We are pleased to announce that our board of directors has selected the next President and CEO of Compassion Canada: Allison Alley. She will replace Barry Slauenwhite, who has filled this role for the past 24 years and is retiring in October 2019.

Allison will become the fourth president of Compassion Canada’s child development ministry since it began in 1963. Allison has served at Compassion Canada for five years and is a passionate advocate for children in poverty. She brings to this role a strong vision for the future, a firm foundation of faith, and proven leadership acumen.

“I’ve worked with Allison for a number of years now, and I was struck from the beginning by her passion, vision, maturity and her deep faith. She is an ideal choice to lead Compassion in the current context and well into the future.”
— Barry Slauenwhite

Current President and CEO, Barry Slauenwhite, is delighted by Allison’s appointment. “I’ve worked with Allison for a number of years now, and I was struck from the beginning by her passion, vision, maturity and her deep faith. She is an ideal choice to lead Compassion in the current context and well into the future,” said Slauenwhite. “I couldn’t be happier about entrusting her with what has been my life’s work.”

As the leader of Compassion Canada’s Advocacy efforts, Allison launched a new department and led initiatives to raise awareness of God’s heart for children living in poverty. She spearheaded the creation of three multimedia series that invite Christians to fulfill Jesus’ instruction to care for “the least of these”; one for families: Step Into My Shoes, one for youth groups: True Story, and one for adults and small groups: Eyes to See. Allison also speaks regularly at events, churches and schools across the country. Her work with Compassion has taken her to more than a dozen countries across North and South America, Africa and Asia.

Outside of Compassion, Allison serves on the board of the Canadian Christian Relief and Development Association. She has also been an active member at Southridge Community Church in St. Catharines for the last fifteen years. Allison holds a Master of Arts in Global Leadership with an emphasis in International Development and Urban Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Intercultural Studies, and is currently working toward a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey Business School. She and her husband live in St. Catharines, ON, and have two young daughters.

“I am honoured to serve this ministry, and humbled to join the long line of faithful leaders God has used to steward Compassion for over fifty years,” said Allison. “My desire is to see every Christian ignited with compassion and used by God to advance His mission, and every child afforded the opportunity to live a life free from poverty. I am excited to see how God will continue to use Compassion to transform even more lives; both around the world and here at home.”

Hear Allison’s inspiring journey of moving toward a life of compassion and sacrifice on 100 Huntley Street.

Allison Alley sits with her hand folded and smiles at the camera.

A family of advocates: Allison, her husband, Tommy, and their two children live a life together in service of speaking up for those in most need.

This selection is the result of many prayers and much work on the part of our board of directors to find God’s direction for our next leader—and the board’s decision was unanimous.

Ian Lawson, Chair of Compassion Canada’s Board of Directors, says, “Allison has proven to be an innovative and competent leader who inspires everyone she engages. The process resulting in her appointment as Barry’s successor is a highlight of my chairmanship, and was clearly a shared, Spirit-led experience for the board.”

Dr. Marie Geschwandtner, Chair of our board’s Succession Planning Committee, says, “When I first met Allison, I was struck by her heart: for the Lord and for those living in poverty. She is a bundle of humility, brains, discipline, charisma and passion. She is relational and a gifted communicator who plays full out, and I am very excited for our future!”

Allison’s appointment has also drawn praise from Christian leaders across Canada and the United States.

David Guretzki, Executive Vice President and Resident Theologian at The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, says, “Allison’s passionate advocacy for kids, for biblical justice, for the Church and for the glory of God are evident to anyone who’s met her. Her joy will inevitably spill over into the whole organization, while her wisdom, experience, training and dedication will ensure, in Jesus’ name, the flourishing of Compassion’s mission. What an exciting gift to Compassion, to its supporters and its benefactors!”
Jeff Lockyer, Lead Pastor of Southridge Community Church and Chair of the Board of the Willow Creek Association of Canada, says, “It’s a rare combination to find both a sincere Christ-follower whose faith is the real deal as well as a gifted Kingdom leader whose vision for the future is compelling. I’ve known Allison for over fifteen years, and she is this kind of leader! I’m thrilled for churches like ours to be able partner together with Compassion under her leadership!”
Santiago Jimmy Mellado, President and CEO of Compassion International, says, “It’s clear that God has been shaping Allison’s heart and honing her leadership for many years. I’m confident that she will prayerfully and wisely lead Compassion Canada into the future, building on our organization’s solid history and taking it to new heights of effectiveness and servanthood.”


Allison Alley sits with her hand folded and smiles at the camera.

Allison’s service with Compassion has taken her around the world, but she is also passionate about seeing Christ transform the hearts of Christians across Canada.

We thank you for standing with us in prayer during this time. Allison will take the next several months to move her family to the London, ON, area, as well as transition the team she currently leads. She will spend the following year working closely with Barry to prepare for a successful leadership transition. Barry will continue in his role until his retirement in October 2019.

We are so thankful for the significant role Barry has played in shaping Compassion Canada over the past several decades—a legacy that will continue for a long time. We also look forward with expectation to how God will continue to use this ministry for His glory.

Allison Alley sits with her hand folded and smiles at the camera.

Allison has worked closely with Barry Slauenwhite, current President and CEO of Compassion Canada, and served alongside Compassion International President Emeritus, Wess Stafford.


About Compassion Canada

As one of the world’s leading child development organizations, Compassion partners with the local church in 25 countries to end poverty in the lives of children and their families. Today, nearly two million children are discovering lives full of promise and purpose as they develop in all the different aspects of their lives—their minds, bodies and relationships while discovering God’s love for them in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Written by: Compassion Canada