Tamara Vrooman, O.B.C., was appointed Simon Fraser University’s 12th Chancellor in June 2020.
The university chancellor’s role is to confer all degrees and represent the university in an official capacity within the larger community, as one of the university’s chief ambassadors.
Distinguished in their field, the chancellor advocates on behalf of the university and shares a commitment to post-secondary education and research.
Dr. Vrooman is a transformational leader renowned for her commitment to addressing economic inequalities, advancing social justice and supporting a healthy, engaged and informed community.
In her early career, she achieved significant success as B.C.’s Deputy Minister in both the Ministries of Finance and of Health, as Secretary to the Treasury Board, and as CEO of the Public Sector Employees Council.
In 2007, Dr. Vrooman was named President and CEO of Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union. Over the next 13 years she transformed the business and service model, delivering record profitability and doubling assets while implementing a successful new vision for value-based banking.
Under her leadership, Vancity became the largest private-sector living wage employer in Canada and the first carbon-neutral financial institution in North America. As well, Dr. Vrooman championed a broad range of collaborative, inclusive and community-focused initiatives including the 2014 Walk for Reconciliation, the annual SFU Public Square Community Summit, and the Vancity Office of Community Engagement at SFU. Opened in 2010, the office today welcomes almost 10,000 people annually to its community programs and has done much to enhance the social fabric of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Dr. Vrooman joined the Vancouver Airport Authority as their President and CEO in July 2020, after serving on its Board of Directors for nine years. The first woman to hold the position, she believes the airport is both an economic generator and community contributor—a hub of innovation that gives back, supports the region and sets the bar for sustainability.
For her many contributions to the betterment of British Columbia, Dr. Vrooman—a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Victoria—has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Outstanding Public Service, the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, an honorary Doctor of Laws from Simon Fraser University, and most recently, the Order of British Columbia.