Charley Beresford | Executive Director

Charley Picture

As Executive Director of the Columbia Institute, Charley attended the UNFCCC climate discussions in Copenhagen (2009) and Paris (2015) and regularly contributes research and analysis on sustainability issues and emerging public policy issues. Under her stewardship, the Institute has developed four research streams – green economy, public finance, local economy and governance – helping shape the public discussion and related actions around these issues. The Institute’s Centre for Civic Governance has created an annual setting for locally elected leaders to explore policy solutions for challenges in their communities.

From 1996 to 2008, Charley served as a School Board Trustee in B.C.’s capital city of Victoria. As a Trustee, she successfully campaigned to save provincially-funded Inner City School Funds and led the development of a groundbreaking anti-homophobia action plan and anti-discrimination policy. Prior to joining the Institute, Charley worked with public and private sector organizations focused on community development, serving four years as a Director in the BC Ministry of Finance overseeing appointments to provincial agencies, boards and commissions. Charley writes regularly on public policy solutions across Canada and provides frequent commentary for media.

Contact Charley at email or via telephone at 604-695-2031.


 Sharon Roling | Special Projects

SRoling ImageSharon heads up Columbia Institute’s special projects. Before joining us, she worked at a consulting firm in New York, taking the lead on developing global marketing, advocacy and research initiatives on a wide range of socio-economic development projects, mainly across Africa, for non-profit organizations working in partnership with universities, business, and government.

Prior to that, she worked at the United Nations on a UN Global Conflict Prevention initiative, and at a peace-making think tank in Tel Aviv, focusing on Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian cross-border cooperation. Along the way, she has worked in academia and journalism with a focus on travel & tourism, conflict/genocide prevention, social entrepreneurship, and regional cooperation. Sharon holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in history from UBC.

Contact Sharon at email or via telephone at 604-695.2034.


Amor Verdeflor-Alvarado | Office Administration

Amor Pic2Before joining Columbia Institute, Amor worked with Amnesty International-PRO as the office coordinator and with FORGE, a non-profit organization based in the Philippines, as HR/Administrative officer for eight years.

Amor earned her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Psychology and Master’s in Business Management from the University of the Philippines. She has also completed her office administration program at Vancouver Community College.

Contact Amor at email or via telephone at 604-695-4035.