Philip Lee, a British national, joined WACC in 1975 and is currently General Secretary and editor of the international journal Media Development. Publications include Requiem: Here’s Another Fine Mass You’ve Gotten Me Into (2001); Many Voices, One Vision: The Right to Communicate in Practice (ed.) (2004); Communicating Peace: Entertaining Angels Unawares (ed.) (2008), and Public Memory, Public Media and the Politics of Justice (co-ed.) (2012). In January 2013 he was conferred Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) by the Academy of Ecumenical Indian Theology and Church Administration in Chennai, India. Staff Liaison for WACC-North America Region, he speaks English, French and Spanish.
Deputy General Secretary
Sara Speicher, originally from the USA, and now a dual UK/USA citizen, serves as Deputy General Secretary of the World Association for Christian Communication. An independent media and communications consultant since 2004, she joined the World Council of Churches in 1997 as a program assistant in the WCC Program to Overcome Violence. In 1999, she became a WCC communication officer and then coordinator of WCC Public Information. At the end of 2003 she moved to the United Kingdom where she set up an independent media and communications consultancy, working with organizations such as the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, World AIDS Campaign, Cordaid and World YWCA.
Joseph Patterson joined WACC in 2015 as Finance Manager with responsibility for accounting, finance and reporting. A Jamaican-Canadian he holds a Bachelor of Accounting Science Degree from the University of Calgary and is a Canadian designated Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), and Certified General Accountant (CGA).
Programme Manager for Gender and Communication and for Monitoring Rural Poverty Reporting
Sarah Macharia joined WACC in April 2007. Of Kenyan origin, she is a feminist political economist with a Ph.D. in Political Science from York University, Toronto, Canada. She has extensive work experience in the field of gender and human development having worked with various African civil society and international development organisations. She is also currently a contributing researcher at the International Secretariat for Human Development housed at the York University. Staff Liaison for the WACC-Africa region, she speaks English and French in addition to two East African languages.
Program Manager for Communication for Social Change
Lorenzo Vargas is a communication for development specialist and researcher on citizens’ media and digital rights. Lorenzo coordinates WACC’s Communication for Social Change programme, which supports community media and citizen journalism initiatives in Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Pacific, and Africa. Lorenzo holds a Hons. BA in Development Studies from York University, an MA in Communication from McGill University, an Advanced Diploma in Internet Governance from DiploFoundation (Switzerland) and has pursued further studies on media research and policy at the University of Brasilia and the University of Oxford. Prior to joining WACC, Lorenzo worked with the Mosaic Institute as a programme manager and strategic communication advisor. Lorenzo speaks English, Spanish, French (adv.), and Portuguese (int.).
Marites (Tess) Sison
Marites (Tess) Sison has more than three decades of experience in journalism. She has worn many hats – editor, copy editor, staff writer, international correspondent, and editorial coordinator – for print and digital publications in Canada, the United States and the Philippines. She has reported on human rights, social justice, immigration, gender equality, politics, foreign affairs and religion. Her work has been published in the Toronto Star, World Press Review, Inter Press Service, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, and the Anglican Journal, among others.
Programmes and Funding Officer
Gisèle Landendries is a graduate in Latin American Studies from the University of Essex, United Kingdom. Born in Belgium, she joined WACC in 1999. Staff Liaison for the WACC-Caribbean Region, she speaks French, English and Spanish.
Administrative Coordinator and Board Liaison
Shari McMaster joined WACC as the Administrative Coordinator with a view to providing assistance and support to the Secretariat and the Board after working for many years as a law clerk. She is a graduate of the Non-Profit Management course at Ryerson University.
Lisa Gu joined WACC in March, 2019 as the Finance and Administrative Assistant. In addition to accounting certificates from both Tianjin and Toronto, Lisa is a graduate of the Tianjin Foreign Studies University with a Bachelor of Arts, Japanese.
Keith Nunn joined WACC on a part time basis to provide strategic IT advice, advance technology projects and to provide day to day support in matters relating to technology. He has provided strategic and security-based technology advice and support to both private companies and non-profits over a lengthy career.
WACC UN Liaison (New York)
Karri Whipple is a media specialist, writer, and intimate justice activist from the United States. Her work focuses on the intersection of trauma, identity, and religion. She is a doctoral candidate at Drew University and serves as a lecturer in Women’s and Gender Studies and Religion. She also consults for several interfaith organizations in New York City.
Web Design and Communications Consultant
Saskia Rowley joined WACC on a part-time basis as a web design and communications consultant. An accredited designer, she manages the graphics and print department for the Anglican Church of Canada and is art director of Anglican Journal, the Anglican Church’s national newspaper. She served as vice-president on the board of the Canadian Church Press and is a member of the Associated Church Press and the Society of News Designers.
Director of Communications (ACT Alliance)
Simon Chambers has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religious Studies from the University of Toronto and over 20 years of work experience in the Anglican Church in Canada. He moved to the position of Head of Communications for ACT Alliance from The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, Canada, where he served as a Communications Coordinator since 2010. From 2011 he served as the Chair of ACT Alliance’s Communications, Media and Brand Advisory Group and has considerable experience of print, web, photography, social and traditional media, fundraising and marketing.
Climate Change Communications Coordinator
Joanna has joined the ACT Alliance as a climate change communications coordinator. Originally from Swaziland, Joanna holds an MA in Environmental Studies, with a focus on climate change governance and development from York University and a BA in Economics- Environmental Studies and Sociology from St. Lawrence University (USA). Prior to joining the ACT Alliance, Joanna has actively engaged in climate change advocacy and policy work over the years in various platforms including the UNFCCC and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Robert Gray joined WACC in 2009 as a volunteer. He is from l’Arche Toronto Community and comes into WACC once a week to assist with various administrative tasks.