Today, I have some exciting news to share with the Humber community. We have two leaders moving into new senior roles key to our efforts to make Humber an inclusive and fantastic place to learn and work.
Beginning May 8, Jennifer O'Brien will be joining Humber as Vice President, People(s) & Culture. In this role, Jennifer (she/her) will lead the Human Resources and Operational Effectiveness department and work with myself and the executive team to ensure the college is well positioned to recruit and retain top talent, respond to the changing nature of work and ensure equity in our human resources policies and processes. Jennifer will also transform these functions towards a people(s) and culture focus in keeping with Humber’s values.
Jennifer comes to Humber with more than 30 years’ human resources experience. In the healthcare sector, she has held vice presidential roles with responsibility for: organizational development; talent acquisition; employee engagement and wellness; equity, diversity and inclusion; truth & reconciliation initiatives; employee relations; and occupational health & safety. Most recently, Jennifer was Vice President of People, Communications, and Engagement at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener where she provided strategic direction for all core people functions at the hospital.
Jennifer holds a Master of Business Administration and a Graduate Diploma in Management from Athabasca University. Among her studies, she has also completed the University of Toronto’s Advanced Health Leadership Program, an Organizational Development Certificate from Queen’s University, and many other courses on leadership and negotiations.
Jennifer has dedicated her entire career to developing innovative programs that support employees and is a strategic leader who has successfully led multiple initiatives to build cultures of continuous improvement, quality and innovation through people. Jennifer has a compassionate spirit and believes deeply in the importance of creating diverse and inclusive workplaces through effective relationships.
Fostering inclusion and belonging requires constant and intentional efforts and is a Humber value that must underpin all that we do. The work that has been completed on the Indigenous Education Plan along with the EDI Task Force’s activities provided a fundamental basis for the college, and this work must continue to be purposeful. As we work to foster a vibrant learning community, I am delighted to announce that Jason Seright, Dean of Indigenous Education & Engagement has been appointed Humber’s inaugural Vice-President of Inclusion and Belonging. In this role, Jason (he/him) will focus on the continued implementation of Humber’s EDI framework and the braiding of Indigenous ways of being, knowing, and doing into curricula, teaching practices, and operational and decision-making approaches.
Jason is Métis of Cree and Dene ancestry and holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Calgary. Bringing more than more than 29 years of experience in Indigenous education in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, he joined Humber in March 2020. Under his leadership, the college has expanded and enhanced Indigenous programming and created new supports and opportunities for Indigenous learners. Jason led the creation of the 2021-23 Indigenous Education Plan and was part of team that received the 2021 Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) Gold Award for Excellence in Indigenous Education.
Working with Jason, the Indigenous Education & Engagement team’s implementation of the Four Seasons of Reconciliation training and land acknowledgment education has provided critical learning opportunities for hundreds of Humber community members. His focus on building mino nawendiwin (good relationships) with our diverse communities on and off-campus is well-known and respected. Jason is an exceptional leader and I am very excited that he has agreed to take on this important role at Humber.
Beginning this week, Jason will join the executive team. We plan to recruit both a new Dean of Indigenous Education & Engagement and a Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to fill leadership roles in the new Inclusion and Belonging portfolio. Over the next year, we will build the team with Jason to ensure his success and our institutional success as we move forward to strengthen inclusion and belonging. Jason and his team will work with Faculties and departments as we innovate and create holistic and inclusive approaches that support all learners.
Please join me in welcoming Jennifer and Jason into their new roles.
Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan
President, CEO, Humber I.T.A.L