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Deborah White appointed Dean and Chief Executive Officer of University of Calgary in Qatar

A message from Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dru Marshall
March 6, 2017
Dr. Deborah White has been appointed dean and CEO of the University of Calgary Qatar campus, effective immediately. Photo by Ewan Nicholson for the University of Calgary

Dr. Deborah White has been appointed Dean and CEO of the University of Calgary Qatar campus, effective immediately. Photo by Ewan Nicholson for the University of Calgary

I am pleased to announce, after an extensive search, the appointment of Deborah White as Dean and Chief Executive Officer of University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ) for a five-year term, effective immediately. White has been serving as the interim dean and CEO of UCQ since July 2016.

White brings a strong history of academic leadership, teaching and research to her role in Qatar. With more than 30 years of experience, White is a distinguished member of the academic community.

Early in her career, White was the dean-equivalent at Keyano College for seven years, where she led the establishment of a four-year Baccalaureate in Nursing and Post RN program in collaboration with the University of Alberta. White began her tenure at the University of Calgary in 2002, and was named as the associate dean research in 2008. She served in that position until 2014, significantly enhancing the research capacity of academic staff and students. She was instrumental in establishing research infrastructure and processes, including initiatives like a grant review panel and the establishment of research priorities; and implementing key funding initiatives and investment plans. As a researcher, White’s research program has focused on patient safety and quality of care. She has garnered more than $1.2 million in funding as a principal investigator from federal, provincial and local granting bodies, and more than $8.5 million as a co-investigator.

As a mentor and coach, White is heavily involved in the success of students. She has supervised or served on over 50 graduate student committees, and has served as an undergraduate research mentor. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Best Supervisor Award.

A committed contributor to the university community, White has given her time to university committees, panels, selection committees, General Faculties Council, and has acted as Chair of the Faculty of Nursing Research and Scholarly Development Committee, the University Research Grants Committee, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Graduate Student Thesis Award. In 2015, White was acknowledged as a Peak Scholar in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Knowledge Engagement. Her significant body of work has had an impact outside the university.

White has been serving as the interim dean and CEO of UCQ since July 2016. In her brief time in her interim role, she has led a review of UCQ for the State of Qatar, firmly established new partnerships in the health sector in Doha, enhanced her own cross-cultural understanding of the Gulf region, and has brought new perspectives on collaborations within the region. Her experience working alongside the students, faculty and staff in Qatar, and her understanding of Qatari culture has been integral to her appointment in this role. White is passionate about contributing to the campus and her unique knowledge will help shape the future of UCQ.

White earned a Diploma of Nursing from Saint John School of Nursing. While at the University of Alberta, she earned a Post-RN Bachelor of Science (Nursing), Master of Nursing with a certificate in nurse-midwifery and PhD in Nursing.

I would like to thank the members of the Advisory Selection Committee for their dedication to the search and selection process for this position. They were: Janet Rankin (academic appointee representative), Diana White (academic appointee representative), Carolyn Wolsey (academic appointee representative), Daphne Kennedy (academic appointee representative), Craig Wood (MaPS representative), Amy Christenson (support staff representative), Clyde Bernaldez (student representative), Dianne Tapp (decanal representative), Sandra Hoenle (TUCFA representative), and Mary Boyd (community representative).

Please join me in welcoming Debbie White to her new position.

Dru Marshall
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)