Professor Indira Samarasekera welcomed back to UBC

Indira_770PROFESSOR Indira Samarasekera, accomplished engineering scholar and current president of the University of Alberta, will join the University of British Columbia’s Liu Institute for Global Issues as a Distinguished Fellow in Residence on July 1, 2015.

Samarasekera has been president of the University of Alberta since 2005 and completes her term in June. Prior to her role as president she served as vice president, research at UBC.

“Prof. Samarasekera has been a tremendous advocate for Canadian universities,” said UBC President Arvind Gupta. “She has a strong international perspective that has helped her advance Canada’s role on the global higher education stage. It is a pleasure to welcome her back to UBC and I look forward to working with her.”

As Distinguished Fellow in Residence, Samarasekera will have the opportunity to engage with institute members on interdisciplinary global issues, research and teaching.

“The internationally recognized Liu Institute for Global Issues is a gem among university think tanks in that it takes a global interdisciplinary problem-solving approach towards positive societal change,” said Samarasekera. “I look forward to engaging in its international policy research networks, joining its excellent team of scholars and students, and advising on its planned new graduate program in public policy.”

Samarasekera holds many awards including an Officer of the Order of Canada, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering and recently the Public Policy Forum’s Peter Lougheed Award for Leadership in Public Policy. She has received honorary degrees from UBC, University of Waterloo, Université de Montréal, University of Western Ontario, University of Toronto, and from Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland. She also sits on the boards of directors of the Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), Magna International, and NINT (the National Institute for Nanotechnology).

Moura Quayle, Director of the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC, said: “We welcome the exciting news that Professor Samarasekera will join the Liu Institute for Global Issues. Her global experience, wisdom, research depth and boundless energy will provide leadership and mentorship to our cadre of talented scholars and students.”

Academic background

Indira Samarasekera holds a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering from the University of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), a M.Sc. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, as a Fulbright-Hays Scholar, and a Ph.D. in metallurgical engineering from the University of British Columbia.