Biographies - Board of Governors

David Zussman, Chair

David Zussman, Chair

Order-in-council appointee

David Zussman has held executive positions in academia, government and the not for profit sector.  In academia, he held the Jarislowsky Chair in Public Sector Management at the University of Ottawa and served as Dean of the Telfer Faculty of Management and Director of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at that university. Prior to that, he was a professor in the School of Public Administration at UVic.

In the not for profit sector, Zussman was President of the Public Policy Forum and in government he was Assistant Secretary to the federal Cabinet for Machinery of Government and served as Commissioner of the Public Service. 

Zussman has authored many articles in refereed journals, published a number of books in Canadian public administration and has had a regular public policy column in the Ottawa Citizen and Canadian Government Executive. Currently, Zussman serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports and is a member of the Environment Canada audit committee. He is also President Emeritus of the Public Policy Forum, an adjunct professor at the School of Public Administration at UVic and Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa.

Carolyn Thoms, Vice-Chair

Carolyn Thoms, Vice-Chair

Order-in-council appointee

Carolyn Thoms has worked in the finance arena for over 30 years and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Professional Accountant designations. She held senior corporate financial positions in the financial guaranty, business valuations and investment industries and in her career has worked in Canada, Bermuda and Switzerland. Thoms is a member of the CFA Institute, Victoria CFA Society, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and BC. She is actively engaged in her community. She has served on the Board of Governors of the Victoria Conservatory of Music and previously served as Chair (3-years) and Governor (9-years) of University of Victoria Foundation.

Merle Alexander

Merle Alexander

Order-in-council appointee

Merle Alexander is a partner with Miller Titerle + Co. Alexander practices Indigenous resource law, focusing on Indigenous sustainable development. Active within his community, Alexander is a former director and president of the Vancouver Native Housing Society Foundation, has served as the chief negotiator for a UN Indigenous Caucus and was also a director and president of the Vancouver Child Family Services Society. He is a recipient of Business in Vancouver's 2009 "Top Forty Under 40" award and a UVic Distinguished Alumni Award. Alexander holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Victoria.

Keith Barbon

Keith Barbon

Order-in-council appointee

Keith Barbon is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 20 years experience in finance and the real estate industry. Currently, Barbon is Chief Executive Officer with the Truffles Group of Companies, and President of KUB Developments Ltd. Active in his community, he has served as Treasurer for the Victoria Italian Assistance Centre and held a board position with the Urban Development Institute – Pacific Region.

Shailoo Bedi

Shailoo Bedi

Elected member

Shailoo Bedi joined UVic in 2004 as a Director within the University Libraries and holds a dual appointment between the Libraries and LTSI, as Director, Student Academic Success focusing on coordinating programs that directly support student academic success and retention.

Bedi earned a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at UVic in 2016 and has published on topics related to leadership, equity, diversity, and inclusion and qualitative research methods. She also teaches in the area of leadership and diversity.

One of her key values is being an engaged university citizen and serves on several committees including: the Advisory Committee on Academic Accommodation and Access for Students with Disabilities, the Human Research Ethics Board, Strategic Enrolment Management, and co-chair’s ConnectU, the university’s staff and faculty conference. Bedi is also involved in the broader Victoria community where she serves on the Board for Artemis Place Society.

Josh Blair

Josh Blair

Order-in-council appointee

Josh Blair is the Co-Founder and CEO of Impro.AI, a high-tech company enabling the benefits of executive coaching to be brought to employees at all levels of organizations. He is also a Partner at Esplanade Ventures, a venture capital firm empowering entrepreneurs to deliver technology-based healthcare breakthroughs.

Blair is the Chair of TELUS International, a global leader in the delivery of digital customer experience solutions. Additionally, he is the Vice Chair of Carebook Technologies, an innovative digital health company, and a board member at Neighbourly Pharmacy, Canada’s third largest national pharmacy operator.

Blair has held key roles in supporting several societal organizations, such as Canada’s Health and Biosciences Strategy Table. As a distinguished alumnus (Engineering), he is a strong champion for the University of Victoria, including having served on the President’s 2018 to 2023 Strategy team. In June of 2021, the University further recognized Blair by awarding him an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree.

Marilyn Callahan

Marilyn Callahan

Order-in-council appointee

Marilyn Callahan has held leadership positions in academia, the non-profit sector and government.   As a professor in the School of Social Work at UVic, she coordinated the first distance education degree program in social work in Canada including an off campus degree program for Indigenous social workers.  She was the co-director of a Canada Europe exchange program, served as director of the School of Social Work, an advisor to the vice-president academic, and was a member of several university wide committees. Callahan was the president of the BC Association of Social Workers, chair of the Capital Health Board and AIDS Vancouver Island, a member of the Judicial Council of BC and the National Board of Accreditation for Social Work Education. Callahan was named a Commonwealth Scholar by the government of Australia and won the annual Canadian Association for Social Work Education Award for Excellence. She holds a BA, BSW and MSW from UBC and a PhD in social policy and administration from the University of Bristol, UK.

David Foster

David Foster

Elected member

David Foster is a Master of Public Administration student at the University of Victoria. He completed a law degree at the University of Alberta as well as a BA in History at UVic. His work experience in the BC public service includes policy development at the Ministry of Health and investigations at the BC Ombudsperson and the Representative for Children and Youth. Foster previously served four terms on the UVic Senate as well as being elected to the UVic Students’ Society Board of Directors in 2011-12 and serving on numerous University committees. He has been elected as Chair of the UVic Graduate Students’ Society for 2021-22. Foster has been a long-time advocate for students with disabilities and is committed to supporting student rights and interests at UVic.

Jonathan Granirer

Jonathan Granirer

Elected member

Jon Granirer (he/him) is a fourth-year undergrad student with a double major in Greek and Roman Studies & Political Science. Granirer’s strong sense of duty to his community has to lead him to serve as a student representative at UVic in various different roles, such as the UVSS Director of Outreach, a council member at the Society for Students with a Disability, a Senator, and now a member of UVic's Board of Governors. While serving in these roles, Granirer prioritizes the well-being of students, especially those whose needs are not being met by the status quo. While on UVic's Board of Governors, Granirer hopes to use his experience to encourage UVic to be a leader in accessibility while also maintaining fiscal and social responsibility to ensure that UVic can thrive for generations to come.

Kevin Hall

Kevin Hall

President and Vice-Chancellor

President Kevin Hall is an innovative academic leader and civil engineer known for his strong commitment to sustainability, innovation, community engagement, and unwavering belief in equitable access to education, and equity, diversity and inclusion.

Throughout his career at three world-class institutions, Hall has served at many levels and functions—from faculty member, research centre director and department chair, to vice-president and senior deputy vice-chancellor of global engagement and partnerships.

A civil engineer who has made global impact, Hall has put research into practice by delivering knowledge to industry and community. His academic interests are focused on water quality modelling, environmental monitoring and pathogen detection systems, and water and health in marginalized communities. He is known for identifying opportunities for collaboration and for creating value in the regions in which he works. Hall played an integral role in establishing many new academic, research and enterprise ventures that have benefited students, staff, and the community at large.

Hall has served on over 30 corporate boards in Australia and Canada, is an avid arts enthusiast, and has a lifelong commitment to fitness.

Adam Monahan

Adam Monahan

Elected member

Adam Monahan is a Professor of Atmospheric Science in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, and a member of the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems.   His main research interests are characterizing and modelling variability in the atmosphere and ocean, with a specific focus on unifying statistical and physical perspectives.  He has particular interest in near-surface winds and renewable energy meteorology.   Monahan has written or co-authored more than 110 peer reviewed papers and has been awarded the President's Prize of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.  He holds a BSc in Physics from University of Calgary, and an MSc in Physics and a PhD in Oceanography from the University of British Columbia.​

Monica Prendergast

Monica Prendergast

Elected member
Dr. Monica Prendergast, is Professor of Drama/Theatre Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Victoria. Her research interests are varied and include drama-based curriculum and pedagogy, drama/theatre in community contexts, and arts-based qualitative research methods. Prendergast’s books include Applied Theatre and Applied Drama (both with Juliana Saxton), Teaching Spectatorship, Poetic Inquiry, Staging the Not-yet, Drama, Theatre and Performance Education in Canada and Poetic Inquiry II. Her CV includes over 50 peer reviewed journal contributions, numerous chapters, book reviews and professional contributions. Prendergast also reviews theatre for CBC Radio Canada and writes a column on theatre for Focus Magazine.
Paul Ramsey

Paul Ramsey

Order-in-council appointee

Paul Ramsey is a Senior Software Engineer with Crunchy Data. Previously Ramsey was a Senior Software Engineer for CARTO and Vice President of Products for Boundless Geo.  Active in his community, he is a Member of OsGeo Conference Committee, was Chair of FOSS4G Conference, and was a Director for Open Source Geospatial Foundation.  He holds a Master of Science Statistics from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of British Columbia.

Shelagh Rogers

Shelagh Rogers

Chancellor

Shelagh Rogers, OC, became the University of Victoria’s 11th chancellor on January 1, 2015.

A veteran broadcast-journalist, Shelagh Rogers is the host and a producer of The Next Chapter, an award-winning CBC Radio program devoted to writing in Canada. In 2011, she received an Order of Canada for promoting Canadian culture and for advocacy in mental health, adult literacy and reconciliation. That same year, she was named an Honorary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. She is the co-editor of Speaking My Truth: Reflections on Reconciliation and Residential School, Reconciliation and the Way Forward and Speaking My Truth: A Journey to Reconciliation. She was also given the Achievement in the Aboriginal Community award by Native Counselling Services of Alberta. She holds honorary doctorates from six universities, and is the inaugural recipient of the Margaret Trudeau Award for Mental Health Advocacy. Shelagh is proud to be the Chancellor of the University of Victoria.

Beverly Van Ruyven

Beverly Van Ruyven

Order-in-council appointee
Beverly Van Ruyven holds a BA from the University of Victoria and completed the Executive Management Program at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. She was the deputy CEO and executive vice-president, customer care and conservation at BC Hydro, retiring from that position in 2011. Prior to her 15 years with the utility she held several senior management roles at Canada Post. Van Ruyven is the past chair of the Western Energy Institute and has served on the boards of Accenture Business Services for Utilities, Fraser Basin Council, Downs Syndrome Research Foundation, Science World and was a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade Women’s Leadership Circle. In 2009 and 2010 she was named as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women – Top 100. Van Ruyven currently serves on the board of InnerChange Foundation. She served on the UVic Board of Governors from November 2009 to November 2015; her current appointment is effective until July 2022.