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.
Director of Development
Shelley joined CIR in August 2019, bringing more than two decades of experience as a professional fundraiser to the CIR team. Since arriving in New Mexico 15 years ago, Shelley has served as Major Gifts Officer and Planned Giving Manager for the Santa Fe Opera, and as Director of Development for both the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Santa Fe Institute. Before moving to Santa Fe, Shelley was as a member of the Institutional Advancement team at the University of Oregon, including four years as Director of Development for the School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Her shift to fundraising and the nonprofit sector followed a successful career in advertising as a copywriter for Nordstrom.
Shelley received her BA in English Literature from the University of Puget Sound, studied abroad in London and Dublin, and pursued advanced studies in Nonprofit Management and Festival and Events Management at the University of Oregon. As a community volunteer in her home village of Chimayó, Shelley has served in several appointed and elected volunteer positions with an emphasis on soil and water conservation, sustainable agriculture, and cultural and environmental preservation. When not happily engaged at CIR, she’s likely to be found pruning trees or picking fruit at her seven-acre orchard and farm—or, planning her next international travel adventure.
Program Officer, Events
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.
Director of Education
Tacarra joined CIR in September 2018 as the Council’s first AmeriCorps volunteer. Tacarra leads our high school and college education programs, while also assisting our community events and the IV program. Before moving to Santa Fe, Tacarra was an intern at World Learning in D.C.
Raised in Los Lunas, New Mexico, Tacarra received a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies from the University of New Mexico. She spent two years studying abroad in the Balkans and completed 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 a summer studying Russian foreign policy in Moscow. Her graduate research focused on education in emergencies, which led Tacarra to become a volunteer English teacher for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Outside of work, Tacarra can be found exploring Santa Fe and tending to plants on her balcony.
Program Officer, International Visitors
Joey joined the Santa Fe Council on International Relations as a consultant in January of 2017. He studied Language & Sustainability through the University of New Mexico and spent several years living, studying, and working abroad. He studied for a year at IPAG Business School in Nice, France, spent a year studying at the Centro de Lenguas Modernas in Granada, Spain, and a semester studying in Puntarenas, Costa Rica through the University Studies Abroad Consortium.
Raised in Santa Fe, Joey has worked for the NM Film Industry, as the Head of Logistics for a local startup, and has produced promotional videos and independent films. Recently he scored an award-winning independent film. He is proficient in French and Spanish, is passionate about international relations, and has a great appreciation for the work of the International Visitor Leadership Program and how this Council connects Santa Fe with the world.
Program Officer, Education
Brooke joined CIR in May of 2021. She received her BA in Geography from Vassar College, where she studied issues of globalization and the environment, and also spent a semester abroad at University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She went on to pursue a Master’s in Food Studies from NYU, where she found a passion for global food issues ranging from India’s Green Revolution to food sovereignty and peasant activism in Latin America. While in graduate school, she fell in love with her job as an educator at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and has spent the past four years working in environmental education at various nonprofit organizations in New York City and Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about creating educational programs that are accessible, equitable, and empowering for all students.
Brooke credits a high school teacher for opening her eyes to the global issues that shaped her path, and she hopes that CIR can similarly inspire international discovery in high school students across New Mexico. When she’s not at CIR, Brooke is a devoted gardener and loves backpacking around the wilderness of New Mexico with her fiancé, Cody, and their beloved dog, Lucky. Having grown up in northern California and rural Virginia, she is now excited to create a community here in Santa Fe.