2020 Candidates For Election
Chair of the IAVE Board of Directors
Please note that you have two options to vote:
1. by completing the online ballot below; or,
2. by completing the Word document ballot that was attached to the email you received and sending it back to us via email.
Each member receives one vote. If you are both an individual member and representative of an organizational member, you may vote once in each role but on separate ballots.
The deadline for voting is 21:00 GMT, on Thursday, September 17, 2020.
Please use the time zone converter here to calculate your local time for the deadline.
The Candidates for the Chair of the IAVE Board of Directors
The candidates for the Chair of the IAVE Board of Directors are Brij Bali from Canada and Ruth Lewin from South Africa. Below are the campaign, biographical and video statements from the candidates. The candidates were asked to limit each written statement to 450 words. The candidates are presented in alphabetical order.
Read more about the candidates by opening the tabs below. The e-ballot can be found and submitted at the bottom of this page.
Brij Bali (Canada)
Third Campaign Statement
Dear IAVE members,
Volunteering (and encouraging others to volunteer) through local, regional, national and international organizations has been and continues to be an integral part of my daily life and my passion. This has been true throughout my 30+ years in senior leadership roles as College Registrar, Director of Student Services, VP of Advancement (CSR), CEO of three social enterprises, leadership in a national volunteer program and 10+ years working in board governance and advisory services to non-profits.
I have brought foresight and imagination into my leadership roles and created partnerships with corporate and government sectors in supporting socially inclusive strategic volunteering programs impacting thousands of volunteers globally.
If elected as your Board Chair/World President, I pledge to:
- work with the Board to establish IAVE as a sustainable global entity, set strategic direction, develop a stable funding base and maintain good governance,
- further strengthen trust and reciprocity among corporate and volunteer leadership entities and scale opportunities for regional and global participation,
- focus attention on inclusivity, support and respect for vulnerable groups including seniors, refugees, orphans and persons with disabilities, as both recipients of volunteer services and as volunteers themselves,
- continue the great strides IAVE has made to minimize societal inequalities through advancing diversity and the creation of a cadre of highly effective volunteer leaders, and
- collaborate with global volunteer organizations to unite behind the UN 2030 agenda across the Global South and North.
I wish IAVE and all its members a happy 50th anniversary!
Brij Bali, MBA
Second Campaign Statement
Brij has built numerous strategic relationships with government & corporate organizations, NGO’s, universities and schools helping them to innovate their CSR and fundraising strategies and guided them in forming sustainable corporate and university/school volunteering clubs which have a great impact. His strategic role in leading the national Takatof (community) and Sanid (crisis-management) volunteering programs into highly innovative funded model entities has resulted in these programs covering all facets of volunteering and contributing to a wider international audience.
A proud global citizen, based in Ottawa, Canada, he is the happy father of an adult son and daughter resident in Houston, USA and Vancouver, Canada respectively. During his early years living in Tanzania, he embodied the volunteering spirit that drives his passion to help the underprivileged and mentor youth.
Brij leads International Talent Hub, a non-profit enterprise, which equips global youth with employability and entrepreneurship skills to contribute to global well-being. As the Vice Chairperson of the Canadian Business Council Abu Dhabi Board, he steers strategy development and business services to generate new sources of funding.
Brij understands the importance of the need for a strong funding base for IAVE. Fully informed of the challenges inherent in resource mobilization during a time of global crisis, he is committed to working with all strategic stakeholders to develop the funding frameworks to govern the rapidly emerging new paradigms. He is highly motivated to support the development of joint strategic volunteering initiatives at a global level which provide demonstrable local results and impact.
First Campaign Statement
“Volunteering is a fundamental building block of civil society. It brings to life the noblest aspirations of human-kind – the pursuit of peace, freedom, opportunity, safety, and justice for all people.”1 Being an IAVE member for over 10 years and attending several IAVE convening’s, I am thrilled in working towards a future that upholds human dignity, and a flourishing humanity that enhances volunteering worldwide through reliable, strong and effective volunteer leadership organizations. As a proud transformational leader, I have personally witnessed the importance of bringing together diverse groups of leaders to encourage discussion and learnings for advanced technology, renewable resources, resilient economic systems, socially just practices, and smart policies pertaining to the volunteering sector.
I have been recognized for a servant leadership approach in driving organizational change, and expertise in building global partnerships within the community and philanthropic leaders. As a successful figure who has provided strong leadership through the implementation of best practices and creating a culture that is supportive of equity, diversity and inclusion, it is my passion to help leaders of volunteering to stand in solidarity with one another – sharing experiences, challenges, innovations; collaborating around issues and efforts of common interest and supporting one another.
My volunteer experience dates back to 1971 and my 30+ years of diverse experience leading organizational growth, global strategy, social impacts, employability and driving key fundraising operations has resulted in strong affiliations with key stakeholders from the United Nations Volunteers organization, Red Crescent, Canada World Youth, numerous Foundations and corporate partners globally. I am well attuned to the skill requirements involving diplomacy, foresight, and sound judgment and have deep tactical insights into creating a culture that is supportive of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
My vision for IAVE under my Board Governance includes:
- Establishing Regional Centres of Excellence in Volunteering dedicated to national and regional talent development
- Further scaling of the IAVE national leadership structures for volunteering and the GCVC initiatives and enable local and regional networks to thrive
- Partnering with the United Nations Volunteers and other global volunteering authorities to supercharge ideas to solutions for volunteering in the Decade of Action as a transformative resource for the SDGs
- Mobilizing IAVE’s network to empower millions of volunteers into local and regional forces to do good within their economies at the local and regional levels
- Being an advocate for funding to support and uphold post-COVID volunteer stabilization and support resilient volunteers
- Continuing its Thought Leadership in the volunteering sector through provision of insights on an evolving future Finally, I will bring a fresh approach to IAVE where the need to innovate and evolve in a post COVID-19 world will be all the more demanding.
1 IAVE Universal Declaration on Volunteering 2001
Brij Bali, a Canadian national of Indian heritage, was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania and has lived in the United Arab Emirates for the past 15 years; has a true understanding of what it means to be a global citizen. In addition to English as his first language, he is fluent in Swahili, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu languages. He holds an MBA degree from IMD Switzerland and is currently pursuing a DBA degree from the University of Bath, UK. His passion is to help others delivering programs for the good of others and building key-partnerships through establishing a dynamic network to advance the promise to deliver on key-asks being made by volunteering leadership organizations all over the world.
With 30+ years of diverse international work experience across three continents and active with IAVE for over 10 years, 10+ years in a national youth Foundation and 15+ years in higher education, he leads International Talent Hub, a youth-centered, talent development non-profit organization as the President & CEO and is an active mentor and leadership coach to youth and executives. His experiences include senior engagements with the Emirates Foundation & Higher Colleges of Technology (UAE), Canadian Information Technology College (Canada) and the University of Dar- es-Salaam (Tanzania).
Alongside his 10+ years’ experience in board governance, and during the past 3 years as Vice Chair of a national non-profit membership business council, he has led innovative strategy and fundraising development and believes in empowering others. He has extensive grassroots experience in volunteering with participation in diverse local and national groups, corporate sectors, and international volunteering. His joint volunteer engagements have included partnerships with numerous global foundations, volunteer leadership organizations and key decision makers.
He spearheaded the scaling of Takatof (the national volunteer program of the United Arab Emirates) over a period of five years and has contributed to numerous volunteering innovations including a national online volunteer platform and volunteer talent development programs. Coupled with his advanced knowledge of strategy, volunteering, social impact, and driving key fundraising operations, he has held senior positions in academia, social enterprises and national committees.
Brij has directed the successful submission of the bids to host the largest IAVE 26th World Volunteer Conference in 2021 and the 20,000+ volunteer plan that contributed to winning the hosting rights for the 2018 Special Olympics MENA Region and the World Special Olympics (2019), all in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Brij is recognized for his servant leadership approach in driving organizational change, and expertise in building global partnerships within community and philanthropic leaders. He provides transformational leadership through best practices and focuses on creating a culture that is supportive of equity, diversity and inclusion, and helps leaders of volunteering to stand in solidarity with one another.
Ruth Lewin (South Africa)
Third Campaign Statement
Organisational Affiliation and Position:
Head: Corporate Sustainability, Discovery, South Africa
Member of IAVE Nominating Committee (Recused from participation on the committee in this election)
IAVE has an expressed vision of providing transformative leadership. I consider transformation a very important concept because it implies dealing with social challenges at its roots.
In order to do this, the communities we serve need to be at the forefront of tackling the challenges. And so it is, that I believe that IAVE’s networks and resources can be effectively leveraged to enable this. I am very passionate about community ownership and will bring my experience to the table to realise this.
It is imperative to strengthen communities to ensure that they have an equal and leading partnership in the development relationship. Through these practices, as an organisation, we will be making significant strides in addressing the systemic issues which impede transformation.
I am convinced that in partnership with the Board, Management Team, strategic partners and volunteers, we are well positioned to be a leader in the process of addressing the root causes hindering community ownership.
I believe that my experience, skillset and passion embrace the IAVE philosophy of being transformational and I would be privileged to work alongside you and serve as the IAVE World President. I am excited at the prospect of potentially leading the next phase of IAVE’s work.
Second Campaign Statement
Head, Corporate Sustainability, Discovery, South Africa
Member of IAVE Nominating Committee (Recused from participation on the committee in this election)
Member of IAVE Global Corporate Volunteer Council
I would like to highlight the following factors which I feel are central to my election as IAVE World President:
- I have vast experience in development over the last 40 years – this ranged from working with grassroots organisations, non-governmental organisations, corporates and governments. A large part of this was capacitating communities to take ownership of their challenges and for them to find appropriate solutions.
- I am skilled at leveraging resources to enhance the work done in communities and to forge existing and new partnerships in order to bring maximum impact to a given challenge.
- As the World President, I would harness the skills and expertise amongst Board members, to support and implement IAVE’s mandate.
- It is important to note that if I am appointed, I would be the first African and the first from the Global South to be appointed since 1988.
- I believe that my appointment as IAVE World President will be a significant gain for the Global South, of which Africa is a key component. The overwhelming majority of the poor are in the Global South and Africa in particular. The development challenges, economic growth and the eradication of inequalities within and between nations also affects the Global South quite profoundly. It is in this context that my election as World President is crucial.
I trust that members will seriously consider these factors when making their mark on the ballot.
My name is Ruth Lewin, I am a South African. I am currently employed as the Head of Corporate Sustainability at Discovery Limited.
The experience of the global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the opportunity to mobilize our volunteer forces globally and provide leadership and cohesion to ensure maximum impact in communities where need is greatest.
Whilst the United Nations SDGs have been our lodestar in guiding much of our volunteer responses, COVID-19 provides us with an opportunity to refocus our strategies to meet the SDG goals and targets. These targets are relevant, now more than ever. IAVE has an important role to play in realizing these goals alongside that of governments, NGOs and civil society.
I believe that IAVE has a strong 50-year-old base with the potential to be a catalyst for mobilizing around a common global challenge. This pandemic provides IAVE with an opportunity to catapult itself into a more dynamic and agile organization, able to meet the changing global social and economic challenges.
Furthermore, I envisage possibilities where IAVE could potentially be an organization that facilitates unifying all sectors that historically have worked in a fragmented way. In terms of the IAVE goals going forward, this new focus will allow us to scale IAVE’s work through our exceptional convening power.
The United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the goals and targets thereof, highlight that in order to transform our world, collaborative partnerships are essential. Based on this, my vision for IAVE is to place the SDGs at the centre of interventions. I believe this vision could be achieved through three key strategies:
- A clearly defined mandate
Deepening our understanding of the unique nature of global challenges and defining clearly what our focus areas will be over a defined period. Some of these challenges could be environmental sustainability, access to healthcare and education, food insecurity, sustainable livelihoods, corruption, conflict and migration.
- Forging strong strategic partnerships and Building Global Solidarity
This involves partnering with government, volunteer organisations, the private sector and civil society in order to fulfil the mandate.
My vision is to bring about greater coordination and collaboration with key strategic partners with the distinct intention to grow IAVE’s platform, especially in regions where we don’t have a strong presence.
- Community ownership of the solutions
Ensuring community ownership of solutions to the challenges they face. Thus, ensuring that IAVE partners with volunteer organisations rooted in communities or where these do not exist, to ensure that such organisations share our desire for community ownership.
I believe that my years of experience in community development, government and the private sector will bring value to the IAVE vision of creating transformative impact.
I have worked in the non-government, government and corporate sectors for 40 years. Over the span of my career, I have held positions in community organizations, worked for the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa and the International Marketing Council of South Africa in Washington DC.
Some of my proudest contributions has been in anti-apartheid work during the 1980s building civic organisations and supporting work amongst youth and women. I was privileged to be responsible for the administration of the African National Congress delegation at the Groote Schuur Talks about Talks in 1990. I was also appointed Western Cape head of administration in the first democratic elections in 1994 and Western and Northern Cape regional manager for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1996.
I joined Discovery Limited in 2004 and my first task was to establish an independent social investment vehicle, the Discovery Fund, which has a clear mandate of investing in the delivery of primary healthcare services.
In October 2004, I launched the Employee Volunteer Programme within Discovery with the intention of linking volunteerism to beneficiary organisations of the Discovery Fund. Not only is volunteerism positively impacting communities, it is also embedded in our company culture. Employee Volunteerism within Discovery is integrated into the Employee Social Value Proposition and is recognised as such.
In 2006, I was tasked with the responsibility of establishing and running a second investment vehicle, the Discovery Foundation, with the objective of investing in training medical specialists within the public health sector. Both mandates were to meet very specific health needs within South Africa.
Towards the end of 2007 I joined my husband in Washington DC where he was the South African government representative to the International Monetary Fund. I returned to Discovery in 2010 and am currently serving as Head of Corporate Sustainability at Discovery. As a company that has a shared value model, our approach to corporate social investment (CSI) is integrated into our overall business model.
I have led the team that implemented a multi-stakeholder initiative, with volunteerism as a central component. The aim was to implement a sustainable development approach to addressing multiple challenges within one single community, utilising appropriate volunteer skills.
During my time at Discovery, I have presented our CSI philosophy and programme on a range of national and international platforms and specifically at the IAVE World Volunteer Conference in Mexico City in 2016 and at the International AIDS conference in Amsterdam in 2018.
I currently serve and have served on several Boards, namely:
- Discovery Fund (Current)
- Mother and Child Academic Hospital (Current)
- Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development (Past)
- Sports Science Institute as alternate member representing Discovery (Past)
- Grassroots community newspaper (Past)
World President E-Ballot
IAVE election procedures require all voters to identify themselves so that they can be checked against the list of current members eligible to vote. Please provide your unique Passcode, which was emailed to you, to begin voting online. You may also choose to email back the word document ballot, which was also provided in the same email. If you choose to submit a word document ballot, please be sure to complete all the self-identification fields in English. Failure to do so may result in your ballot not being counted.
Please note that we do not track who votes for which candidate and this portion of the ballot is removed after membership verification and before ballots are counted.