Innovator, scholar and bold leader becomes university’s seventh president
Vivek Goel, a distinguished scholar with extensive achievements in research, teaching and leadership across both public and private sectors, will become the seventh president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo.
Goel, who begins his five-year term on July 1, 2021, is recognized in Canada and around the world as a leading public-health researcher, health-services evaluation expert, and champion for the use of research evidence in health policymaking.
Goel has held several senior roles at the University of Toronto, including Vice-President and Provost and most recently as Vice-President of Research and Innovation.
The public health physician currently serves as a member of the federal government’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force and Scientific Advisor for the CanCOVID Research Network. He was previously the founding president and CEO of Public Health Ontario.
“Dr. Goel has decades of experience and expertise as a university leader and as a champion of student experience, research and innovation. He is uniquely qualified to guide the institution and to bolster our strengths at the intersection of health, society and technology,” said Cindy Forbes, Chair of the University of Waterloo’s Board of Governors.
Goel said the current global situation reminds us of our responsibility to prepare students and citizens to confront the many challenges ahead. “A research-intensive institution like Waterloo is ideally poised to create the change and solutions for a better future – whether it is tackling public-health challenges, addressing systemic racism, dealing with the climate crisis, or spurring economic recovery and growth.”
“In Waterloo, I can see what a post-pandemic university looks like,” he said.
The appointment represents the culmination of an almost yearlong effort by a 19-member presidential nominating committee comprised of students, staff, faculty and board governors, in consultation with stakeholders across campus and the broader community.
“The Presidential Nominating Committee sought a candidate who is renowned for their experienced leadership and is committed to the success of faculty, staff, students and alumni,” Forbes said. “We looked for an individual who will actively engage to foster equity, diversity and inclusion as well as a deep sense of community across our campuses.”
“I look forward to working with Dr. Goel as he leads Waterloo on its transformational path and builds on the achievements of President Feridun Hamdullahpur.”
Hamdullahpur has served as president and vice chancellor of the University of Waterloo since 2010 and will continue through June 2021. He has elevated Waterloo’s international profile, placed exceptional focus on student experience and wellbeing and set the ambitious course for the University’s 2020-2025 strategic plan.
“Waterloo is a place where business, community and governmental leaders come together to seek today’s solutions to tomorrow’s problems. I am confident that under the leadership of Vivek Goel, our community will continue to flourish and drive even greater impact around the world,” Hamdullahpur said.
Goel obtained his medical degree from McGill University. He did his post-graduate medical training in community medicine at the University of Toronto, and obtained a master’s degree (MSc) in health administration from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree (MS) in biostatistics from Harvard University’s School of Public Health.
Goel also currently serves on the boards of the Vector Institute, TRIUMF—Canada’s particle accelerator—and the Canadian Institute for Health Information.