People of SFU

Jennifer Kandjii appointed as inaugural director of equity, diversity and inclusion for Student Services

January 31, 2023
Jennifer Kandjii has been appointed as inaugural director of equity, diversity and inclusion for Student Services.

SFU is pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer Kandjii as the inaugural director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for Student Services.

Kandjii joins SFU with more than 10 years of management experience gained working for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and at institutions of higher learning across Canada.

While at the UNHCR, Kandjii’s work was focused on equity, human rights, protection, and gender equality, for which she led training and capacity-building activities for project and partner staff. By empowering women and girls while engaging with men and boys, she sought to transform patriarchal and traditional norms that produce unequal power relations. Her current position as coordinator for Hallman Chair Research Initiatives at Wilfrid Laurier University focuses on producing research outcomes that inform policy at the intersection of indigenization, the child welfare system and social work. Kandjii previously worked at Carleton University as a research officer on the LERRN-IDRC initiative on localizing knowledge production on forced displacement, where she collaborated with partners across Canada, East Africa, and the Middle East. She has a steadfast commitment to advancing equity, human rights, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) priorities.

Kandjii holds a master's degree (with distinction) in forced migration and human rights from the University of East London in the United Kingdom, as well as a bachelor's degree in chemistry and molecular biology from the University of Namibia. She recently defended her Ph.D. in Global Governance at the University of Waterloo's Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario. As a PhD candidate at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA), along with a fellow student, she galvanized the BSIA to create a space for discussion on how to deconstruct oppressive and discriminatory systems, resulting in the formation of an anti-oppression and equity committee. 

As a founding member of the President's Antiracism Taskforce (PART) at the University of Waterloo, Kandjii worked with the university's leadership to support an equitable environment by addressing systemic racism across the University of Waterloo's campuses, striving to create a space where students can learn, grow, and thrive. The taskforce delivered a comprehensive report with eighty-eight recommendations to address racism in all its forms at the university. This commitment to human rights, EDI priorities, and social justice motivates her to listen closely, undertake human rights-based research, advance equity-based policy, and drive action for transformative change.

Kandjii will work with all Student Services departments to ensure that policies, programs, practices, and initiatives are aligned across the organization to ensure all student services are equitable, inclusive, and culturally safe.