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PRESIDENT -- Bruce Gilbert

Bruce is a “Community Engagement Practitioner” and he has come to this position through a diverse array of work and volunteer experiences.

Over the past eight years Bruce was with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s (GNL) senior executive team, serving as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Rural Secretariat (2008-13) and as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Office of Public Engagement up until this past spring. Bruce worked closely with community, business, labour and academic partners on public engagement processes.

Bruce’s work with non-governmental organizations has taken him to South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Togo, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Indonesia and Costa Rica; he is currently a volunteer policy expert on a green growth and youth entrepreneurship project in Nigeria, supported by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada/CUSO.

Bruce’s educational journey includes a master’s degree in adult education from St. Francis Xavier University (focus: community mobilization and popular education), an interdisciplinary PhD from Dalhousie and Post-doctoral research at Memorial University of Newfoundland.  Bruce is also a graduate of LEAD Canada (Leadership for Environment and Development).  

Bruce lives in downtown St. John’s with his wife Camille Fouillard and their children Léo (13) and Esmée (18).

Hugo est conseiller en participation publique à Montréal avec une expérience de 18 ans dans le domaine. Son défi au quotidien : des projets socialement acceptables! Hugo est passionné par l’intégration de la participation citoyenne aux petites et grandes décisions de tous les jours. À titre de conseiller relations avec le milieu il a mené plusieurs consultations publiques dans différents types de projets (lignes de transport d’électricité, poste de transformation, réfection de centrales hydroélectriques). Il travaille présentement pour Hydro-Québec à titre de conseiller et formateur en participation publique. Membre de l’Ordre des urbanistes du Québec, il possède une maîtrise en aménagement du territoire et développement régional et un baccalauréat en urbanisme ce qui lui permet d’avoir une vision large du domaine de la participation publique. Hugo est président de la section Saint-Laurent de l’AIP2 Saint-Laurent et siège au conseil d’administration de l’AIP2 Canada depuis avril 2014.

Hugo is a public participation advisor based in Montréal with more than 18 years of experience in this field. His professional goal: socially acceptable projects! Hugo is passionate about meeting the challenges of fostering better citizen participation in the small and big decisions that are made every day. As a community relations advisor, he has led many consultations on planning and implementation of various types of projects (major power lines, electrical substations, refurbishing of hydro plants). He currently works at Hydro-Québec, as an advisor and trainer in public participation. A member of the Ordre des urbanistes du Québec, he holds a Master’s degree in planning and regional development and a Bachelor’s in urban planning, lending him a broad and applied perspective around the public participation table. Hugo is currently president of the IAP2 St. Lawrence Chapter and has been a member of the IAP2 Canada board of directors since April 2014.

SECRETARY -- Sarah Rivest

Sarah has worked in community engagement since 2005 and is current the Park Development and Native Programming coordinator at the Calgary Stampede, working to strengthen the relationship between First Nations communities and the Stampede. Sarah joined the Calgary Stampede in 2011, and is motivated by the passionate volunteers and opportunities to work with community leaders. Sarah's experience working for VANOC in the lead up to the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games inspired her to learn more about the field of community relations, and she completed the IAP2 certificate in 2014. Sarah holds a double degree from the University of Calgary in Communications and Canadian Studies.

TREASURER -- Ashleigh Weeden 

Ashleigh is an enthusiastic and open public servant, an award-winning community engagement practitioner, and a friend to all rebels-with-a-cause. As a writer, facilitator and community developer, she has spent the last five years working with progressive public servants and engaged citizens to take the lid off local government so everyone can play inside City Hall.

An alumna of the AMCTO's (Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario) Ontario Municipal Management Internship with the City of London, Ashleigh holds a Master's of Public Administration from the University of Victoria, and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in International Development (Political Economy and Administrative Change) from the University of Guelph. She currently lives and works in Owen Sound, Ontario, where she is working on Grey County’s Connected County Initiative, building a collaborative community partnership to leverage broadband connectivity for sustainable economic and community development. Additionally, Ashleigh provides communications support for the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus Southwest Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) initiative. She is also a competitive bagpiper, novice skier and clumsy longboarder who feels lucky to get to live, work, and play in one of the prettiest parts of Ontario.

You can find Ashleigh on Twitter at @ashleighweeden, where she loves to connect with interesting people from all over the world, and at her virtual home at

www.ashleighweeden.com, where she writes about authenticity, leadership, and public service renewal.


Jan started her Edmonton-based company Strategy Plus in 1997 after over 24 years of public sector experience in parks, environment, tourism, and economic and community development. She continues to provide expertise in stakeholder consultation, and strategic and business planning to public and private sector clients. Jan has been a licensed trainer for the IAP2 Certificate Program since 2005, is a founding member of the Canadian Trainers Collective (CTC), and has been active on IAP2 Canada and Wild Rose boards since 2002. Jan has an Hon BA in Geography from the University of Western Ontario and an MA in Geography from the University of Ottawa. 


Noreen is currently the Manager of Engagement & Communication Partner Services at The City of Calgary, where she has held leadership roles for over 30 years. She has a passion for inclusive and transparent public involvement, reflected in her strong facilitation skills and can-do attitude. Noreen applies her talent for collaborating with others to ‘get things done’ to the development and operation of a regional recreation facility in north central Calgary and as Chair of the Learning Disabilities Association of Calgary. Noreen is a Certified Management Accountant and holds a Masters Certificate in Municipal Leadership, and a Local Government Management Certificate.

Jorge Avilés

A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jorge Avilés moved to Canada right after finishing Civil Engineering studies. After a few years in Calgary, he went back to university to complete a degree in international studies in French, graduating with Distinction and achieving Best Student Award (4.0 average). He also holds a Certificate on Aboriginal Studies (University of Calgary) and a Diploma in Fine Arts.

His career has taken him from the engineering field to the international scene while directing and managing sustainable projects in more than 25 countries in Latin America, West Africa and Southeast Asia. His capacity to communicate fluently in four languages facilitated his success during this chapter of his life.

Mr. Avilés has spent many years training individuals and groups in culturally-sensitive Strategic Planning; working with corporate level groups as well as Governments and Indigenous groups around the globe.

A trained professional opera singer, Mr. Avilés keeps his passion for music alive by giving voice lessons to a handful of local singers in Calgary. He also mentors graduate level students for the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary.

Presently, Mr. Avilés has been invited by the Canadian Institute to be the keynote speaker in Cross-cultural Communications for several of the conferences this group organizes.

Mr. Avilés continues to reside in Calgary, Alberta; where he lives with his wife Heidy and their three children – Celeste, Nicholas, and Sebastian.

Amanda Mitchell

Amanda is a Public Engagement Specialist at the City of Vancouver where she acts as a best practice advisor on public engagement to staff throughout the City. She has a background in sustainability and a keen interest in the use of social media, digital tools, and creative engagement strategies to enhance community participation in policy creation. Amanda joined the City in 2010 to manage the online engagement process to develop the Greenest City Action Plan. Amanda is one of the founding directors of the Vancouver Public Space Network and a co-founder of Re:place Magazine (now Spacing Vancouver). Amanda holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Science from the University of Guelph and a Masters of Advanced Studies in Architecture from UBC.

Brenda Pichette

Brenda owns her own consulting business, P2 Facilitators, that offers expertise in Public Participation planning, design and implementation. Brenda has been developing, designing and delivering engagement/outreach and training programs for over 20 years and is passionate about and committed to building the profession of public participation in Canada. Planning an effective engagement strategy is Brenda’s specialty.

Brenda has spent much of her volunteer time in the last 2 years serving as a member of the IAP2 USA Certification Task Force. She was the Senior Public Outreach Specialist at Health Canada’s Contaminated Sites Division where she led the Public Involvement Team for 9 years. Some of the outreach programs she managed for the Federal Government include Health Canada Programs for Contaminated Sites, Tobacco, Hepatitis C and Environmental Assessment Regulations.

Brenda was a valued member of the training team at the Contaminated Sites Division, developing and delivering training programs for P2 Practitioners serving 17 Federal Government Departments and Agencies. Prior to working at the Federal Government Brenda led the Canadian Red Cross national first aid services program for 8 years and was also involved in International development programs.

Brenda is an accomplished and entertaining facilitator with an extensive list of facilitation design and development skills.

Brenda holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Concordia University in Montreal.

Tracy Vaughan

holds a Masters in Urban Studies from Simon Fraser University and until recently was the
City of Vancouver's Senior Public Engagement Advisor. Prior to that, she was in the private sector as a sustainability planner with HB Lanarc Consultants. Tracy has worked closely with municipalities and senior governments in BC for much of the past decade, helping engage the public in complex projects that require public understanding and support to succeed. Tracy brings a wealth of experience with an array of outreach tools and techniques, project and team management, strategic engagement design and implementation, and new media management.

Michael Waters

For more than 25 years, Mike Waters has worked to build community. Throughout his career, Mike has held numerous senior leadership roles that focus on community development, social inclusion, social planning, child and family services, youth justice, recreation, parks and environmental services. Most recently, Mike managed and supported numerous City of Calgary initiatives focused on crafting policy and public engagement strategies that sought to improve services for Indigenous peoples, cultural planning, transportation, and community sustainability. As a facilitator and public engagement consultant, Mike has supported a diverse range of clients across Western Canada. Mike has completed a certificate in Public Participation from the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Canada and recently completed IAP2’s Emotion and Outrage engagement training. 

As an incoming Board member Mike looks forward to contributing his time and skills to advancing the profession.


Morgan Boyco
Morgan currently works as a community and environmental planner with Dillon Consulting in Kitchener, Ontario where he specializes in public engagement.  During his professional and academic career, he has had some unique opportunities to work and study in diverse rural and urban settings in Canada and overseas, focusing on stakeholder engagement and community-driven decision-making processes.  At Dillon, Morgan has specialized in bringing innovative participatory tools and methods, including digital civic engagement technologies, to complex community dialogues. His past field of research has included democratic decision making in complex community dialogues about the environment.  He holds a Master’s degree in Rural Planning and Development from the University of Guelph, along with an honours degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University and a certificate in International Development Studies from the University of Sussex in the UK.  His master’s thesis was a comparative analysis of public participation and Indigenous community engagement in environmental assessment processes for large mining operations in Northern Canada and in South Africa.  Morgan lives in Guelph with his wife and two young children.

Kristen Farrell

Kristen Farrell is an Engagement Professional specializing in the planning, coordination and implementation of community and Aboriginal engagement and consultation programs. Her experience is predominantly in Environmental Assessment and permitting for projects in Municipal Planning and the Mining, Power, and Infrastructure sectors. Most recently, she has focused on creating effective materials for the facilitation of these programs and the creation of online tracking databases to help achieve one point of access for all engagement information. Kristen is currently a member of the City of Guelph Water Conservation and Efficiency Public Advisory Committee. She holds a B.A in Criminal Justice and Public Policy from the University of Guelph.

Dhurata Ikonomi

Dhurata is currently Acting Executive Director of the Community of Federal Regulators – a partnership of 27 regulatory departments promoting horizontal peer-to-peer collaboration and capacity building. Prior to joining the CFR, Dhurata was the manager of stakeholder engagement at the Office of Consumer and Public Involvement and the Natural Health Products Directorate at Health Canada. Prior to joining the federal government in 2001, Dhurata worked for international development organizations such as the United Nations and the US Agency for International Development on projects promoting good governance and gender equity in Eastern Europe. Dhurata holds a Masters in Public Administration from University of Kansas and she is a trained IAP2 (International Association for Public Participation) Practitioner.

Dhurata occupe présentement le poste de directrice exécutive par intérim de la Communauté des régulateurs fédéraux – un partenariat constitué de 27 ministères à vocation réglementaires favorisant la collaboration horizontale entre pairs et le renforcement des capacités. Elle est également membre du comité directeur de la communauté de pratique sur les consultations du gouvernement du Canada. Dhurata a également dirigé les équipes de mobilisation des intervenants au Bureau de la participation des consommateurs et du public et à la Direction des produits de santé naturels et sans ordonnance de Santé Canada. Avant de se joindre au gouvernement fédéral en 2001, Dhurata a travaillé sur des projets visant à promouvoir la bonne gouvernance et l’équité entre les sexes en Europe de l’Est pour des organisations de développement international comme les Nations Unies et l’Agence américaine pour le développement international. Dhurata détient une maîtrise en administration publique de l’Université du Kansas et est une praticienne de l’IAP2 (Association internationale pour la participation publique).

Staff support: Amelia Shaw, Leana Modonese & Drew Snider - info@iap2canada.ca -- Meet them here.

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