Historically, Surrey has been talked about derisively and condescendingly as a suburb on the margins with questionable urban planning decisions. Visionary SFU honorary doctorate recipient Bob Williams weighs in on why the growth and maturity of Surrey represents a game-changing disruption to how we view the Metro Vancouver region in the future. He will argue that the centre of gravity in the region is already shifting to the south of the Fraser.
Bob Williams is an urban planner and former provincial MLA and cabinet minister. His leadership, inspiration and action over the past 60 years have helped to improve and transform B.C.'s rural and urban communities, and the lives of its citizens.
Williams is president and chair of the Jim Green Foundation. He is an experienced civic leader and is currently on the management committee for 312 Main, Vancouver's Social and Economic Innovation Centre. Formerly, Bob worked as a Vancouver city councillor, and a provincial cabinet minister with Premier Dave Barrett. Bob's past career also included being a long time director of Vancity Credit Union, owning the Railway Club Bar, advising the Four Corners Bank, and establishing Robson Square and the modern Whistler Blackcomb.
Williams is the recipient of a 2017 honorary degree from SFU — Doctor of Laws, honoris causa — conferred by the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Environment.