Refugee and Newcomer Advisory Committee

In 2016, SFU established the SFU Refugee Working Group (RWG) to develop, coordinate and implement the University‚Äôs refugee-related engagement and support. 

In January 2017, the refugee program expanded its mandate, to include newcomers and created a Refugee and Newcomer Advisory Committee (RNAC). The purpose of the SFU Refugee and Newcomer Advisory Committee is to provide strategic oversight to support refugee and newcomer engagement.

Functions of RNAC:

  •  To provide advice, information and connections on important refugee and newcomer issues relevant to SFU's support and engagement. 
  •  To serve as a mechanism to clarify and exchange ideas and concerns related to SFU's refugee and newcomer engagement and support.
  • To serve as a communications vehicle and information hub to and from the community of Metro Vancouver, and the rest of BC and Canada on SFU's refugee and newcomer programming.


  •  To advocate for funding to support refugee and newcomer programming at SFU. 

Refugee and Newcomer Advisory Committee Members

The RNAC is comprised of staff, faculty, and students from across the Burnaby, Surrey, and Vancouver campuses. There are currently 12 members on the RNAC. If you have any questions, or are interested in getting in touch with the Refugee and Newcomer Advisory Committee please email:

Erin Biddlecombe

Director of Operations, Planning, Projects

Catherine D'Andrea

Professor, Department of Archaeology

Stephen Dooley

Executive Director, SFU Surrey

Andisheh Fard 

Coordinator, Refugee and Newcomer Community Engagement, SFU International

Carolyn Hanna

Director, International Services for Students

Shaheen Nanji (Chair)

Director, International Community Engagement, SFU International

Suzanna M.Crage

Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Jeff Derksen

Dean and Associate Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies


Coordinator, Refugee and New Canadian Support Programs

Matthew Grant

Executive Director, Community Engagement, External Relations

Ayan Ismail


Dione Nyathi