SVP’s new executive director, Kevin Moorhead, joined the team officially on October 1st, 2019. Haven’t met him yet? Don’t worry. We had a chat with him to get the inside scoop.
You grew up in Vancouver, but you’ve been away for almost 20 years. What about Vancouver hasn’t changed since you were a kid?
You know, so many of the things that made Vancouver magic for me when I was a kid still resonate. It‘s been a wonderful experience introducing the city of Vancouver to my elder daughter, Arya. The first time I took her to Stanley Park she just ran wild and started hugging giant cedars. Last week, Granville Island blew her mind. I feel lucky to get to experience that sense of wonder all over again.
What has changed?
Vancouver is so much more culturally complex, and this complexity is incredibly exciting. It brings diversity and vibrancy to the city, but it also presents a challenge for all of us—to learn how to live together and appreciate our differences. I’d like to think that we can all agree that children living in Vancouver, no matter what their background, should feel loved, supported, and accepted. Our common challenge is to make sure that this dream is a reality.
Well said. So now that you’re back in our wonderfully complex and vibrant city, tell us, what was it that drew you overseas?
I’ve never really been able to answer that question well. When I was young, I was always dreaming of faraway places, especially in Africa, but I don’t really know why. I think I stayed overseas for twenty years because I found such strong personal connections in other places. It was extraordinary for me to feel a sense of home in foreign cultures and to slowly realize just how similar we humans really are, no matter from where we come.
You’ve had a long career in non-profit and international development work. What keeps you inspired to do this work?
Tempered but relentless optimism.
What do you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Check your ego at the door.
What excites you about working at SVP?
I never intended to leave Vancouver for two decades. This city is truly home to me and I always wanted to find a way to engage with the community in a meaningful way. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have worked with large organizations doing impactful work around the world, and part of me feels as though it’s all been a long preparation to take on this role with SVP.
I love that SVP brings together people from completely different backgrounds and perspectives and challenges them to find common ground in support of the next generation. I think this partnership model can be transformative and I can’t wait to see how it can further evolve. At the end of the day, I’m most motivated by seeing positive change in the lives of kids and young people; if we work strategically and cooperatively, I have no doubt that our impacts can continue to multiply.
Lightning Round! Ready? Here we go:
This is an impossible question for me because I love so many books in so many different genres, but my first reaction at this particular moment is All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
Enchiladas with salsa verde
“I think … if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.” – Tolstoy
Political junkee conversations, preferably with wine and/or cocktails.
Coolest place you’ve travelled?
Flying on an old Huey chopper through the Pakistani Himalayas en route to Skardu from Islamabad was incredibly cool.
Two truths and one lie (and then tell us which one is the lie!)
- I’m a huge fan of Masterchef Australia.
- I speak Portuguese.
- I’ve scuba dived off the coast of three continents.
I will not divulge which of these is a lie!