Bio (Gareth Kirkby)
Communication and Culture
Gareth Kirkby’s communication career path has repeatedly moved back and forth between the corporate sector and civil society organizations. Through print, web, and social media messaging, Kirkby focuses on strategically building community around sometimes controversial or complex issues. His experience includes strategic and crisis communications, media relations, public engagement, and change leadership. A practitioner-scholar, Kirkby’s main area of interest is the intersection of communication, policy, and social movements. His 2014 MA thesis triggered a national conversation about government actions that chill civil discourse. Kirkby works as communication director of a start-up charitable think tank addressing freedom of information and privacy issues.
Kirkby is a Webster-Award-winning journalist, media manager, and professional communicator. He has worked in mainstream and alternative media as a photojournalist, reporter, editor, producer, engagement director and publisher. His civil-society experience includes work as a researcher and public relations staffer for an environmental organization, chairing an environmental umbrella group, and teaching media relations workshops to non-profits. His academic background is in journalism, marketing, change management, social media and a Royal Roads MA in Professional Communications.
Kirkby earned a Bachelor’s degree (with distinction) from Thompson Rivers University in 2011 and a Master of Arts in Professional Communication from Royal Roads University in 2014. His MA thesis was nominated for a Governor General’s Gold Medal, earned a Public Ethnography Award, and resulted in invitations to multiple public events. Kirkby has also studied journalism and marketing, and more recently graduated from a UBC post-baccalaureate Achievement in Social Media program.