The University of British Columbia
As a scientist with experience in leadership roles at three of Canada’s research universities, Deborah is a passionate advocate for the role institutions can play in society: advancing economic and social development, sustainability, social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. She began her career at McGill University where she taught and led research in plant productivity and plant breeding. She became Dean of the McGill Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in 1996, becoming Canada’s first female dean of agriculture and leading a transformation of the Faculty to embrace new and emerging academic areas of applied life sciences, including biotechnology, health and environment. In 2006 she joined Dalhousie University as Director of Environmental programs and founder of the College of Sustainability. In 2021 she became Principal of UBC Okanagan in 2012, leading strategic visioning and planning for this young, research intensive campus for eight years. In 2022 she returned to UBC to serve as Interim President and Vice Chancellor.
Deborah is active in the community; most recently as a member of Board of Directors of First West Credit Union, serving on Audit, Government Relations and Human Resources Committees; as Chair of a Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Plant Health Risks in Canada 2020-2022; and as Vice-Chair of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Pacific region).
Deborah has a B.Sc. (Horticulture) from University of Bath and Ph.D. from Imperial College, Wye campus, UK., she also holds an ICD.D.