Staff Bios

Gordon Harris

President and CEO

Gordon Harris is an urban planner, development strategist and real estate market analyst. As president and chief executive officer of SFU Community Trust, he leads the development of UniverCity, SFU’s award-winning sustainable community near Vancouver, BC.

With a lifelong passion for sustainable practice, Harris has provided land-use planning and development advice to clients in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and China. He is currently consulting on several large- scale, master-planned community development projects in western Canada and in Australia.

Among professional and volunteer affiliations, Harris is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, as well as a member of the National Capital Commission’s Advisory Committee on Planning, Design, and Realty. He is a senior associate with the Toronto-based Canadian Urban Institute and sits on the board of the Urban Development Institute (Pacific chapter) and the Urban Land Institute (BC district council) and sits on the BC Arts Council. He also was a member of the governing council of the Planning Institute of British Columbia from 2002 to 2011.

Harris is a frequent presenter at North American and international conferences and a regular guest lecturer at Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, and Capilano University. In 2013, Harris was granted Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for lifetime contributions to community building in Canada.

Dale Mikkelsen

Vice President, Development

Dale is the Vice President of Development for SFU Community Trust. Mikkelsen and the Trust’s team are making significant and innovative contributions toward the creation of independent and universal green building standards to ensure a high level of urban design and environmental performance. Mikkelsen is charged with raising the bar of sustainable community planning to ensure Univercity remains on the leading edge of energy efficiency, material conservation, healthy environments and community building.

In 2015, Dale was selected to be the representative of the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI), acting as an expert on resilient communities and sustainable development for an international exchange with the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIRE) administered by the Government of Japan. Dale was invited to tour the damage and recovery efforts following the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake in 2011, leading to the largest rebuilding and recovery effort in Japanese history. The purpose of the CLAIRE exchange was to have international experts review local policy and action and provide expertise in the rebuilding of these devastated communities to be more resilient and sustainable in the future.

Dale was a recipient of a 2015 Living Building Challenge Hero Award—individuals who receive this distinction have demonstrated a fierce commitment to the Living Building Challenge and their desire to continually raise the bar on behalf of the green building industry. Dale’s award is a recognition of the work the UniverCity team is doing to ensure the community—which will eventually be home to 10,000 people—has a full complement of social infrastructure and a low carbon Central Energy Plant.