Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

The Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy is mandated to advise the governance committees and the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) on implementing measures to achieve the goals of increased equity, diversity and inclusion in all programs TIPS administers. Achieving these goals within the programs and the broader Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating excellent, innovative and impactful research. Through its mandate, the committee supports the three federal research funding agencies’ commitment to excellence in research and research training.

The committee’s membership comprises diverse stakeholders with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise. When performing their duties, committee members consider current research, best practices and the various contextual factors in which the programs operate.

Current committee members

Joy Johnson (Co-chair)
President and Vice-Chancellor
Simon Fraser University

Joy Johnson was appointed President of Simon Fraser University (SFU) in 2020. She had been SFU’s vice-president, research and international, since 2014. Under her strong leadership, SFU’s research income has grown from $103 million in 2014 to $161 million today, making it the fastest growing research income of any university in Canada. Highlights of her many achievements in this role include enhancing supports and services for SFU’s research community, securing two Canada 150 Chairs, hosting Canada’s most powerful academic supercomputer, launching the cross-cutting big data initiative, and establishing a unifying innovation strategy. These activities and accomplishments are underpinned by Johnson’s dedication to operational excellence, aligning policy and structure to goals to achieve success. She also leads SFU’s equity, diversity and inclusion initiative.

Johnson is an elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Before joining SFU, she had an impressive career in academia and research, completing her PhD in nursing at the University of Alberta before joining the University of British Columbia as a professor in the School of Nursing. Her inter- and multi-disciplinary research focused on how environments and social dynamics influence health outcomes and opportunities, particularly in youth. This commitment to research led her to take on the role of scientific director for the Institute of Gender and Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, setting the institute’s strategy and building opportunities for researchers. She is the co-author of more than 180 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has led several initiatives that mobilized research insights to influence practice and policy.

Mohamed Lachemi (Co-chair)
President and Vice-Chancellor
Toronto Metropolitan University

Mohamed Lachemi is president and vice-chancellor of Toronto Metropolitan University (formely Ryerson University), first appointed in 2016 and reappointed to a second term to conclude in 2026. An internationally recognized researcher and accomplished academic administrator, he has been a key contributor to the growth and development of Ryerson over a transformational time in the university’s history.

Joining Ryerson in 1998 as a professor of civil engineering, Lachemi has served in progressively senior roles, including dean of the faculty of engineering and architectural science, and provost and vice-president academic.

As president, he has contributed to the success of the DMZ—a top university-based incubator in the world—and promoted the establishment of Ryerson as a global university with the opening of innovation zones in Vietnam and India. Lachemi has overseen the development of Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst—a national centre for cybersecurity—and navigated approvals for a new and innovative law school, which launched in September 2020. Under his direction, Ryerson was awarded leadership of the Future Skills Centre consortium, with a mandate to ensure Canadians develop the skills they need in the new economy.

His commitment to diversity and inclusion is marked by his direction of the university’s response to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools, and by his appointment of the university’s first vice-president, equity and community inclusion.

Lachemi is internationally known for his pioneering research in high-performance materials and advanced technologies to mitigate the effects of built structures on the environment. He held a Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Construction from 2002-10. Publishing in English and French, Lachemi has more than 285 peer-reviewed technical publications, book chapters and conference proceedings, and has made extensive contributions as an editor and technical reviewer.

He is a graduate in civil engineering from l’Université des Sciences et de la Technologie d’Oran in Algeria and of l'Université de Sherbrooke (MASc and PhD in structural engineering).

Arig al Shaibah
Associate Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion
The University of British Columbia

Arig al Shaibah is associate vice-president, Equity and Inclusion, at The University of British Columbia (UBC). She is responsible for overseeing the UBC Equity & Inclusion Office and for leading strategic pan-institutional equity, diversity and inclusion priorities at both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. Before joining UBC, al Shaibah was McMaster University’s inaugural associate vice-president, Equity and Inclusion. Before that, she held positions as vice-provost, Student Affairs, and interim executive director, Human Rights and Equity Services, at Dalhousie University; and assistant dean, Student Life and Learning, and assistant dean, Residence Life, Diversity and Community Development, at Queen’s University. Al Shaibah holds a master’s degree in public administration and a PhD in education (cultural and policy studies). Her research and practice engage questions of how to build individual and institutional capacity for equitable, inclusive and antiracist leadership and organizational change in higher education.

Alexandre Baril
Associate Professor
University of Ottawa

Alexandre Baril, associate professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Social Work, was the first trans professor and specialist in trans studies to be hired to pursue his work in this field in French at a Canadian university, thus contributing to the emergence of trans studies in French. His passion and commitment to equity and diversity issues, whether they involve gender, sexuality, disability or linguistic minorities, have earned him several awards, including the Prix Lana St-Cyr from l’Aide aux trans du Québec (ATQ) in 2011, for his involvement and advocacy in trans communities; and the Canadian Disability Studies Association Tanis Doe Francophone Award in 2020, for his research, teaching and activism on disability. He is involved in several institutional committees on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and acts as a consultant on EDI issues in various organizations.

With his interdisciplinary training in philosophy/ethics and gender and sexuality studies, Alexandre Baril pursues multiple avenues of research. His work, carried out from an intersectional perspective, is at the crossroads of gender, queer, trans, disability/crip/mad studies, critical gerontology and critical suicidology. His most recent study focuses on the discourses on suicide and assisted suicide within anti-oppression movements and studies. A prolific author, he has published in journals such as Hypatia; Feminist Review; TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly; Sexualities; Atlantis; Frontiers; Disability Studies Quarterly; Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies; Canadian Journal of Disability Studies; Disability & Society; Somatechnics; Canadian Journal of Law and Society; Canadian Social Work Review; Genre, sexualité & société; Recherches féministes; Jeunes et Société; Criminologie; Philosophiques; and Recherches sociologiques et anthropologiques.

Suzy Basile
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Suzy Basile comes from the Atikamekw community of Wemotaci, Quebec. She has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in anthropology and, in 2016, defended a thesis in the environmental sciences PhD program at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT). The thesis was about the role and place of Atikamekw women in land and natural resource governance. Since then, Basile has been a professor with the School of Indigenous Studies of UQAT, at the Val-d’Or campus. In 2017, she set up a research laboratory on Indigenous women issues—Mikwatisiw. Since January 1, 2020, she holds the Canada Research Chair in Issues Relating to Indigenous Women. Since 2010, she has been a member of the steering committee of the Aboriginal Peoples Research and Knowledge Network (DIALOG).

Since June 1, 2016, Basile has been a member of UQAT’s research ethics board, as an Indigenous representative. Since 2019, she has been a member of the steering committee and ethics committee of the Fonds de recherche Société et culture.

Basile was involved in the development process for the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador’s Research Protocol (2005, 2014). She developed Guidelines for Research with Aboriginal Women for the Quebec Native Women association, published in 2012. She has also published and co-led diverse projects on the ethics of research with Indigenous Peoples. She actively participated in the creation of the Toolkit of Research Principles in an Aboriginal Context: Ethics, Respect, Fairness, Reciprocity, Collaboration, Culture, published in 2014 (1st edition) and 2018 (2nd edition).

Malcolm Campbell
Professor and Vice-President, Research
University of Guelph

Malcolm Campbell joined the University of Guelph as vice-president, Research, in June 2015. A distinguished scholar and plant genome biologist, Campbell has an extensive academic leadership and research record. Campbell completed his PhD in biochemistry in 1991 at the University of Guelph and The University of British Columbia. Following postdoctoral work in France, and North Carolina, he held a tenured faculty position at the University of Oxford from 1996 to 2004. In 2004, he joined the University of Toronto, where he held simultaneous appointments in the Department of Cell and Systems Biology, the Faculty of Forestry, the Department of Biological Sciences, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and the Graduate Department of Environmental Sciences.

Campbell was vice-principal of research at the University of Toronto, Scarborough, between 2009 and 2015, where he oversaw heightened research competitiveness and reputation. He leads a productive research team in his area of plant genome biology. At the University of Guelph, in addition to his vice-president, Research duties, he is institutional lead of the university’s Canada First Research Excellence Fund initiative, Food from Thought, a big data analytics platform for the agrifood sector, and oversees the University of Guelph’s partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Campbell also serves on journal editorial boards, scientific and non-scientific advisory boards, and advises governmental, non-governmental, private sector and community organizations.

Sheila Cote-Meek
Vice-President, Equity, People and Culture
York University

Sheila Cote-Meek is Anishinaabe from the Teme-Augama Anishnabai. She joined York University as the inaugural vice-president, Equity, People and Culture, in October 2019. Cote-Meek leads a team that includes Labour Relations and Human Resources to ensure the development and implementation of a progressive and effective strategy and structure that advances the university’s mission to cultivate an equitable, inclusive, respectful and healthy work environment.

Previously, she was the associate vice-president, Academic and Indigenous Programs at Laurentian University, where she was the senior lead on Indigenous initiatives, across disciplines. She played a lead role in several Indigenous initiatives including increasing the number of Indigenous scholars, the creation of the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, the master’s of Indigenous Relations and the Maamwizing Indigenous Research Institute. She also worked extensively on the faculty relations portfolio in collaboration with Human Resources and the Office of the Vice-President, Academic and Provost.

Cote-Meek holds a PhD in sociology and equity studies from the University of Toronto, as well as a master of business administration and a bachelor of science in nursing from Laurentian University. Author of Colonized Classrooms – Racism, Trauma and Resistance in Post-Secondary Education (Fernwood Publishing, 2014), she is an active researcher and has extensive experience working with Indigenous communities regionally, nationally and internationally on social justice, education and health-related issues. In 2016, she was nominated as an Indigenous role model for the Council of Ontario Universities Future Further Campaign, and, in 2013, she was the recipient of a YWCA Women of Distinction Award. A champion for equity, diversity and inclusion, and a leader in Indigenous education, Cote-Meek has a strong history of building relationships to advance institutions and is committed to working toward accessible higher education for all.

Lucas Crawford
Associate Professor
University of Alberta

Lucas Crawford was born in Halifax, raised in rural Nova Scotia, and is Canada Research Chair in Transgender Creativity and Mental Health in the Department of Fine Arts and Humanities at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus. Formerly a Trudeau Scholar and SSHRC postdoctoral fellow, Crawford also served as the Ruth Wynn Woodward Junior Chair of Gender Studies at Simon Fraser University.

Crawford is the author of one academic monograph and four books of poetry, including the award-winning collections Sideshow Concessions (Invisible Publishing, 2015) and Belated Bris of the Brainsick (Nightwood Editions, 2019). Crawford's latest work is Muster Points (University of Calgary Press, 2023). Crawford’s research bridges queer theory, transgender studies, architecture and space, as well as humanities approaches to mental health and disability.

Crawford leads Rewriting Ourselves, a new collaborative project funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, which will offer poetry workshops to psychiatric survivors and inpatients.

Jay Dolmage
Professor and Associate Chair
Undergraduate Communication Outcome Initiative
University of Waterloo

Jay Timothy Dolmage is a professor of English at the University of Waterloo, where he is committed to creating a more accessible future for higher education. He focuses on disability rights in his scholarship, service and teaching. His work brings together rhetoric, writing, disability studies and critical pedagogy.

Dolmage is founding editor of the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies. His first book, Disability Rhetoric, was published with Syracuse University Press in 2014. Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education was published with University of Michigan Press in 2017 and is available in open-access online. Disabled Upon Arrival: Eugenics, Immigration, and the Construction of Race and Disability was published in 2018 with The Ohio State University Press.

Nola Etkin
Dean of Science and Professor
University of Prince Edward Island

Nola Etkin is the dean of Science and a professor of chemistry at the University of Prince Edward Island, where she has taught organic chemistry and conducted research in organometallic chemistry and catalysis since 1997. Etkin currently serves on the Canadian Society for Chemistry’s Working Group on Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, the Society’s board as director of Student Affairs, and the ScienceAtlantic Strategic Planning Committee.

Etkin’s involvement in equity work began as a PhD student at the University of Alberta, where she was involved in the local Women in Science and Engineering group and co-chaired the campus LGBTQ group. This involvement has continued throughout her career. She was a founding co-chair of Abegweit Rainbow Collective, which was formed to provide support and advocacy to PEI’s 2SLGBTQ+ community, and is currently a member of the University of Prince Edward Island Joint Equity Committee and EDI Steering Committee. Prior to her appointment as Dean, she served as president of the university’s faculty association, and has served on the Canadian Association of University Teachers Equity Committee. In 2016, she edited the book Making Chemistry Inclusive: Proceedings of the CSC Symposium on Equity and Diversity in Chemistry. In 2020, she was awarded the Chemical Institute of Canada’s Chemistry Education Award, recognizing in part her contributions to EDI within chemistry education.

Oscar Holmes IV
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, Associate Professor and Director RUSE Program
Rutgers University (New Jersey)

Oscar Holmes IV is the associate dean for undergraduate programs, associate professor of management and the Director of Rutgers University Student Executive (RUSE) Program at Rutgers University–Camden School of Business. In addition, he is the founder and CEO of WHConsulting Firm LLC and creator and host of the Diversity Matters podcast. His research examines how leaders can maximize productivity and well-being through fostering more inclusive environments. He has published in several top-tier management journals and books.

He earned a PhD and master’s in management/organizational behaviour from The University of Alabama, a master of liberal arts from the University of Richmond and a bachelor of science with honours from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also a 2006 alumus of Stanford University's Graduate School of Business Summer Institute in general management. While on sabbatical in fall 2016, he was a Visiting Research Professor of management at the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University and a Research Fellow at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. 

Holmes has won numerous awards for his scholarship and teaching, including being named one of Poets & Quants’ 40 Under 40 Best Business School Professors, Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Diversity MBA’s Top 100 Under 50 Emerging and Executive Leaders. He also received the Mid-Atlantic Association of College of Business Administration’s Innovation in Teaching Award, the New Jersey Policy Research Organization Foundation’s Bright Idea Research Award, and the Rutgers University Leaders in Faculty Diversity Award. He is a 2020 Lead New Jersey Fellow and is the creator and host of Beyond The Mill, a live Diversity Dialogues Talk Show at Rutgers-Camden. He is a sought-after speaker and organizational consultant, and has given a number of radio and television interviews.

Carla John
Manager, Equity, Human Rights and Accessibility
Cambrian College

Carla John has been the manager of Equity, Human Rights and Accessibility at Cambrian College, in Sudbury, since 2017. She works with teachers, students and parents to help make schools safer and more inclusive for all students. John is a former teacher who returned to university and received a master’s in educational psychology from Mount Saint Vincent University.

Hard-of hearing since the age of two, John has experienced the ways in which marginalized identities intersect and are sometimes forgotten. She has worked with people with disabilities as a learning skills counsellor at Laurentian University, an adapted sports project coordinator, and as former chair of the Sudbury Accessible Sports Council.

Originally from Bermuda, John likes to return often with her wife and son to visit family and friends.

Ann Mainville-Neeson
Vice-President, External and Member Relations
Universities Canada

Ann Mainville-Neeson is a bilingual public policy lawyer with over 20 years experience in various roles within government, associations and the private sector.

Mainville-Neeson joined Universities Canada in November 2021. In her current role as vice-president, External and Member Relations, she oversees policy and government relations, international relations, external and internal communications, and member relations. Before joining Universities Canada, Mainville-Neeson was vice-president, Policy, Regulatory and Government Affairs, at TELUS Communications Company, where she was responsible for TELUS’ broadcasting and broadband content services. She also has vast experience in dealing with journalistic ethics and community standards from her time at the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, where she served as executive director. While in those roles, Mainville-Neeson also taught communications law for five years in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law.

Mainville-Neeson is the recipient of many prestigious awards in recognition of her professional accomplishments and involvement in the community, including a Forty Under 40 award from the Ottawa Business Journal, a Community Builder Award from United Way / Centraide Ottawa, and a VOscar from Volunteer Ottawa for playing a leading role in volunteering in the community.

Mainville-Neeson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Ottawa and a bachelor of laws from the University of Ottawa’s French Common Law Section.

Catherine Mounier
Université du Québec à Montréal

Catherine Mounier obtained her bachelor of science in biochemistry in 1987 and her master of science in molecular chemistry from Rennes University in France in 1988 and her PhD in cellular and molecular biology in 1994 from the then Institut national supérieur de formation agroalimentaire in Rennes. She did postdoctoral research in the Department of Biochemistry at Iowa University, where she studied the transcriptional regulation of the avian malic enzyme gene. She did further postdoctoral studies at McGill University, where she participated in the identification of new hepatic cell signaling pathways triggered by insulin and EGF ligands.

Mounier joined the Department of Biological Sciences at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in 2003 and was promoted to full professor in 2012. She was assistant chair of this department from 2007 to 2012, then chair from 2012 to 2015. In July 2015, she was appointed vice-president, Research Creation and Dissemination, at UQAM. Her research projects focus on lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, with a particular emphasis on nutritional and hormonal regulation of genes involved in hepatic lipogenesis. Hepatic steatosis (accumulation of excess fat in liver cells) is a focal point of research in her laboratory.

Michelle Owen
The University of Winnipeg

Michelle Owen is professor in women’s and gender studies, and coordinator of disability studies, at the University of Winnipeg. She lives with chronic illnesses that are sometimes disabling.

Her research interests include gender, sexuality, disability, chronic illness, violence, pedagogy, and theory. Some of the courses she teaches are embodied subjects, theorizing disability, and sexualities, disabilities and rights.

Her recent publications include Not a New Problem: Violence in the Lives of Disabled Women (Fernwood Publishing, 2018) co-edited with Diane Hiebert-Murphy and Janice Ristock. She co-wrote a chapter in this book with Jane Ursel entitled “The Healing Journey: Women with Disabilities and Intimate Partner Violence.” She also has a chapter, co-written with Nadine LeGier, “How Crip Is Too Crip?: Reimagining the Presence of Disabled Professors in the Academy,” in International Perspectives on Teaching with Disability: Overcoming Obstacles and Enriching Lives, edited by Michael Jeffress (Routledge, 2018). Forthcoming is a chapter she co-wrote with student Baden Gaeke Franz, about their experiences in a cross-listed disability studies/women’s and gender studies course. “Teachable Moments: The Intersections of Disabilities and Sexualities” will be published in Let's Teach About Sex: Sexuality(ies) in Higher Education, edited by Susan Hill (forthcoming, University of Toronto Press).

Susan Prentice
University of Manitoba

Susan Prentice is the Duff Roblin Professor of Government at the University of Manitoba and is professor of sociology. She specializes in work-family, social care and social movements, with a focus on childcare policy. She practices public sociology, and is a long-time contributor to childcare advocacy and to feminist organizations. In 2003, she was one of the eight faculty members who launched a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission about systemic discrimination in the Canada Research Chairs Program.

Kate Sang
Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University

Kate Sang is a professor of gender and employment studies at Edinburgh Business School in the School of Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, in Scotland. Her research explores gender and intersecting inequalities in the workplace. Sang’s current research examines gynaecological health conditions at work and disability in academic careers. She also leads an Inclusion Matters project to improve disability inclusion in science careers. Through this Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council-funded project at Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh, Sang focuses on early-career stage inclusion, from PhD to postdoctoral and postdoctoral to first lectureship.

Sang is a member of the Scottish government expert panel on single-use plastics, and is a member of the United Kingdom’s Research Excellence Framework panel. She is an editorial board member for Work, Employment and Society and established Heriot-Watt University’s first fully open-access journal, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity.

Bilkis Vissandjée
Université de Montréal

Bilkis Vissandjée is a professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the Université de Montréal. She holds a master’s in nursing from the Université de Montréal and a PhD in public health from the University of Michigan, and has completed postdoctoral studies in anthropology and public health at the Université de Montréal. She is a researcher at the SHERPA University Institute at the Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre for West-Central Montréal, as well as the Quebec Population Health Research Network and the Quebec Network on Nursing Intervention Research.

Her work aims to contribute to the development and implementation of programs offering access to health care and services to new arrivals to Quebec and Canada, with an intersectional perspective that considers the intersectionality of gender, ethnicity, immigration experiences and equity.

Vissandjée took part in the creation of the Comité provincial pour la prestation des services de santé et des services sociaux aux personnes issues des communautés ethnoculturelles, an advisory committee of the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, and is currently the committee’s vice-president. In 2015, the Quebec government appointed her as a member of the commission on end-of-life care, to speak to the complexities of access to care and information in a context of cultural diversity in Quebec. Working in collaboration with community organizations dedicated to welcoming immigrants and supporting their integration, in 2016 Vissandjée led the committee’s roundtable on poverty reduction, spearheaded by the mayor of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. She has served on a women’s file consultation committees of the Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes since 2017.

Deborah Zornes
Director, Research Services
Royal Roads University

Deborah Zornes is the director, Research Services, at Royal Roads University, and has been with the university since 2006. She also teaches research methods at the graduate level and is president of the Canadian Association of Research Administrators. Prior to that, Zornes was the manager, Research Services, at Athabasca University for 15 years.

As director, Zornes is responsible for the strategic and operational directions of research administration and support at the university. She works with faculty to find research opportunities, and assists in developing and submitting proposals and managing and reporting on research activities.

Zornes holds a PhD in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Victoria. Her research interests are: evaluating and measuring research effectiveness and quality, including outputs, outcomes and impacts; the impact of corporatization on the university and the research undertaken and supported, and what this means for the university’s role in society; and research administration as a profession.

Past committee members