Thank you to executive directors Jane and Marti for five years of leadership

May 25, 2021

After nearly five years as our executive leadership team, Jane Rabinowicz and Martin Settle are making a change.

Martin Settle and Jane Rabinowicz

An important transition is happening at SeedChange: after nearly five years as our executive leadership team, Jane Rabinowicz and Martin Settle are making a change. During their tenure as executive directors, Jane and Marti have steered significant transformation and growth for our organization. SeedChange is on very solid footing heading into this transition.

Together, Marti and Jane helped SeedChange’s Board of Directors articulate a renewed vision and mission that brought to the forefront our commitment to social justice. They increased strategic clarity and helped us articulate our roles in a rapidly changing world. Together with staff, they helped maintain our longstanding partnership with Global Affairs Canada, while also significantly diversifying our sources of funding. Jane and Marti will be remembered as the leaders who made the courageous decision to find a new name for our organization, one that honours our history, reflects the work we do today, and will help SeedChange mobilize a wider public.

Jane Rabinowicz with seed farmer and author Dan Jason at Salt Spring Seeds, in B.C. (Kath Clark/SeedChange)

Jane first joined SeedChange (then USC Canada) in 2011 to develop and launch our first domestic field program, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. Jane led the initiative as its director for five years, bringing together a national network of partners to support Canadian ecological farmers and seed producers.

In her time with SeedChange, Jane has been instrumental in increasing our profile with Canadian philanthropic foundations, broadening the pool of funds available for the agroecological farming sector and for SeedChange. Jane also stewarded the creation of Farmers for Climate Solutions, a major national initiative led by farmers advocating for climate action in Canadian agriculture policy.

Last but not least, Jane has provided strong leadership for SeedChange’s anti-racism and anti-oppression work, demonstrating deep commitment and supporting important organization-wide investments to develop our knowledge and shift our policies and practices.

In late June 2021, Jane will leave SeedChange to join the McConnell Foundation as their new chief program officer.

Martin Settle joined SeedChange (then USC Canada) first as treasurer of our Board of Directors in 2009, then as director of finance and human resources in 2013. After becoming executive director in 2016, Marti supported the international programs team to better articulate the connection between agricultural practices, environmental sustainability and social equity. He helped renew funding with Global Affairs Canada for current programs, and shape the strategy for a new program that will focus on addressing gender-based violence for women farmers in East Africa, starting in 2021.

Martin Settle volunteering with other SeedChange staff at Against the Grain Farm in Mountain, Ont. (Kath Clark/SeedChange)

Marti also provided leadership to the international development community on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse in his role as co-chair of the CCIC (now Cooperation Canada) steering committee, and represented agricultural issues on the Green Budget Coalition.

Lastly, Marti oversaw the modernization of SeedChange’s internal systems, and the start of targeted impact investments to grow funds from the SeedChange Foundation. Since March 2021, Marti has continued to offer more focused leadership as SeedChange’s director of finance and operations.

Through their deep commitment, enthusiasm, strategic clarity, and careful stewardship, Jane and Marti inspired, guided and mentored SeedChange through a period of significant change. They helped shape an organization that is stronger than ever, and ready for its next chapter.

Thank you Jane and Marti for your five years of deep dedication, care and leadership.

SeedChange is recruiting an executive director. Learn more.