Creating space for transformative conversations


Centre for Dialogue staff manage and deliver the core educational and public programming for the Centre for Dialogue and provide support for affiliated initiatives.

Shauna Sylvester

Executive Director, SFU Centre for Dialogue & Co-Founder and Senior Advisor, SFU Public Square

Shauna is a skilled facilitator, an award-winning social entrepreneur and a passionate public speaker on urban issues, democratic development and climate solutions.  Shauna has founded four organizations including Carbon Talks and Renewable Cities, Canada’s World and IMPACS—the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society, a media and democracy organization that operated in Canada and in conflict and post-conflict zones around the world.

Shauna is a Professor of Professional Practice in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, was the co-creator and first Executive Director of the SFU Public Square and serves as the Director of the SFU Centre for Dialogue.

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Aretha Munro

Assistant to the Director

Aretha is a graduate of the University of Victoria in Anthropology and Environmental Sciences. She comes to the Centre with deep experience in administration, project management, communications and marketing. For the last 5 years, she has served as the Administrative Coordinator for the Positive Women’s Network, an educational and support organization serving the needs of women living with HIV and AIDS. Aretha is an accomplished photographer and videographer. She has worked with organizations such as Momentum Magazine, the Cultch, Check Your Head, Vancouver Live! Biennale and South Arm Community Centre.

Brenda Tang

Associate Director

Brenda is a creative problem solver and a collaborative leader. She bridges the divide between innovative programming and complex policies and procedures while leading core operational teams which include finance, administration, human resources, communications and events. Brenda is the go-to resource on all queries, from telling the financial story behind a strategic program, to serving on an HR selection committee or providing the code for the lunch room, her enthusiasm and upbeat persona complements all aspects of SFU's Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

Robin Prest

Program Director, Civic Engage

Robin Prest is the Program Director for Civic Engage, an initiative designed to strengthen the capacity of governments and citizens to work collaboratively on policy decisions. He regularly supports elected officials and senior decision-makers to improve the clarity and impact of public engagement initiatives, and to embed engagement within organizational cultures.

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Sebastian Merz

Program Manager, Civic Engage

Sebastian is part of a team to build out the Centre's Civic Engage Program, an initiative designed to strengthen the capacity of governments and citizens to work collaboratively on policy decisions. His approach to dialogue-based engagement is inspired by his background in peace research, conflict resolution, and the study of democracies.

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Grace Lee

Programs and Events Officer

Grace Lee has a BA in Communication from Simon Fraser University and experience in Digital PR and Corporate Events. She is responsible for project managing special dialogues at the Centre including the Centre’s signature programming Jack P. Blaney Award, Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue and the Simons Visiting Chair.

Linda Bannister

Undergraduate Secretary

Linda Bannister is the Undergraduate Secretary for the Semester in Dialogue and the Centre for Dialogue. From meeting and greeting Semester in Dialogue students, to organizing their reading material, Linda keeps all aspects of the office in good working order and brings a friendliness to all of her work and interactions.

Kelvin Chan

Budget Assistant

Kelvin holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography with a Minor in Communications in Dialogue. He assists in managing the financial processes for the various programs at the centre, and reports to the Manager of the Centre for Dialogue. Kelvin sees dialogue and engagement as an opportunity to be part of a medium that helps us wonder, discover, and be inspired by an individual’s unique narrative.

Gerilee McBride

Design & Communication

Gerilee McBride has a BFA in Visual Arts in the discipline of painting from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design, a Post Baccalaureate in Communication from SFU and a Master of Publishing from SFU. She provides web and design services and is responsible for developing a variety of print and web-based communication and marketing materials for both the SFU Centre for Dialogue and the SFU Semester in Dialogue.

Sandy Wong

Budget Assistant

Sandy holds a B.Comm. (Hons) in Marketing and Human Resources Management and is accredited as a Project Management Professional. She provides supports to the Manager of the SFU Centre for Dialogue and is responsible for processing financial transactions, managing project budgets and preparing financial reports.