Oxfam removes member of its Canadian and International Boards 

Published: 12th July 2021

In recent days, Oxfam has become aware of an incident of sexual misconduct involving Ricardo Acuña, chair of the Oxfam Canada Board and a member of the Oxfam International Board.Mr. Acuñahad not disclosed this matter to either Oxfam Canada or Oxfam International. Oxfam has removed him as chair of its Canadian Board and dismissed him from its International Board. Both decisions are effective immediately.  

The incident occurred in 2014 after a civil society event thatMr.Acuña attended in Ottawa,not in an official Oxfam capacity.   

Speaking jointly, Oxfam International Executive Director Gabriela Bucher and Oxfam Canada Executive Director Lauren Ravon said:“The failure to disclose this incident to Oxfam was a serious and irretrievable breach of trust.  We expect the highest standards of conduct and transparency from everyone associated with Oxfam, as we strive to become a safer and more inclusive organisation. We expect those holding senior positions particularly to model this.  We would urge anyone who has experienced or witnessed incidents of misconduct in connection with our work to report them through our confidential channels including via the independent reporting siteSpeak Up.”

ADDENDUM 3 February 2023: Oxfam did not investigate the incident from 2014 and therefore is not in a position to comment upon it.  


Notes to editors

RicardoAcuña joined the Oxfam Canada Board in 2013 and had been its Chair since 2016. He joined the Oxfam International Board in 2017, serving as Deputy Chair and later, Interim Chair, then as an ordinary member. He now holds no positions in Oxfam. Karen Sander has been appointed Chair of the Oxfam Canada Board of Directors. The appointment of a replacement to the Oxfam International Board will follow due process for that Board.  

Contact information

Matt Grainger, Oxfam International Head of Media,matt.grainger@oxfam.org; +44-07730680837  

Paula Baker, Oxfam Canada Head of Media,paula.baker@oxfam.org;+1-613-2403047