Sandy has been our ED since June of 2016. Originally from Canada, he has a Master’s degree in International Relations and from 2002-2016 worked in the international development sector. With a specific focus on the intersections between health research and health policy, Sandy has lived and worked in Sénégal, Zambia, and Kenya and spent significant time working on projects in Tanzania and South Africa. He has helped build several African organizations focused on national or regional health policy development; has developed methodologies and approaches designed to connect health research and health policy; and has shot documentaries around the world, including an investigation into Big Tobacco practices in five African countries.
Over 2008-2016, he was an independent consultant for the World Health Organization, national and provincial governments, research funders, nonprofit organizations, and research universities. Previous to this (2002-2008) he served as a program officer at the International Development Research Centre, developing and maintaining a $2 million grant portfolio across sub-Saharan Africa. He is a parent to two young children, a partner to his wife Michelle (whom he met in Cape Town), a world musician, skier, and hiker.
Program Officer, Events
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Susan Jay joined the Santa Fe Council on International Relations team in 2008, serving as Office Manager, while also coordinating the promotion and presentation of CIR’s many educational programs. She has coordinated membership activities and offers support to the Board of Directors and the IVLP as needed.
Susan’s background is in education, publishing, and the arts. Before joining the CIR team, Susan worked with the New Mexico Rural Revitalization Initiative, traveling around the state of New Mexico to help facilitate focus groups with at-risk rural school districts and accompanying rural superintendents on a tour of South Australia’s community schools.
Susan has served as Administrative Director for Hands On Community Art, Golden Hummingbird, Inc., and the Terma Company where she also contributed her design, teaching and editorial skills. As an artist and expressive arts facilitator, she has participated in many Santa Fe arts programs including Girls Inc., Artworks, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Art and Leadership for Girls. Since 1990, Susan has exhibited her work in a variety of Southwest galleries.
Before moving to Santa Fe, Susan lived in Northern California where she served as Financial Manager of Crown Point Press, a fine art publisher. She received her BA in Fine Arts with a specialization in Graphic Design and French from UCLA; and continued studies in Art History and Expressive Arts at UC Berkeley and JFK University in Orinda, CA.
Program Officer, International Visitors
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Brent joined CIR as a program officer in December 2015. He acts as an in-house liaison to many of our international visitors, manages both our Youth Council and Business Council, actively contributes to our educational initiatives, leads IVLP program coordination, and attends to many development issues. Prior to becoming a full-time staff member, he participated in CIR’s international visitor programs as an intern since 2014, coordinating professional appointments and accompanying delegates on more than 20 programs.
Brent received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Grinnell College in 2014. A native of Santa Fe, he enjoys sharing his love of the mountains and historical sites with international visitors, leading hikes around the Anasazi ruins at Bandelier National Monument and through the historic city center of Santa Fe. Brent has a background in domestic policy-making, with previous experience in the office of US Senator Tom Udall, research work at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), and with the New Mexico Tourism Department. Outside of CIR, Brent can be found on the ski slope, on his mountain bike, or exploring Santa Fe’s innumerable hiking trails.
Program Officer, Education
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Tacarra joined CIR in September 2018 as the Council’s first AmeriCorps volunteer. At CIR, Tacarra supports our high school education portfolio, while also organizing our community events, and assisting with the IV program. Prior to arriving in Santa Fe, Tacarra was an IVLP intern at World Learning in Washington, D.C. where she provided program coordination to multiple IVLP teams.
Raised in Los Lunas, New Mexico, Tacarra received a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies from the University of New Mexico. She spent three semesters studying abroad in the Balkans and additionally completed two internships at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw and U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo. Tacarra earned a Master of Arts degree in global studies from Missouri State University and spent her last summer studying Russian foreign policy in Moscow. Her graduate research focused on the provision of education in post-conflict environments, which led Tacarra to become a volunteer teacher at a summer camp for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Outside of work, Tacarra enjoys cooking, exploring Santa Fe, and tending to plants on her balcony.