SFU’s next president eyes “new era of potential”
University appoints Joy Johnson as its 10th president and vice-chancellor
Simon Fraser University’s Board of Governors has appointed professor Joy Johnson as the university’s next president and vice-chancellor, following an extensive community consultation and international search process.
Johnson, SFU’s current vice-president research and international, will take office on Sept. 1 2020. She succeeds Andrew Petter, who completes his term on August 31 after a decade of distinguished service.
“Over the course of this competitive process, professor Johnson stood out from other candidates for her depth of academic and research experience, commitment to students and enthusiasm for the future of SFU,” says Fiona Robin, chair of SFU’s Board of Governors and chair of the presidential search committee. “We are thrilled to announce that professor Johnson is the successful candidate and look forward to welcoming her into this new role.”
A strong supporter of academic and research excellence, and a leader in nurturing and building community partnerships, Johnson is also committed to vibrant student learning experiences, equity, diversity and inclusion, and Aboriginal reconciliation.
“SFU is a remarkable institution at a remarkable time in its history,” says Johnson, who becomes the university’s second woman president. “We continue to attract world-class students, faculty, and staff, and we are stepping into a new era of potential.”
Johnson, who has been in her current role at SFU since 2014, is widely respected in academic and research communities. Under her 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.
During her tenure, the university established its innovation strategy—SFU Innovates—launched its big data initiative, secured two Canada 150 chairs and became host to Canada’s most powerful academic supercomputer. The university also became a founding partner in the City of Surrey’s burgeoning Health and Technology District and established collaborative research partnerships around the world.
“I love being part of SFU—so much is possible here as we develop new learning opportunities, enhance student support and services, expand our facilities, strengthen our research infrastructure, and forge new partnerships,” says Johnson. “It’s my great privilege to have the opportunity to serve as President and Vice-Chancellor, and I look forward to getting started.”
Johnson completed her PhD in nursing at the University of Alberta, and is a former professor in the University of British Columbia’s School of Nursing.
Before joining SFU, Johnson had an impressive academic and research career in the health sciences. Her research focused on how environments and social dynamics influence health outcomes and opportunities, particularly among youth.
Her commitment to research led to her role as scientific director with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Gender and Health, setting the institute’s strategy and building opportunities for researchers.
Johnson is an elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2019).
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.
Read more about Joy Johnson
About Simon Fraser University:
As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 35,000 students. The university now boasts more than 160,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.