The Jim Hume Youth Engagement Program

Each summer, the Foundation employs the next generation of public policy leaders through the Jim Hume Summer internship.

Meet the Canada West Foundation Summer 2016 interns!

Catherine Gao


Catherine is a recent graduate from McGill University, with a BA in Political Science, History and a Minor in Environment. Her research interests include international relations and security, human rights law, natural resources and energy policy, and modern American history. During her time in university, Catherine was involved in numerous student organizations, such as the International Relations’ Students’ Association of McGill, where she organized a trip to the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations. Catherine is an avid runner who enjoys fostering cats during her free time and reading self-help books. Catherine is originally from Toronto, and excited to spend time in Calgary where she can explore the neighbouring mountains and this incredible city.


Beth Miller


Beth Miller is a new graduate of Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy with a Master’s in Public Administration. Her areas of work include the administration of the municipal grant funding, public finance, public engagement, in addition to researching impact data and policy writing. Before moving to Calgary, Beth enjoyed working in administration for four years at the University of Regina. Originally from Chicago, Beth attended McGill University where she completed her Bachelor of Music (Vocal Performance) and is excited to continue exploring Calgary and Alberta’s beautiful outdoors. 

Sarah Pittman


Sarah was born and raised on a sheep farm in southern Alberta. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education from the University of Lethbridge, she headed abroad. She is currently studying to receive her Master’s in International History from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. She looks forward to being back in Alberta and is excited to learn about and work on issues that are important to western Canadians.

Liam St. Louis


A native Vancouverite and part-time New Brunswicker, Liam has studied or lived in Turkey, Mexico, and the United States. He has previously been involved in refugee resettlement and done research on international students, both of which sprang from a lifelong interest in diversity and youth issues. Liam is passionate about languages and continues to improve his Spanish and Turkish. Currently completing an undergraduate degree from Mount Allison University in International Relations and Economics, he hopes to pursue a career in the field of immigration.

Luise Yang


Luise is a recent graduate from Cornell University where she holds a Bachelors of Science in Industrial and Labour Relations and a Minor in Law and Society. Her past work experiences include the International Labour Organization and Shell Canada. She is interested in finding the intersection among migration, narratives, and education. Luise enjoys doing yoga, reading short stories, and watching late night talk shows.


About Jim Hume

James Borden (“Jim”) Hume was an ardent supporter of Canada West Foundation. He served on the Foundation’s board from 1995 until his death in 2009. Through the Kahanoff Foundation, he was involved in many major projects spanning natural capital, regional economic development, and the impact of gambling.

He believed that a strong public policy voice from western Canada was of benefit to all Canadians, and that a prosperous West had both the opportunity and obligation for constructive, national leadership. Jim’s infectious optimism shaped his outlook on western Canada and his contributions to the Foundation.

Western Canadian Youth
One of Jim’s ongoing priorities was the need to encourage the active involvement of young western Canadians in community life and public policy. With this priority in mind, and in recognition of Jim’s great contribution to the Canada West Foundation, the Foundation has created The Next West: A Youth Engagement Program in Recognition of Jim Hume.



For more information, please contact:
Phone: 403-264-9535 or Toll Free: 1-888-825-5293
Email: ac.fw1527457250c@sno1527457250itaci1527457250nummo1527457250c1527457250


This program has three objectives:

  • To provide professional training opportunities for young western Canadians with an interest in public policy;
  • To encourage the interest of young Canadians in public life and public policy; and
  • To provide a voice for young western Canadians in policy debates and agenda setting.

Professional Training
Since 1985, the Canada West Foundation’s Internship Program has engaged top post-secondary students and recent post-secondary graduates to help expand its research capacity and to provide interns with experience conducting public policy research and engaging citizens in the public policy process. Over 80 Interns have completed the program, with many returning for multiple terms.

These Interns have gone on to a wide variety of careers in both the private and public sectors.

Encouraging an Interest in Public Life
The Foundation is now in its 4th year of running The Jim Hume Memorial Student Essay Contest, open to students attending a post-secondary institution in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba. A total of$10,000 in prize money is awarded to the top three essays. The winning essays are published by the Foundation, and disseminated to the Canadian media.

Providing a Voice for Young Western Canadians
The Foundation embraces the priorities, perspectives and aspirations of young western Canadians through survey work, conferences and events. We will continue to pursue and develop these and other initiatives.


Follow us @CanadaWestFdn for more!