Shanthi Besso


Shanthi Besso is the Director of Leadership & Community Building Programs in Lifelong Learning at Simon Fraser University, with a portfolio that includes SFU’s Certificates in Dialogue & Civic Engagement, and Social Innovation. She is passionate about working collaboratively with faculties, internal/external partners, and community members to create and offer innovative programs that bridge gaps between community-based and university-based learning, and utilise dialogic approaches to create social impact. A community-oriented, adult education professional with extensive experience in program development and management, Shanthi’s areas of expertise include designing, implementing, and evaluating adult education offerings focused on social impact and community building; and strength-based models for engagement between universities and vulnerable or excluded communities. Shanthi holds a Master of Arts in Communication from SFU with a focus on communication for social change and popular/critical/feminist pedagogies. She is also a trained jazz singer, a certified sea kayak guide who has worked extensively in Haida Gwaii, and the mother of a young son who is an expert eye-roller, which he comes by honestly.