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. As such, this supports the three federal research funding agencies’ commitment to excellence in research and research training.

The committee also reviews applications for the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Recognition Award, providing the program with a recommendation as to which institution to recognize.

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

Current committee members

Vianne Timmons (Co-chair)
President and vice-chancellor
University of Regina

Named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, Vianne Timmons is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in inclusive education and literacy research.

Timmons has been president and vice-chancellor of the University of Regina since 2008. As the first female university president in Saskatchewan, she has been a strong advocate for the development of women leaders, both in her home province and beyond. She is the driving force behind the Inspiring Leadership Forum, an annual, daylong symposium on women and leadership that attracts more than 500 participants.

Timmons received the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada’s 2014 Recognition Award for promoting and supporting diversity in academic institutions. In 2015, the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education presented her with the “Leadership and Influence” award for promoting policies that enhance gender equity.

Timmons is of Mi’kmaq heritage.

Santa J. Ono (Co-chair)
President and vice-chancellor
The University of British Columbia

Santa J. Ono is president and vice-chancellor of The University of British Columbia, a professor of medicine and biology, and chief advisor of the British Columbia Innovation Network. Previously, he was president of the University of Cincinnati.

Ono’s research encompasses the immune system, eye inflammation and age-related macular degeneration–a leading cause of blindness.

In 2017, the American Council on Education recognized Ono for demonstrating leadership and commitment to the advancement of racial and ethnic minorities in higher education. And in 2015, Inside Higher Education named him America’s most notable university president.

Photo by Paul Joseph

Jonathan A. Allan
Canada Research Chair in Queer Theory
Brandon University

Jonathan A. Allan is Canada Research Chair in Queer Theory and associate professor in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Brandon University, and holds an appointment in the Gender and Women’s Studies Program. He is also vice-president of the American Men’s Studies Association.

In his research, Allan explores the ways in which queer theory can and should inform the critical study of men and masculinities. He is the author of Reading from Behind (University of Regina Press). Allan sits on the editorial/advisory boards of Feral Feminisms, The Journal of Popular Romance Studies, The Journal of Men’s Studies, Chasqui: Revista de literatura latinoamericana, and Masculinities: A Journal of Identity and Culture.

Jaimie Borisoff
Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation Engineering Design
British Columbia Institute of Technology

Jaimie Borisoff is the Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation Engineering Design at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He is adjunct professor in The University of British Columbia’s Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and Biomedical Engineering Program. He is also a principal investigator at the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD).

His lab performs rehabilitation engineering research and development about assistive and therapeutic technologies for persons with disabilities. His projects include:

  • developing the Elevation wheelchair, which was manufactured and distributed by PDG Mobility;
  • developing an ultra-light wheelchair with dynamic “on the fly” seating that lets people instantly adjust their sitting position to suit specific daily activities;
  • an upright exercise machine for improved cardiovascular and locomotor outcomes; and
  • integrating wheeled mobility with powered walking exoskeletons– a combined device that potentially offers the mobility advantages of wheels along with the therapeutic benefits of standing and walking.

Wendy Cukier
Professor, information technology management
Ryerson University

Wendy Cukier is a professor of information technology management at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, and the chair of the Board of Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. She founded the university’s Diversity Institute, which develops evidence-based strategies to promote inclusion.

Cukier’s work includes the  Diversity Leads project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, which benchmarked and tracked workplace diversity across sectors over five years.

Prior to this, Cukier was vice-president of research and innovation at Ryerson University. She was also a co-investigator in the Black Experience Project in Toronto, and has researched and published on the experience of Muslim women in leadership.

Cukier has received many awards for her leadership, including the Harry Jerome Award for Diversity, the Canada Pakistan Business Council’s Professional Excellence Award and the Governor General's Meritorious Cross.

Cukier holds a PhD in management science from York University, a master of business administration and a master of arts from the University of Toronto, and honorary doctorates from Laval University and Concordia University.

Wafa El-Adhami
Executive director
Science in Australia Gender Equity

Wafa El-Adhami is the executive director of Science in Australia Gender Equity. With a research background in molecular biology and microbiology, El-Adhami has held many senior leadership and management positions in the Australian government, including in the Department of Health and Ageing, the Office of Chemical Safety, and the Commission for Occupational Health and Safety. Most recently, she has worked internationally as a consultant specializing in health policy, regulation and clinical solutions.

Michael Anthony Hart
Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledges and Social Work
University of Manitoba

Michael Anthony Hart is a citizen of the Fisher River Cree Nation residing in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledges and Social Work, professor with the Faculty of Social Work, and acting director of the Masters of Social Work based in the Indigenous Knowledges Program at the University of Manitoba.

Hart’s current research focuses on Indigenist helping knowledges and practices, Indigenous experiences of colonialism, cultural continuity and well-being, Indigenous males, and anti-colonialism.

Kevin Hewitt
Associate professor, Department of Physics & Atmospheric Science
Dalhousie University

Kevin Hewitt is an associate professor in the Department of Physics & Atmospheric Science and chair of Senate at Dalhousie University. In the classroom, Hewitt strives to link physics with learners’ everyday lives. In his molecular imaging lab, he has developed novel nanoparticle probes for cancer imaging and treatment, new optical imaging approaches, and a prototype medical diagnostic tool for liver steatosis.

Hewitt was elected to positions on the Canadian Association of Physicists and the American Physical Society, and has a history of establishing innovative programs and organizations serving the African Canadian community.

Hewitt completed a bachelor’s of science, physics specialist and biology major, at the University of Toronto. While in graduate school at Simon Fraser University, he helped establish several university and community organizations and programs. At Dalhousie University, he co-founded Imhotep’s Legacy Academy, a STEM outreach program for African Canadian students. For these contributions, he received a Youth Community Service Award and Harry Jerome Award for Professional Excellence. He was also a finalist for the Science Champion Discovery Award.

Pari Johnston
Vice-president, policy and public affairs
Universities Canada

Pari Johnston is vice-president, policy and public affairs, at Universities Canada, leading all its federal policy and advocacy initiatives. She is responsible for strategic oversight of the association’s government relations, communications, policy and research, and international relations. Through these efforts, she helps Universities Canada promote the role of higher education, research and innovation in Canada’s future, at home and abroad.

Johnston joined Universities Canada in 1997, holding increasingly senior roles, such as director of international relations, before building a new member relations program and leading the public affairs team. She is also a member of the board of directors of The Conversation Canada, a global platform for academic journalism.

Johnston holds a bachelor of arts degree (French literature) from the University of Regina and a master’s in international affairs from Carleton University.

Eve Langelier
Université de Sherbrooke

Eve Langelier is committed to student success, progression for women in science and technology, and sharing her passion for bioengineering. She has a background in mechanical and biomedical engineering.

Langelier is currently a professor at Université de Sherbrooke. She holds the Chair for Women in Science and Engineering in Quebec, with a main goal of increasing the involvement of women in these fields.

Sara Mole
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity professor
MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London

Sara Mole is the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity professor and a group leader at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology (LMCB) at University College London (UCL). Her research focus is translational neuroscience for Batten disease, a group of inherited neurodegenerative diseases mainly affecting children.

In 2008, Mole introduced the idea of working under the UK Athena SWAN Charter to the LMCB to improve gender equality. She led the implementation of the charter, from the LMCB receiving its first Athena SWAN Silver Award in 2009, which was renewed in 2012, to receiving its Athena SWAN Gold Award in 2016. This was the UCL’s first Gold award and only the eighth awarded in the United Kingdom. The LMCB is held up as a beacon of good practice within UCL.

Mole champions equality and diversity in UCL’s Faculty of Life Science through the Equality & Diversity Committee. She also promotes the approach the LMCB adopted throughout the UK, and in any academic setting she finds herself. Mole further highlights gender equality by tweeting using #simplygoodpractice.

Diana Parry
Associate vice-president, human rights, equity and inclusion
University of Waterloo

Diana Parry is a professor in applied health studies and special advisor to the president on women’s and gender issues at the University of Waterloo. She is also the campus lead for the UN Women’s HeForShe/IMPACT 10x10x10 campaign, which is a global solidarity movement that unities people around the world in advancing gender equity.

 In 2017, she was appointed associate vice-president, human rights, equity and inclusion. In this role, Parry liaises with all levels of the university community to investigate, inform and act on policy and structures to advance human rights, equity and inclusion on campus.

Using a feminist lens, Parry's research privileges women's standpoints and aims to create social change and enact social justice by challenging the medical model of scholarship. In particular, Parry’s research explores the personal and political links between women's leisure and women's health, broadly defined.

Malinda S. Smith
Professor, political science
University of Alberta

Malinda S. Smith is a professor of political science at the University of Alberta. A community engaged scholar, Smith is also president of the Academic Women’s Association at the university.

Previously, Smith served as the faculty association’s equity chair. She has also served as vice-president of equity for the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and as a member of the Canadian Association of University Teacher's (CAUT) Racialized Academic Staff Working Group.

She has received  numerous awards, including the Human Rights Education Recognition Award (2013) from the Office of Safe Disclosure and Human Rights; the national Equity Award from CAUT (2015); and the HSBC Community Contributor of the Year award (2016) from the Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion.

Smith’s published research engages questions in critical African political economy and terrorism studies, antiracism and decolonization, and equity and higher education.  She co-authored The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities (UBC Press 2017). She is also the editor and co-editor of multiple books.

Valerie Steeves
Professor, Department of Criminology
University of Ottawa

Valerie Steeves is a professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa. Her main area of research is the intersection of technology and human rights. She is the co-project leader of the eQuality Project, a seven-year partnership examining young people’s privacy and equality in networked spaces, which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. She is also the lead researcher for MediaSmart’s Young Canadians in a Wired World, which has been tracking young people’s experiences with networked technologies since 2000.

Steeves has a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toronto and a PhD in communications from Carleton University.

Sharon E. Straus
Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Translation and Quality of Care
Univerity of Toronto

Dr. Sharon E. Straus is a geriatrician and clinical epidemiologist who trained at the University of Toronto and the University of Oxford. She is the director of the Knowledge Translation Program and deputy physician-in-chief at St. Michael’s Hospital. She is also director, Division of Geriatric Medicine, and vice-chair and professor, Department of Medicine, at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Straus is the Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Translation and Quality of Care. She has authored more than 400 publications and three textbooks in evidence-based medicine, knowledge translation and mentorship. According to the Web of Science, she is in the top one per cent of highly cited clinical researchers. She holds more than $62 million in peer-reviewed research grants as a principal investigator, and has received national awards for mentorship, research and education.

Holly Witteman
Associate professor, Department of Family and Emergency Medicine
Université Laval

Holly Witteman, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Family and Emergency Medicine at Université Laval, which is situated on traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Abenaki, Wabanaki Confederacy, Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) & Haudenosaunee peoples.

Witteman directs the research unit in the Faculty of Medicine's Office of Education and Professional Development. She is a scientist at the CHU de Québec-Université Laval Research Center and the Institute of Primary Care Research affiliated with Université Laval. She is also an affiliate investigator at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, which is situated on traditional Algonquin territory.

With an interdisciplinary background in human factors engineering and social sciences, her research is about the design and evaluation of digital and other media in health decision-making. She specializes in human-computer interaction in health education, risk communication and decision-making, including design methods to support inclusive user- and patient-centeredness.

Witteman has lived since childhood with chronic autoimmune conditions, including one classed as a disability.

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/supported, and what this means for the university’s role in society; and
  • research administration as a profession.

Past committee members