Fellow at the Simon Fraser University Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and the Director of Canada's World
Shauna Sylvester is a Fellow at the Simon Fraser University Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and the Director of Canada's World - a national citizens' dialogue on Canadian international policy. Prior to developing Canada's World, Shauna co-founded and served as the first Executive Director of IMPACS - the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society, a charitable organization devoted to strengthening democracy by increasing the voice and profile of civil society and advancing media freedom internationally. During her tenure as Executive Director, IMPACS grew from its humble base in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside to an international organization with programmes in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Cambodia, Haiti, and Guyana. In addition to working in the voluntary sector, Shauna has served on dozens of boards and committees at the local, national and international level. In 2002 she was appointed to serve as B.C.'s representative to the Voluntary Sector Forum where she led a successful national campaign to modernize the Canada Revenue Agency's regulations on charitable activity. In 2003, she was elected to the Board of Directors of VanCity Credit Union and in the same year, she was also appointed to the board of the VanCity Capital Corporation In 1999 Shauna Co-Chaired the 4th Civicus World Assembly in Vancouver, a bi-annual meeting of over 1500 foundations and non-profit organizations from around the globe. In 1998, she was appointed to the board of the B.C. Assessment Authority, a provinicial crown corporation. She has also served as a board member of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, the Community Development Institute, the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development, the Hollyhock Leadership Institute and the B.C. Social Economy Roundtable. Prior to founding IMPACS in 1997, Shauna worked for fifteen years with a wide range of non-profit organizations, businesses, and educational institutions in Canada and abroad including CUSO, the International Development Education Resources Association, International Briefing Associates and Canada World Youth. She organized the Canadian preparatory meeting for the UN Conference on Women in Beijing and served on the Canadian delegation to the Prepcom IV of the Rio Summit on environment and development. Shauna has written and edited several publications related to social and environmental issues and has provided policy advice to governments and foundations on subjects as varied as forestry, human rights, media, peacebuilding and AIDS. Shauna holds a Masters in Management from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University. In 2005, she was honoured with an Outstanding Alumni Award from SFU for her community service work. In 2003, Shauna was also recognized as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 in the Globe and Mail after receiving a similar award in 2000 by Business in Vancouver Magazine. Shauna lives in Vancouver with her husband Ross Gentleman, her 12 year-old daughter Rowan, and her 18 year-old step-son Neil.