Board of Governors


The Board's general role is to foster the Justice Institute of British Columbia's short and long-term success consistent with its mandated objectives and accountabilities. The Board oversees the affairs of JIBC, supervises management which is responsible for day-to-day operations, and (through the President), sets the standards of organizational conduct. The Board's primary accountability is to the Government of BC, through the Ministry of Advanced Education, as identified in the Letter of Expectations as well as the Taxpayer Accountability Principles - Mandate Letter.

Related Board Documents


The Board is composed of eight or more persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and the President and CEO. Appointed members are eligible for a maximum of six years service, in one-, two- and three-year successive terms. Board members elect the Chair of the Board annually.

Board Member Biographies

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Dr. Stephen Gamble - Chair

2018 Stephen GambleStephen Gamble is currently the fire chief at the Township of Langley. He is also a director at the Institution of Fire Engineers – British Columbia Group. Previously, he worked for the City of Port Coquitlam for 14 years as a fire chief, assistant fire chief and firefighter. Dr. Gamble currently serves his community as a president for the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and the Fire Chiefs Association of British Columbia. He has earned his Bachelor of General Studies degree from Simon Fraser University, his Certificate in Municipal Management from Capilano University, and his Doctor of Law, Honoris Causa from the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

Mr. Len Goerke

Len Goerke is currently Chief Constable of the West Vancouver Police Department. He has been a police officer since 1987; prior to joining WVPD, he was Deputy Chief Constable of the Abbotsford Police Department. Chief Goerke is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), past President of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP), past co-chair of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) Labour Relations Committee, and is an active member of both organizations serving on a variety of committees. From 2015 to July 2019, he served on the Board of Governors of the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) including time as Vice-Chair and Chair of its Finance and Audit committee. He has recently joined the Board of the Restorative Justice Association of BC. Chief Goerke has completed the Executive Program at the Ivey School of Business University of Western Ontario, holds a Master of Arts from Royal Roads University and a Bachelor of Arts from UFV. He has taught as a sessional instructor at both UFV and the JIBC and served as an external graduate thesis examiner for Simon Fraser University. Chief Goerke is a member of the Order of Merit of Police Forces, a recipient of the Queens Diamond Jubilee medal and the Police Exemplary Service medal.

Ms. Jackie Gorton

Jacqueline Gorton

Jacqueline (Jackie) Gorton is the Vice President, Technology & Business Intelligence at Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. She has worked as a finance lead, a chief internal audit and risk management lead, and is now the head of the IT section at her current company.  Her career has spanned multiple industries and sectors, from retail, wholesale and gaming to the municipal sector. Ms. Gorton is a Chartered Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor.  She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree and Masters of Business Administration degree at Simon Fraser University.    


Ms. Connie Kaweesi

Connie KaweesiConnie Kaweesi is a forensic social worker working in Fort St. John as a private clinical social worker. She has worked in post-secondary education for 15 years at Northern Lights College and currently is a sessional faculty at the University of Northern British Columbia. She holds a BSW (University of Victoria) and MSW (University of Northern British Columbia). Previously she worked in Indigenous communities in the child welfare area of practice and recently collaborated on the development of Indigenous curriculum at Northern Lights College. Connie also worked in the Criminal Justice system within several federal, provincial and for-profit agencies: Correctional Service of Canada, Stroh Health, Forensic Psychiatric Services and Youth Court Services. Connie is a recipient of the Bridget Moran Award for her work in social work advocacy in Northern British Columbia.

Ms. Maria Preovolos - Vice-Chair

Maria PrevolosMaria Preovolos is Associate General Counsel at TELUS Communications. In her career at TELUS, Ms. Preovolos has provided advice on a variety of matters. For over a decade, she advised and supported the TELUS Board of Directors and Chief Legal Officer on governance matters, including best practices and trends in corporate governance, acting as secretary to the Board’s Audit Committee and reviewing public disclosure. Currently, Ms. Preovolos negotiates contracts for complex commercial transactions and advises on a range of domestic legal issues, including indemnification and limitation of liability, competition matters and privacy. Ms. Preovolos previously served as a director of Made in B.C., a non-profit arts service organization providing dance arts outreach activities through the province. Ms. Preovolos graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from UBC and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto.

Ms. Bernadette Spence

2018 Bernadette SpenceBernadette Spence is currently the chief executive officer for the Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society. Previously, she was a social worker for a self-employed contract company. Ms. Spence has also worked as a child protection officer for the Ministry of Children and Families, a social development operations specialist for the Department of Indian and Northern Development BC Region, a child welfare transfer coordinator for the Cowichan Band, and a training program coordinator for the University of Manitoba. Active in her community, she serves as a member for the Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Council and the Delegated Aboriginal Agency Directors Forum. She is also a director for the Community Social Services Employers Association. Ms. Spence holds her Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Manitoba and her Master of Social Work degree from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. John Stubbs

Dr. John Stubbs is a retired professor of history and past President and Vice-Chancellor of Simon Fraser University. A long-time university executive and educator, Dr. Stubbs has served as President and Vice-Chancellor of Trent University, Associate Dean of Arts at the University of Waterloo, Governor of Sir Sandford Fleming College, and as a member of the executive of the Council of Ontario Universities. He has taught politics and history at Trent University and history at the University of Waterloo. He is the author of numerous articles and papers on British political history and the history of journalism. Dr. Stubbs is a former director of BC Hydro and the Laurier Institution. In the past, he served as a director for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Vancouver Board of Trade, and the Business Council of British Columbia. Dr. Stubbs holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, a Master of Science from the London School of Economics, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University.

Ms. Samina Tajwar

Samina TajwarSamina Tajwar was most recently in the role of Director, BC Science Policy Fellowship Program at Mitacs Inc, where she managed a strategic partnership with the Government of British Columbia. The partnership piloted a program integrating academic research and evidence-informed policy-making at the provincial level. Prior to that, she was the Director of Integrated Business Planning at Mitacs, where she led the executive team through a three-year project integrating and streamlining the organization’s business systems. Ms. Tajwar is an active member of her community, leveraging her skills to advocate for educational and city planning improvements. Ms. Tajwar is a certified Project Management Professional and holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, as well as an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Michel Tarko

Michel TarkoDr. Michel Tarko is President and CEO of the Justice Institute of British Columbia. Prior to his appointment in 2012, Michel served as VP Academic at JIBC since September 2009. He previously served in several capacities at Douglas College, including the position of Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences. As Dean, he was actively engaged in building partnerships between post-secondary educational institutions inter-provincially related to graduate education in psychiatric nursing. He serves on a variety of committees with professional and regulatory bodies, as well as two international boards (European Psychiatric Nursing Advisory Board; and the Neuman Systems Model of Nursing, President, Executive Committee). Michel holds a Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from the University of Manitoba, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education (Curriculum & Instruction) from the University of British Columbia.

Ms. Claire Wang

Claire Wang is the Director of Finance and Operations, Burnaby Hospital Foundation, Fraser Health Authority. Ms. Wang oversees all financial, accounting and corporate planning activities, risk management, HR, IT, and funding from private and public sources. Previously, Ms. Wang worked for School District No. 45 for over a decade and was responsible for managing $9 million annual revenues and more than 600 foreign students. Ms. Wang recently retired from her 2-year term as Chair of Finance, Audit and Investment Committee and Treasurer with SFU Childcare Society. She helped the non-profit organization achieve a substantial improvement in financial reporting, budgeting, internal controls and strategic planning. Ms. Wang holds a Certified General Accountants designation, as well as a Master of Business Administration Degree from Queen's University and Bachelor of Business Administration degree (major in Accounting) from Simon Fraser University.

Last updated September 6, 2019