change and sustainable development for 25 years. She brings two decades of non-profit governance experience to Tostan Canada as well as a passion for international development, human rights and sustainable development. For nearly a decade Kelly was the founding Executive Director of The Natural Step Canada, a non-profit organization specializing in facilitating transformational change toward sustainability in Canadian municipalities, businesses and sectors. She remains a board member of The Natural Step and chairs its Nominations and Governance Committee.

A journalist and editor by training, Kelly’s excellent communications skills make her an engaging speaker, facilitator, and collaborative leader. Kelly has a long history of supporting non-profit organizations committed to transformative social change.  Kelly holds Masters certificate in Social Innovation and Masters degrees in both Development Studies and International Journalism. She is a member of the Distinguished Advisory Council of the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs, and a member of the Global Leadership Expert Panel at the Desautels Faculty of Management. She lives in Montreal with her husband and two sons.


Phone: 514-592-0665


Gail Kaneb

Gail Kaneb is a catalyst for change, using a powerful combination of coaching,  facilitation and retreats with individuals, groups, and organizations throughout North America and Europe.  She specializes in helping organizations work better together, allowing them to access the insight and the energy of employees to reach their goals.  Gail was a managing director of a family business that doubled in size while the industry was shrinking, largely due to their change management and leadership style. She has taken this expertise to companies and non-profits.  She has also worked extensively with individuals on personal development.  Gail has been on the founding board of numerous non-profits, and for six years chaired the board of Tostan, the international organization based in Senegal that has figured out how to use human rights education to create systemic change that radically improves the lives of women and girls in Africa.  She continues to sit on the board of Tostan because she considers it the most effective NGO in the world today. She has guest lectured at the McGill Faculty of Management and won numerous awards, including the Breakthrough Award, Citizen of the Year, and the Diamond Jubilee Award.


Phone: 613-931-9360


Cynthia Baxter, Secretary

Cynthia Baxter has been an active volunteer in the direction and governance of not-for-profit organizations and institutions, local, national and international, over many years.  In the field of education these include: Ashbury College and Ashbury College Foundation, Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific, Forum for Young Canadians, CODE (Canadian Organization for Development through Education, which works primarily in Africa) and the CODE Foundation, and International Baccalaureate  North America and the IB Fund (affiliates of the International Baccalaureate Organization, Geneva).  Other volunteer governance positions have included the Community Foundation of Ottawa and the Friends of the Village of Rockcliffe Park Foundation, of which she was founding chairman.  For 23 years she co-owned and operated a children’s bookstore in Ottawa.  Retired now, she considers herself most fortunate to enjoy the proximity of children and grandchildren and to remain engaged in a couple of NGOs, particularly Tostan Canada.  Cynthia is a member of the Order of Canada.


Phone: 613-749-2322


Cristina Kelly

As a graduate of Queens University with an Honours Bachelors Specialization in Psychology and Sociology, Cristina holds two strong theoretical perspectives that support branding and marketing strategies for a wide variety of sectors.  Cristina has extensive knowledge in how projects are initiated, funded and sourced as well as an understanding of the delicate relationship between business objectives and organizational identity that must be considered in any type of brand strategy.

In her role at Entro Communications in Toronto, Cristina provides strategic direction for a number of clients as well as overseeing all internal branding initiatives at Entro. Cristina’s primary interest is strategy development and project management for corporate marketing and brand planning initiatives. She has also advised clients in carrying out communications strategies to increase their media presentation to further expand their penetration in the not-for-profit and for-profit business sectors.

Cristina has worked with a number of organizations and businesses in the areas of athletics and recreation, information technology, social services, housing, packaging, healthcare, architecture, education, and international human rights.


Phone: 416 888 5451


Gizanne Lafrance-Allaire, Treasurer

Gizanne Lafrance-Allaire is a CPA, CMA and has been contributing member of the business world for over 25 years. She currently oversees all Corporate Accounting functions at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, an environment she cherishes deeply.  She offers a strong passion for continuous improvement and an ability to streamline processes helping organizations such as Tostan Canada, to operate resourcefully and efficiently. She currently resides in Cornwall, Ontario with her husband and 3 children.


Phone: 613-936-4211


Kim Fuller, Special Advisor

Kim spearheads Phil Communications, a company specialized in non-profit strategies and marketing solutions. Known for her solid work ethic, bubbly personality and never-ending optimism, Kim has been active in graphic design and promotion in print, multimedia and the Internet for 20 years. When founding Phil, Kim courageously dared what most people only dream of: she made her life’s work her actual work. Leading a talented group of cause-sensitive design and communication specialists, Phil’s team aims to elevate the level of professionalism in the non-profit sector to improve communities in North America and abroad.

Kim is a CNC Certified Non-profit Consultant and holds a BFA in Design Art from Concordia University, she is also President of the Board of Directors for the Concordia University Alumni Association. Author of articles for Hillborn’s Gift Planners In Canada and AFP Canada, Kim is also a regular speaker and moderator for Imagine Canada events, Concordia University, MARCOM Professional Development, The Association des professionnels en gestion philanthropique (APGP), CAGP, AFP and has given numerous workshops and webinars. Last but not least, Kim is a proud mother of two boys, one dog, two cats, one fish; wife, Guinness enthusiast and world traveller.