Marsden recognized as one of Canada’s most powerful women

Lorna R. Marsden, York president & vice-chancellor, has once again been honoured as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100, and selected as the top public sector leader.

The award, presented today by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) in Toronto, recognizes the Top 100 female achievers in Canada, in a wide range of professional categories in the corporate world. Marsden was given special recognition from among the 10 women awarded in the public sector and broader public sector categories.

Right: Lorna R. Marsden

Marsden has been recognized with this award for four consecutive years — since the awards’ inception in 2003. Her award in the public service category is based on a prescribed set of criteria rather than on the suggestion of a third party nomination, which accounts for her continuing recognition.

“I am grateful to be recognized in this way and to be included in such a distinguished group of women who are doing such important work in both their professional and community endeavours,” said Marsden. “I am very proud to represent the many hardworking women throughout the public sector, who are committed to ensuring that Canadians enjoy the highest standards of opportunity and potential.”

“I wish to thank the Women’s Executive Network for its dedication to the advancement and professional development of Canadian women leaders,” said Marsden.

The WXN is Canada’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of executive-minded women in the workplace.

Marsden has been president and vice-chancellor of York University since 1997. She earned a PhD from Princeton University in 1972 and had a distinguished teaching career at the University of Toronto, where she later became vice-provost. In 1984, then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau appointed her to the Senate of Canada, and in 1992 she returned to academia as president and vice-chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont.

Along the way, she has been active in community issues: as president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women when she championed pay equity issues; as an active leader in the Liberal Party of Canada during the Trudeau years; and as a founder of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. At York University, her focus is on advancing university education and improving accessibility, making York one of the foremost centres of academic excellence that is open to all.

Marsden was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2005.