Sandra was born in Portugal and lived in Luxembourg, Belgium, and Czech Republic before immigrating to Canada in 2015. She is what you might call a world citizen. Sandra is an enthusiastic polyglot: speaking fluent Portuguese, French, and English with basic knowledge in Spanish, German, Luxembourgish and Italian.
Sandra has a masters degree in Population and Development from Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium. Her masters studies focused on world challenges, how to solve development and population issues, international migration, and many other key population development challenges. For her thesis, a research paper on “Female Mutilations: Causes and Governmental Answers”, Sandra put into practice the research and analysis knowledge needed to understand and find answers on the issue of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) through a strong lens on female rights and their empowerment. Sandra earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance from University of Luxembourg.
Sandra has significant experience in Policy and Academic Research, Project Analysis, Project and Portfolio Management, and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Just prior to immigrating to Canada, Sandra was working for the Government of Belgium, in the Wallonie-Bruxelles International department. This work experience allowed her to acquire extensive knowledge in international cooperation, specifically in the field of multilateral aid.
Once in Canada, Sandra started with the New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC) as the Cross-Cultural Education Coordinator where she implemented changes to their training program that resulted in increased partnerships and cultural diversity awareness with the Government of New Brunswick (GNB). She enthusiastically helped develop the skills of over 200 GNB staff, as well as various not-for-profit groups during her time with NBMC. When Sandra joined GNB, she started with the Population Growth Division of the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour as an Immigration Program Consultant on the Francophone Immigration team. Currently, she works as Process Improvement Facilitator with the Policy & Performance Excellence unit at Treasury Board. In her newest role, she leads complex improvement projects with the goal of improving GNB services to New Brunwickers.
Sandra continues to be heavily involved in the immigration file in NB, both inside and outside of her role at GNB. She is involved with UNB’s Renaissance College, co-created the NB Immigrant Women Association and actively supports immigration in GNB through various projects. Through word of mouth, Sandra has become a point person for immigrants with questions and directs them to various service providers such as NBMC. She also trained and participated as a victim’s service councillor in Fredericton while on her recent maternity leave.
Sandra and her partner Zak have two young children; a 1-year old son named Gabriel, and a 3-year old daughter named Lilly. Sandra enthusiastically balances her charitable work, her GNB position, and her growing family in her new adopted country. She is very much looking forward to 2019 when she will finally be able to apply for her Canadian Citizenship and continue attaining her life and work goals in this beautiful province.