Our Staff

SRDC’s reputation for professionalism, ethical standards, integrity, quality, and objectivity is based on its staff of high calibre.

Our researchers and analysts come from various fields – economics, sociology, psychology, geography, education, mathematics, public administration and public policy, to name a few. This multidisciplinary team is made up of over 30 professionals, all with a graduate degree; a third of them hold a PhD. They all share a passion for raising the standards of evidence in assessing public policies and programs.

SRDC Staff

British Columbia Centre for Employment Excellence Staff


SRDC Staff

David Gyarmati
president and chief executive officer
613-237-5298 | E-mail

David Gyarmati - Copyright: Couvrette/OttawaThe new CEO, David Gyarmati, brings over 25 years of experience in Canadian policy research and evaluation to the position, including nearly two decades of pioneering work with SRDC in the design, implementation, and evaluation of demonstration projects involving innovative programming to support Canadians. He has been deeply involved in all aspects of SRDC's research from conception to dissemination and in operations and corporate management, providing a depth of experience in the full scope and lifecycle of SRDC's work.

Mr. Gyarmati has already contributed substantially to the development of SRDC over the past 15 years in senior management including the growth of several new portfolios of research and a wide range of innovative projects and partnerships with leading labour market stakeholders. He has helped to diversify SRDC’s business, building a rich network of partners and clients across the country.

Mr. Gyarmati commented:

"It is an honour to lead such an important and dynamic organization as SRDC and a privilege to work alongside such a talented and motivated group of professionals. I have a deep appreciation for SRDC’s dual mission and our unique position in contributing to Canada’s policy and research ecosystem. I am excited by the opportunity to build upon these strengths and expand our impact. We will continue to work closely with governments, practitioners, and other stakeholders to provide rigorous high-quality evidence on innovative programming to support Canadians.

David completed a Master of Arts Degree in Economics at the University of British Columbia specializing in Labour Economics and Applied Econometrics. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Psychology at York University.

Stéphanie Navarro
executive assistant
613-237-2460 | E-mail

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
– Confucius

img staff navarroBorn in France, Stéphanie Navarro worked for two and a half years in a small French company as a computer technician and administrator. When she arrived in Canada in 1992, she quickly found a job in the public service, working for the National Capital Commission in the Parks Service and Field Management Branch. Throughout her nine years with the branch, she worked as a receptionist, staffing assistant, administrative assistant, technical writer and assistant to the Director of the Gatineau Park. She left the public service in April 2001 and joined SRDC as an executive assistant. Stéphanie held the position of SRDC Communications Coordinator from 2003 to 2006. She has been assistant to the CEO,
Jean-Pierre Voyer, since 2006.

Sheila Currie
research director
613-237-2039 | E-mail

“SRDC is a great place to pursue my dedication to promoting better outcomes for all Canadians through policies and programs that are high quality and proven effective.”

img staff CurrieSheila has over 25 years of experience in survey and policy research, and program operations. She first joined SRDC in 1992, working for many years as part of the team developing, implementing, and evaluating some of SRDC’s largest demonstration projects in the areas of income security and education. During a tenure as Director of Project Operations in 2003-06, she was responsible for the operations and implementation research components of SRDC projects. As Principal Research Associate she continued to work mainly in the areas of labour market participation and post-secondary education access. In 2010, she accepted an opportunity as Deputy Director of Program Delivery at the Canada Student Loans Program where she led an initiative to streamline and modernize the system. Following that, she worked on Essential Skills projects with various stakeholders before returning to SRDC in September 2013.

Sheila began her career at Statistics Canada in 1985, working in the Special Surveys Division and Census Operations until moving to Vancouver in 1988 where she was a Research Director with Angus Reid Group. She holds an MA (Geographic Information Systems) from the University of Ottawa and BA (Honours, Geography) from Queen’s University at Kingston.

Reuben Ford
research director
604-601-4082 | E-mail

“SRDC offers Canada a unique, critical opportunity to let evidence displace instinct and self-interest in its attempts to bridge research knowledge and policy practice.”

Img Staff FordReuben Ford has extensive experience in the design and analysis of Canadian and UK social policy research initiatives. He has lead policy-relevant research spanning education, employment, social assistance, family well-being, and residential mobility. Since 2003, he has directed SRDC's team investigating approaches to increase access to post-secondary education across Canada (including Life After High School, Future to Discover, and BC AVID) as well as analyses of student financial aid. He directed the Self-Sufficiency Project and Motivational Interviewing Pilot Project, initiatives seeking to help long-term assistance recipients take up employment, and helped to design the Disability Supports Feasibility Study and Community Employment Innovation Project evaluation. Before joining SRDC in 1998, Reuben spent five years as a Research Fellow and Senior Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute, a UK non-profit research institute.

Reuben holds a Ph.D. in Geography and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Human Sciences from University College London. Reuben is a Credentialed Evaluator, as recognized by the Canadian Evaluation Society, and a member of the Canadian Economics Association and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Heather Smith Fowler
research director
613-237-7444 | E-mail

“What attracted me to SRDC was its dual focus on methodological rigour and on social policy that helps disadvantaged Canadians, and I continue to be impressed by my colleagues’ high standards and commitment to the work we do. SRDC – and the social policy community – is lucky to have such a dedicated and creative group of professionals, who also happen to be a lot of fun to work with.”

HSF Credit Couvrette OttawaHeather is not quite sure how an undergraduate degree in English literature led to doing research on helping young people access post-secondary education, but is quite sure that a passion for learning, collaboration, and social justice have been key elements along the way. Prior to joining SRDC, she did research in women’s health at the Institute for Population Health and in mental health at the Centre for Research on Community Services, both at the University of Ottawa. She has worked in health and social policy for over 20 years, in program planning and development, evaluation, and research roles.

Heather holds a Master’s degree in Social and Community Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University and is enthusiastic about linking health and social policy through research and collaboration with stakeholder communities. She lives with her family in Ottawa’s west end, from which she thoroughly enjoys the commute to work along the Ottawa River bike path. Heather has been a member of Canadian Evaluation Society for several years.

Michael Dowie
principal research associate
613-237-7669 | E-mail

“SRDC offers the chance to do quality, interesting, and challenging research in a fun atmosphere.”

Michael DowieAt SRDC, Michael Dowie has performed a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative research activities. He was a key member of the learn$ave project, a large-scale national demonstration project of matched savings accounts to encourage learning activities and micro-enterprise development among low-income people. Since 2008, Michael has contributed to the design and implementation of a variety of projects related to labour market information. Michael holds a graduate degree in Public Administration from Carleton University.


Christina Hackett
principal research associate
613-237-4312 | E-mail

img staff hackettChristina Hackett has a background in mental health, health policy, and health economics. Christina has been involved with qualitative and quantitative research projects with a focus on Indigenous peoples living in Canada and health and mental health across the lifespan. She has clinical and research experience developing and leading programs in mental health and youth outreach; she is interested in addressing intersections between complex services and systems to improve health and mental health service design. She holds masters degrees in Counselling Psychology from Adler University; and Health Policy, Planning, and Financing from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She also holds a PhD in Health Policy specializing in Health Economics from McMaster University.

Olufunmilola (Kemi) Odegbile
principal research associate
604-601-4075 | E-mail

Olufunmilola (Kemi) Odegbile joined SRDC in 2014 as a senior research associate in the Vancouver office. Kemi has over twelve years of experience working in the fields of research, population & public health, and primary care. Her past experience includes conducting research focusing on integrating social and behavioral sciences into medical school curriculum, optimizing health for vulnerable populations, and health systems evaluation. She has also held management roles in primary care and public health at two BC health authorities where she was accountable for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of health services designed to improve population health. She holds an MPH from The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Sciences and an MD from the College of Medical and Biological Sciences from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil.

Barbara Dobson
research fellow

img staff dobsonBarbara Dobson is currently a Research Fellow at SRDC and has over 20 years’ experience in research and evaluation, and has worked on a range of program evaluations within the social policy and public health arenas.

A number of themes run through Barbara’s career. Much of her work has involved issues around employment, health, low income, and social inequalities. In exploring these issues Barbara has worked with different groups of people including people with disabilities, seniors, those who have been unemployed for long periods of time, and families living on low incomes. Throughout her work she has tried to actively involve those who participate in her studies so that the research process is seen to be useful and interesting to all who participate in it. Barbara has designed and implemented both local and national evaluation studies, and her interest in behavioural insights lies in how to move beyond empirical findings to support positive changes in policy and practice. Barbara holds a PhD in Social Policy from the Loughborough University, UK.

Louise Legault
research fellow

“SRDC provides a unique opportunity for researchers to conduct sound, rigorous research outside of a university setting. The organization is learning oriented, striving for excellence and innovation in the rapidly evolving environment of research.”

LL Credit Couvrette Ottawa

Dr. Louise Legault has been conducting applied social research with SRDC since 2006, where she has been responsible for both the research and operational elements of the design, implementation, and evaluation of small- and large-scale pilot projects. Louise has lead or collaborated in numerous policy-relevant evaluation and research projects in the areas of education (from pre-kindergarten to post-secondary), Francophone linguistic minorities, resilience, youth crime prevention, immigration, and other issues of concern to vulnerable groups and communities. She is skilled in experimental and quasi-experimental research methodologies as well as quantitative statistical methods of analysis. Over the course of her career, she has designed numerous measurement tools and designed various data collection methodologies for projects at SRDC and in her work prior to SRDC, where she was involved in evaluation and research projects. Louise has a total of 20 years of experience related to evaluation, research, and consultation services.

Dr. Louise Legault left her permanent position with SRDC in September 2015, but continues to collaborate with SRDC on various projects.

Louise holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. She is a member of the Canadian Evaluation Society, the Canadian Psychology Association, and the Canadian Positive Psychology Association. Louise holds a Canadian Evaluation Society Credentialed Evaluator designation.

Taylor Shek-wai Hui
chief data scientist
613-482-1899 | E-mail

“What impresses me about SRDC is the tirelessness of its researchers in promoting and applying the most suitable and reliable scientific methods in policy study. It is a unique organization with the capacity to identify issues, design sound policies, conduct large-scale demonstration projects through social experiments, collect data and rigorously evaluate programs and policies. It’s satisfying to work with my many expert colleagues at SRDC and contribute to the knowledge of public policy.”

Taylor Shek-wai HuiTaylor Shek-wai Hui joined SRDC as a researcher in quantitative evaluation of social programs. His areas of interest and expertise include experimental and non-experimental methods of evaluation, human capital formation and utilization, social policies, cost-benefit analysis, as well as applied survey and statistical methodologies. Prior to SRDC, Taylor was Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Winnipeg. He holds a Ph. D in Economics from the University of Western Ontario.



Boris Palameta
chief behavioural scientist
613-237-2945 | E-mail

“Working at SRDC provides the opportunity to conduct research that is multi-disciplinary and rigorous in the academic sense, but also directly applicable to policy development. I strongly believe that public policy can be informed and improved by rigorous evaluative research, and I relish both the intellectual challenges and collaborative opportunities that this kind of work brings.”

Img Staff PalametaSince joining SRDC in 2007, Boris Palameta has analyzed a variety of labour and social datasets, contributed to the design of laboratory experiments and demonstration projects, conducted comprehensive literature reviews, authored a policy position paper on future challenges to Canada’s student financial assistance system, and co-authored three major reports on one of SRDC's large-scale demonstration projects. As a former senior analyst with Statistics Canada, he is well versed in quantitative methods and has considerable knowledge of labour and social data sources. His areas of interest and expertise include behavioural economics, human and social capital development, labour market transitions, and immigration issues. Boris holds a Ph. D in Behavioural Sciences from University of Cambridge.

Paul Lalonde
senior research associate
613-482-1897 | E-mail

Img Staff LalondePaul Lalonde is currently working as a team member of the Child Care Pilot Project. His participation in this large-scale SRDC project marks his first professional experience in the field of research. Paul graduated in 2004 with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and completed a second undergraduate degree in international studies and modern languages, both from the University of Ottawa.



Kim Lehrer
senior research associate
343-488-2530 | E-mail

Kim Lehrer joined SRDC in 2019. She is an economist with research interests in labour economics and the economics of education. Prior to joining SRDC, Kim was an associate professor of economics at the Université de Sherbrooke with a research focus on education and labour issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has extensive experience in impact evaluation, data collection, data management, questionnaire design, quantitative analysis, and research dissemination. She is excited to be using this knowledge and experience to explore Canadian issues. Kim holds a Ph.D. and a Masters in Economics from the University of British Columbia and a BA, Economics, from Carleton University.

Geneviève Mák
senior research associate
514-948-5317 ext. 234 | E-mail

Geneviève Mák Geneviève Mák is a senior research associate at SRDC and has over six years experience in research, evaluation, and research project management. She joined SRDC in 2007 and holds a graduate degree in Economics. At SRDC, she worked on the implementation and the evaluation of the project Readiness to Learn in Minority Francophone Communities. In 2009, she started her doctoral program in Public Health at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre, where she continued to evaluate several public health programs, mainly in West Africa. Her recent projects involve epidemiologic, clinical, and health financing topics (e.g., institutional maternal mortality, antiretroviral effectiveness, and mutual health organizations) as well as more health promotion projects aiming to enhance the well-being of vulnerable populations. Geneviève joined again SRDC in 2013. She has expertise with mixed methods research, program evaluation, and economic analysis.

Basia Pakula
senior research associate
778-588-6650 | E-mail

img staff PakulaBasia Pakula joined SRDC in 2016. She has dedicated her professional career to addressing social and structural inequities of disadvantaged populations. She has demonstrated knowledge of social policy development as well as experience in institutionalizing equity, diversity and inclusion across different sectors, and brings over a decade of experience from a variety of multi-disciplinary research and policy environments. Basia has a strong skill set in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies applied to social policy and population health contexts, including experience in the management and analysis of large population datasets. She has a particular interest in research to support evidence-informed decision-making. Basia holds a Ph.D. in Population and Public Health from the University of British Columbia. She also holds a Master of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science/Economics), both from Simon Fraser University.

Julie Rodier
senior research associate
613-244-2833 | E-mail

Img Staff RodierJulie Rodier joined SRDC in 2011 as a researcher. As part of her duties, she is responsible for various research activities such as literature review, quantitative and qualitative data collection, management, and analysis, and report writing.
Julie has contributed to projects on education, official-language minority communities (OLMC), literacy and essential skills, and immigration. Julie obtained a Master’s in Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo. She is currently completing a graduate diploma in public policy and program evaluation at Carleton University.

Karen Snyder
senior research associate
778-589-8602 | E-mail

img staff snyderKaren Snyder joined SRDC in 2019. She is a doctoral-trained professional with over 20 years’ experience improving policies and practices in anti-trafficking, health, and the environment. She has expertise in program planning, implementation and evaluation, qualitative and quantitative research, and knowledge mobilization in the non-profit, government, philanthropic and academic sectors. With a particular focus on community-based participatory approaches, Karen has practical involvement with diverse issues and populations including human trafficking and modern slavery, pesticides and sustainable agriculture, HIV/AIDS, maternal child health, occupational and environmental health, and immigrant, Indigenous and refugee populations in Canada, United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Karen holds a PhD in Biocultural Anthropology and a Masters in Public Health in International Health from the University of Washington.

Patrick Wray
senior research associate
343-488-2073 | E-mail

img staff wrayPatrick Wray joined SRDC in 2019 as a Senior Research Associate. Patrick has over twelve years of experience working in social science research and evaluation in both the public and private sectors. His past experience includes working in the fields of international development (focusing on agriculture and disaster assistance), agriculture in Canada (business risk management, environment, basic and applied research), and public and primary health (such as Indigenous health, family violence, and food safety). He has conducted research in diverse settings including conducting survey research in the private sector, field research in Malawi and India, and most recently has been working for the last nine years in the federal government conducting evaluations and providing advice on performance measurement. 

Patrick has a Master’s degree in International Development from Carleton University, a Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation from the University of Ottawa, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Victoria.

Leah Bartlett
research associate
343-488-8082 | E-mail

img staff bartlettLeah Bartlett brings to her role a background in population health, chronic disease programming, and performance management. For the past eight years, she was responsible for planning, implementation, and evaluation of health care services across the local health region, working in partnership with local stakeholders. Prior to that, she worked as a Senior Analyst at the Assembly of First Nations, on the First National Regional Longitudinal Health Survey. Her experience includes facilitation, program design, stakeholder engagement, project management, survey design, data analysis, and evaluation. Leah holds a Master of Science (Community Health and Epidemiology) and a Bachelor of Science (Double Advanced Major Biology and Psychology) from Dalhousie University.

Kelsey Brennan
research associate
613-237-7976 | E-mail

img_staff_brennanKelsey Brennan is currently working on projects related to population health and health care issues. Her previous research experience includes topics such as apprenticeship education in Canada, literacy and essential skills training in the workplace, and the governance structures of post-secondary institutions. Kelsey is a recent graduate of Carleton University’s Master’s program in Public Administration, with an undergraduate degree in journalism from Ryerson University.


Zinaida Foltin
research associate
613-627-4102 | E-mail

img staff foltinZinaida Foltin joined SRDC in 2018 as a research associate. She holds a Masters of Arts in Economics from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from McMaster University. Currently she is working on her PhD in Economics at the University of Western Ontario. Zina has experience in both quantitative and qualitative research and her areas of interest and expertise include economics of education, peer effects, and social networks.



Sonya Howard
research associate
343-488-8079 | E-mail

img staff howardSonya Howard joined SRDC in 2019 as a research associate. She brings over
six years of experience in labour market development, including planning, developing, delivering, designing, and evaluating national, regional, and local Indigenous skills, training and employment initiatives, policies, and programs. She has hands-on knowledge of labour market development opportunities and challenges faced by youth and Indigenous people living in urban areas. She was a project lead for a federally-funded pre-trades Skills Link project, supported program delivery for a Vancouver regional Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) provider, and worked directly with Friendship Centres that deliver labour market and literacy and essential skills programming across Canada. While with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), she assisted in the management of Indigenous labour market programs. She has also assisted in the summative evaluation of the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy (AHRDS). She has gained extensive stakeholder engagement experience while working for her First Nation, Tsawwassen, as well as for a member of parliament and national Indigenous organizations.

Sonya obtained a Master of Arts Degree in Economics from Queen’s University with a focus on the labour market outcomes of Indigenous people living off-reserve. She received a Bachelor’s degree, Honours, in Economics and International Political Economy from Trent University.

Wendy Lee
research associate
613-482-1936 | E-mail

img staff leeWendy joined SRDC in 2018 as a researcher. Her experiences span laboratory research, applied research within the community, and knowledge mobilization in the mental health sector. Her previous research includes conducting experiments on early cognitive and socioemotional processes in young children, examining self-control, resilience, and school outcomes in a family homeless shelter, and analyzing long-term educational outcomes of a preschool intervention for at-risk children. Prior to joining SRDC, Wendy completed post-doctoral research on future-thinking and taught undergraduate courses at the University of Ottawa. She also worked as a knowledge broker supporting the uptake and use of research, evidence-based practices, and evidence-based tools in mental health and addictions, focusing on implementation, evaluation, knowledge mobilization, and youth and family engagement. Wendy holds a PhD in child psychology with a minor in prevention science from the University of Minnesota, and a BSc in psychology research, cognitive science, and linguistics from the University of Toronto.

Dominique Leonard
research associate
613-789-1364 | E-mail

“As a researcher, it is enormously fulfilling to be part of SRDC – an organization which values its employees and which has a clear vision for the role rigorous research should play in informing policy decision-making on issues of concern to Canadians.”

Dominique LeonardDominique Leonard has been an SRDC researcher since 2008. She has worked as data and operations manager for the Child Care Pilot Project, a multi-year demonstration project in Francophone minority communities across Canada, and more recently as a major contributor to the review of postsecondary access and retention programs funded by the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation. Dominique has experience in program operations, data management, protocol design, interviews and focus groups, and both quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Her publication contributions include chapters for SRDC’s project reports and articles in academic journals. Prior to joining SRDC, she held a number of positions at the University of Ottawa, most notably as research coordinator with the Student Academic Success Centre. Dominique is completing her Master’s in Education at the University of Ottawa, specializing in teaching, learning, and evaluation.

Cam Nguyen
research associate
613-237-5039 | E-mail

img staff c_nguyenCam Nguyen has been an SRDC researcher since 2015. She brings to the team a well-rounded perspective in policy research, having used a multi-disciplinary approach to analyze public policies and social programs. Her areas of interest and expertise include labour market research, student financial aid and employment assistance program evaluation, experimental and non-experimental methods of analysis, public finance, as well as applied survey and statistical methodologies.

Prior to joining SRDC, Cam worked as a Public Policy and Entrepreneurship Intern with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. She also accumulated ample experience in data management, having contributed to the work of an employment assistance centre in Massachusetts and a development consulting firm in Vermont. Cam holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Carleton University, a Master’s degree in International Development from the University of Cambridge, UK, and a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Political Economy and Psychology from Williams College, US.

Jacey Payne
research associate
587-890-8425 | E-mail

img staff PayneJacey joined SRDC in 2015 as a Calgary-based research associate. Working in the research and evaluation sector for nearly ten years, she has provided consulting services in areas including health, human services, education, and employment. Jacey has extensive experience in both qualitative and quantitative data collection, analysis, and report writing, with much of her work culminating in the development of recommendations to inform policy and planning for government, non-profit, and other clients. Jacey holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Alberta, where her thesis research related to the experiences of the homeless working poor in Calgary.

Jennifer Rae
research associate
613-237-7668 | E-mail

img staff raeJennifer Rae joined SRDC in 2019 as a Research Associate. Her educational background is in the field of Community Psychology. Her areas of interest include community mental health, addiction, and homelessness. She has experience conducting applied research and evaluation using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Jennifer holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Ottawa. Her thesis research focused on access to education for youth from low-income family backgrounds.


Sinwan Basharat
343-488-2071 | E-mail

img staff basharatSinwan Basharat joined SRDC in 2019 as a Researcher. He has a background in Epidemiology and Public Health, and has worked in research and the non-profit sector for the past six years both in Canada and in the UK. Working primarily with quantitative evidence, he has experience in advising and consulting government and the wider health sector in policy development and program design. He is passionate about using evidence to not just inform but guide health and social interventions. He has masters degrees in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and in Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto.

Laura Celeste
778-383-1215 | E-mail

img staff celesteLaura Celeste joined SRDC in 2019 as a Researcher. She brings experience researching education policy, diversity and inclusion, and multiculturalism. Most recently, she has been a researcher of post-secondary education policies for the British Columbia Federation of Students, where her research was used to advocate affordable and accessible post-secondary education for all students in British Columbia. She has experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating the success of social interventions in secondary schools across various parts of the world. Her research interests are focused on social inclusion, prejudice reduction, well-being, and support for members of disadvantaged and marginalized groups across a wide variety of contexts.

Laura holds a PhD in Social and Cultural Psychology from the University of Leuven, Belgium, a Master of Science in Applied Social Psychology from the University of Sussex, UK, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Italian Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.

Chloe Halpenny
343-488-2074 | E-mail

img staff halpennyChloe Halpenny joined SRDC in 2019 as a Researcher. With particular strengths in qualitative methods, she brings research experience and expertise in income security, social assistance programming, and gender-based analysis more broadly. Most recently, she spent the past year completing her thesis comprising a feminist analysis of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, based on original interviews with pilot participants. Chloe holds a Master’s in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies from the University of Cambridge, a Master’s in Social Policy & Development from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor’s in Public Affairs & Policy Management from Carleton University.

Xiaoyang Luo
604-601-4076 | E-mail

img staff luoXiaoyang Luo joined SRDC in 2019. She brings significant experience working with newcomers to BC and conducting and facilitating research to support their integration. Her research experience in the settlement sector supported service providers to develop and propose responsive and client-centred programs for immigrants and refugees in Metro Vancouver. She also delivered training to settlement staff to increase their research capacity and understanding of the impacts of immigration policies on their clients and their services. Outside of the settlement sector, Xiaoyang has research experience in the K-12 and higher education sectors. Her research interests include immigration and integration, supportive family policies, and intersectionality. She is passionate about improving the economic and social outcomes of individuals and communities experiencing marginalization.

Xiaoyang holds a Master of Public Policy from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from McGill University.

Maria Montenegro
778-589-8603 | E-mail

img staff montenegroMaria Montenegro joined SRDC in 2019 as a Researcher. She brings four years of experience researching settlement, gender, and other social issues. Most recently, she has been a Research Analyst of the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program, where she designed and conducted quantitative and qualitative research projects to support program planning. She also led program evaluation and outcomes measurement, including developing an evaluation framework to assess the impact of the program on several aspects of newcomers’ lives including their essential skills, digital literacy, and social capital. She holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Alberta. She completed fieldwork in the high Peruvian Andes for her thesis research which looked at the effect of land rights on women’s empowerment.

Audrey Appiah
research assistant / data analyst
343-488-2074 | E-mail

img staff appiahAudrey joined SRDC in May 2019. She brings strong research, analytical, and data management skills that support multiple projects. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Ghana, a Master of Arts in Economics from Carleton University, and is currently a PhD student at the University of Ottawa writing her dissertation in health economics; specifically, the effect of health policy on disadvantaged groups and measuring socioeconomic inequality in health. She has prior experience working as a research/teaching assistant at Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, and Baptist University.

Elizabeth Rodgers
director, Human Resources and Corporate Services
613-482-1892 | E-mail

“Great workplaces are built through day-to-day relationships that employees develop and experience. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with such a dynamic, passionate, and committed team in a truly great workplace.”

ER Credit Couvrette OttawaElizabeth Rodgers has over 30 years' experience in the non-profit, staffing, accounting, and high-tech sectors. From 2004-2007, she was a board member for the Charlotte Birchard Centres for Early Learning (CBCEL). She has been a member of a local network of human resources professionals since 1999 and the Human Resources Professional Association of Ontario (HRPAO) since 2000. Elizabeth obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Windsor in 1989, a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation in 2003, an Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate in 2004, a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation in 2014, and a Workplace Mental Health Leadership Certificate in 2016.

Lucie Chrétien
director of finance
343-488-8083 | E-mail

img staff chretienLucie Chrétien is responsible for overseeing all SRDC financial operations including accounting, budgeting, internal financial reporting, and analysis to the management team. She also liaises regularly with auditors, bankers, and statutory authorities. Lucie has over 20 years of extensive financial management experience gained in diverse industries and sectors including not-for-profit and health care sectors. Before joining SRDC in December 2017, Lucie worked for the Council of Canadians, the Eastern Ottawa Community Family Health Team, and the Ottawa Hospital.

Emilie Lapointe
613-656-2953 | E-mail

img staff lapointeEmilie Lapointe joined SRDC in 2018, and is responsible for all SRDC financial operations including accounting, budgeting, internal reporting, and financial analysis. She also liaises regularly with auditors, bankers, and statutory authorities. Emilie has over nine years of accounting experience, particularly in the heavy equipment industry. She obtained a BSc from the University of Ottawa before deciding to continue her studies in accounting and finance. In addition, Emilie has a particular interest in information systems.


Diego Moreno
senior accountant
613-237-0625 | E-mail

img staff morenoDiego Moreno is responsible for SRDC financial operations including accounting, budgeting, internal reporting, and financial analysis. He also liaises regularly with auditors, bankers, and statutory authorities. Diego has over ten years of accounting and financial experience gained in multiple industries across the Canadian and foreign markets. He obtained an MBA in 2014, and is currently pursuing his CPA designation.



Le Thu Nguyen
613-237-0625 | E-mail

“SRDC has been one of the milestones in my professional career where I have found opportunities to grow and develop. I wish to continue making significant and positive contributions to the organization.”

Le Thu NguyenLe Thu Nguyen is responsible for all SRDC financial operations including accounting, budgeting, internal financial reporting and analysis to the management team. She also liaises regularly with auditors, bankers, and statutory authorities. Le Thu has over 10 years of extensive financial management experience gained in diverse industries and sectors including not-for-profit and privately-owned organizations. Before joining SRDC in January 2003, Le Thu worked for Welch LLP, an accounting firm in Ottawa.


Bob Gorley
corporate services officer
613-237-4311 ext. 2221 | E-mail

Img Staff GorleyBob Gorley joined SRDC some 10 years ago and continues to provide services in accounts payable and corporate support. In previous positions, he contributed as purchasing officer for IT services at the Economic Council of Canada and worked as corporate services assistant for Queen's-University of Ottawa Economic Projects and Canadian Policy Research Networks.



Haley du Fresne
administrative and research services assistant
604-282-4353 | E-mail

img staff du fresneHaley du Fresne joined SRDC in 2018. She joins us from New Zealand and brings with her an understanding of working in both non-profit and private sectors, in a variety of industries including healthcare, finance, and IT. She holds a Diploma in Digital Media. Haley is experienced in database management, administration, and processing information to be easily consumed by diverse demographics of all levels.




British Columbia Centre for Employment Excellence Staff

Susanna Gurr
BC CfEE managing director
604-601-4073 | E-mail

“I love the work we do at SRDC. It is gratifying to know that our results and the lessons learned from our work are used in developing policies, programs, and practices to make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.”

Img Staff GurrSusanna Lui Gurr joined SRDC in 1992, initially specializing in developing, implementing, and evaluating large-scale social experiments. As SRDC expanded its work to include program evaluations, Susanna has focused more on program evaluations, especially with health promotion and population health initiatives. Susanna has directed or played leadership roles on many SRDC projects. She is also involved in writing proposals and developing research designs for innovative projects. Before joining SRDC, Susanna held senior research positions with the Province of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. Throughout her career, Susanna has worked on social and health issues in areas such as income security, employment, early childhood development, poverty, higher education, school reform, health promotion and population health, disabilities and immigration and other issues of concern to vulnerable groups and communities. In addition, she has authored and coauthored numerous publications.

Susanna holds a Master of Arts in Economics from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of British Columbia.

Shawn de Raaf
research director
604-601-4077 | E-mail

Img Staff DeraffShawn de Raaf has been a senior researcher at SRDC for over a decade, covering a wide range of topics related to employment, training, income security, and community economic development. He most recently helped lead the design and evaluation of CareerMotion, a research study that examined the effectiveness of providing online career information to post-secondary graduates in BC.