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People of SFU: Meet Angie Lamarsh, Chair of the SFU Board of Governors

January 25, 2023

Alumnus Angie Lamarsh (née Hall; BA ’11, MA, ‘13) is Head of Sustainable Finance, Commercial Banking at HSBC Bank Canada, and the current Chair of the SFU Board of Governors.

Joining the Board in 2018, Angie previously served on the SFU Alumni Association Board and SFU Senate. Since completing her studies in international relations and development, she has built a successful career in finance, leading the way to help businesses of all sizes to transition and thrive in a low carbon economy.

Outside of SFU, Angie has given time to the Education and Finance Committees for Ocean Wise and as a mentor in the Women’s Executive Network (WXN). In 2019, WXN also selected her as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada.

Learn more about why Angie loves being a part of the SFU community and who inspires her as a leader.

A Q&A with Angie Lamarsh

What do you enjoy most about being a part of the SFU community?

Interdisciplinary is the word that always comes to mind for me for SFU. We have always promoted and innovated experiential education and diverse educational paths. People at SFU pursue dual degrees, certificates across faculties, co-operative education, and semesters abroad. SFU is uniquely committed to being both innovative and accessible.

You have given so much to SFU as a volunteer and donor–why do you think it is important to give back to your alma mater?

I give because SFU drives change and delivers on values I hold dear: access to education, community engagement, sustainability, underpinned by the responsibilities of reconciliation, and equity, diversity, and inclusion.

SFU is adept at developing people to then lead with these values in our workplaces, our communities, and our governments. Education has the power to transform outcomes for individuals and communities and we are bringing forward a generation of leaders to drive the progressive change we need across global societies.

Who would you say inspires you the most, and why?

I have been fortunate to have many inspiring role models in my life, leaders like Anne Giardini, Tamara Vrooman, and Julia Kim. Well-rounded women who have achieved incredible corporate success and prioritized service to the community. They along with many others have made me feel welcome when I joined new spaces while also setting a high bar for performance. From them I have learned the importance of being generous with your time, embracing mentorship and helping others achieve their full potential.

What is the most important lesson you have learned that informs your leadership approach?

Be relentlessly curious. It is okay to say, “I don’t know” and then put in the work to find a solution. This is why post-secondary is so important to me. If you come at your life with an openness to continuous learning, that is where you will thrive and see the most growth.

You are a leader in sustainable finance. What is something everyone should know about investing in a sustainable future?

Right now, there is a tremendous appetite for collaboration in the sustainability field, as there is an understanding of the need for rapid evolution. The risk is that people see climate change as a future issue and deprioritize action in the face of other near-term challenges. It is important to recognize the need for immediate action and to invest in infrastructure now for future generations.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

I aspired to be Chair of the SFU Board of Governors since my time as the graduate student representative on the Board, so this is an incredible honour. It is a privilege to serve and to work with so many diverse stakeholders across our community. I am grateful that the Board trusts me to lead, and I am excited for the opportunities that lay before us.