Staff

Dr. Melissa Karmen Lee 李林嘉敏 – Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Melissa Karmen LeeChief Executive Officer

As the inaugural CEO of the Chinese Canadian Museum, Melissa has broad and considerable experience in curatorial research, program leadership, staff management, and the development and implementation of strategic museum planning.

In 2019, she moved back to her hometown Vancouver where she joined the Vancouver Art Gallery as the Director of Education and Public Programs. She successfully re-visioned all aspects of the education department by advancing innovative digital programming for diverse audiences to engage with the Gallery’s over 12,000-piece art collection, along with contemporary and modern exhibitions. She was instrumental as a community builder by broadening both local and international institutional relationships. A key member of the senior management leadership team, Melissa participated in decisions on fundraising, pivotal operational restructuring, and overall gallery transformation.

From 2016-2019, Melissa was on the founding team that opened Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts, Hong Kong—a UNESCO heritage site—appointed as the Education and Public Programs Curator through which she gained valuable experience managing an art and heritage museum start-up. In Tai Kwun’s first year of programming, Melissa led over 200 programs with a robust team of full-time staff and part-time docents.

An accomplished research scholar, Melissa has also held a senior lectureship at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 2008-2016 where she taught and published widely on contemporary Asian transnationalism and Chinese diasporic migrations. In 2016, she was the scholar in residence at the David Lam Centre at Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Born on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories in Vancouver, Canada, Melissa holds a BA from McGill University, Canada, an MA from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and a Ph.D. from Lancaster University, United Kingdom.

Melissa will work closely with the CCM’s Board of Directors and will lead staff towards the Museum’s grand opening, and execute strategies to fulfill the Museum’s mandate of honouring Chinese Canadian history, contributions, and living heritage in British Columbia.

Monica Cheng

Monica Cheng, Outreach Coordinator

Monica oversees various outreach functions at the Chinese Canadian Museum including marketing communications in English and Chinese, outreach strategies, and supporting public programs. She has previously worked in the areas of marketing and outreach in the education sector, and has been a long-time volunteer in youth mentorship with a local non-profit organization. Monica has a BA from the University of British Columbia with double majors in History and Psychology, and is trained in Marketing Communications and Multimedia Journalism. In this role, she is excited to reach out to individuals and organizations to foster dialogue and collaboration on preserving and learning about Chinese Canadian history. Monica enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, human-interest stories, and maps.


Winnie Kwan

Winnie Kwan, Visitor Services and Community Engagement Coordinator

Winnie oversees a variety of community-facing functions at the Chinese Canadian Museum, including providing onsite service to visitors in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin, managing volunteers, and supporting the development of educational and public programming. She has previously worked in programming and community development at other non-profit organizations in Metro Vancouver, including most recently, the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Winnie holds a BSc in Global Resource Systems from the University of British Columbia, with a Minor in Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies. In her role, Winnie is excited to be connecting with the community to explore fun and innovative ways of sharing and preserving the diverse experiences of the Chinese Canadian community, and supporting the public to appreciate and learn about Chinese Canadian history. In her free time, Winnie enjoys journaling, gardening, “nerding out” over plants, maps, and sociolinguistics, and doing translations for the Chinese entertainment scene.


Sarah Ling

Sarah Ling, Exhibition and Program Manager

Sarah oversees the development and implementation of the Chinese Canadian Museum’s programs and outreach initiatives including exhibition, public, educational, and volunteer programming. She holds a BA in English Literature with a minor in First Nations and Indigenous Studies, and a MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia, with a community-centered research background in Chinese and Indigenous relations on Musqueam territory. Born and raised in Prince Rupert, northern BC, she is delighted to establish relationships in support of building the Chinese Canadian Museum with individuals and community partners across the province. She is an active volunteer in Vancouver Chinatown and serves as chair of the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC. She enjoys nature walks and opportunities to entertain her niece, nephews, and goddaughter.


Sophie Yamauchi

Sophie Yamauchi, Board Administrator

Sophie works closely with the museum’s dedicated board of directors to support the establishment of the Society and the future museum. Sophie holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia, a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management from Queens University, and a MA in Arts Leadership from Queens University. She is a Director of the Canadian Museums Association and member of the Lower Mainland Museum Educators Conference Committee. Uniting her education and experience with her passion for local culture and heritage, Sophie is thrilled to help build Canada’s first museum dedicated to the history and accomplishments of the Chinese Canadian community. Outside of museums, Sophie spends her time climbing mountains, cooking elaborate meals, and dreaming of travelling the world.