A familiar face with more than 30 years of experience in the development sector has been selected as the new Executive Director of Coady Institute. Eileen Alma was appointed to the position for a five-year term beginning immediately.

For the past 16 months, Eileen has been serving as interim Executive Director while a committee led by St. Francis Xavier University Academic Vice-President and Provost Dr. Amanda Cockshutt conducted the search process. Representatives of the university’s Board of Governors, faculty, Coady staff members, and Coady partners served on the committee.

“I am confident Eileen will continue to use all her skills to provide the leadership Coady Institute needs in bringing change leaders from Nova Scotia, Canada and internationally together to learn and share about community-led development.”

Dr. Amanda Cockshutt

Academic Vice-President and Provost, St. Francis Xavier University

Eileen learned of the appointment while working alongside partners in the Rural Women Cultivating Change project conducting a workshop at Seedsavers Network in Gilgil, Kenya. Coady Institute is a learning partner to the $14.8 million project which is overseen by SeedChange (Ottawa).

“I am honoured to be leading an organization with nearly 100 years of history in support of communities and leaders locally and globally,” Eileen says. 

Together our dynamic, experienced team of educators and practitioners are building on the work of trailblazers that have come before us. We are committed to supporting citizen-led, community driven social change, addressing the challenges of today and building a future which ensures peace, equity, justice, and wellbeing for all.

Eileen Alma

Executive Director, Coady Institute

Previously, Eileen was Director of Coady’s International Centre for Women’s Leadership for nine years where she oversaw programming on women’s leadership and gender equality both nationally and internationally. She also guided the expansion of Coady’s programming for Indigenous women leaders and communities, leading to the growth of the team and development of the Circle of Abundance.  Prior to joining Coady Institute, Eileen worked for twenty years for the International Development Research Centre, a Canadian Crown Corporation based in Canada with offices around the world.

Eileen has successfully developed and managed major partnerships with a range of organizations in Canada and globally and overseen the Institute’s work on several significant key projects funded by Global Affairs Canada, other federal government departments, and a range of foundations and private funders.  

She holds a Master’s Degree in Conflict Analysis and Management (ethno-political) from Royal Roads University, and a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from Royal Roads University. Eileen is currently the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for Cooperation Canada, a national organization supporting a network more than 100 civil society organizations across Canada working in the international development and humanitarian sectors. Locally, she is Board Chair for the Friends of the Antigonish Library (FoAL).