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We are united in the belief that the surest way to achieve lasting peace and prosperity is to build a world in which every young person can pursue their education and realize their full potential as literate, empowered, self-reliant citizens.

Meet Scott Walter, Executive Director

Scott Walter was appointed the Executive Director of CODE in 2007. In November 2020, he was named the Deputy Chair of the Global Book Alliance Secretariat. He brings to CODE a wealth of experience in international education, development and leadership with both government and non-governmental organizations. He came to CODE from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), where, as Principal Advisor Education in Policy Branch, he provided leadership to the Government of Canada on education issues in international development. This included Canada’s involvement at the multilateral level in the global Education for All-Fast Track Initiative and the Canadian Global Campaign for Education. Before joining CIDA, Mr. Walter was the former Director of International Development at the International Reading Association in Washington DC, where he was responsible for programs and advocacy under global literacy development, spearheading such initiatives as the 32-country Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking network of educators and the Pan-African Reading for All conferences.

Scott’s varied background includes work with the Canadian publishing industry to establish the International Publishing Partnership and a two-year period as a classroom teacher in Lesotho under the auspices of the World University Service of Canada. He has been committed to CODE and its education initiatives abroad since the 1980’s. In 1988, he was posted to Tanzania as the Director of CODE’s East Africa office earning distinction for the establishment of programs such as the Children’s Book Project, a CODE partner recognized for its outstanding work with a UNESCO International Literacy Award. He returned to Ottawa in 1991 to take up the position of CODE’s Director of International Development. He is now continuing this commitment as the Executive Director of CODE and the CODE Foundation, working alongside partners and local stakeholders to bring tangible education results to the developing world. Scott holds an undergraduate degree from McMaster, a Masters from The University of Waterloo and a B.Ed. from Queens.

Executive Team

Scott Walter, Executive Director

Joan Summers, Chief Operating Officer

Hila Olyan, Director of Program Development and Innovation

Ivan Zenar, Director of International Programs

Andrea Helfer, Director of Fund Development and Marketing

Marc Molnar, Director of Finance & Administration

CODE Board of Directors

CODE’s Board of Directors represent a diverse group of professionals who represent a cross section of private, public and not-for-profit expertise. We are grateful for their professionalism and contributions of time and talent, which are integral to the achievement of CODE’s mission.

Chair, Bruce Montador, Senior Public Servant, Ret. , Chair, Africa Study Group, Canadian International Council, National Capital Branch

Past Chair Brian Traquair, Advisor to FinTech companies; pro bono consultant to the not-for-profit sector; Chairman, Alveo UK and Deedster SE

Treasurer, Pauline Port, VP Corporate Services and CFO, Canadian Blood Services

Cathy Carlin, Investment Executive, Ret. (Chair, CODE Foundation)

Vincent Greaney, Executive, World Bank, Ret.

Valerie Hussey, Former CEO and Publisher, Kids Can Press

Michael Meneer, President & CEO, Pacific Salmon Foundation

Rachel Welch O’Connor, Practice Lead, Leadership and PerformanceWATSON Advisors Inc.

Nathalie O’Neil, Global Affairs Canada, Ret.

Dr. Asheer Sharman, Physician specializing in Intensive Care and Internal Medicine, Trillium Health Partners

Aliou Sow, Publisher and International Education Consultant

Dr. Rob Tierney, Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Language and Literacy Education

Scott Walter, CODE Executive Director/Ex-Officio

Colin McNairn, Honourary Life Counsel

Network of Subject Matter Experts

The design and delivery of CODE’s literacy programs benefit from the expertise of our network of subject-matter experts representing leading faculties of education at both Canadian and American universities.  It is through engagement of this panel of experts that CODE ensures our programs are rooted in best practice and benefit from high quality research to objectively evaluate program performance.

Dr. Marlene Asselin
Associate Professor
University of British Columbia
Dr. Kathy Ganske
Research Professor, Literacy Education, Department of Teaching and Learning
Vanderbilt Peabody College
Dr. Claudia Mitchell, F.R.S.C.
Director, Institute for Human Development and Well-Being
McGill University
Dr. Alison Preece
Professor Emeritus, Language & Literacy
University of Victoria

Dr. Misty Sailors
Professor, Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Dr. E. Wendy Saul
University of Missouri-St Louis
Dr. Lisa Starr
Assistant Professor
Director, Office of Internships and Student Affairs
McGill University
Jennifer Thompson
PhD Candidate
McGill University

Dr. Charles Temple
Professor of Education and International Literacy Trainer
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Rick Wilks
Annick Press Ltd
Brian O’Donnell
Independent Publishing and Copyright Professional
Dr. James V. Hoffman
Professor, Reading Language and Literacy Studies
University of Texas at Austin

Dr. George Hunt
Associate tutor
University of Edinburgh
Dr. Sally Beach
Professor, Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum
University of Oklahoma

Dr. Richard Maclure
Professor, Faculty of Education
University of Ottawa
Dr. Pamela Winsor
Professor Emerita
University of Lethbridge

CODE Ambassadors

Our Ambassadors are a panel of distinguished Canadians who care about international education and support our long term success in delivering quality literacy programs to children. Under the patronage of the Governor-General, these outstanding citizens help open doors and guide our work.

Peter Mansbridge

“The simple act of being able to read and write is truly transformational when we stop and think about it. It provides us the ability to learn. It enables us to communicate. It empowers us to advance. It elevates us all.”

– Peter Mansbridge, CODE Ambassador and former chief correspondent, CBC News

Rachel Murgel Headshot_cropped

“Youth today have such a passion for activism, and their involvement in children’s literacy has the capacity to change the future. Investing in a child’s ability to read and write empowers them to succeed in all aspects of life. Let’s aspire to inspire children across the world.”

-Rachel Murgel, Miss Ontario World 2022 and graduate of McMaster University’s Arts and Science program

Karen Kain, C.C., LL.D., D.Litt., O.Ont.- Karen Kain is an internationally acclaimed dancer, a former chair of the Canada Council for the Arts, and currently the Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada. She received the Order of Canada in 1976.

Robert Bateman – Robert Bateman is a well-known Canadian philanthropist, naturalist and accomplished artist. Formerly a teacher in Nigeria, Mr. Bateman has a deep connection with Africa and education.

Anna Porter – Anna Porter has been one of Canada’s most respected book publishers for 30 years.

Valerie Hussey C.M. – Valerie Hussey became a Canadian publisher of books for children after having worked in educational publishing in New York. In 1996, through CODE, she worked with Kenyan publishers and participated in the launch of Kitabu House, Kenya Children’s Book Project, in Nairobi. Valerie received the Order of Canada for her work in publishing and philanthropy.

Anton Kuerti C.M. – Anton Kuerti is one of the world’s top classical pianists, an active philanthropist, and Officer of the Order of Canada and the recipient of several honourary doctorates.

The CODE Foundation

Established in 1992, the CODE Foundation is an endowment fund that manages and invests bequests and other planned gifts. The CODE Foundation donates its investment income annually to CODE.

The CODE Foundation Board of Directors:

Chair, Catherine Carlin, Investment Executive, Ret.

Treasurer, Chris Nobes, Managing Director, Kroll

John Bai, Chief Financial Officer, City National Bank

Christopher Bredt, Senior Litigation Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

John Casey, Vice President & Managing Director, BMO Nesbitt Burns

Lorena Gepraegs, Assistant Vice President, IT Security, Risk and Governance at the Healthcare Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP)

Raymond Halley, Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager, Fiera Capital

Brian Traquair, Advisor to FinTech companies; pro bono consultant to the not-for-profit sector; Chairman, Alveo UK and Deedster SE

Priya Radha, Managing Director, CIBC Capital Markets

View the Audited Financial Statements for the CODE Foundation

Our Partners

In an effort to facilitate sustainability of our programs and build local capacity, CODE designs and implements programs in close partnership with locally-based civil society organizations. These partners bring a depth of knowledge of  local issues and long history of accompanying the processes of local development. They are indispensable to the successful implementation of programs. To learn more about CODE’s commitment to working in partnership, please refer to CODE’s Partnership Charter.

CODE presently works with:

The Ghana Book Trust, Ghana

WE-CARE Foundation, Liberia

Associação Progresso, Mozambique

PEN Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone

TALLE, Sierra Leone
(The Association of Language and Literacy Educators)


Thanks to the generosity of a private foundation, your donations are not directed to fundraising costs. As a result, we’re able to allocate 95% of donations toward our programs to promote children’s literacy.

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