Dr. Mary Jo Haddad — a longtime supporter and honours nursing graduate of the University of Windsor — has been named the University’s eighth Chancellor. Dr. Haddad, born and raised in Windsor, also becomes the first woman to hold the position. Her official installation will take place at the Spring 2019 Convocation, and until then Dr. Haddad will have the title of Chancellor Designate.
Dr. Haddad, who received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Windsor in 2005, is well known for her innovative leadership and commitment to children’s health in both Canada and internationally. From 2004 to 2014 she served as president and CEO of the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), one of Canada’s most research-intensive teaching hospitals, overseeing treatment and discoveries that have helped children globally.
Since her retirement from SickKids, Dr. Haddad has served as a corporate director and as President of MJH & Associates, providing strategic leadership and healthcare advisory services.
“At such an important time in the University’s history, I am proud to serve as the next Chancellor of the University of Windsor,” Dr. Haddad said. “To recognize and celebrate the academic achievements of our students as future leaders and trailblazers is an incredible honour. I am grateful for the impact the University of Windsor has had on my career and I am looking forward to promoting the achievements of the University’s students, faculty, staff and alumni.”
In recognition of her innovative leadership and commitment to children’s health, Dr. Haddad has received Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Windsor, Ryerson University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
As Chancellor, Dr. Haddad will serve as the titular head of the University and confer all degrees and diplomas on behalf of the Senate. The Chancellor also represents the University in an official capacity at external functions.
“I am thrilled that Dr. Haddad has agreed to serve as the University’s eighth Chancellor,” Interim President Douglas Kneale said. “As an alumna of Nursing, an honorary degree recipient, a member of our fundraising cabinet, a transformational leader in children’s healthcare, and a first-generation Windsor born-and-bred woman, she embodies the history and the values of our university and community and sets an inspiring example for our current and future students.”
Dr. Haddad’s appointment follows the announcement this past August that the Honourable Ed Lumley would be stepping down as Chancellor. Appointed as Chancellor in 2006, Lumley worked tirelessly to promote the University and conferred degrees on nearly 55,000, or 40 per cent of the University’s 136,000 alumni.
Mr. Lumley said that he heartily applauded the appointment of Dr. Haddad as the next Chancellor of the University.
“Mary Jo is one of Canada’s outstanding citizens and is a tremendous role model for the University’s students,” he said. “As alumni, all of us should be proud that a Windsor born and educated person who has set such a high standard throughout her career will return to her alma mater as our Chancellor.”
Dr. Haddad is a corporate director, serving as a member of the Board of Directors of TD Bank Group and TELUS, where she is Chair of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee. She continues to volunteer her time as an advocate for children and youth as Chair of the Board of Children First Canada and is a member of the capital campaign for SickKids. She also serves as one of the University of Windsor’s Champions for its Place of Promise fundraising campaign.
Dr. Haddad has also held Board appointments as Founding Chair, MaRS Innovation; Chair, Provincial (Ontario) Council for Maternal Child Health; Director at the Vector Institute; Director of Kids Health Links Foundation and Trustee (Ex-Officio) SickKids; and Director, SickKids Foundation Board.
Dr. Haddad was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2010 and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. She is a recipient of the Premier’s Award for Outstanding Achievement.
In November 2012, she was recognized as one of Toronto Life’s 50 Influential People. In 2011, she was named one of Canada’s inaugural Top 25 Women of Influence in health sciences and inducted into the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Hall of Fame.
Dr. Haddad and her husband Jim Forster live in Oakville, Ontario, and are the proud parents of three children.