Team Members Profile

Jerry Mundi | CVGAN

Jerry lives in the traditional territory of the K’ómoks people and has been a part of this community for over 20 years. He is a graduate of the Social Services program at North Island College and is currently continuing to learn with the University of Victoria. He continues to sit on the several committees at the college including the Board of Governors, Education Council, and Curriculum Committee. He also has a passion for working with youth. When he is not working with Comox Valley Global Awareness Network, he spends much of his time coaching and facilitating events for youth in sports. He has a passion for working with youth and hopes to continue to join the great energy he sees in the community with the great initiatives presenting themselves for youth to engage in social justice issues that affect their future and the sustainability of our lands and communities.

Penny Lyons

Penny Lyons has been the Executive Director of Seva Canada since 2006. Seva Canada is an INGO working to restore sight and prevent blindness in 14 countries worldwide with a particular focus and expertise in research and in strategies to achieve gender equity in the treatment of blindness. She has extensive fundraising, public speaking, monitoring and evaluation, finance, management, and program development experience and has conducted program evaluations for major granting organizations. Currently, she is focused on the development of a network of Community Eye Centres in Africa funded by investors and donors and accessible to Africa’s rural poor. Prior to Seva, Penny worked as a Management Consultant in Taipei and Vancouver and owned and operated an offshore management company in Bermuda. She has a Master’s of Business Administration Degree from the University of Alberta.

Ariel Mishkin

Ariel is a media estimator at Barlow Media, an advertising agency that works with NGOs, unions, and other political organizations. Her work provides unique insight into public relations and marketing campaigns that the civil society of Canada currently is tackling. Previously, Ariel has worked in Mongolia and India with local NGOs to develop marketing and communication plans as well as has held a position on the board of directors for the University of Victoria's Student Society.

Sara Farid

Inter-Council Network National Coordinator

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Inter-Council Network National Coordinator

Sara Farid was born in Alexandria, Egypt and moved to Canada with her family in 1995. She has a BA in History, a Certificate in Middle Eastern and African Studies and a Masters in International Affairs, with a specialization in conflict management and resolution. Sara has worked as an Analyst for the Government of Canada's Departments of National Defense and Foreign Affairs, in Ottawa, for several years, as well as an Early Warning Analyst for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Rome. She has also worked on developing the methodology for a Humanitarian Early Warning System as part of a WFP-led UN Interagency program. Prior to working with the ICN, Sara worked for almost 7 years for Development and Peace - Caritas Canada, facilitating and leading workshops on global social justice issues to all age groups. She has also worked for local non-profit organizations in Bolivia and Cuba, and has spent time with local partners in the Philippines, Madagascar, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso. She loves reading, walking, dancing and good company. [button size="medium" link="/staff/" style="simple"]Back[/button]

Barbarah Nicoll

Chapter Coordinator

Barbarah began her association with BCCIC as a member of its first networking groups initiated across the province before taking on the role of coordinator for the West Kootenay Global Awareness Network in 2016.

Working in the not for profit sector with an entrepreneurial and creative impulse, Barbarah is an mentor and educator of high school and graduate learners, and a mentor for and initiator of innovative businesses and community projects. She has started schools, developed curriculum, initiated peace and social justice projects, hosted youth exchanges and led international service learning and exchanges. Barbarah’s formal education includes a Master of Integrated Arts, Waldorf High School Teacher certification, BA General Studies, Expressive Arts certification, Youth Development diploma from Grant MacEwan College, and The Art of Facilitation Training with Caroline Estes of the Alpha Institute.

Shaheen Nanji

SFU International

Treasurer

Shaheen is Acting Executive Director, SFU International at SFU and has extensive experience in international development work in the areas of education, diaspora, public health and environment policy, as well as in community and public engagement.  She has managed development projects in several countries in Africa and Asia. She holds an MA in International Studies with a focus on the role of diaspora in international development. Shaheen is committed to intercultural understanding and diversity issues, fluent in English, competent in French and Kiswahili, and understands Gujerati. Shaheen is the Chair of the Board for Burnaby Family Life and is a mentor for professional newcomers to Canada through MOSAIC.
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Lynn Thornton

Treasurer

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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.

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Dan Harris

Program Officer

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Program Officer

Dan 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. [button size="medium" link="/staff/" style="simple"]Back[/button]

Michael Simpson

Executive Director

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Executive Director

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.

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Deborah Glaser

Senior Policy Analyst

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  3. Deborah Glaser

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.

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Kareen Wong

Communications Officer

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Communications Officer

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.

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Darren Schemmer

Co-Chair

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Co-Chair

Darren Schemmer served in many executive positions in the federal public service. He has extensive international experience successfully planning strategies, managing multi-million dollar budgets and motivating diverse workforces to achieve results in complex environments. Now based in Vancouver, Mr. Schemmer provides executive-level management consulting services through Executive Insight Consulting. He joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1989 as a Development Officer with the Andes Program of the Canadian International Development Agency. He served abroad in Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Washington, D.C., U.S.A; Cairo, Egypt; and most recently, in Accra, Ghana where he was High Commissioner of Canada to Ghana and Ambassador to Togo. At headquarters he served in executive positions as Senior Departmental Assistant to the Minister for International Cooperation; Director General of Policy, Planning and Management for Americas Branch; Director-General for Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic; and, most recently, as Assistant Deputy Minister for Partnerships.  Overseas, Mr. Schemmer has volunteered with Canada World Youth in Haiti and spent two-years as a volunteer teacher in Malawi through the World University Service of Canada (WUSC). In Canada he has volunteered with the 2012 Government of Canada Charitable Workplace Campaign, the Immigrant Host Program, Doors Open Ottawa, the Forum for Young Canadians and the Environmental Advisory Committee of the City of Ottawa.  He is currently a volunteer board member of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation, CESO and Korle Bu Neuroscience Foundation. Multilingual, Mr. Schemmer holds a Baccalauréat en éducation from the Faculté Saint-Jean of the University of Alberta (1982), a Certificate in Organization Development from Georgetown University (1999) and a Master of Business Administration from Royal Roads University (2002).

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