Associate Vice-President, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships

Western University (Western) is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Chonnocton (Neutral) peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. This land continues to be home to diverse Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) whom the University recognizes as contemporary stewards of the land and vital contributors of our society.

Western University invites nominations and applications for the inaugural Associate Vice-President (AVP), Innovation and Strategic Partnerships. This is an exciting opportunity to enhance Western’s position and profile as a key contributor to Canada’s innovation agenda. With impact being one of its three key pillars, the University’s new strategic plan “Towards 150” provides an exciting framework from which the new AVP will launch.

One of Canada’s most distinguished research universities, and a founding member of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities, Western is ranked among the top 1% of research-intensive higher education institutions worldwide. Western is home to over 1,300 faculty, 2,500 administrative staff, approximately 40,000 students - including over 5,800 international students from 128 countries – and over 328,000 alumni worldwide. Through 12 faculties and schools and three affiliated University Colleges, Western offers over 400 undergraduate majors, minors, and specializations, and 50 Doctoral and 80 Master’s programs.

The University’s research facilities and centres attract over $240 million in annual research funding from various research funders and partners. Western is home to a strong and vibrant Research Park, serving as a link between academia and commerce, and a robust technology transfer and business development office (WORLDiscoveries). The University is also home to 66 Canada Research Chairs and has helped produce 24 Rhodes Scholars. In addition, Western is proud of having 26 3M National Teaching Fellows – more than any other University in Ontario and the second most in Canada. Western University is considered one of Canada’s most beautiful universities and is recognized by Forbes as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2021. For more information, please visit:

Reporting to the Vice-President (Research), the AVP has responsibility for advancing innovation and research impact across Western University, including accountability for implementing a comprehensive, pan-campus innovation strategy. The AVP will identify research alliances, encourage multi-disciplinary collaborations, and partner with community, industry, and public-sector partners looking to innovate, foster social impact, and translate ideas and research into commercial opportunities. The ideal candidate brings an outstanding track record of experience gained in a senior partnership development or research exchange role within a research-intensive academic institution or a large organization, excellent relationship-building and communication skills, and a reputation for building consensus, fostering collaboration, and identifying and realizing opportunities. The AVP is highly relatable and sees the big picture. They will have the skills and experience to craft a compelling narrative for innovation in the context of the university ecosystem.

Consideration of candidates will begin in late October 2021 and will continue until the position is filled, with the successful candidate taking office as mutually agreed. Nominations, applications, and expressions of interest should be submitted, in confidence, to Colleen Keenan or Krutika Hotwani at

Western University is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, members of racialized groups/visible minorities, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity or gender expression. In accordance with the AODA Act, accommodation will be provided by both Odgers Berndtson and Western University throughout the recruitment process.