Ian Bird OLY

CFAustralia Update
July 26th 2023

Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundations Australia

Chair, Global Fund for Community Foundations

Chelsea, Quebec (present)

Melbourne, Victoria (late 2023)


Ian is a seasoned executive in the community foundation sector and innovator in the field of collective action and network leadership, largely exercised during his tenure as CEO at Community Foundations of Canada and Chair of the Global Fund for Community Foundations. He is a former sport advocate and Olympian in hockey, having represented Canada at the Summer Olympics in Sydney (2000) and Seoul (1988). Ian’s civic engagements currently include contributions as a member of the Wasan Network, co-founder of the Chelsea Commons, past chair of the Child and Nature Alliance and as a director of the Community Forward Fund. A Vancouver native and student at the University of British Columbia, he and his partner, Kristin, raised three children in the Gatineau Hills and will be relocating to Melbourne, Victoria.

Most recently, Ian has been advising impact focused companies, foundations and initiatives, such as the Foundation for Black Communities and Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund, where he worked alongside the founders during their formative phase and successful capitalization efforts.

In the decade prior, Ian led Community Foundations of Canada and fostered an approach of shared leadership amongst Canada’s movement of community foundations. This took shape by aligning diverse stakeholders, growing the capacity and resources at CFC itself, and instilling an ethos of reciprocity and partnership.

At the invitation of the Governor General and as approved by the CFC Board, Ian also led the incubation of the Rideau Hall Foundation taking this new Canadian institution through a lean start up strategy and developing the governance and operational capabilities of the foundation itself.

Prior to Ian’s work in the community philanthropy field, Ian led the Sport Matters Group, a platform for  Canadian sport leaders to exercise their collective leadership. This saw the development of a robust innovation, advocacy and policy coalition at the federal level. Collectively, the SMG shaped the first Canadian Sport Policy and Legislation, new federal budget commitments for sport, and system level changes repositioning good sport as a tool for development, inclusion, reconciliation and equality. Not surprisingly, Ian’s Olympic hockey experience and years with Canada’s national team led to opportunities off the pitch for athlete advocacy with AthletesCAN and Motivate Canada, a Fellowship hosted by the True Sport Foundation, and years of grassroots community sport involvement and club development. Commendation in Service to the Governor General in 2015, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013, and the Canadian Sport Awards Athlete Leader of the Year in 2001 reflect his commitment to service and community.

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