staff and faculty

Celebrating the Staff, Fellows and Associates on the BIV BC 500 List

November 08, 2023

We’re beyond thrilled to congratulate the Dialogue Fellows, Associates and staff who have been featured among the 2023 Business in Vancouver BC500. These are individuals who have gone above and beyond to give back to community and business in British Columbia. 

A huge congratulations to Aftab Erfan, Ginger Gosnell-Myers, Merran Smith, Karen Joseph and Kory Wilson. 

Aftab Erfan, Executive Director for the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Aftab Erfan (she/her) is a scholar-practitioner currently serving as the Executive Director of the Wosk Centre for Dialogue and an Associate Member of the faculty at the School of Public Policy at SFU. She was previously Chief Equity Officer for the City of Vancouver, and Director of Dialogue and Conflict Engagement for the University of British Columbia. Her work is centred on design and implementation of organizational structures and practices that lift up the voices of the margins, and create the conditions for every person to flourish. She brings a pragmatic, empathic, and rigorous approach to every project.

Originally from Iran, Aftab is a first-generation Settler. She moved to Canada as a teenager with her family and settled in the Vancouver area, on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) lands. Her formal education is in environmental sciences, fine arts, and urban planning. Aftab grew up within the youth environmental movement, where she learned that activism is an effective antidote to despair, and where she experienced the gifts of working in community. She holds a PhD in Community and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia, where she subsequently taught for over a decade. She has worked as a consultant on five continents. She is cautiously optimistic about the future of humanity.

Reason for Selection as per the BIV BC 500 2023 Edition

“Erfan was appointed the first Chief Equity Officer in City of Vancouver history. Her legacy there includes a program on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion based on the city’s groundbreaking equity framework.”

Ginger Gosnell-Myers, Dialogue Fellow

Ginger Gosnell-Myers is of Nisga’a and Kwakwak'awakw heritage and was appointed the first Indigenous Fellow at the Centre for Dialogue. Ginger has been passionate about advancing Indigenous rights and knowledge, and breaking down barriers between Indigenous peoples and Canadians throughout her career. Her fellowship focuses on Decolonization and Urban Indigenous Policy and Planning, and builds upon the years of experience she has in the field. Myers is also the first Indigenous board chair of Greenpeace Canada and a fellow with the Environics Institute.   

Reason for Selection as per the BIV BC 500 2023 Edition:

“Gosnell-Myers is co-designing a mentorship program to engage Indigenous Peoples in the fields of urbanism as a program director with the Black + Indigenous Design Collective. She is the 2023 recipient of the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Reconciliation in Action.”

Merran Smith, Dialogue Fellow

Merran Smith is a Dialogue Fellow at the, and the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Clean Energy Canada. For a major part of her career, Merran worked to unite industry, government and civil society organizations to solve pressing social and ecological challenges. The work she did in 2018 as the co-chair of Natural Resources Canada’s Generation Energy Council helped coalesce collaborative ideas into recommendations that will shape Canada’s energy future.  

Reason for Selection as per the BIV BC 500 2023 Edition:

“Smith is a provincially and nationally recognized advocate who has been championing the importance of Canada’s clean energy transition since before it was a daily news item. Her advocacy honours the dual imperatives of fighting climate change and transitioning to a lower-carbon economy - thinking that was included in Canada’s draft energy strategy.”’

Karen Joseph, Dialogue Associate

Karen is a proud member of the Kwakwaka’wakw people and brings more than 25 years of experience inspiring positive change and collaboration. As the co-founder, CEO and ambassador of Reconciliation Canada, Karen has been able to uphold her father’s dream to advocate for and bring justice to Residential School survivors. Since 2013, she has championed hundreds of gatherings with a diversity of leaders to advance individual, organizational and societal Reconcili[action]. 

Reason for Selection as per the BIV BC 500 2023 Edition:

“At the helm of Reconciliation Canada, Joseph has championed hundreds of gatherings to advance individual, organizational and societal reconciliation.”

Kory Wilson, Dialogue Associate

Kory Wilson, BSc., LL.B, is Musgamagw Tsawataineuk and Laich-Kwil-Tach, both of which are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation. She is the Executive Director of Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Possessing a deep commitment to education, and 20 years of experience in post-secondary education, community development and in the legal profession,; Kory leads innovative and creative solutions to move Reconciliation into Reconcili[action]. Kory firmly believes that accessibility to knowledge leads to an informed community who can do better. 

Reason for Selection as per the BIV BC 500 2023 Edition:

“Wilson is one of a handful of Indigenous women to hold prominent board positions in B.C. She currently serves as the national Indigenous education chair for CICan, and holds a number of positions through which she works to advance dialogue, discussion and reconciliation.”  

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to these vibrant individuals for their remarkable legacies and look forward to witnessing the futures they lead us towards as the compassionate leaders we know them to be.