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SFU's COP 28 delegation marks the second time the university will send a delegation with representation from across to the university to the conference. The purpose of this delegation is to share our work, connect with other global organizations, document the conference and how climate negotiations take place, share with the SFU community what we see and learn, connect SFU student climate leaders with the youth delegation, speak at sessions and showcase SFU's climate action and research leadership.
In the spring, SFU invited all students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty members engaged in climate action to apply to be part of SFU’s COP 28 delegation. SFU Sustainabilty would like to thank SFU International and Embark Sustainability for their support on the COP selection committee.
SFU's COP 28 Delegation
Dugan O’Neil, Vice President Research and International
As SFU's Vice-President, Research and International, Dugan O'Neil leads SFU’s strategic research initiatives and facilitates international opportunities that foster research collaborations and student exchange. His work focuses on facilitating research excellence and helping the university respond to new opportunities. He works with members of SFU’s eight faculties to ensure they have the support and resources required to conduct excellent cutting-edge research in all its forms. Building on his long-standing leadership and research experience, he works with faculty, students and staff to secure research partnerships within the community and industry.
Kirsten Zickfeld is a Distinguished SFU Professor of Climate Science in the geography department at SFU, which she joined in 2010. Her primary research interests lie in the long-term effects of human activities on climate. She is internationally recognized for her research on the reversibility of human-induced climate change and carbon budgets consistent with climate targets. She served as a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report of on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees and the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. She was awarded the President’s Prize of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and SFU President’s Prize for Leadership in Sustainability
Feyza G. Sahinyazan, Assistant professor, Beedie School of Business
Feyza G. Sahinyazan is an assistant professor in the Technology and Operations Management and Business and Society departments at the Beedie School of Business. Her main research focus is humanitarian aid supply chains, particularly in long-term food and energy access problems. She is also interested in socially responsible operations management practices and served as a member of SFU’s Sustainability Advisory Council. Throughout her research projects, she has worked on data-driven operations management problems in collaboration with public sector actors and NGOs such as the UN's World Food Programme, UNHCR Turkey, Montreal Children's Hospital, and Turkish Red Crescent.
Reza Safavi, graduate student, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering, Faculty of Applied Sciences
Reza Safavi is a PhD student in the School of Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE) at SFU. His research centers on hybrid-electric hydrogen-fueled heavy-duty trucks for sustainable net-zero goods transportation. With extensive experience in the automotive industry, he is well-versed in the challenges we face on the journey to a sustainable net-zero future.
COP 28 provides a unique opportunity for researchers and policymakers around the world to collaborate on strategies, making it an important event as we approach the 2030 and 2050 emissions goals in the transportation sector. He is eager to make valuable connections, engage in dialogue, and learn how research influences policy-making while considering equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
Tyler Mitchell, graduate student, Beedie School of Business
Tyler Mitchell is an accomplished Indigenous relations professional and community leader. Currently pursuing an executive MBA, specializing in Leadership and Indigenous Business, Tyler is passionate about promoting environmental stewardship, economic reconciliation, emergency management capacity building, and education equity for Indigenous communities.
A proud member of the Cowessess First Nation, Tyler advocates for preserving Indigenous cultural traditions and teachings. With a degree in Indigenous Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of Lethbridge, Tyler has successfully contributed to organizations and major projects in western Canada.
Hailin Wang, Undergraduate student, Actuarial Science, Faculty of Science
Hailin is passionate about financing resiliency against worsening natural disasters in the age of climate change. At COP 28, she is looking to engage with the Global South and learning more about mechanisms within loss and damage funding, especially the Global Shield InsuResilience partnership, in helping disaster-struck communities recover with cost-effective strategies.
Currently studying actuarial science at SFU, Hailin is also heavily engaged with local biodiversity and climate organizations. This year, she was a member of CityHive Vancouver’s Youth Climate Innovation Lab, where she and her team re-evaluated the city’s social cost of carbon. Prior to SFU, she worked with environmental NGOs in both China and Canada and holds a honours B.Sc in ecology from the University of Toronto.
Jude Crasta is the associate director, Multilevel Climate Action at the SFU Centre for Dialogue. As part of this portfolio, he leads two Centre initiatives — Moving in a Livable Region (MLR) and the Cities + Climate Initiative. These two initiatives seeks to raise the profile of cities and regions as frontline players in various pressing issues, while building trust and a culture of equal collaboration among various entities. In the public sphere, these initiatives bring new forms of knowledge translation and engagement on these issues to inject some insight and values exploration into decision-making.
Jude is a communicator, designer, strategist, and entrepreneur who likes to work on the front lines of 'head-scratcher' projects that have larger social impact. Born in Kuwait City, Kuwait, he values and likes to bring international perspectives to support the advancement of domestic challenges, while raising the positive participation of Canadian entities in a dynamic global landscape.
Aya Sharaby, Graduate Student, School of COmmunication, Faculty of Communication, Arts and Technology
Aya is a journalist and PhD student from Egypt. With special interest in science and environmental affairs, her work has been published in Nature, Reuters, the Globe and Mail, and Foreign Affairs, among other platforms. She is passionate about solutions-oriented journalism as applied to various fields including gender equality, sectarian issues, and the climate crisis. Her current research looks into environmental communication in the Middle East and how environmental action affects policy under authoritarian regimes. When her nose isn’t stuck in a book, she likes to swim, dance, cook, and sometimes attempt to revive her dusty French.
Sid Mehta, senior director of ancillary services, oversees a diverse portfolio that encompasses retail, food services, sustainable mobility, and more, with an annual budget exceeding $60M. This positions his group as one of Canada's leading nonprofit operations. The Ancillary Services' operational model thrives on strategic collaborations with private-sector partners, fusing industry expertise with SFU's vision and goals.
Sid is on a mission to deploy scalable, evidence and place-based climate adaptation, mitigation, and resilience solutions both locally and globally. He envisions universities like SFU as operational powerhouses, not just academic hubs, poised to drive system-wide climate solutions in collaboration with the governments, academia, private sector, NGO and civil society by harnessing collective intelligence for lasting impact.
Zafar Adeel, Acting Director and Professor of Professional Practice, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering
Zafar Adeel serves as the executive director of the Pacific Water Research Centre, and as the acting director of the SFU School of Sustainable Energy Engineering. He has over 25 years of experience in a broad range of environmental science and policy issues. This includes 18 years of work as a United Nations official in the field of international development and research. He served as the Director UNU-INWEH from 2006 to 2016. He also chaired a group of nearly 60 organizations called UN-Water during 2010-2012 and co-chaired the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment team of scientists that produced the global desertification synthesis in 2005. His research focuses on the intersection of water security, technological innovation and community-engaged research activities.
Leticia Yeboah, Graduate student, Political Science, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Leticia Yeboah is a dynamic, driven individual with a passion for research and a dedication to making a difference. Currently pursuing her MA in political science at SFU, Leticia is focused on exploring the role of women in renewable energy in Ghana.
With an impressive background in research, Leticia has worked with several organizations including the Africa Center for Energy Policy and Rigworld Group, an oil and gas company. She has also served as the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reduction Project, which was funded by the United Nations Development Programme.