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ARCHIVED - International Education: A Key Driver of Canada’s Future Prosperity

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Annex B: Biographies of Panel Members

Amit Chakma
President and Vice-Chancellor, Western University (Panel Chair)

Amit Chakma (Panel Chair) is president and vice-chancellor of Western University. Dr. Chakma joined Western from the University of Waterloo, where, from 2001 to 2009, he was vice-president (academic) and provost, and a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Before that he was dean of engineering and then vice-president (research) and international liaison officer at the University of Regina. He began his academic career as a professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Calgary. Dr. Chakma is a graduate of the Algerian Petroleum Institute (Engineering Diploma, 1982) and the University of British Columbia (MASc, 1984, and PhD [Chemical Engineering], 1987). In addition to his roles at Western, Mr. Chakma currently serves as vice-chair of the World University Service of Canada.

André Bisson
Chair of the Board, Centre for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations, Lead director, Transat A.T., and Chancellor Emeritus, Université de Montréal

André Bisson is chairman of the board of the Centre for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of organizations, lead director of Transat A.T., and chancellor emeritus of Université de Montréal. He has been chancellor and chair of the board of Université de Montréal, chair and general manager of Burson-Marsteller Québec, and president of Maxwell Communications Canada and logistec Corporation. Previously, he was senior vice-president and general manager, Quebec, at Scotiabank for 16 years. He became the founding director of the Institute of Canadian Bankers after being on the faculty of the Université Laval School of Business. He has an MBA from Harvard University and a BA from Université Laval.

Jacynthe Côté
President and CEO, Rio Tinto Alcan

Jacynthe Côté has been president and CEO of Rio Tinto Alcan’s Primary Metal business unit since 2007, with responsibility for all primary metal facilities and power generation installations worldwide. Primary Metal has 19,400 employees in 45 facilities around the world. From 2005 to 2007, Ms. Côté served as president and CEO of Alcan’s Bauxite and Alumina business unit and senior vice-president of Alcan Inc. In 2000, she was appointed vice-president of business planning and development at Primary Metal and, in 2003, took on the role of vice-president of human resources, environment, health and safety in the same unit. In 1996, she was named plant manager of the Beauharnois, Quebec, smelter and, in 1999, was transferred to the lynemouth smelter in the United Kingdom as plant manager. Ms. Côté joined Alcan in 1988 as a process analyst at the Vaudreuil Works in Saguenay, Quebec. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Université Laval.

Colin Dodds
President and Vice-Chancellor, Saint Mary’s University

Colin Dodds is president of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax and a director on the board of the Association of Universities and Colleges, Canada. He joined the faculty of Saint Mary’s Sobey School of Business in September 1982, and became departmental chair (Finance and Management Science) and MBA director in 1984. He was appointed dean of the Sobey School of Business in 1987 and vice-president (academic and research) in 1991. He assumed the presidency in 2000. Dr. Dodds is former chair of the board of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, and is past chair of the Canadian Scholarship trust. He has been named one of Atlantic Canada’s top 50 CEOs and received many other awards. He has published many books, journal articles and conference papers, particularly on financial markets. He continues to teach international finance to graduate students at Saint Mary’s University. Educated in the United Kingdom and holding BA, BSc, MA and PhD degrees, Dr. Dodds has taught at many universities in the United Kingdom (Sheffield, Birmingham and Hull), Asia, and Canada (McMaster and Brock).

Lorna Smith
Director, Office of International Education, Mount Royal University

Lorna Smith has been director of the office of International Education at Mount Royal University since its inception in 1988. A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Ms. Smith has a BA, MA and BEd from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and has completed doctoral studies at the University of Calgary. She has served on the national boards of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges and the Canadian Bureau for International Education. She is currently on the board of the Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration. Ms. Smith is the international liaison officer for Mount Royal University at the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. She has taught in Canada, the United States, Germany and the former Soviet Union.

Don Wright
President, British Columbia Institute of Technology

Don Wright is president of the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Dr. Wright’s career includes experience as a teacher (at several universities), a senior government official and a private-sector executive. He served as deputy minister in the ministries of Finance, Forests, Economic Development and Education in the Saskatchewan and B.C. governments. He was B.C.’s deputy minister of education from 1996 to 1997. Dr. Wright was vice-president of forestry, environment and corporate affairs with Weldwood of Canada from 1997 to 2001. He returned to public life in 2001 and served as the British Columbia deputy minister of forests until 2003. In 2003, he established Analytica Consulting, which provided advice to public-and private-sector clients. Dr. Wright holds a BCom from the University of Saskatchewan, a Master’s degree (Economics) from the University of British Columbia and a PhD (Economics) from Harvard University. 

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