Sarah-Patricia Breen

Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development
Sarah-Patricia Breen Staff Bio Headshot
Selkirk Innovates


1 (888) 953-1133

Dr. Sarah-Patricia Breen is the BC Regional Innovation Chair (RIC) in Rural Economic Development at Selkirk Innovates, the applied research department of Selkirk College. Dr. Breen’s goal is to inform and support our rural region to thrive under conditions of rapid change. She works at every level, from community projects to national projects.

Dr. Sarah-Patricia Breen’s work is guided by regional priorities and partnerships with local and regional governments, organizations, and businesses. Her role focuses on:

  • Developing regional capacity for evidence based decision-making
  • Assisting in economic diversification through the promotion of innovation and technology transfer; and
  • Supporting applied research on the revitalization of high amenity, highly rural communities and regions.

Dr. Breen holds a PhD in Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University, a Master's 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, Dr. Breen now makes her home in Nelson, where she lives with her husband and dog.