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Home > About TFO Canada > Our Team

About TFO Canada

Our Team

TFO Canada delivers its trade information, advice and contact services through a team of Canadian-based project professionals and a network of over 40 Associates from around the globe: experts in a wide range of trade-related activities, including sector-specialists for the Canadian import market, trade trainers, and product development and marketing advisors.

TFO Canada’s staff members (listed below) are located at our Ottawa headquarters and in regional offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. To contact a staff member by e-mail, please address it to info@tfocanada.ca and indicate the name of the staff member in the subject line.


Steve Tipman, Executive Director
Ph: (613) 233-3925 ext. 31

Steve Tipman is the Executive Director of TFO Canada and leads the organization in fulfilling its mission of improving lives through international trade.  Leading the successful execution of TFO Canada’s strategic and business plans, Steve is responsible for overall administration, strategic management, and reporting to the Board of Directors. With over 25 years of experience in both the private and non-profit sectors, Steve has spent much of his career working in the areas of international trade and development. He spent eight years working at Livingston International, a trade services company focused on customs brokerage and compliance. He also served as a Vice President with CARE Canada and President and CEO of Volunteer Canada.  He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of International Development Professionals. Steve holds an International Masters in Business Administration degree from the University of Ottawa and is fluently bilingual in both French and English.

Mary Heather White, Program Director - Africa
Ph: (613) 233-3925 ext. 28

Mary Heather is the Program Director responsible for TFO Canada’s programs s in Africa, which includes planning and implementation, donor communications and partnership management.     

Mary Heather brings more than 20 years of management experience in the development sector where she contributed to skills development and sustainable and inclusive livelihoods for women, men and youth. She has worked with numerous leading non-profits and in the higher education sector both in Canada and overseas and created synergies by building multi-stakeholder alliances and being a gender equality champion. Mary Heather has lived in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. She holds an MA in International Development from the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs, Ottawa.

Mohamed Elmi, Director for Finance and Administration
Ph: (613) 233-3925 ext. 25 

Mohamed Elmi joined TFO Canada as Director for Finance and Administration in September 2020. He has oversight responsibility for the financial management of the organization and as a trusted business partner to program teams, supports the organization in fulfilling its mission.

Prior to joining TFO Canada, Mohamed was the Regional Finance Director for Africa region with Relief International, based in Nairobi, Kenya providing direct finance oversight of Africa country offices. Before that, he was with ActionAid Secretariat based in Johannesburg supporting European member countries. Mohamed also worked with Care Canada HQ office in Ottawa for over a decade and held Director of Contract Management unit before moving on to international assignments. Mohamed is a Certified Professional Accountant with a Certified General Accounting designation and holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario.

Zakiullah (Zaki) Munshi, Program Director - Asia
Ph: (613) 233-3925 ext. 21

Zaki Munshi joined TFO Canada in March 2014 as Project Manager for Asia & Middle East.  Since July 2019, Zaki has assumed the responsibility of Program Director-Asia. Working closely with TFO Canada’s roster of associates (trade specialists) and project management staff, he oversees planning, implementation and ongoing communications with donors/partners for TFO Canada’s projects/programs in Asia and Middle East. Zaki also works with TFO Canada’s Executive Director in developing/managing strategic partnerships and new project/program development opportunities with Canadian and international NGOs, think-tanks and business/networking associations, public/private sector donors/funders and other international country-based and multi-lateral development organizations in Asia and Middle East. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of International Development Professionals.

Prior to joining TFO Canada, Zaki worked as a Project Manager in International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank Group managing advisory projects in the areas of Corporate Governance, Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) banking, Financial Infrastructure and Micro-finance. He has lived and worked in a number of countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and the Pacific Islands.  Zaki is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from University of Texas at Austin, USA and an MBA in Finance from Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Marysabel Gonzalez, Program Director, Latin America and the Caribbean / Trade Support Services
Ph: (613) 233-3925 ext. 30

Marysabel Gonzalez has over twenty years of experience working in international trade, she joined TFO Canada in 2008 and has advanced in her career, taking on new responsibilities and challenged within the organization. As Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, she leads the implementation of different programs in the region and as Program Director for Trade Support Services, Marysabel is responsible for developing and leading the execution of TFO Canada’s Canadian market trade information services.

Prior to joining TFO Canada, Marysabel worked as a business development manager in the high-tech sector at Invest Ottawa. She has also worked as a diplomat, in the Economic and Commercial section of the Embassy of Venezuela in Canada, where she became very familiar with TFO Canada and its services. Marysabel holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the Universidad Central de Venezuela and a master’s in international Trade from Carleton University.

Marta Recinos, Project Manager, Latin America and the Caribbean
Ph: (613) 233-3925 ext. 14

Marta Recinos is the Project Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean. In this role, she is responsible for the design, implementation and monitoring of trade-related technical assistance and capacity building projects and activities within this region. Marta is an international trade and development professional with over 12 years of experience in the field. She joined TFO Canada in September 2017 as the Project Manager for Asia and the Middle East. Prior joining TFO Canada, she worked as Trade and Investment Specialist for Chemonics International Inc. in the implementation of the USAID SME Development Program in El Salvador. Before this, she worked for the Ministry of Economy as Competitive Intelligence Analyst and for El Salvador’s Export Promotion Agency as a Market Information Advisor. Marta holds a Master Degree in International Commerce from the University of Kentucky, USA; and a Bachelor Degree in International Relations from Universidad de El Salvador.

Danielle Mulligan, Office Manager
Ph: (613) 233-3925 ext. 23

Danielle Mulligan has been with TFO Canada since 1986! As Office Manager, she is responsible for office affairs and dealing with local suppliers. Danielle maintains TFO Canada’s online database of Canadian importers and developing country exporters and keeps them informed by sending regular e-publications. Danielle also maintains the records for the TFO Canada Associate roster and supports accounting procedures including invoicing and payments, travel claims, and commitment files. Prior to joining TFO Canada, Danielle worked for two Ottawa-based private insurance companies as a Group Claim Processor for medical and dental benefits.

Jeffery-John Becker,
Project Accountant. 
Ph: (613) 233-3925 ext. 29

Jeffery-John Becker joined TFO Canada in March 2017 as the Accounting Administrator, where he is responsible for carrying out the day-to-day Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable duties. Jeffery also assists with financial reporting and financial management of on-going projects and activities.

Prior to joining TFO, Jeffery lived in Australia for two years where he completed a Bachelor of Commerce Degree at Griffith University; he also holds a college diploma in Business Administration Accounting from St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario. Jeffery's accounting career started at Minto Group in the field of property management  and more recently worked with 20VIC Management. Jeffery plans to  pursue his full CPA accounting designation.

Theo Ward, Systems Specialist, Trade Information Services

Theo Ward is the Systems Specialist for TFO Canada’s Trade Information Services. He is responsible for developing online trade information services, providing support and maintenance to the team, and guiding future online service delivery. Theo has worked with TFO Canada as a project consultant since 2003. Under TFO Canada's Program for Building African Capacity for Trade (PACT), Theo supported training and trade information development for program partners in Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa. He has also worked on export marketing and trade information projects in Bangladesh, the Caribbean, and in Geneva for the United Nations International Trade Centre. More recently, Theo has been involved in a three-year project in Indonesia sponsored by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD). He was responsible for defining and implementing I.T.-based export marketing and training activities for a range of economic development clients in Jakarta and in Sulawesi province at all levels of government. Theo studied Theatre and Literature at George Brown College and Computer Science at Brock University, and also co-authored the introductory textbook, "The Global Business Environment" for the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT).

Mahmud Hossain
Project Manager, Asia
Ph: (613) 233-3925 ext.27 

Mahmud Hossain brings over 15 years of progressive professional experience in international development. He has strong project management, research and analytical skills. Mahmud expertise’s are in international development, particularly in the areas of Market system development, Value chain, and livelihood development, climate resilience, private sector engagement.  He has project management experience in Asia: Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Tibetan Autonomous Region (China); East Africa: Tanzania; and Canada. Mahmud has managed large complex programs funded by USAID, DANIDA, SIDA, Irish-AID, SDC, UKAID/DFID and Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Mahmud has expertise in project design, implementation, value chain development, market-based project portfolio, M4P in East Africa Region and Asia.  He has an MBA from East West University in Bangladesh along with professional certifications as Chartered Professional Marketer (CPM) from Asia Pacific Marketing Federation and member of Chartered Institute of Marketing Management Ontario (CIMMO). He has also trained from CBI (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands-2008 & 2009) on “Export Promotion from Developing Countries to EU” in Rotterdam. And Making Market Works for the Poor (M4P) from Glasgow by Spring Field Center in 2005. Mahmud is fluent in English, Bengali, Hindi and Swahili.  

Mahmud is coordinating projects for Jordan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Thailand and Cambodia as a Project Manager of TFO Canada since January 2020. 

Olivier Musafiri
Project Manager, Africa
Ph: (613) 233-3925 ext.20

Olivier Musafiri is the Project Manager for Africa. In his role, he is responsible for the design, implementation, monitoring and reporting for trade-related activities in the region.
Olivier has solid project management experience from different countries in Africa and Canada. This includes working as a Program Manager for UN Women’s regional program where he coordinated bilateral projects between UN Women and the governments of Rwanda, Burundi and DRC on cross border trade, agriculture and value chain initiatives. Recently he has worked as Gender Advisor with Vets without Borders Canada for its programme in Kenya and in South Sudan with the Canadian Midwives Association as a Field Operations Officer.
Olivier has outstanding experience in gender mainstreaming and capacity building, results based monitoring and evaluation with a number of different donors including Global Affairs, USAID, UN agencies, Norway and NEPAD.
Olivier speaks over 5 languages including French and English and holds different degrees for business including “Disruptive Strategy” Executive Education from Harvard Business School.
In his spare time, you will find Olivier having fun with his three young kids playing music and outdoor activities.

Yannick Cabassu
Project Manager, Africa
Ph: (613) 233-3925 ext.24

Yannick Cabassu is a Project Manager for Haiti and seven African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Lesotho, Senegal, Mozambique, and Madagascar.  His responsibilities include developing links with trade support institutions and small and medium enterprise representative within these countries.  He is responsible of the design, implementation, monitoring and reporting of trade-related technical assistance and capacity building projects and activities within these countries.  He holds a BSc in natural resource conservation and a MSc in Geography. 
Yannick is a passionate international development professional with more than ten years’ experience. Prior to working for TFO Canada, he worked in the non-profits and in higher education sector both in Canada and abroad.  Yannick has lived in France, Honduras, Chile, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, and Senegal, where he managed a field support service office for the Canadian government.  Yannick speaks French, English, Spanish and Portuguese.  Yannick believes that trade is one the best tools to provide aid for developing countries.

Fatima Zahra Idrissi
Project Officer-Asia

Ph: (613) 233-3925 ext 15

Fatima Zahra is the Project Officer for Asia. She supports the Director and Program Manager in delivering workshops and seminars to partners and stakeholders in Asia. She is responsible for supporting program logistics, data collection, conducting research and overall program support.
Prior to joining TFO Canada, Fatima-Zahra lived and worked in Morocco. She brings with her 12 years of experience (data analysis, portfolio risk management and credit risk management in financial sector) which includes 02+ years experience in project management. Fatima-Zahra holds a State Engineering Diploma (Masters) from National Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics in Morocco. In addition to English, she is fluent in Arabic and French. Fatima-Zahra plans to immerse herself in this new position and to acquire the skills and knowledge to successfully get her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in order to make the team as efficient as possible.

Hery Ramiarison 
Project Officer-Africa

Ph: (613) 233-3925 ext 22

Hery is the Project Officer for Africa. Hery supports the Director and Program Managers in delivering workshops and seminars to partners and stakeholders in Africa. He is responsible for supporting program logistics, data collection, conducting research and overall program support.
Prior to joining TFO-Canada, Hery pursued a Doctoral degree in Commerce at Meiji University in Tokyo, Japan. He is passionate about regional integration, international trade, and economic development. Since obtaining his B.A in Economics from the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar, Hery has been active in the field of international development through his work at government institutions including the Economic Development Board of Madagascar and the Secrétariat Technique Permanent pour la Coordination des Aides.

Rose-Lynne Karlee Amoah
Project Officer- Trade Support Services

Ph:(613) 233-3925 ext 26

Rose-Lynne is the Project Officer for the Trade Support Services. In her role, Rose-Lynne is responsible for updating TFO Canada website, creating communications strategies and materials, conducting research on the Canadian market and updating trade related information and services on all internal and external communications channels.
Prior to joining TFO Canada, Rose-Lynne worked as a Research and Communications specialist turning data into digestible materials for Canadian NGO’s in Asia for 3 and a half years. Rose-Lynne holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations from Brock University as well as a Post Graduate Certificate from Humber College in International Development and Project Management.





Susan Baka, Regional Representative, Ontario
Ph: 416-907-7495

Susan Baka is TFO Canada’s Ontario representative based in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).  Susan is an international trade specialist and her role is to establish and maintain relations with local Canadian importers and trade representatives of TFO Canada’s client countries in order to promote market linkages between developing country exporters and the Canadian marketplace. Susan is the President of Bay Communications and Marketing Inc. and has directed the launch of multiple business publications, services and Web sites in the fields of trade, women in business, diversity, law, human resources, workplace health and safety, tourism, and public policy. She is considered one of Canada’s top authorities on entrepreneurship and small business and trade, especially for women. She writes and speaks regularly on these topics in Canada and internationally. She also conducts market research and distributor and partner searches for companies looking to do business in Canada.  An active leader in trade organizations and initiatives locally, nationally, and internationally, Susan was one of the founders of the first Canadian chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade in Toronto (www.owit-toronto.ca), serves as VP International, and was part of its International Board (www.owit.org) for many years. She has spearheaded countless initiatives and trade missions to Australia, Mexico and the U.S and proactively mentored the start-up of chapters in Mexico and Australia.  Susan was appointed a member of the Canadian Minister of International Trade’s Small & Medium Enterprise Advisory Board, 2008-2011, and regularly represents women exporters in government consultations. She has been honoured with several international awards, including from WBE Canada and The International Alliance of Women (TIAW).


Marcus Ewert-Johns, Regional Representative, British Columbia

Marcus Ewert-Johns is TFO Canada’s Representative in British Columbia. Marcus role is to build relationships between importers and local trade representatives to support the growth of developing economies through trade. Marcus is active in the business community through his role as the President the BC Alliance for Manufacturing, an organization that has unified several associations into one coalition with the goals of strengthening the competitiveness of the province’s manufacturing sector. Marcus is also a seasoned international trade professional having held number of important senior level positions in government, the private and not-for profit sectors. Most recently he was the Vice-President International with Stork Craft Manufacturing Ltd and a Divisional Vice-President with Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.  Marcus previously served as an Assistant Deputy Minister and Executive Director in the BC government’s economic development and international trade ministries building the province’s trade promotion, investment attraction and international marketing programs. Before moving to British Columbia Marcus was a diplomat with Global Affairs Canada where he lived in places like Ottawa, Seoul and Sydney. Marcus is a graduate of the University of Manitoba and an avid traveller having visited, worked or lived in more than 100 countries. 


Rose Marie DeSousa
Regional Representative
Montreal, Quebec

Rose Marie is a sales and marketing specialist. She has an established international experience and has numerous contacts with SMEs where she held the positions of sales and marketing director in various activity sectors, including manufacturing and distribution.
Since 2008, she has worked as a consultant and trainer in sales, marketing and international trade with professionals and managers in SMEs and the education sector.
She has been involved in strategic market research in over thirty countries and through her studies and numerous contacts, she has directly contributed to the opening of several foreign markets and product launch.
She is renowned for her expertise in developing and maintaining strategic partnerships that will be of great benefit to TFO's Canada’s work in Quebec
Rose Marie holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from l’Université du Québec à Montréal, along with certificates in International Trade and Marketing from the same institution. 
She is fluently bilingual in French and English and speaks Spanish and Portuguese.


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