Search Committee

Kate Chisholm, chair of the University of Alberta

Kate Chisholm

Chair, Board of Governors
Chair of the Committee

Kate Chisholm was appointed chair of the University of Alberta's Board of Governors in 2019. She has served as an energy industry senior executive for twenty years and counselled the boards of private and public companies.

J. Nelson Amaral

J. Nelson Amaral

Professor, Faculty of Science
Elected by General Faculties Council

Nelson Amaral, a Computing Science professor at the University of Alberta, has published extensively on compiler design and implementation of compilers, as well as on high-performance computing.

Amaral has served on the General Faculties Council Executive Committee, the Faculty of Science Faculty Evaluation Committee, the Advisory Committee for the selection of the Vice-President External, the Advisory Committee for the selection of the Vice-President Research, and the Dean of Engineering selection committee. Amaral was Chair of the GFC Replenishing Committee, served in the Senate and was a member of many department chair selection committees representing GFC or the Provost. He was a member of the Faculty Recruiting Committee, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) Dean Advisory Committee and the University General Appeals Committee. He has also served as the Computing Science Graduate Studies Associate Chair.

Amaral's extensive service to the scientific community includes committees for many international conferences, general chair for the 23rd International Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques in 2014 in Edmonton and general chair for two upcoming international conferences in Edmonton: the International Conference in Performance Engineering 2020 and the International Conference on Parallel Processing 2020. He was a global chair for Europar, co-chair for the Workshop on Compiler-Driven Performance, external reviewer for research proposals, tenure, and promotions, and associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Computers. Amaral's accolades include ACM Distinguished Engineer, IBM Faculty Fellow, IBM Faculty Awards, IBM CAS "Team of the Year," the Faculty of Science Excellent Teaching Award, Science Students' Society Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Graduate Student Association Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision.

Chris Andersen

Chris Andersen

Dean, Faculty of Native Studies
Elected by Deans’ Council

Chris Andersen became a faculty member of the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta in 2000 and received his PhD in 2005 from the Department of Sociology, also at the U of A. In 2014, he was awarded Full Professorship. He is the former Director of the Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research and is currently the Dean of the Faculty and the Interim Institutional Co-Lead of Indigenous Initiatives for the University of Alberta. Dr. Andersen is the author of two books including, with Maggie Walter, Indigenous Statistics: A Quantitative Indigenous Methodology (Left Coast Press, 2013) and “Métis”: Race, Recognition and the Struggle for Indigenous Peoplehood (UBC Press, 2014). In 2015, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association awarded “Métis” the 2014 Prize for Best Subsequent Book in Native American and Indigenous Studies, and in 2016, it was shortlisted for the 2015 Canada Prize. With Jean O’Brien, he also co-edited the recently published Sources and Methods in Indigenous Studies (Taylor & Francis, 2017). Andersen was a founding member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Executive Council, is a member of Statistics Canada’s Advisory Committee on Social Conditions and is editor of the journal aboriginal policy studies. In 2014, he was named a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Ayaz Bhanji

Ayaz Bhanji

President, University of Alberta Alumni Association
Appointed by the Alumni Association

Having graduated from Pharmacy at the U of A in 1991, Ayaz is a pharmacist by profession and has an MBA from Athabasca University. He has served two terms as the president of the Ismaili Council for Edmonton and was the co-chair of the Joint Liaison Committee of the Aga Khan Council for Edmonton and the University of Alberta.

Ayaz is currently completing a 2-year term as president of the University of Alberta Alumni Association, has been a senator for the U of A for 3 years and participates in several U of A committees including the Community Engagement Advisory Board, the Professional Development Advisory Board, and this year's Advisory Search Committee for President. In 2018, Ayaz received an honorary membership for the Golden Key International Honours Society, University of Alberta Chapter.

Ayaz has held previous positions as the honorary secretary of the Aga Khan Council for Edmonton, its member for Communications and Publications, and Chairman of the Youth and Sports Board. He has also served as a board member and vice president of the Alberta Pharmacists' Association, and most recently has been appointed to the Board of Directors for homeEd – the City of Edmonton Non-Profit Housing Corporation.

Ayaz was born in Uganda and came to Canada in 1972. He is a successful entrepreneur in Alberta and currently is Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Excellence and a senior partner of EPC Capital Ltd. His agency employs over 150 associates and staff and is the largest RE/MAX office in Edmonton. EPC Capital is an Edmonton-based development company, holding over $150 million in real estate assets and growing.

On a personal note, Ayaz participates in many charitable organizations, including the Children’s Miracle Network and the Realtor’s Community Foundation, and volunteers a great deal of his time to various worthwhile causes. He has three children, loves to travel, and plays golf, hockey and volleyball.

Akanksha Bhatnagar

Akanksha Bhatnagar

President, University of Alberta Students' Union
Appointed by the Students’ Union Council

Akanksha Bhatnagar is the 2019-20 president of the University of Alberta Students’ Union. She was born in India, has lived in Toronto and has spent the last decade in Edmonton. She is a fifth year student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in Sociology and Political Science, and graduated from the Peter Lougheed Leadership College. Before being elected as the president, Akanksha served as the 2018-19 Vice-President Academic and the 2017-18 Student Governance Officer with the Students’ Union. Akanksha is an advocate for open education; during her term as VP Academic, she served as the University of Alberta's Chair of the Open Education Advocacy Committee. Akanksha’s passion for leadership development stems from her involvement with the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Program, serving as a board member on the Alberta Public Interest Research Group and being a Dias member for the High School Model United Nations Conference. Grateful to serve as this year’s president, Akanksha is inspired by the opportunity to further the University of Alberta’s capacity to serve as a welcoming and inclusive space for all students.

In addition to being the official spokesperson of the Students’ Union, her goals this year are centered around continued advocacy for affordable education, creating a way for every student to explore leadership and ensuring that our time on campus sets us up for continued success after we graduate. When she is not busy spending every moment in SUB Atrium, she loves spending time with her terrier, Rose, drinking an excessive amount of lattes, listening to amazing Spotify playlists, cooking and, of course, eating. To keep updated on the UASU Presidential portfolio, follow her on Twitter @UASUPresident and on Facebook at UASUExec.

Fahed Elian

Fahed Elian

President, Graduate Students' Association
Appointed by the Graduate Students’ Association

Fahed is the 2019-2020 Graduate Students' Association (GSA) President, having just served as the 2018-19 GSA Vice-President Student Services. During his time as the VP Student Services, Fahed discussed, supported and protected student mental wellness with campus stakeholders and provided feedback on university and national mental health initiatives; advocated to adopt Occupational Therapy (OT) services and increased dental coverage to the GSA Health and Dental Plan with no increase to plan premiums; and worked to support the activities of the Indigenous Graduate Students’ Association.

Fahed is pursuing a PhD in Medical Genetics. His research focuses on genes associated with breast cancer and their potential as biomarkers for defining tumours with distinctive features. His free time is devoted to soccer, futsal, snowboarding and—most recently—kickboxing. You may also catch him working as a DJ, spending time at the nearest record store or camping when the weather allows it.

Dominique  Gregoire

Dominique Grégoire

Member, Board of Governors
Appointed by the Board of Governors

Dominique is a McGill graduate who began her career with KMPG in Montreal. This included 3 years in their Paris office focusing on due diligence and M&A audits. Upon her return to Montreal in 1992, she started auditing life insurance companies.

In 1997, Dominique joined Optimum Reinsurance where she held progressively senior roles including CFO and Senior VP Administration, overseeing HR, Claims and Underwriting.

After moving to Calgary in 2005, Dominique became President & CEO of Western Life Assurance Company, a subsidiary of Western Financial Group, which was eventually acquired by the Desjardins Group.

After a short stay with MSH International specializing in international benefits for expatriates, Dominique joined Alberta Blue Cross as Vice-President & CFO in July 2015.

Dominique was appointed to the University of Alberta Board of Governors in March 2017 and is currently Chair of the Audit Committee.

Dominique is an avid golfer, cyclist and skier, and mother of three young adults.

Natasha Hurley

Natasha Hurley

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts
Elected by General Faculties Council

Nat Hurley is an associate professor in the Department of English and Film Studies and senior director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies. A 19-century Americanist by training, she teaches and publishes in the fields of American literature, children’s literature, queer studies and critical theory. She received her doctorate from Rutgers University, her MA from the University of Western Ontario and her BA (Hons) from Mount St Vincent University. In addition to publishing numerous articles and book chapters, she is the author of Circulating Queerness: Before the Gay and Lesbian Novel (Minnesota 2018) and the co-editor (with Steven Bruhm) of Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children (Minnesota 2004). Her current works-in-progress include one manuscript on childlessness and its relationship to children, provisionally titled Kidless Lit, and another on sexuality and children’s literature titled Sexuality Afterwards: Children’s Literature as Enigmatic Signifier. She was the winner of the F.L. Priestley Prize for best article in ESC: English Studies in Canada (2012) and co-winner of the Foerester Prize for best essay in American Literature (2003).

In terms of university service, she has served on numerous committees in the Faculty of Arts and the Department of English and Film Studies. She was also a member of the team that developed and successfully established Intersections of Gender as one of the University of Alberta’s first Signature Areas.

Hurley has also been active nationally and internationally in service to the profession. She has served on the executives of numerous academic organizations including ACCUTE, MLA, ARCYP, CUPE and Exposure. Her local commitments have included co-founding the Decolonizing Pedagogy Group and serving a three-year term on the board for Exposure: Edmonton’s Queer Arts Festival.

Elizabeth Johannson

Elizabeth Johannson

President, Non-Academic Staff Association
Appointed by the Non-Academic Staff Association

Elizabeth is currently serving as the president of the Non-Academic Staff Association (NASA). She holds a BA (Hons) in Theatre and Drama and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA). She also sits on the U of A Senate and serves as vice-chair of the Public Service Pension Plan Board of Directors.

Elizabeth has volunteered for a variety of social and political organizations. Some areas of interest are feminism, indigenous issues, proportional representation and Canadian history. In 2017, Elizabeth was selected as a participant in the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, which brings together upcoming leaders from business, labour and government to learn more about each other and about Canada.

Kevin Kane

President, Association of Academic Staff
Appointed by the Association of Academic Staff University of Alberta

Kevin Kane received his PhD in cell and molecular biology from UCLA in 1986 and completed a post-doc at the Medical Biology Institute in La Jolla, California, before joining the University of Alberta in 1991. Dr. Kane rose through the ranks from assistant to associate and then full professor (2001), and his awards include the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Scholarship, Senior Scholarship, and Scientist Awards, as well as a Cancer Research Institute Investigator Award (USA). Dr. Kane is currently a full professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. He is also the president of the Association of Academic Staff.

His research interests focus on how cells of the immune system, particularly natural killer cells and killer T cells, recognize and destroy microbe-infected cells and cancer cells. Understanding these processes may allow for manipulation of the immune system (immunotherapy) to more effectively eliminate disease-altered cells and preserve health.

Jared Larsen

Jared Larsen

Vice-President Student Life, University of Alberta Students’ Union
Appointed by the Students’ Union Council

Jared Larsen is the 2019-20 Vice-President Student Life of the University of Alberta Students’ Union. He has spent the majority of his life living throughout British Columbia and transferred to the University of Alberta for his third year of studies. He is a fifth year student pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Business Economics and Law and minoring in Marketing. Prior to being elected as VP Student Life, Jared served as the 2018-19 president of the HUB Community Association, a residence association within the Students’ Union. During his term, he successfully led the HUB Safety and Security Initiative to implement several infrastructure changes to increase safety and security levels in HUB Mall. Jared’s hard work and passion for creating positive change led to him being awarded the Residence Community 2018-19 Distinguished Executive Committee Member Award.

Outside of his work, Jared is an avid golfer, having competed across BC, and he enjoys spending time walking along the trails of the Edmonton River Valley.

Lynn Parish

Vice Chair, University of Alberta Board of Governors
Appointed by the Board of Governors

Lynn Parish is a public member and Vice Chair of the University of Alberta Board of Governors. She is also Chair of the Board Governance Committee and Vice Chair of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee.

Lynn is a Hearing Chair at the Alberta Appeals Commission for Worker's Compensation, a position she has held since 2011. She received her Bachelor of Laws from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1980 and her Master of Laws from the University of Alberta in 1989. She practiced in the United Kingdom as a solicitor before being admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1990.

Lynn previously worked for Alberta Municipal Affairs as a Chartered Mediator and as a member of their Inter-municipal Dispute Resolution team, and has been an instructor for both the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society, and the University of Alberta Faculty of Law in Client Interviewing and Counseling. In addition, she has spent twelve years coaching students to represent the University of Alberta at the Canadian Client Consultation Competition.

Lynn has served as a member and Chair of the City of Edmonton Subdivision and Development Appeal Board and as a member of the Alberta Law Enforcement Review Board. She is an active volunteer with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre and a board member of both the Centre for Public Legal Education and the Rossdale Community League.

Carrie Smith

Carrie Smith

Chair, Faculty of Arts
Elected by Chairs’ Council
Vice-Chair of the Presidential Search Committee

Dr. Carrie Smith is Chair of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies and Professor of German Studies. Her research covers digital feminisms, performance art activism and feminist media studies. She is author of two monographs, Awkward Politics: Technologies of Popfeminist Activism (with Dr. Maria Stehle, MQUP 2016) and Revolting Families: Toxic Intimacy, Private Politics, and Literary Realism in the German Sixties (UTP 2013), and co-editor of five peer-reviewed collections. She has also served as co-managing editor of three international journals. She currently co-leads the research group Digital Feminist Collective and has received awards for teaching and research. Since her arrival at the U of A in 2008, she has served on a number of faculty and university-wide committees, including GFC and GFC CLE, and she chaired the Awards Committee of the Academic Women’s Association (2016–18). She is currently chairing the inaugural Faculty of Arts Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity and serves as a member of Chairs Council Executive.

Doug Stollery

Douglas R. Stollery, QC, LLM


Doug Stollery is counsel to the law firm of Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer LLP in Edmonton. He previously served as general counsel and corporate secretary to PCL Constructors Inc. He holds an LLB from the University of Alberta and an LLM from Harvard University.

Doug currently serves as Chancellor of the University of Alberta, president of the Stollery Charitable Foundation and a director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and CARE Canada. In the past, he has served as the president of the Alberta Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and as a director of a number of non-profit organizations including the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Legal Education Society of Alberta, the Alberta Law Reform Institute, Victoria School Foundation for the Arts, Grant MacEwan College, the Certified General Accountants Association of Alberta and the Edmonton 2001 World Championships in Athletics.

Jonathan White

Jonathan White

Professor, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
Elected by the General Faculties Council

Jonathan is a Professor of Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, having practiced and taught surgery at the Royal Alexandra Hospital since 2006. He has served on General Faculties Council since 2013 and is currently Chair of the GFC Nominating Committee. He holds a PhD in Surgery and a Masters Degree in Medical Education and is a 3M National Teaching Fellow. Jonathan also holds the Tom Williams Endowed Chair in Surgical Education. He is the co-creator of the Surgery 101 podcast, which has been downloaded more than 5.5 million times worldwide. His interests include public engagement, community-building and transformational leadership. He is also Senior Medical Director for the AHS Strategic Clinical Network in Surgery. He notes that it has been very interesting to gain leadership experience in multiple organizations and to work with such a diversity of partners in academia, health care and government.

Marion Haggarty-France

Marion Haggarty-France

University Secretary
Secretary to the Committee

Marion joined the Governance unit at the University of Alberta in 2009 as the University Secretary. Prior to this role, she served as the Senior Administrative Officer in the Office of the Provost for twelve years. She initially joined the U of A as the Communications Coordinator for the Sustainable Forest Management Network. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Honours History.

As the University Secretary, Marion provides leadership and expertise to ensure the effective operation and administration of the university’s collegial and bicameral system of governance (the Board of Governors and General Faculties Council) as set out in the Post-Secondary Learning Act. She serves as the university’s most senior advisor and counselor on governance-related issues and the associated legislative and administrative policy and procedures. She has supported several academic leadership searches and reviews since joining campus.

Marion is an active member of the Provincial Post-Secondary Institute Secretaries Group, the Western Canadian University Secretaries (COWCUBS) and the Canadian University Boards Association (CUBA) where she serves as Chair. She is currently a member of Edmonton’s United Way Cabinet and has just wrapped up two years of service as the U of A’s United Way Campaign co-chair. She has completed the Directors Education program and received the ICD.D designation.

Juli Zinken

Juli Zinken

Board Secretary and Manager, Board Services

Juli Zinken was appointed Board Secretary and Manager of Board Services at the University of Alberta in 2015. Prior to this role, she served as Assistant Secretary to the Board of Governors for six years and held positions in the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) and University of Alberta International. Juli was raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and is a University of Alberta alumna, having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design. She also holds a Diploma in Public Relations from Grant MacEwan College.

As Board Secretary, Juli is responsible for ensuring that governance activities of the Board of Governors satisfy legislated compliance requirements and for creating a facilitative environment for the Board to engage in decision-making that is informed, collegial, effective and efficient.