Dr. Joanne Curry has been appointed Simon Fraser University’s Vice President, External Relations, after serving for four years as Associate VP External Relations, and acting as VP External Relations since late last fall. Her appointment came following an extensive search process.
“We’re delighted to have Joanne take on the role of VP External Relations,” said SFU President Andrew Petter. “She brings extensive expertise in community engagement, communications and government relations, and a deep understanding of SFU and its role as Canada’s engaged university.”
In her new role, Curry will oversee a wide-range of activities and initiatives including university communications and marketing, government relations and community engagement at all three university campuses.
“It’s incredibly exciting to take on this important role and help drive forward SFU’s vision of being Canada’s engaged research university,” said Curry. “I’m looking forward to continuing to build on the robust relationships the university has with our partners in government and within the business and non-profit sectors.”
Curry has had an impressive tenure at SFU. In addition to her recent roles as Associate VP, External Relations and Dean (pro-tem) of Lifelong Learning, she was at the helm of the Surrey campus since it opened in 2002 as the founding Executive Director. In this position she led delivery of the successful business case to government, oversaw the campus as enrollment grew from 300 students to more than 6,500, played an active role in the revitalization of Surrey’s downtown core and supported student initiatives such as SFU Venture Connection.
Curry has also managed the secretariat of the SFU Surrey India Advisory Council and coordinated SFU’s envision consultation process. She has maintained numerous ties with community organizations, including board memberships with the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association, the Surrey and Burnaby Boards of Trade and the TELUS Vancouver Community Board.
In addition to holding a BComm with distinction from the University of Manitoba and an MBA from SFU, Curry recently completed a doctorate in business administration from the University of Bath, receiving the Richard and Shirley Mawditt Prize for top thesis.
In 2012, Curry received an honourary degree from Kwantlen Polytechnic University for her many contributions to higher education. She has twice been nominated for a YWCA Woman of Distinction award and was singled out for top honours in the professional category at the Surrey Women in Business awards in 2010.