Nanase Tonda is Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta, a local non-profit organization with a mission to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold in the Wood Buffalo region. As part of Girls Inc. Network of 82 affiliates providing over 140,000 girls across the U.S. and Canada with life-changing experiences and solutions to the challenges that girls face, Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta is one and the only affiliate in Western Canada together with four other affiliates in Ontario.
Nanase is a humble, dynamic and thoughtful leader who is committed to ‘makes things happen’. Building on her life-long aspiration – and struggles – since she was five years-old to advocate for girls’ and women’s rights, opportunities and voices, Nanase has worked tirelessly to transform Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta to sustain and deepen its lasting impact from the moment she joined the organization in January 2019. Under Nanase’s leadership, the organization has grown by almost double in its revenue within a year with greater visibility and strengthened community partnerships.
As a strong believer in the power of stories, Nanase is often found in listening to girls, staff, board, community partners, general public and what is going on around the world. Admiring what Ann Dort-MacLean, the founder has established, Nanase continues to learn from Ann and crystalizes the organization’s strategic vision.
Nanase brings unique perspectives to Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta from both local and global perspectives. Having previously lived in Fort McMurray, Nanase is familiar with the community and its unique challenges surrounding girls in the North. Her years of professional experience in the non-for-profit sector globally, including Malawi and Sudan, offers valuable insight into the multifaceted ways in which girls experience personal-systemic violence, inequality and injustice. This is particularly relevant to the organization based in Fort McMurray, which is reported to be one of the most diverse cities in Canada.
As a woman of colour with such dynamic background, Nanase is delegated to enable many more girls to exercise their agencies, make their own decisions, have control over their decisions and become game changers of tomorrow. She holds a MSc in Social Policy and Development from London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA (Honours) in International Development and Women’s and Gender Studies from University of Toronto.