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In what is both a homecoming and a major coup for McGill University, Michael Goldbloom, newspaper publisher, community leader and McGill alumnus, has been named to head the university's Government Relations and Inter-Institutional Affairs Office, effective Jan. 3, 2007.
Mr. Goldbloom is a McGillian through-and-though. Four generations of his family have attended the university, where he earned a Bachelor of Civil Law in 1978 and a Bachelor of Common Law in 1979. He is the husband of alumna and filmmaker Fiona Macleod and the son of McGill graduates Sheila Goldbloom, a former School of Social Work professor, and Dr. Victor Goldbloom, a retired pediatrician and politician.
"I left Montreal because of the work opportunity, not because of any desire to leave the city," he told the Reporter of his decision just over three years ago to work at the Toronto Star, Canada's largest newspaper, where he was most recently publisher. "In fact, it was a difficult decision for my wife and me to leave because we have strong connections to the city. This is very much coming home to a place that we know and to the university, which has been a really important part of my life."
In his new position, Mr. Goldbloom will lead McGill's relations with federal, provincial and municipal governments and serve as its chief liaison with other organizations and public institutions.
In announcing that Mr. Goldbloom is joining her senior team in the critical role of Vice-Principal (Inter-Institutional Relations), Principal and Vice-Chancellor Heather Munroe-Blum said, "Michael Goldbloom brings to McGill outstanding leadership abilities and a strong sense of the special role that McGill does and can play in Quebec and within the national and international arenas." Mr. Goldbloom has also been appointed a Senior Fellow in Media and Public Policy with the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and Media@McGill, the university's new hub on issues in media policy, culture and technology.
While studying at McGill, Mr. Goldbloom spent summers as a reporter at the Gazette. After graduating with degrees in both civil and common law, he spent a year — specifically 1980, the year that saw Quebec's first referendum on independence — at the paper editorializing on constitutional and political matters. For the next decade, he worked as a labour lawyer at Martineau Walker (now Fasken Martineau), then, until 1994, served as president and chief executive officer of the Montreal YMCA.
From 1994 to 2001 he was publisher of the Gazette. On leaving the paper, he spent a year as a Visiting Scholar at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, an experience he calls "invaluable." That year, he told the Reporter, "helped me truly understand the university and is one of the many reasons I'm excited to be returning." In July 2003, he joined the Toronto Star.
Mr. Goldbloom was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1981. He also studied at Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris and at Harvard University, where he earned a degree in Modern European History and Literature.
He also has a distinguished record of community leadership. A founding member of Alliance Quebec, he served on its Executive Committee from 1982 to 1989 and was president from 1985 to 1987. He was chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ville Marie Social Services Centre and of Selwyn House School. He also served on the founding Board of Directors of the Batshaw Youth and Family Centres and as a member of the Quebec selection committee for the Rhodes Scholarship.
"For the last 15 years, at the Montreal YMCA, the Gazette and the Toronto Star, I have had the privilege of leading organizations which play critical roles in our society," Mr. Goldbloom said. "I am honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to a cause as important as higher education and to do so at McGill, Canada's most outstanding university."