Events and Training

Western Regional Finals 2020: Meet the Judges


Walter T. Dixon, PhD

Interim Vice-President (Research and Innovation), University of Alberta

Dr. Walter Dixon started in the position of Interim Vice-President (Research and Innovation) on May 1, 2020. Dr. Dixon liaises with funding agencies and government, helping to foster and build research collaborations. His portfolio includes overseeing the Post Doctoral Fellows Office, Academic Visitors’ Office, and Research Ethics Office. A professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, Dr. Dixon is a graduate of the University of Alberta and the University of Cambridge. His research focus is on livestock reproductive performance and the impact of nutrition during gestation on embryo/fetal development, lifetime growth potential, and animal health parameters.

Leah Ettarh, BPhil, BEd, MA

Executive Director, Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC)

Prior to starting her current position as the Executive Director, Leah spent five years as ACGC’s Program Manager, responsible for public engagement and monitoring and evaluation of ACGC’s programming. With a BPhil in Leadership, BEd in Secondary Education, and a Master’s degree in International Humanitarian Action, she has followed a career trajectory blending her many passions for education and international development. This includes working in the field of Education in Emergencies as a consultant with the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies in New York and teaching in secondary schools in Bolivia, China, Kenya, and Canada. Leah is committed to United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Goals #4 (Quality Education) because she believes access to quality education is key to a democratic and inclusive society.

Peggy Garritty, BA, MA, ICD.D

Chancellor, University of Alberta

Peggy is passionate about words and ideas. She owns her own consulting company, working with companies, organizations, and individuals to facilitate conversations, address issues, clarify their purpose, and develop their unique brands. For more than ten years, she served as Chief Reputation and Brand Officer at ATB Financial. She led a team of creative and talented people responsible for creating ATB’s story and transforming its brand in the marketplace, marketing ATB’s services and raising its profile and reputation with Albertans. Peggy holds two degrees from the University of Alberta – a BA (Honours) and an MA in Sociology. She is also a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D). In 2013, she was awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.

Linda Hoang

Top Social Media Strategist and Digital Communicator, Edmonton

Linda Hoang is one of Alberta’s leading social media strategists and digital communicators. She is also one of Alberta’s most recognizable bloggers. Linda has developed social media strategies and content plans for business, government, non-profit, and post-secondary clients. She’s also delivered social media training to hundreds of participants across a range of industries. Linda regularly uses social media communications in strategic, engaging, and effective ways. She is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival.

Chris McLeod, MBA

Director, Marketing and Communications, Edmonton Global

Chris McLeod is Edmonton Global’s Director of Marketing and Communications and has a lead role in building an international brand and investment strategy for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region in markets around the world. An experienced leader and active community volunteer, Chris has a strong track record of bringing people and ideas together. He helped found the Business of Hockey Institute, is the past chair of St. Albert’s Economic Sustainability Advisory Council and has served on several boards including the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce. He has played a key role in raising more than $40 million for community projects across the Edmonton region. Chris is an avid cyclist and as a volunteer leads the Canadian ski patrol at Jasper’s Marmot Basin. He has a BA in Political Science from the University of Alberta and an MBA from Athabasca University.