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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Chris Friesen
Chris Friesen
President and Founder
Province British Columbia
Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance
 
Chris Friesen has been the Director of Settlement Services, Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISS of BC), one of Canada’s largest multicultural immigrant serving agencies for over twenty years. He is a frequent speaker on a wide range of immigrant and refugee settlement related topics both in Canada and abroad. Chris is currently leading a multi-year initiative to design and build a Metro Vancouver Regional Service Centre for Refugees located in Vancouver. In late 2015, this 58,000sf facility will become the first facility of its kind in the world, bringing together a variety of community and government services and organizations that will meet the immediate needs of refugees settling in BC.Among his many community leadership roles, Chris is currently President and a founding member of the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance (CISSA/ACSEI) as well as co-chair of the National Settlement Council. During 2013 Mr. Friesen is the NGO Focal Point for the UNHCR 2013 Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement in Geneva, Switzerland.
Fariborz Birjandian
Fariborz Birjandian
Vice Chair
Province Alberta
Calgary Catholic Immigration Society
Executive Director
Since his arrival in Canada as a refugee over 25 years ago, Fariborz has been ardently involved in issues related to immigration, diversity, equal rights and the cultural arts. For 19 years, he has been the Executive Director of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS), the largest provider of programs and services for immigrants and refugees in the Prairie region. His current volunteer involvements includes: Chair of Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA), Vice Chair CISSA-ACSEI, member of Deputy Minister’s Advisory Committee, and member of National Settlement Counsel. His leadership has been instrumental in numerous initiatives regarding resettlement and integration of New Canadians, locally, nationally, and internally. For his exemplary commitment to promoting diversity and supporting newcomers to Canada, he has received several awards and recognitions including the Government of Canada’s Citation for Citizenship, the Alberta Centennial Medal, the Queen’s Gold Jubilee and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Jean McRae
Jean McRae
Treasurer
Province British Columbia
Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies of BC
Executive Director
Jean McRae, B.A., C.P.Ed, M.B.A., representing the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies of BC (AMSSA), has been Executive Director of the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) for sixteen years and has worked in the field of immigrant and refugee services since 1982, in BC and Central America. She has worked as an English language teacher, employment counselor, settlement worker and manager of various services including multicultural arts and education. Jean serves on various national, provincial and local boards and committees concerned with issues of immigrant integration. She was president of AMSSA and currently serves as treasurer for CISSA-ACSEI.
Dale Taylor
Dale Taylor
Board member
Province Alberta
Centre for Newcomers
Executive Director
Dale Taylor came to the position of Executive Director of the Centre for Newcomers Society of Calgary in September 2000, after various roles in post-secondary education and not-for-profit management in Winnipeg and Edmonton. She has an M.A. from the University of Alberta, and worked for two years as an English instructor in China.
Claudette Legault
Claudette Legault
Board member
Province Nova Scotia
Immigrant Settlement & Integration Services (ISIS)
Director of Programs and Services
Claudette Legault (MSW, RSW) Representing the Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Settlement Agencies (ARAISA), Claudette served as the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association (MISA) for nine years prior to the merger of MISA with the Halifax Immigrant Learning Centre in 2009 to form Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services (ISIS).  She is now the Director of Programs and Services for ISIS.  Claudette was a founding member of the Atlantic Metropolis project, and has served as President of ARAISA and Immigrant Serving Agencies of Metro (ISAM).  Claudette worked extensively in Central America with refugees and displaced people before joining MISA and currently sits on various community Boards and committees in Nova Scotia.
Lynn Moran
Lynn Moran
Secretary
Province British Columbia
AMSSA (Affiliation of Multicultural Societies & Service Agencies)
Executive Director
Lynn Moran, representing the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA), has been the Executive Director of AMSSA for thirteen years. With a background in health, community development, micro-credit, project management and international development, she has held management positions with the Canadian Diabetes Association, Canadian Crossroads International, Little Mountain Neighbourhood House and CUSO.  She worked in southern and West Africa for a decade, providing project and program management mainly supporting women and micro-credit.
Getachew Woldyesus
Getachew Woldyesus
Board Member
Province Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies
 
Getachew Woldeyesus is Manager of Settlement and Family Services at the Regina Open Door Society and the president of Saskatchewan Association of Settlement and Integration Agencies (SAISIA).  Getachew is accredited Settlement Practitioner in the province of Saskatchewan and Alberta. He also holds a Bachelor of Social Work Degree (BSW) and Masters of Social Work Degree (MSW) from the University of Regina.   As part of his studies, he conducted several research projects in the area of immigration including: Temporary Workers Program, Canada Seasonal Agricultural Program, and Refugee Protection in Canada. Getachew is a former refugee from Ethiopia.  He has been with the Regina Open Door Society since 1987. As part of his duties, he provides settlement services to newcomers and done community development work to develop a welcoming and supportive community for immigrants in the city of Regina. He also provided cross-cultural presentations to organizations, employers, and other members of the Regina Community.   
Megan Morris
Megan Morris
Board Member
Province Newfoundland and Labrador
Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (ARAISA)
 
Megan Morris has worked in the immigrant settlement sector for over 15 years and is currently the A/Executive Director of the Association for New Canadians, a community-based, non-profit settlement agency that serves immigrants arriving in Newfoundland and Labrador. She is a graduate of Memorial University, with degrees in both Arts and Education, and also studied French as a Second Language at the University of Ottawa. Prior to joining the ANC, Megan worked with various federal government departments, and served as a political aide to a former Cabinet Minister. With a long interest in immigrant and refugee issues, she has served on various Boards, Committees and Working Groups including, for example, the Coordinating Committee on Newcomer Integration, the Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies, the Atlantic Metropolis, the Performance Measurement Advisory Group and the Professional Development & Sector Coordination Working Group.  
Laurie Sawatzky
Laurie Sawatzky
Board Member
Province Manitoba
Manitoba Immigrant and Refugee Settlement Sector Association
 
Laurie Sawatzky is the president of the Manitoba Immigrant and Refugee Settlement Sector Association (MIRSSA) and the Executive Director of South Central Immigrant Services (SCIS).  Laurie has worked in the settlement sector for 13 years, first as Program Coordinator for English language training, then as Executive Director for South Central Immigrant Services (SCIS), a non-profit organization serving immigrants arriving to Southern Manitoba, with head office in the City of Winkler.     
Darlene Doerksen
Darlene Doerksen
Board Member
Province Yukon Territory
Multicultural Centre of the Yukon (MCY)
 
Darlene Doerksen is the founder & CEO of the Multicultural Centre of the Yukon. With a long term career, which focused on service to individuals, Ms. Doerksen brings this experience to the settlement & integration of immigrants in the Yukon. She serves on a number of boards and committees, both locally and nationally. Her background with standards and certification, curriculum development, business creation and strategic planning, best practices, LMI, board governance, labour market strategies, intercultural relations, FQR related work, project management and community development, further enhance the settlement sector in the Yukon.