Ana Gomez 

By Russ Cooper

Institute Coordinator Ana Gomez Magnifying glass

Institute Coordinator Ana Gomez

"Basically, she's the backbone of the Polanyi Institute."

High praise, especially coming from director Marguerite Mendell. But Mendell's probably not the only one who'll say Administrative Coordinator Ana Gomez has helped make the institute what it is today.

Starting as a research assistant 19 years ago, Gomez' current position and irreplaceable value to the institute has naturally evolved over time. "I basically grew with the institute," she says.

Born in Nicaragua, Gomez was sent to Montreal by her parents at 17. First studying social sciences at Dawson, she went on to Concordia to complete a BA in sociology in 1982 and an MA in public policy and public administration in 1987. Her decision to remain in Montreal after graduation was in part due to civil war in her homeland at the time.

Besides co-coordinating the recent international Polanyi conference and helping digitize their archives, Gomez is an integral part of the institute's Latin America Project – an endeavour that sends researchers and partners to Latin American countries and regions to compare their local development and the social economy with that of Quebec. The goal is to discuss and learn about different ways of enabling socially-driven progress.

"The Quebec experience has much to share, and our work in Latin America is built upon a reciprocal relationship," says Gomez. "We're not there to teach, but to explore different ways of thinking together, because it is out of such dialogue that alternatives will emerge."


Concordia University