Strategy & Policy, School of Communication

August 30, 2018

Chris Dagg Award Winner 2018: Dr. Bob Anderson


The Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology is proud to announce that Communication professor Dr. Bob Anderson has been recently named the winner of SFU’s 2018 Chris Dagg Award for International Impact. Named after Chris Dagg, who - for 30 years - contributed to shaping and advancing SFU's commitment to international development, this award seeks to recognize and celebrate the achievements of a member of SFU’s faculty or staff who has made a significant contribution to SFU’s Internationalization.

Anderson said that he felt “honoured to be nominated for this award and chosen by [his] colleagues,” especially considering fellow Communication professors Zhao Yuezhi and Peter Anderson were past recipients and that Anderson “knew Chris Dagg and what a fine person he was.”

Anderson has been a professor at SFU’s School of Communication since 1977. His early training as an anthropologist informs how he approaches his research. Anderson brings his expertise in historical analysis to his research and teaching, which focuses on international negotiation and dialogue, and conflict analysis. Anderson is equally proud of his work as a supervisor, overseeing many excellent graduate students. “Students have taught me what I know. They also challenged me to look around corners and turn some corners. I hope I have reciprocated.”

Anderson mentioned that the School of Communication provided a place for him to try new things, some of which might last longer than his retirement: “I did not always conform to the expected role, but my colleagues still accepted my eccentricities and encouraged me in my international work” .

Over the course of his career, Anderson is dedicated to the university’s international engagement. He was the first director of the Dialogue Institute in the Centre for Dialogue (2000-2004) and had the privilege of drawing together, with others, an international network called the Dialogue Associates. As part of a team, Anderson was responsible for initiating the foreign policy dialogues and the Afghanistan dialogues during the 2000s. He helped found the “Devs-Group” at SFU in 2001, a cross-campus network of people interested in development and sustainability. Since 1999, Anderson has been building a network of young environmentalists in Myanmar, and encouraging the formation of a graduate environmental studies program at the University of Yangon. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of British Columbia, McGill University, University of Cambridge, University of Delhi, Unesco Paris, Australia National University, and the University of Washington.   

“I like that it is an award for international impact, but in communication we all study impact and therefore we know there are at least two kinds. One is the kind of impact you desire, which sometimes takes years to see clearly. The other is impact you couldn’t foresee. I’m hoping I will see some of the impact at SFU which I desired.”