Staff

Anne-Cath

Anne-Catherine Bajard

Interim 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. 

Mike Simpson

Executive Director

On leave


Mike is the Executive Director of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC). Prior to working for BCCIC, Mike was the Executive Director of One Sky – The Canadian Institute for Sustainable Living. His work with One Sky varied from leading major bilateral projects in West Africa, including Nigeria and Sierra Leone, to working in Latin America on projects ranging from forest conservation to leadership development. Mike has been an active voice for Canadian civil society at international forums ranging from the World Summit on Sustainable Development to UN meetings on renewable energy. With a keen interest in integral theory, he has been active in exploring the nexus between developmental psychology and social change.

Prior to his work with civil society groups, Simpson was an award winning documentary producer who ran a video production company that specialized in programming on environment, development, and human rights. He spent many years working in conflict and post-conflict areas, with a special focus on Latin America. His most recent focus has been on leadership development within the context of social movements, including both the private sector and civil society.

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

HLPF 2021 Headshots

Brianna Parent Long

Interim Communications Specialist

Brianna Parent Long  is currently the Interim Communications Specialist for BCCIC in a job-share. Brianna is also a Gender and Diversity Program Officer at VIDEA and sits on the Digna Advisory Committee. She is passionate about sexual and reproductive health and rights, PSEA, and sex work advocacy. Her previous roles have involve revising harassment policies, integrating feminist and Indigenous methodologies into programs and activities, and writing a new policy on PSEA and sex work. Brianna holds an undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University in Political Science and International Development Studies and a master’s at the University of Victoria. Brianna is currently at Carleton University for her PhD in Political Science where she will specialize in Gender and International Relations. Brianna is grateful for the opportunity to work, live, play, and study on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded traditional Indigenous territory of the Omàmìwininìwag (Algonquin) and Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) peoples. Outside of work, Brianna enjoys going to see family in her hometown in New Brunswick, traveling, and finding new music.

HLPF 2021 Headshots-2

Kira Lyseng

Interim Communications Specialist

Kira Lyseng is currently the Interim Communications Specialist for BCCIC in a job-share. Kira is passionate about gender equality, climate justice, and the importance of Indigenous voices.  She strongly advocates for the importance of decolonizing language and institutions through conversation and incorporating Indigenous (especially Indigenous youth) voices within policy and law. She completed her undergraduate degree at Royal Roads University. Kira was brought into the international development sector through VIDEA as a Project Officer working directly with the Gender and Diversity Officer incorporating feminist, decolonial and anti-racist values into reviewing inter-organizational policies. With VIDEA, she makes policies more accessible through other avenues such as videos and including accessible language.

Kira acknowledges her privilege in currently living on the Treaty 7 territories throughout Alberta, which are the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Nations, including Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai, the Tsuut’ina Nation and Stoney Nakoda First Nations. She enjoys playing piano, spending time with her five sisters, or thrifting for comfy sustainable clothes in her free time.