Sarah-Patricia Breen

Head shot of Dr. Sarah-Patricia Breen
Adjunct Faculty - RPD

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Dr. Sarah-Patricia Breen is Selkirk College’s BC Regional Innovation Chair (RIC) in Rural Economic Development. Sarah-Patricia's goal is to inform and support our rural region to thrive under conditions of rapid change. She works at every level, from tiny micro-projects to national scale policy information projects.

Sarah-Patricia's work is based on regional priorities and partnerships with local and regional governments, organizations and businesses and aims to improve the economic climate of rural regions and communities.

Sarah holds a PhD in Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University, a Masters in Geography from Memorial University, and a Bachelor's degree in Geography from Lakehead University. In addition to her role at Selkirk Innovates, she is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph. She has over 10 years of experience in research, policy, and project management. Her research interests include economic development, infrastructure, natural resource management, resilience, governance and policy—all with a specific focus on rural.

Originally from Thunder Bay, ON, Sarah now makes her home in Nelson, where she lives with her husband and dog.  Sarah-Patricia is a human resource that you can connect with. She works hard to understand the challenges faced in our rural areas in order to create more effective policies, programs and regulations. Her work also aims to:

  • Create greater capacity within our regional organizations and local government.
  • Help both public and private sector organizations make better-informed decisions.
  • Assist in developing strategic directions for investment and economic development.
  • Increase employment and/or stabilize existing employment levels and income security.

The RIC is supported through an endowment established under the BC Leading Edge Endowment Fund, which includes matching funding from non-government sources.