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Appointment of Director, Dialogue and Conflict Engagement, Dr. Aftab Erfan

A message from Dr. Sara-Jane Finlay, Associate Vice-President Equity & Inclusion

Today Dr. Aftab Erfan joins the Equity & Inclusion Office as the Director, Dialogue and Conflict Engagement. Aftab is a graduate of the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC, where she has taught for the last eight years.  She has worked as a professional facilitator and conflict specialist, as well as a consultant working on issues of conflict at the local, national and international level. 

This newly created role responds to an institutional desire to strengthen our proactive approach to conflict engagement, and an aspiration to move beyond traditional methods to build a broader approach to support equity, diversity and human rights at UBC. Conflict is a natural phenomenon which arises in situations of diversity and, if engaged with constructively, can enrich the intellectual and cultural experience of our community. Aftab is keen to introduce herself, her vision for the role, and to inquire into the unique needs and aspirations of divisions across both campuses.  My office will follow up to arrange an opportunity for you to meet with Aftab. 

Please join me in welcoming Aftab to the Equity & Inclusion Office.

Nathan Pelletier appointed to Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, Faculty of Management

UBC’s Okanagan campus has a new national research chair.

In collaboration with Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC), UBC has named Nathan Pelletier as Egg Industry Chair in Sustainability/Endowed Chair in Bio-economy Sustainability Management.

Pelletier is cross-appointed to UBC’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Management, to support interdisciplinary research at the Okanagan campus.

As part of his role, Pelletier will be responsible for directing and managing research programs to support sustainability measurement and management for the Canadian egg industry and food sector more broadly. His work will include exploring sustainability measurement and management, life-cycle thinking and resource efficiency.

Pelletier holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Victoria, a Master of Environmental Studies degree from Dalhousie University and an Interdisciplinary Research PhD in Ecological Economics, also from Dalhousie. He conducted post-doctoral research for Environment Canada and, most recently, for the European Commission Joint Research Centre’s Institute for Environment and Sustainability.

Learn more.

Appointment of Dr. Weihong Song, Senior Advisor to the President on China

The Office of the President is pleased to announce that Dr. Weihong Song, a world-renowned Alzheimer researcher, has been appointed as Special Advisor to the President on China.

Dr. Weihong Song is the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease and Jack Brown and Family Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. He serves as Associate Director of the Institute of Mental Health and Director of the Townsend Family Laboratories, and is also a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Dr. Song has been actively promoting scientific and academic collaboration between Canada and China since joining UBC in 2001. Since January 2009 he has been serving as the Special Advisor to UBC presidents on UBC’s academic relations with China and has made significant contributions to UBC’s collaborations and partnerships with Chinese government and higher education institutions.

For his contribution in forging crucial Canada-China collaborations on research and education, Dr. Song was awarded by the government of China the 2011 “Friendship Award”, China’s highest honor for foreign experts.



Julie Wagemakers appointed Executive Director, Office of the President

The Office of the President is pleased to announce the appointment of Julie Wagemakers to the position of Executive Director within the office.

A graduate of the University of Manitoba, Julie is currently Deputy Director of the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC Vancouver. She joined the Institute in 2002 after serving as Program Manager and Deputy Director of the Great Lakes Commission in Michigan; before that, she worked at the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Winnipeg.

Julie has extensive experience in policy development, business and government relations, and creating opportunities for learning and research activities across the university.

Julie will take up her new position on Monday, January 16, 2017.

Barry Yates appointed Managing Director of entrepreneurship@UBC (e@UBC)

entrepreneurship@UBC is pleased to announce the appointment of Barry Yates as the new Managing Director of entrepreneurship@UBC (e@UBC).

Barry comes from more than 25 years of entrepreneurial experience spanning multiple sectors, including forestry, transportation, telecom, retail, software and industrial products. He has served in executive management positions for leading technology firms for the past 15 years, most recently as President & CEO of Monexa, which was acquired by NetSuite in 2015.

entrepreneurship@UBC is the venture accelerator at the university, and provides programming and resources for UBC entrepreneurs, from ideation to funding. Since 2013, more than 600 venture ideas have been registered with e@UBC, and investments from the e@UBC Seed Fund has reached $1.35 million in 12 UBC ventures.

Learn more.