Heather Munroe-Blum to succeed Bernard Shapiro
Dr Heather Munroe-Blum will be the 16th principal of McGill University. Her appointment was approved by the Board of Governors this afternoon.
University recruits outstanding leader, top scholar and innovator as vice-chancellor and 16th principal
Dr. Heather Munroe-Blum will be the new head of McGill, effective January, 2003. Her appointment as vice-chancellor and 16th principal of McGill was approved by the Board of Governors this afternoon. Born in Montreal, Professor Munroe-Blum is currently the Vice-President, Research and International Relations at the University of Toronto. She has a remarkable record of accomplishment as a senior university administrator and is a distinguished scholar with considerable experience in public policy, research development and innovation. She will succeed renowned educator Bernard J. Shapiro, who has agreed to extend his term from August to the end of December 2002.
Chancellor Richard Pound, who chaired the Search Committee, describes Heather Munroe-Blum as someone "whose outstanding track record of administrative accomplishment, scholarship and unique ability to work effectively with the many different constituencies vital to the University made her an exciting choice and a worthy successor to Bernard Shapiro. We were particularly attracted by her commitment to excellence and her national and global outlook." He adds, "In making our recommendation to the Board, I'm convinced we have found the right person to lead McGill through this first decade of the new millennium." Chancellor Pound notes that the search for a new principal was "a careful and thorough international process conducted in accordance with University statutes by a representative committee with McGill's best interests in mind."
Robert Rabinovitch, chair of the Board of Governors and one of 14 Search Committee members, strongly endorses this assessment. "She is creative, innovative, decisive -- qualities that will be crucial to the University's future. I believe she will be a catalyst for change and, at the same time, someone who values deeply the traditional mission of the University. She will consult and engage fully our many partners both inside and outside the institution." He concludes, "Heather Munroe-Blum will be at the helm of this University for years to come, and she brings to McGill the reserves of strength, imagination, intelligence and character which are required to head a complex research-intensive university in today's environment."
Munroe-Blum received Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work degrees from McMaster University, a Master's degree in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology (with distinction) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Munroe-Blum has conducted groundbreaking epidemiological studies of major psychiatric disorders and has influenced the development of effective mental health policies and practices. She has received major support from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, served as a member of the International Committee to Review the Medical Research Council of Canada, subsequently served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Medical Research Council of Canada, as a member at the Treatment Assessment Committee of the National Institute of Mental Health, and is author or co-author of over 60 scholarly publications and several books. Munroe-Blum has been a professor at McMaster University and the University of Toronto, where she served as Dean of Social Work prior to becoming Vice-President.
"I am honoured to be following in the footsteps of Bernard Shapiro and David Johnston," says Munroe-Blum. "McGill University is a Canadian treasure with a stellar reputation at home and abroad. As Canada's most research-intensive university, McGill is home to an impressive number of superb scholars and outstanding students and staff. It has dedicated and distinguished alumni. I am excited and optimistic about what we will achieve together."
Professor Heather Munroe-Blum has served the University of Toronto as Vice-President, Research & International Relations since 1994. She is also a governor of the University. As Vice-President, Professor Munroe-Blum has held overall responsibility for the direction of research and international activities at the University, as well as for related relationships, policies, practices and financial administration. The University of Toronto has doubled its resources in support of research under her leadership and at the same time benefited significantly from improved research and international service to faculty and students, and gained a substantial increase in national and international research awards and prizes.
While a specialist in psychiatric epidemiology, in recent years Munroe-Blum has been increasingly active in the development of effective public policy in support of innovation through science, research and higher education. In 1999 she was the principal author of a highly-regarded report on this subject, Growing Ontario's Innovation System: The Strategic Role of University Research, commissioned by the Government of Ontario. She is frequently called upon by governments and organizations, national and international, as a consultant on research and innovation policy.
She has served as a member of the Prime Minister's Advisory Council on Science and Technology Expert Panel on Canada's Role in International Science and Technology and the Board of Directors of the Medical Research Council of Canada (now the Canadian Institutes of Health Research). In the past year, Professor Munroe-Blum has served on international review panels for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Swiss National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Mental Health (USA). She serves on the Committee to Select Distinguished Professors of the University of Ottawa.
Active in her community, Professor Munroe-Blum is currently Chair of the Industry Canada University Advisory Group; Vice-Chair of the Board of Genome Canada; Chair of the Ontario Council on University Research; is a director of the Ontario BIOCouncil, of several hospitals and Centres of Excellence, and a member of the Board of the Institute of Work and Health and the Premier's Research Excellence Awards Program (Ontario). She is a member of the Nestlé Canada Advisory Board and a founding member of the Board of the MARS (Medical and Related Sciences Discovery District) not-for-profit corporation to develop a major science and technology convergence district in downtown Toronto. She is also a governor of Branksome Hall School for Girls.
Heather Munroe-Blum is married to screenwriter Len Blum. They have a daughter, Sydney, aged 16.