Heather Munroe-Blum, 2003-2013
Heather Munroe-Blum, O.C., O.Q., Ph.D., FRSC
Heather Munroe-Blum became 16th Principal and Vice-Chancellor (President) and Senior Officer of McGill University in 2003. An accomplished scholar in the fields of psychiatric epidemiology and public policy, and a distinguished administrator, Prof. Munroe-Blum is a member of McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and Professor in its Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health. She has dedicated her career to the advancement of higher education, science and innovation, in Canada and internationally. She advises governments on the role that progressive, evidence-based public policy, and especially, policies concerning universities, health, research and highly qualified talent play in enriching society and enhancing international competitiveness. She is the author of the groundbreaking report Growing Ontario’s Innovation System: The Strategic Role of University Research that led to the creation of a new framework of science policies and programs in Ontario, and is founding Co-Chair of the biannual State of the Nation Report of the Canadian Science, Technology and Innovation Council, which advises the Government of Canada.
Among achievements during her time as Principal of McGill, has been strengthening of McGill’s leadership contributions at the world level with respect to research, graduate education, and positive societal contribution. Hallmarks to date have been the dramatic renewal of the professoriate, advancement of governance, major infrastructure renewal and promotion of distinctive areas of excellence and impact in research and scholarship. Her Principal’s Task Forces on Student Life and Learning, and, on Excellence, Diversity and Community Engagement are leading to measures and improvements to enhance the university experience for McGill’s 35,000 students, and, extending McGill’s contributions to healthy civil society, at home and abroad.
Prof. Munroe-Blum serves on the Internationalization and Membership Committees of the Association of American Universities (AAU). She is Chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’s Standing Advisory Committee on University Research (SACUR). She is a member of the Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) of Canada, the President’s Council of the New York Academy of Sciences, and, in the past two years served as a member of the U.S. National Research Council’s Committee on Research Universities which reported to the U.S. Congress in June 2012. She serves on the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Trilateral Commission, and, is the co-chair of the Private Sector Advisory Committee of the Ontario-Quebec Trade and Co-operation Agreement. She serves on the boards of the Trudeau Foundation, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the Conférence de Montréal, and the Royal Bank of Canada.
Professor Munroe-Blum is the past President of the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec (CREPUQ), was a founding director of the Toronto-based Medical and Related Sciences Discovery District (MARS), and, of Genome Canada, where she also served as founding Vice-Chair of the Board. She was Co-Chair of the 2011 Centraide (United Way) Campaign of Greater Montreal. She has served on the boards of numerous Canadian teaching hospitals, the Council of Canadian Academies, the former Medical Research Council of Canada, Neurosciences Canada, the Conference Board of Canada, the Montreal Chamber of Commerce, Alcan, Canada Forum of Rio Tinto Alcan, Yellow Media Inc., Hydro One (Ontario), and Four Seasons Hotels, among others.
Prior to assuming the position of Principal and Vice-Chancellor at McGill, she served at the University of Toronto as Professor, as Vice-President (Research and International Relations) from 1994 to 2002 and as Dean of the Faculty of Social Work from 1989 to 1994. Earlier, she was a professor at York University and McMaster University, respectively. Prior to her doctoral studies and academic career, she worked as a psychiatric social worker in an academic health setting. She has lead a number of major clinical and population-based research studies, and contributed to the development of mental health policy and programs.
Prof. Munroe-Blum has received numerous honors and awards. Named an Officer of the Order of Canada for an outstanding record of achievement in science, innovation, health and higher education policy, she holds numerous honorary degrees from Canadian and international universities, is a Specially Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Senior Fellow of Massey College, and, an Officer of the Order of Quebec.
Prof. Munroe-Blum holds a Ph.D. with distinction in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in addition to M.S.W. (Wilfrid Laurier University) and B.A. and B.S.W. degrees (McMaster University).
Born in Montreal, Prof. Munroe-Blum is married to screenwriter and teacher Len Blum. They have one child.