Meet the team
We are a team of bold thinkers, passionate about collaborating to play our part in delivering sustainable, transformative change.
Program Director, Chile Program
Alejandra joined BHP in 2006, working in social investment and governance roles contributing implementing and strengthening the company’s creation of value and sustainability. In 2018, she was appointed Program Director of BHP Foundation’s Chile Program, supporting more than 20 collaborative projects related with equity in education, community environmental resilience and citizen participation. Alejandra has a degree in History from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and has completed postgraduate studies on cultural management, Indigenous People’s rights and legislation, community engagement and social investment, certified by the most prominent national and international universities. Alejandra is based in Santiago, Chile.
Alex supports the BHP Foundation in meeting its legal and regulatory obligations, and in assisting our partner organizations to understand the Foundation’s requirements in relation to human rights, safeguarding and anti-bribery and corruption. Alex’s legal practice has always focused on supporting minority perspectives in industry and governance. In her spare time she loves reading and travelling with her young family. Alex is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Senior Advisor, Impact and Learning
Alyna joined the BHP Foundation in 2023 as Senior Advisor, Impact and Learning to help the Foundation achieve impact through sustainable and scalable system change. Her role particularly focuses on capturing and sharing learnings and encouraging new ways of working. Alyna has held several leadership positions within the evaluation profession. She managed the Genesis Analytics’s wide strategy, growth and transformation at her role as a Managing Partner, and led the specialist evaluation practitioners serving a variety of clients from Foundations to international NGOs. Alyna is currently the American Evaluation Association representative to the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE). Alyna is based in Toronto, Canada, and enjoys being active outdoors with her husband, son and Yorkshire terrier.
Anna joined the BHP Foundation in 2022 after more than ten years with BHP, in roles spanning community development, corporate communications and social investment. She has extensive experience in grant making, partnership and program management and a passion for building meaningful relationships, collaboration, and driving social change at the community level. Anna has a Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing and Public Relations from Curtin University. Anna is based in Perth, Australia.
Catalina is a bilingual journalist originally from Colombia, where she worked as an editor in chief for several publishing houses. She was also the editor of UNICEF Colombia’s bulletin to donors. In Australia, Catalina has pursued her passion of providing advice in the communications and marketing field to social enterprises, from startups to the Australia Government. Catalina has an extensive experience in designing, implementing and evaluating communications strategies to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people, Women, Indigenous and underrepresented groups. Catalina joined the BHP Foundation in 2023 to help amplify the Foundation's partners work and impact, across our communications channels. Catalina is based in Melbourne, Australia, from where she also helps migrant women and international students understand their rights in the workplace.
Chief Investment Officer
Claire leads the Foundation’s Programs Team, working across strategy areas to maximise the outcomes and impact of the Foundation’s investments. Claire’s background combines experience in philanthropy and the private sector. Prior to joining the BHP Foundation Claire spent ten years with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, most recently as Chief of Staff to the CEO and previously leading a variety of program areas in child health and nutrition. Previously, Claire was at Ernst and Young where she worked with both the public and private sector in health and consumer products. Claire has a Master of Arts in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and is a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. Claire is a member of the Global Advisory Group for the Centre for Effective Philanthropy. Claire is based in London, United Kingdom.
Dearne joined the BHP Foundation in 2021 after more than ten years with BHP, in various roles with the environment, community and corporate communications teams. With an unbridled passion for collaboration and strong understanding of brand, positioning and research, Dearne provides cross-functional support to our programs and partners. She has a Bachelor of Science, Conservation Biology and Environmental Management from Edith Cowan University. Dearne is energized by social change, is an advocate for gender equity in her local community and volunteers at an international women-lead organization. Dearne is based in Melbourne, Australia.
Program Director, Education Equity Program
Faith oversees the implementation of the Education Equity strategy. Prior to joining the Foundation, Faith helped found and was Chief Strategy Officer for the Education Partnerships Group (EPG), which partners with Ministries of Education to strengthen their education systems through policy reform. Prior to EPG, she worked for the Children's Investment Fund Foundation on school health programs and supported the development of the first Development Impact Bond (DIB) for education. Faith holds a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the London School of Economics and a bachelors' in political science from Queen's University in Canada. Faith is based in London, United Kingdom.
Program Director, Natural Resource Governance Program
Fiona joined the BHP Foundation in 2017 after 12 years with BHP where she held senior roles in Finance, Strategy and Planning. Fiona has an MBA from Melbourne Business School and a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) with First Class Honours. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and past Chair of the Board of ShareGift Australia (now Good2Give), a non-profit organization established to unlock share capital and create an innovative stream of charitable funding. Fiona is based in Queensland, Australia.
Helen joined the BHP Foundation in early 2023 and is an experienced company secretary and governance professional who has worked with a range of corporate and not-for-profit entities. Helen provides best practice governance standards to support the Foundation Board and contributes to a productive working relationship between the Board and management team. Helen, a former lawyer with King, Wood & Mallesons, has held Company Secretary roles at the Vodafone Australia Foundation, Barnardos Australia and Habitat for Humanity Australia. Helen is a long-standing member of the Governance Institute and is passionate about making a difference in the charity landscape, to help improve the lives of others, and to build sustainable long-term organizations. Helen is based in Sydney, Australia.
Chief Executive Officer
Since 2016, James has led the strategic direction of the BHP Foundation’s transformative portfolio of projects. James is an internationally recognised senior leader with over 30 years’ experience in the international development, corporate responsibility and sustainability sectors. James’s passion is to make a leadership contribution towards sustainable development and the eradication of poverty. James’s previous experience includes Director of Public Policy and International Programs at Oxfam, and with the Central Land Council in the Northern Territory, Australia, which represented the interests of the Indigenous landowners of Central Australia. James is a Faculty Member of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Board Member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. James is based in Melbourne, Australia.
In the role of Planner, Kate helps coordinate and support the Leadership Team and the Board, as well as the Foundation Team more broadly. Her role is to ensure information, processes and commitments are efficiently facilitated and continuously reviewed to enable timely and effective decision-making. Kate works across a variety of areas of the Foundation to ensure alignment, while getting to regularly engage with the wonderful Foundation team all over the globe. Kate has worked with BHP since 2009, with her roles spanning Finance, Analysis and Improvement in External Affairs and Governance and Risk. Kate is based in Perth, Australia.
Chief Operating Officer
Kristen joined the BHP Foundation in 2021 and is accountable for optimizing organizational performance while maintaining effective governance and operational systems. Kristen leads a cross-functional team of professionals to enable execution of the Foundation strategy across communications, risk, legal, compliance, human resources, and finance. Before joining the BHP Foundation, Kristen spent over 17 years in a broad range of front line and senior leader roles across Operations, Technology, and Health Safety and Environment. Kristen has a degree in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University, United States. Kristen is based in Houston, United States.
Laura sets the strategic direction for the BHP Foundation's positioning, communications and stakeholder engagement approach and leads its execution to optimize awareness, understanding and credibility of the Foundation. Laura joined the BHP Foundation in 2022 with a broad range of experience across communications disciplines and detailed knowledge of the resources sector having spent more than 13 years of her career in some of the world’s biggest resources companies. Laura holds a double degree in Journalism and Business (Public Relations) with honors from the Queensland University of Technology. Laura is based in Melbourne, Australia.
Program Director, Environmental Resilience Program
Melinda has spent the past six years working with expert organizations to build a portfolio of projects. This program now supports seven Projects that are aiming to change the way conservation at a large scale is achieved, with a big focus on supporting Indigenous peoples and local communities culture and leadership, in locations as diverse as snow-covered boreal forest in Canada, coral reefs, tropical rainforests in the Peruvian Amazon and Australia’s 10 Deserts. Before this, Melinda worked for five years with the BHP team in Environmental Strategy and health, safety and environment leadership roles, and for 16 years with the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority. With a major in Zoology (Bachelor of Science), Melinda also hold a post-graduate diploma in Environmental Impact Assessment and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Melinda is based in Perth, Australia.
Muza’s role at the Foundation involves being an interlocuter providing both broad and deep cross-functional support for the Foundation programs. Her previous roles involved facilitating university and mining industry partnerships and designing, delivering and evaluating resource governance programs for emerging economies. She holds a PhD in Science Communication from the University of Western Australia. She is a past Fellow of the Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge. Although living in Australia, Muza calls Malawi home. She is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion and volunteers for women in mining organizations. Muza is based in Perth, Australia.
Financial Advisor and Treasurer
Natalie supports financial accounting and tax compliance obligations for the BHP Foundation, as well as longer term financial planning and investment analysis. Natalie is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and has 20 years’ experience across various tax, accounting, finance optimization and system implementation roles in the resource sector. Natalie has a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Commercial Law) from Deakin University. In her spare time, Natalie is a keen traveler, a passionate Liverpool Football Club supporter and an amateur yogi. Natalie is based in Houston, United States.
Human Resources Advisor
Rachel is a human resources professional who has extensive experience across many facets of human resources, including Business Partnering, Global Mobility, Talent Management and Organizational Development. Rachel provides human resources support for the BHP Foundation and has been with BHP for over 14 years. She has a passion for working with stakeholders to achieve their people strategy, with a focus on delivering solutions through a seamless experience. She excels in an environment that provides challenging work with exposure to a variety of human resources projects and experiences. Rachel is based in Melbourne, Australia.
Program Director, United States & Canada Programs
Simrat’s career has spanned various capacity building and project management roles in international development and the social sector. Previous to joining the BHP Foundation in 2022, Simrat worked with LIFT Impact Partners, leading organizational and strategic development efforts with social purpose organizations across Canada to help them scale and deepen their impact. Prior to this, Simrat spent 5 years with Plan International Canada, designing and managing an extensive portfolio of development projects across 14 countries in Africa and Asia. Simrat currently works with innovative partners to identify, develop and deliver transformative initiatives under two thematic areas: Water Stewardship and Indigenous Youth across North America. Simrat has her Master of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from McMaster University. Simrat is based in Toronto, Canada where she lives with her husband, son and Westie.
Chief Impact and Evaluation Officer
Veronica is the President of the American Evaluation Association and teaches at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Her professional background ranges more than 20 years and six continents and includes leading global programs, research and evaluation for The Rockefeller and MasterCard Foundations. Veronica has served on various funding and advisory boards including most recently with The World Benchmarking Alliance. She is the recipient of several industry awards and has published in various publications. Veronica holds a Bachelor in Communications and a Masters in Urban Policy from Rutgers University. Veronica is based in New Jersey, United States, with her partner, two children and rescue dog.
Program Director, Australia Country Program
Victoria is an experienced social impact strategist and internationally accredited partnership broker. Her career spans business consulting, international development and social enterprise, which has given her a unique view on how complex systems can be disrupted through shifts in thinking, power and effective multi-stakeholder collaboration and governance. In 2021, Victoria joined the BHP Foundation to lead the Australia Country Program, a diverse portfolio of partnerships focused on building equity and supporting the realization of rights for Indigenous peoples and young people. Victoria holds a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact from Melbourne Business School and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Victoria is based in Melbourne, Australia.