Our team consists of experienced and culturally diverse individuals. Meet the Directors of Sustainable Cities International.

Caroline Assaf

Director / President / IYIP

Caroline Assaf is an engagement professional with a focus on youth, cities and municipalities. She has more than 15 years experience in communications and marketing, working with the private sector on international portfolios.

Read more

Caroline is a Founding Director and Public Engagement Director at Sustainable Cities International Society. She also founded Young Speakers, a social enterprise empowering youth through public speaking and communications to drive positive change in their communities.

Additionally, Caroline is an engagement consultant for the BC Hydro Sustainable Communities program, designing and implementing a capacity building and knowledge transfer platform for the community energy managers of 11 municipalities across BC.

At Sustainable Cities, Caroline has worked on the SCI Energy Lab, a three year knowledge exchange program for 10 international cities across Europe, North America and Africa.

Prior to becoming a Founding Director for Sustainable Cities International Society, Caroline worked closely with the City of Vancouver on two major international engagement events:

- The WWF Earth Hour Capital 2014 event where more than 164 international cities were invited.

-The Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance annual meeting 2015 where 17 pioneering cities came together to engage and draw the pathway towards a carbon neutral future.

Caroline has recently been appointed the program manager for an international youth internship program funded by Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Agency – Canada, aimed at deploying 40 youth interns over the next two years to six under
developed countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to support local partners and municipalities for sustainable economic growth.

Her latest publication is a stakeholders’ engagement guide for municipalities across Canada to promote district energy systems in their local communities.

Caroline has a master degree from France, a sustainability management certificate from UBC. She has a certificate in public participation and engagement from the International
Association of Public Participation. She is currently pursuing a part-time master in Sustainability Management at Harvard Extension School.

Jane McRae

Director / Vice-President

Jane McRae is an urban sustainability professional with more than 20 years of Canadian and international experience as a strategist and advisor in the field of sustainable development.

Read more

Jane joined Sustainable Cities International in 2003 as the Program Director to launch the SCI Network, a network of international cities working to advance long range sustainability strategies. Over the next ten years, Jane worked closely with city stakeholder teams to advance their respective and collective sustainability processes by facilitating platforms for knowledge transfer. Jane has also led the design and implementation of large international cooperation projects based in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

As SCI’s Executive Director between 2010-2014, Jane utilized her wide network of contacts in cities and knowledge of best practices to advance the organizations role as a change agent for urban sustainability efforts worldwide. In 2014, Jane formed a partnership with Simon Fraser University and now operates SCI from a base within the University.

Jane holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology, from Dalhousie University, and a Masters of Environmental Education from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

Edna Aguiñaga

Director / Secretary

Edna has over 15 years of experience working on sustainability in both developing and developed countries. Edna worked with public, corporate and non-profit sectors and facilitated workshops in more than 25 countries.

Read more

Edna has extensive experience in strategic planning, developing and monitoring sustainability indicators and reporting. Edna started collaborating with SCI in Oct 2010, acting as the main liaison with Latin American cities, providing support for their sustainability initiatives.

Edna is originally from Mexico. She holds a Masters Degree on Environmental Science and Technology from the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in The Netherlands and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from La Salle University in Mexico. She speaks English, French, Portuguese and Spanish and has a basic level of Mandarin Chinese.

Bertine Stelzer

Director / Treasurer

Bertine is a sustainability management professional with 6 years of experience in designing, managing and facilitating knowledge transfer process to build human capacity around renewable energy implementation.

Read more

She managed and facilitated international research and peer exchange projects on renewable energy implementation, involving regional and local governments in Europe, South Africa and North America.

Bertine joined Sustainable Cities International in 2013 as the Program Manager for the Energy Lab, a 3-year pilot knowledge transfer platform for cities internationally on sustainable energy initiative design, planning and implementation. Since summer 2014, Bertine has been serving as director and treasurer for the Sustainable Cities International Society.

Next to serving the SCI Board, Bertine works as the Member Relations Officer for Realize Strategies Co-operative and also consults for the BC Hydro Power Smart Sustainable Communities program.

Bertine’s greatest skill is building connections between ideas and people. With this she continues to help local governments, non-profits and social enterprises in BC and internationally to improve their social and environmental impact every step of the way.

Silvia Mejia

Director / Mexico

Silvia Mejia Reza is a specialist in urban development, housing, architecture and sustainability with more than 10 years professional experience.

Read more

Silvia started collaborating with Sustainable Cities International in 2012. Since then she has contributed to projects and workshops related to Metropolitan Governance in Mexico and Resource Efficiency in cities supported by the United Nations Environmental Program.

Prior to her role with Sustainability Cities International, Silvia worked as an adviser to the Secretariat of Urban Development and Planning in the Ministry of Social Development from 2007 to 2012. In 2013 she joined UN Habitat Colombia as head of the office in Santa Marta where she worked on the master plan for the city and the “I’m a city changer campaign” promoted by UN Habitat.
Currently she is a consultant for UN-Habitat Mexico where she coordinates metropolitan governance issues with the Ministry of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development of the Federal Government. She consults for McBains Cooper Mexico were she collaborates in urban planning and architecture projects. Silvia also coordinates the academic content for the International Forum on Innovation and Metropolitan Governance.

Silvia has been a columnist for the newspaper Capital of Mexico since 2012 and is part of the editorial board of the newsletter Espacio Urbano from the newspaper El Financiero.

Silvia graduated as an architect from the Technological Institute of Superior Studies of Monterrey. She has a Master degree in Architecture from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a Master in Urban and Regional Development for Developing Countries from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona.


Contact Us