2012 District VIII Leadership Award Recipient

Dr. Indira V. Samarasekera, OC, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Alberta is the recipient of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education District VIII 2012 Leadership Award.

The Leadership Award recognizes a district member institution president or head, chancellor, educational system head, or CEO for outstanding efforts to promote the understanding and support of education.

Dr. Samarasekera was nominated by O’Neil A.S. Outar, Chief Advancement Officer for the University of Alberta. Impressive letters for support for the nomination also came from the Premier of Alberta, the Mayor of the City of Edmonton, the President of the Canadian National Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Chair of the Canadian Science, Technology and Innovation Council, and the VP of Community Investment and Engagement at TELUS.

Dr. Samarasekera has been president of the University of Alberta since 2005. She spearheaded the Dare to Discover Strategic Plan and the Dare to Deliver Academic Plan, blueprints for the University’s next phase of growth. Under her leadership the university has established funds, institutes and program that are evidence of her capacity to inspire. Her nominator noted her “ability to build consensus with a deft touch” to align the university’s 19 faculties and schools.” Letters of support acclaimed her as a “leading Canadian voice for innovation and mission driven science as she successfully argues for government investing during difficult and uncertain economic times.” Her visionary leadership launched visionary reforms to reposition the university for growth and sustainability. By introducing external benchmarks against global peers, she has inspired the faculty, students and staff to help the university become a Top 20 public university by 2020, a task they have enthusiastically embraced.

“The CASE District VIII Recognition Program celebrates exemplary achievement in the field of advancement by member institutions,” says Cheryl Nations, Chair of the CASE VIII Board of Directors. “On behalf of the board I would like to congratulate Dr. Samarasekera for her outstanding leadership, she is an exemplar to what our program stands for, her accomplishments exemplify standards by which we compare our work, and educate and inspire ourselves to greater success.”

Dr. Samarasekera received her award at the 2012 CASE District VIII Conference in Seattle, WA, in February 2012.