Staff

Anne-Cath

Anne-Catherine Bajard

Executive Director

Anne-Catherine joined BCCIC in the position of Interim Executive Director in May 2021.  She comes from a background of activism and alliance with feminist, intersectional, indigenous and community development movements in Latin America, West Africa and Canada.  She has accrued over twenty years of experience leading programs for Oxfam International, Crossroads International, International Media Support, and BC’s Justice Education Society among others. She has further managed university international cooperation projects at the University of Victoria.

Anne-Catherine’s journey began as a youth activist and continues as such, with an ever-increasing commitment to intergenerational and intersectional approaches. She believes in continuous learning, and credits the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon, the domestic workers’ movement of Bolivia, the youths of Liberia and community economic development initiatives in Western Canada for helping shape her vision.

Anne-Catherine is a long-time member of BCCIC and was a member of the Board in earlier years in representation of Crossroads International. She was a founding member of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network’s International Committee. She is committed to the development of local and global partnerships and alliances, and recently applied this to her work on Oxfam’s Knowledge for Impact Team. 

Mary Pullen

Mary Pullen

Program Director

Mary Pullen is the Program Director at BCCIC. She is excited to be working with organizations and individuals across British Columbia, engaging in issues and initiatives to advance sustainable development and social justice. Over almost 20 years, Mary has held roles as a strategist, facilitator, and capacity builder to further social change, working with local partners, communities, and other sectors. She spent over a decade collaborating with partners in South America to support initiatives focused on youth and women’s economic empowerment, microfinance, community tourism, agroecological farming, and climate change adaptation. Prior to joining BCCIC, Mary served as Program Manager at Community Evolution where she led program strategy and delivery to support community-based enterprises. She previously worked as part of the Sustainable Livelihoods team at Crossroads International, where she managed the Bolivia program and international volunteers. Mary also spent four years supporting women artisans in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where she launched a community economic development initiative for and with women impacted by violence. Additionally, she has designed and implemented gender audits and training with co-operatives in the Philippines, and currently serves as a volunteer program evaluator (M&E) at Employ to Empower. She holds a Master’s degree in Geography from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and a B.A. (Honours) in Geography from Queen’s University. 
 
With gratitude, and as a guest, she lives, works and plays in Vancouver, BC, located on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples: xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. When not advocating for social change she can be found with her husband, reading, tackling a creative project, or testing a new recipe. If she can’t be found she’s probably by the ocean, on a hiking trail, or playing tennis.  
zosa

Dr. Zosa Gruber (nee De Sas Kropiwnicki)

Policy Director and Gender Specialist

Dr. Zosa De Sas Kropiwnicki-Gruber is a Policy Director & Gender Specialist at BCCIC. She has a doctorate in International Development Studies from the University of Oxford, as well as two Masters degrees in Political Science and Social Policy from Leeds University and Rhodes University, respectively. Zosa has accrued 17 years of experience in research, evaluation, and policy analysis in developing, transitional, and emergency contexts in South East Europe, Central Asia, West Africa, and Southern Africa. Zosa has worked for a wide range of government, non-government, and international non-governmental organizations such as UNICEF, UNDP, UNODC, IOM, and Save the Children. Her work has centered on human rights, empowerment, and social justice in the context of child protection, forced migration, women’s empowerment and gender equality. Zosa has published two books as well as numerous book chapters, academic articles, reports, and policy briefs on topics related to the Sustainable Development Goals. Zosa lives in North Vancouver with her two children, dogs, and guinea pig.

laurel

Laurel Wayne-Nixon

Operations Manager

Laurel moved to Vancouver in the summer of 2018 to do an internship with BCCIC. She had spent the previous year in Norway, busy with the first year of her Masters in International Environmental Studies. Prior to moving abroad, Laurel lived in Victoria and obtained a BA in Political Science and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria. She was a cheerleader for 9 years and has an impressive house plant collection (of over 20 plants!). Laurel has a passion for bringing people together, often planning parties for the team and her friends. For fun, Laurel loves to cook, bake, and try new restaurants- she even has an Instagram account dedicated to food! Not to mention she has been known to write a murder mystery or two in her spare time.

Laurel is passionate about the intersection between policy, food, and environmental sustainability, and she wrote her Masters thesis on the barriers that environmentally-sustainable food businesses face. Laurel started working on SDG policy briefs during her internship at BCCIC and became fully immersed in the 2030 Agenda. She sees a powerful opportunity in the SDGs, and she is excited to continue building meaningful partnerships through BCCIC to achieve these goals

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Brianne Meikle

Communications Lead

Brianne (she/her) works alongside organizations, communities, and people to advance transformative action towards sustainable development. She lives and works on the unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ and Skwxwú7mesh First Nations in what is now referred to as East Vancouver.
 
For almost a decade Brianne has supported local and international social justice organizations across Canada and East Africa with communications, community engagement, project management, research, and policy analysis. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours in both International Development and Anthropology and a Master of Environmental Studies. A lifelong learner, Brianne is always eager to build on her understanding and application of intersectional, decolonial, and solidarity-informed ways of being and working. She’s passionate about reconciliation, human rights, systems rethinking, gender equality, migrant labour, food sovereignty and so much more. When she’s not working, she enjoys climbing (mostly fake) rocks, tending to her plants, doing creative projects, and playing outdoors.
Photo of Kaylie, SDG Research Assistant

Kaylie Higgs

Sustainable Development Goals Research Assistant

Kaylie Higgs (she/they) is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Research Assistant at BCCIC. Kaylie cares deeply about the world and creating a more socially and environmentally just present and future. She is curious how to practice and strive for this in everyday life as well as across broader systems and relationships. 

Kaylie’s experiences have included working in small-scale agriculture, coordinating environmental justice initiatives, contributing to a right to food zine, teaching introductory data analysis, and facilitating learner-centered education, striving to support others in connecting with their own gifts and their social and ecological communities. She holds an AA in Global Stewardship (Capilano University) and a BSc in Global Resource Systems (University of British Columbia), where she focused her learning around environmental justice, food systems, decolonization, and storytelling. Most recently, Kaylie completed an MPhil in Anthropocene Studies (University of Cambridge), where she questioned apocalyptic and colonial narratives and focused her research on local encounters and connections with large scale issues, especially everyday connections with the Anthropocenes on local urban farms.

Beyond this, Kaylie loves to knit, sing, make art, learn in community, and spend time outdoors. She currently lives on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories where she is a white settler and life-long un/learner. She is excited to continue to learn and strive for social and environmental justice with the BCCIC team!

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Holly Janzen

Sustainable Development Goals Programming Assistant

Holly completed an internship with BCCIC in early 2021, and since then has been involved in their various activities and delegations, including the SDG Bootcamp and attending the UN HLPF. Holly recently graduated with a BA in Global Development Studies and is looking forward to the opportunity to put her knowledge and skills to use. Last year, Holly worked as a research assistant looking at how the SDGs can be incorporated into career development curriculums. 

With a passion for gender equality, women’s empowerment, and sustainability, Holly is excited about the opportunity to work with an organization whose values align with her own. In her free time, you can find Holly outside hiking, biking, and enjoying nature for all the beauty it has to offer.

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Bailea Tayler

Policy Intern

As a passionate student of justice and diversity, Bailea (she/her) is in her third year completing a BA in Global Development Studies. Bailea is passionate about the progress of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
 
Baileas’ past experience has involved working alongside non-profits in supervisory roles. Primarily supervising the safe housing for vulnerable women in Calgary. Most recently, she has worked in communications as a copywriter. These roles have offered robust experience in community engagement and project management. Bailea has been involved in various initiatives which promote gender equality in both India and Canada, and is eager to continue her journey with the BCCIC team. 
 
Beyond this, Bailea loves sustainable fashion, poetry, and creating with pottery. She is excited for the opportunity to continue to learn and engage with social and environmental justice issues alongside the BCCIC team!