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City Conversations Program Committee

Michael Alexander

Director, City Conversations

Michael is an urbanist and public policy wonk who brought the idea for City Conversations from San Francisco, where he is co-Chair of the Advisory Council for San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association. SPUR is a non-profit, member-based organization promoting good government and good planning. SPUR hosts over 150 public events a year, including two to three lunchtime forums a week.

In San Francisco, Michael worked on removing the waterfront Embarcadero Freeway, creating two new mixed-use neighbourhoods south of Market St., and rebuilding the southern approach highway to the Golden Gate Bridge as a landscaped parkway. He was a member of the federal advisory commission for two national parks.

Andy Yan

Director, The City Program at SFU

Born and raised in Vancouver, Andy Yan has extensively worked in the non-profit and private urban planning sectors with projects in the metropolitan regions of Vancouver, San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles and New Orleans. He specializes in the fields of urban regeneration, applied demographics, Geographic Information Systems, neighborhood development, public outreach, social media and quantitative research.

Andy holds a Master of Urban Planning from the University of California – Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours distinctions in Geography and Political Science from Simon Fraser University. Andy is a registered professional planner with the Canadian Institute of Planners and a Certified Geographic Information Systems Professional.

With academic service, Andy is also an adjunct professor in Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University and in Planning at the University of British Columbia School of Regional and Community Planning.

Laurie Anderson

Executive Director, SFU Vancouver

Dr. Laurie Anderson is the Executive Director of Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. He was Associate Superintendent and Interim Superintendent of Schools for the Vancouver Board of Education, and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC. Laurie has also been a consultant on education reform for the Ministry of Education, a mediation consultant for schools throughout BC, a facilitator of the VSB's Leadership Development Program, and developer and instructor of the Instructor Training Program,

Laurie obtained his BEd, MA and PhD at SFU, served as a Director on the Canadian Bureau of International Education for six years and completed the Certificate Program in Conflict Resolution at the Justice Institute.

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