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Dr. Mamdouh Shoukri, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

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The Empire Club of Canada Presents:
Dr. Mamdouh Shoukri, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University With Is Education Canada’s Next Great Export? Our Role in Lifting Global Competitiveness

Mamdouh Shoukri’s family roots were in Egypt, an ancient civilization, with deep respect for education and pride at being both a crossroads and centre of global cultural integration
over 7,000 years.

In Canada he worked hard to become an impressive young engineer and teacher, one with a different vision of his profession’s contribution to society from the beginning.

As Dean of Engineering at McMaster he made studies of the social impact of big engineering projects a requirement. He pioneered in helping engineers understand that beyond the
numbers were human needs and fears. He was truly a pioneer as a teacher in his field.

Following his career at McMaster, which concluded with six years as their Vice-President of both Research and International Affairs, he was chosen to lead York University, whose president he has been since 2007. To those of you who follow university life, you know that leading York is the Mt. Everest of the Canadian Academy—though on many days I know it must feel like sitting on the top of a bubbling Mount Krakatoa.

It is an exceedingly tough job, which has defeated lesser leaders. It is an enormous school with a uniquely wide spectrum of students by aspiration, background and ethnicity. For nearly six years he has juggled the inherited conflicts with skill, transformed York’s profile, launched and overseen massive fundraising and capital projects, and given his university community a new pride and conviction in its ability to compete at the top of the class internationally.

Mamdouh is a genuine scholar as well as academic leader. He is a recognized global expert in multi-phase heat transfer and issues in nuclear reactor thermal-hydraulics within the field of thermo-fluid science. Got that? He is also a committed community leader having served on the boards of agencies from Cancer Care Ontario to the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation, and too many provincial and academic governing bodies to list. Dr. Shoukri believes deeply that Canada’s universities have a huge contribution to make to the world, and in securing their role as global educators, providing Canada with a more solid competitive foundation in the world.

Dr. Mamdouh Shoukri, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University

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