OTTAWA, May 29, 2024 – The Canadian Institute of Planners is pleased to announce five new inductees into its esteemed College of Fellows: Andrew Yan, Antonio Gomez-Palacio, Derek Coleman, Russell Mathew, and Somia Sadiq.

“The College of Fellows celebrates exceptional professional accomplishments in public, private, and academic domains, as well as outstanding volunteer work and mentorship of aspiring planners,” said Dan Huang RPP, MCIP, President of the Canadian Institute of Planners. “We take great pride in welcoming these five distinguished planners into the College of Fellows, acknowledging their significant impact on the field of planning in Canada and around the globe.”

Co-Chairs of the College of Fellows, Paul Bedford RPP, FCIP and Mark Holland RPP, FCIP shared a comment as well. “We are excited to announce that we are welcoming five new Fellows in 2024,” they said. “These individuals have demonstrated outstanding leadership and dedication to the planning profession, with years of experience at the local, provincial, national, and international levels. Their passion for planning will greatly enrich the College of Fellows, and we look forward to their valuable contributions and active engagement in our current and future initiatives.”

Andrew Yan RPP, FCIP

Andy Yan is the director of The City Program and an Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University (SFU). Prior to his SFU appointment, Andy had extensively worked in the non-profit and private urban planning sectors with projects in the metropolitan regions of Vancouver, San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Andy holds a master of Urban Planning from the University of California – Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts with first-class honours distinctions in Geography and Political Science from Simon Fraser University. His research interests include housing policy, neighbourhood development and regeneration, immigration, and urban and demographic data analytics, visualization, and storytelling. He also maintains ongoing research and professional interests in the historic and contemporary development of Chinatowns and other immigrant neighbourhoods in North America. Andy is also on the Board of Directors for the Planning Institute of British Columbia and a trustee of the Jack Webster Foundation.

Antonio Gomez-Palacio RPP, FCIP

Antonio Gómez-Palacio is a registered planner and was trained internationally as an architect. As DIALOG Chair, his mission is to leverage collective creativity and innovation to deliver design solutions to the many challenges we face globally – from climate change and equity to social wellbeing. Antonio’s project work has spanned communities from Halifax to Victoria, from Iqaluit to Mérida. A common thread has been the integration of diverse perspectives, through a creative process, for purpose-driven outcomes. As a result, Antonio is internationally recognized for creating transformational and vibrant urban spaces that support their social, economic, and environmental context. Antonio is frequently called upon to lead conversations on how the design of the built environment con contribute to community wellbeing. He became a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada College in 2018, recognized for his outstanding contributions to the design community.

Derek Coleman FCIP

Derek Coleman is a recognized pioneer in the field of environmental and ecological planning.  He was one of the country’s first planners to demonstrate how a science-based approach could support the inclusion of environmental considerations into the planning process. In the 1970s, he founded one of the first environmental/ecological consulting firms, and over an extensive career, Dr. Coleman has helped set the standard for environmental planning in Canada.

He has been a leader in educating the planning profession on how to survey, analyze and plan in a manner that protects environmentally important landscapes, species, wetlands, forests and shorelines.  He has worked on over 1,000 projects in eight provinces and collectively this work has helped to protect the natural environment in Canada.  As a committee representative, Dr. Coleman helped develop the municipal- class environmental assessment regulations in Ontario and in a similar role, he contributed to drafting the regulations for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Russell Mathew RPP, FCIP

Russell Mathew is a partner at Hemson Consulting Ltd. with nearly 40 years of professional experience in growth management, long-range planning, and demographic and economic forecasts. During his distinguished career, he has undertaken growth management related planning assignments across Canada.

Russell’s career has focused on the development of sophisticated demographic and economic forecasts at the provincial, regional, and municipal level. This expertise has included housing, non-residential space and land need projections used at every level of government. Russell’s forecasting work is based on his expertise in analyzing market dynamics and planning for the economic base as a foundation to urban and regional growth management. He has prepared a wide range of economic and growth-related studies for varying scales from super-regional to traffic zones. Russell is a speaker, mentor, volunteer, and active community member.

Somia Sadiq RPP, FCIP

Based in Manitoba, Somia Sadiq is a leading planner who has developed a pioneering practice in engagement, conflict transformation, and negotiating space for those whose voices are often unheard or ignored. Rooted in the work of impact assessment, Somia founded Narratives Inc., a planning firm that emphasizes human-centric, trauma-informed story work, lived experience, and creating space for celebration of ancestral identity. Somia is also the founder of Kahanee, a non-profit organization that works nationally and internationally amplifying storytelling and facilitated dialogue for peacebuilding.

Somia began her professional planning career undertaking impact assessment with a focus on resource, energy, and infrastructure projects. Her Master’s Thesis focused on Free, Informed, and Prior Consent (FPIC) by Indigenous communities in mining projects, and led to a series of recommendations for reforms in impact assessment process and legislation in Canada. Her Doctorate focuses on understanding the role of Identity, Othering, and Trauma in conflict transformation.

View the full list of Fellows:

Learn more about the nomination process:


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The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) works on behalf of over 9,000 diverse planning professionals and has served as the voice of Canada’s planning community since 1919. Planners safeguard the health and well-being of urban and rural communities by addressing the use of land, resources, facilities, and services with consideration to physical, economic, and social efficiency.