The U15 appoints Chad Gaffield as its new Executive Director

November 5, 2021 (OTTAWA, ON) — The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities announced today the appointment of Dr. Chad Gaffield as its new executive director, effective April 15, 2022. He will succeed Dr. Gilles Patry, who has been serving as executive director of the organization since 2017 and will continue in this capacity until April 2022.

“Dr. Gaffield joins the U15 at a time when the national conversation on research is extremely important,” said Dr. Santa Ono, president and vice-chancellor, The University of British Columbia and Chair of the U15. “Chad has a clear understanding of the importance and the role research-intensive universities will be called to play as we recover from this pandemic. His academic and public sector experience will be of great value to our organization, as we move forward to address some of the most  important challenges in history.”

Dr. Gaffield is Distinguished University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Ottawa in Canada where he also holds the University Research Chair in Digital Scholarship. Between 2017 and 2019, Dr. Gaffield served as President of the Royal Society of Canada. Dr. Gaffield was President and CEO of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) between 2006 and 2014.

An expert in the sociocultural history of 19th and 20th century Canada, Professor Gaffield has been at the forefront of efforts to develop digital technologies that expand, deepen, and facilitate research, teaching and public engagement.

In 2004, Dr. Gaffield received the Royal Society of Canada’s J.B. Tyrrell Historical Medal awarded for outstanding contributions to the study of Canada. In 2011, Dr. Gaffield was awarded the international Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations’ Antonio Zampolli Prize which recognizes every three years a major research contribution to the field. In 2015, he received a Doctor of Laws honoris causa from Carleton University. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017. Professor Gaffield received his BA (Hons) and MA from McGill University and his PhD from the University of Toronto.

About the U15

The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities is a collective of some of Canada’s most research-intensive universities. Although each institution advances its own research and education mandate, The U15 Directorate works for the collective interest of all our members. We foster the development and delivery of long-term, sustainable higher education and research policy, in Canada and around the world. 

For further information, please contact:

Dylan Hanley, Director, Public Affairs


Phone Number:  613-695-6755


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