International Relations Professional Learning Community (IR-PLC)

This PLC creates a space for discussion, learning, and collaboration for International Relations Officers and others whose work focuses on supporting and promoting international collaborations.


The mandate of the IR-PLC is to create a space where International Relations Officers can share experiences with their colleagues across Canada, exchange and access information, opportunities and best practices, link in to the wider international relations community and work together to champion international collaboration in Canadian institutions. The IR-PLC also enables Canadian IROs to connect with peers in areas of common interest and we aspire to do this in ways that include our global community of practitioners.

The IR-PLC group welcomes members from all levels of the international relations field and who hold diverse responsibilities within IR from across the country. Members are encouraged to actively contribute to the group’s rich discussions.

Unlocking Opportunities: The Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) as a Partner for Global Engagement

September 19, 2023

IR-PLC Annual General Meeting (AGM)

November 1, 2023

IR-PLC Annual General Meeting – Keynote: Gordon Houlden – “Partnerships With China: Challenges, Considerations, and Opportunities for Canadian Institutions

November 9, 2022

International Partnerships and the SDGs: Embedding Sustainability into Global Engagement

October 6, 2022

From Conception to Implementation: A Journey Through International Partnership Assessments

April 19, 2022

IR-PLC Annual General Meeting (AGM)

November 9, 2021

Assessing International Partnerships Through a Decolonial Lens

November 9, 2021

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee members and co-chairs act as a voice for the IR-PLC and increase awareness of the IR community they represent. For more information on roles and responsibilities, please see the IR-PLC’s Terms of Reference.

2023-2024 Steering Committee Members

Natasha Fernandez
Manager, Global Engagement and Partnerships
University of Guelph
Co-Chair 2023-2025

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Rooted in more than a decade of international education experience across both the private and public sectors, Natasha most recently joined the University of Guelph in 2021 as the Manager, Global Engagement and Partnerships. This role is situated in a newer office, the Office of International Strategy and Partnerships. In her current role, she works closely and collaboratively with campus partners to meet their internationalization and partnership goals. Her work is focused on partnership development and management, collaborating with a range of stakeholders at institutions and organizations abroad.

Being a proud alumna of Guelph, Natasha was excited to return to U of G professionally and contribute to establishing this new unit.

Prior to Guelph, Natasha was at KPU in B.C. and before that she lived and worked abroad as an Education Advisor.

Natasha holds a Certificate in Adult Education from George Brown College. Fluent in Spanish, she has studied, lived or worked in Cuba, Ecuador, and Uruguay.

Dan Fredrick

Dan Fredrick
Director, Global Engagement
University of Alberta
Co-Chair 2022-2024

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Dan Fredrick has more than 20 years of experience in international relations, education, research, and client services.

Since 2008, Dan has held leadership positions in the International Office at the University of Alberta. In his current role as Director, Global Engagement, he leads teams responsible for International Relations, International Agreements, International Projects, and the Sponsored Student Program.

Prior to joining the University of Alberta, Dan taught History, Geography, and Governance to secondary students in Ottawa; served in the Canadian Parliament as a Foreign Policy Advisor to one of Canada’s national political parties; and worked in Canada and the Middle East as an Immigration Consultant. He holds Master’s degrees in International Affairs and Religious Studies.

Sherilyn Acorn
International Liaison Officer and Manager of Study Abroad and International Partnerships
University of Prince Edward Island

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With over 17 years experience in International Education and Relations, Sherilyn has worked in almost every aspect of the international realm in post-secondary education. She has a passion for international experiential learning and international relations. Graduating from the University of Prince Edward Island with a Bachelor of Business Administration including certificates in Cooperative Education and Accounting, completing a Master of Education – Leadership in Learning with a focus on International Education, also from UPEI, Sherilyn is now employed by her alma mater as the International Liaison Officer and Manager of Study Abroad and International Partnerships. Her main role is managing international relations with current and potential partners as well as focussing on enhancing and increasing study abroad opportunities for UPEI students.

Recep Demir
Manager, Global Partnerships
York University

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Recep joined York University in January 2022 as a Global Learning Corrdinator and was promoted to his current role the following year. Before joining York International, Recep served as the Manager of International Relations and Head of the Broadcasting Strategies Centre at one of the world’s largest public broadcasters, the Turkish Radio Television Corporation (TRT), for nearly three years.

Prior to TRT, Recep worked as a Senior Specialist in the International Higher Education and Scholarships Division of the Ministry of Education in Turkey for five years. During his time at the Ministry, he led a team of professionals in administering a Study Abroad Scholarship Program with an annual value of $200 million, supporting over 5,000 students in more than 40 countries. He also negotiated co-funding agreements with universities in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

Recep holds a PhD degree in Political Science from the University of Sheffield (UK), an MA degree in Political Science from the University of Manchester (UK) and a BA in International Relations from Turkey. He was a visiting researcher during his PhD studies at Princeton University, and a visiting lecturer at the University of Warsaw (Poland). Recep also taught international politics and globalization courses at the Public Administration Institute for Turkey and the Middle East (TODAIE).

Fun facts: Recep hosted a live TV show for two years and was a member of the University of Sheffield Basketball Team and Trafford BC Manchester.

Kimmy Do
Manager, Global Initiatives
Humber College

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Kimmy Do, MSc., is the Manager of Global Initiatives, Partnerships and Programs at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Humber College, Toronto, Ontario. With over 15 years of extensive experience in international education, she has demonstrated exceptional leadership and management skills in spearheading various international projects, partnerships, program development, and teaching in Canada and Vietnam. Her expertise extends across partnership development, academic exchange facilitation, work-integrated learning initiatives, and business development endeavors.

Throughout her career, Kimmy has been instrumental in crafting impactful programs while simultaneously contributing to the international educational landscape in both Canada and Vietnam. Drawing from her roles as an international student, professional, exchange faculty member, and immigrant across different countries, she brings a unique and multifaceted perspective to her work. This diverse exposure has fueled her passionate advocacy for the transformative potential of international education. Kimmy firmly believes in its capacity to empower individuals and foster positive societal change.

Kennis Fung
International Partnership Officer, Asia & Oceania
University of Manitoba

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Kennis manages international relations and funding programs pertaining to Asia and Oceania at the University of Manitoba (UM). With over 14 years’ experience working for three different North American universities, Kennis has worked in student recruitment, Executive Education program development, event management as well as in three different faculties before joining Research and International at UM. In addition, Kennis spent seven years in the private sector when she resided in Hong Kong. As the Head of Marketing of a legal publishing company, she managed business development and a subscription sales team before she moved to Canada in 2012.
Kennis is fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. Educated in Hong Kong, the U.K. and Canada, Kennis is now pursuing her second master degree (MA in Global Diplomacy from SOAS, University of London).

Emily MacDougall
Director, Global Partnerships
University of British Columbia

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Emily MacDougall is the Director of Global Partnerships in the Office of the Vice-Provost International at the University of British Columbia (UBC), responsible for institutional partnerships, agreements and international relations, and more broadly for fostering strategic partnership engagement that supports long-term institutional goals. Prior to joining UBC in 2019, Emily worked in the non-profit sector for over 10 years, focused on partnership management and global development programs, working extensively in East Africa in particular.  Emily holds a MA in International Studies from SFU and BComm from Queen’s University.

Faye Salins
Senior Intercultural and Diplomatic Advisor
University of Calgary

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Ms. Faye Salins specializes in international relations, multilateral stakeholder engagement, international trade and intercultural communication. Faye is currently the Senior Intercultural and Diplomatic Advisor at the University of Calgary, where she serves as the liaison between the University, international government representatives, and key Canadian provincial and federal agencies engaged in international trade.

Prior to her current role, Faye was an instructor for international business and communication courses at the undergraduate level in Edmonton, Alberta and Mumbai, India. She has also worked in the international student advising and programming space across various post-secondary institutions in Alberta.

Ms. Salins has an M.Sc. (International Management) from the University of Lethbridge, an M. Com (Finance) from the University of Mumbai, and is a Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional (CCIP)

Ruth Wax

Ruth Wax
Manager, Education Abroad, International Centre for Students, University of Victoria

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Ruth Wax is an international education professional currently serving as the Manager, Education Abroad at the University of Victoria’s International Centre for Students. With a passion for fostering equitable and sustainable global opportunities for students, Ruth is dedicated to empowering students with the competencies and experiences needed to thrive in an ever-changing world.

Ruth has over 10 years of experience working in various aspects of the international education sector, including student engagement and success, contract training, recruitment, mobility and partnership development. Ruth immigrated from Germany and holds a MA in Intercultural Communication and European Studies and a BA in Sociology.