South Van Isle Chapter
Regional Coordinator | South Van Isle Chapter
Linda Ryder has been an active volunteer in Victoria for several years. Community involvement was sparked as Linda worked through the nine month Leadership Victoria Program and learned the value of Community Leaders. Through networking events Linda learned of and joined the For The Love Of Africa Society and currently sits on the Board and heads several committees. She travelled with a team in October 2015 to work on the society’s current project in Tanzania. This was a life changing experience and upon her return to Victoria she went on a personal mission to meet all Victoria societies who work in East Africa. This journey lead, through a series of networking events and introductions, to a meeting with BCCIC and their initiative to start a chapter in Victoria. Becoming the Regional Coordinator was a natural next step in the evolution of bring groups and individuals together for the greater good. Linda also volunteers her time with Our Place Society, Elder Friendly Community Network, Ballet Victoria, the Victoria Symphony and is a member of the One Family Group who sponsor a Syrian refugee family.
Inter-Council Network (ICN) National Coordinator
Inter-Council Network (ICN) National Coordinator
Krista has a Masters degree in Global Governance from the Balsillie School of International Affairs with a research focus on environmental governance and water policy in developing countries. Prior to her work with the ICN, she conducted fieldwork in India and laid the foundations for an ambitious Ganges cleanup project by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) involving water and sanitation policy. With her roots in the Rocky Mountains, she is an outdoors enthusiast, avid traveller and musician.
VIDEA | Treasurer
Victoria International Development Education Association (VIDEA)
Lynn Thornton has been the Executive Director of VIDEA for the past 11 years. Before moving to Canada and taking up this role, Lynn worked as the Head of the Campaigns Group Unit at Greenpeace UK, and as a Regional Officer at ActionAid UK. Lynn lives in Victoria, with her partner Kris, two sons Adan (18) and Dylan (16) and over-excitable chocolate lab Casey! Lynn is passionate about education as a human right and is working to achieve this through VIDEA’s education and overseas programmes. She has also served on the board of a unique Victoria-area school for the past 12 years.
Program OfficerDan is a New Zealander with over seven years’ experience in the field of international community development working with NGOs in Latin America and the United States. Raised on a yacht, Dan’s love for international cooperation grew out of his own travels in Europe, the Caribbean, West Africa, and the Pacific. With a Masters in Development Studies, Dan’s focus is participatory methodologies for community engagement and change leadership. While this work is his passion, Dan also loves the outdoors and exploring the wilderness either with a backpack or by sail. Back
Michael Simpson is the Executive Director of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC). Prior to working for BCCIC, Michael was the Executive Director of One Sky – The Canadian Institute for Sustainable Living. His work with One Sky varied from leading major bilateral projects in West Africa including Nigeria and Sierra Leone to working in Latin America on projects ranging from forest conservation to leadership development. Simpson was an active voice for Canadian civil society at international forums ranging from the World Summit on Sustainable Development to UN meetings on renewable energy. With a keen interest in integral theory, Simpson has been active in exploring the nexus between developmental psychology and social change. Prior to his work with civil society groups, Simpson was an award winning documentary producer who ran a video production company for fifteen years specializing in programming on environment, development and human rights. He spent many years working in conflict and post conflict areas of the world with a special focus on Latin America. His most recent focus has been on leadership development within the context of social movements, including both the private sector and civil society. An avid networker, Simpson is a current director of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) and currently manages through BCCIC the Inter-Council Network (ICN) of eight Provincial and Regional Councils.
Senior Policy Analyst
Senior Policy Analyst
Deborah joined BCCIC in 2014. She most recently worked on regional and global climate change adaptation strategies through integrated watershed management planning. During this time, she founded the Mediterranean Cities Climate Change Consortium (MC-4), an international network for building resiliency to climate change among cities in the five Mediterranean-climate regions. Prior to that, she worked on development projects in West and Central Africa, Latin America, and across Small Island Developing States. Deborah holds a Master of Environmental Science & Management with an emphasis on the Political Economy of the Environment and International Climate Change from the Bren School at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Deborah is from California and takes every opportunity to explore the outdoors, travel, read, and eat.
Kareen brings to BCCIC a passion for creative interaction, sustainable development, and community engagement. Prior to her work at BCCIC, Kareen has spent time working with local-global initiatives including Aga Khan Foundation Canada, the Wilderness Committee, and the Rivershed Society of BC. After exploring Canadian culture through the Katimavik program, learning about community leadership and sustainable development while travelling the length of the Fraser River, and studying abroad in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam, Kareen joins BCCIC with a BA in International Studies. Born and raised on the Canadian West Coast, Kareen spends most of her time outdoors paddling, camping, hiking, and cycling.
Prince George Global Neighbourhood Network
Regional Coordinator | Prince George Global Neighbourhood Network
Catharine Kendall is passionately committed to community in general and children in particular. Cat is a foster parent of 3 amazing young children and one awesome biological teen son/big brother. She provides sanctuary for her family of children, animals and WWOOFers (www.wwoof.ca) on her organic farm. Cat is self employed as a Community Development Consultant and provides animal assisted psychotherapy for community members in need with her horses. Cat is very active in her local and provincial community as Vice President of the Eaglet Lake Farmers’ Institute, Executive Director of Connaught Youth Centre Society and as Director of the We Can BC Society, a provincial violence against women prevention campaign initiated in South East Asia. Cat brings a unique “big picture” grassroots perspective to her Global Neighbourhood Network coordinator role in Prince George, BC.
Comox Valley Global Awareness Network
Regional Coordinator | Comox Valley Global Awareness Network
Sara Mullin is CVGAN’s Regional Co-ordinator for her second term. After living in Vancouver and abroad, she has returned to her native Vancouver Island. She chose to settle in the Comox Valley because it fosters a strong community. Sara’s experience covers both International Development and Social Enterprise. Sara has volunteered with The Shanti Uganda Society, served on their Board of Directors and in 2012, was fortunate to travel to Uganda and provide on-site training for women participating in the program. She also lived and worked for Osei- Duro, a Social Enterprise manufacturing hand dyed clothing in Ghana.
Secretary | Individual Member
Colleen is passionate about the importance of enhancing intercultural competence. She believes that by being able to communicate across and among cultures we are positioned to better do good in this world. She has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership, certifications in mediation and negotiation as well as intercultural communication. She is recently retired from North Island College International and continues to be actively involved in volunteer activities which support growth in intercultural understanding. She travels extensively and is currently studying Spanish.
Originally from Guatemala, Miriam Palacios has educated many Vancouverites about issues related to human rights, women’s rights, and food and trade. She is the co-founder of initiatives such as the Vancouver Fair Trade Coffee Network and the We Can End All Violence Against Women campaign in BC. Currently, Miriam is a member of the Women’s Advisory Committee of the City of Vancouver. In 2008, she received the Renate Shearer Human Rights Award.
Miriam has a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies from Simon Fraser University (SFU), and has written a Master’s Thesis on “Gender and development policies and its impact on aboriginal women.”
Darius Burbidge is the Programs and Development Coordinator for PeaceGeeks. In this role, he oversees all fundraising activities including: grant writing, corporate sponsorship, major gifts, crowd funding, events, and annual giving. This fundraising experience, which has focused on technology building and international partnerships, is supplemented by that gained through his volunteer work with the Western Society for Children (WSFC) as their Partnership Coordinator and chairman of the board. He is also a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and sits on their Diversity, Communications, and National Philanthropy Day committees. As a BCCIC board member he is currently chairing the Fundraising Committee which has been tasked with diversifying BCCIC’s sources of funding and better supporting its members.