Julia Foster, chair of the Board of Governors of York University, has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2014 by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN).
“Julia’s outstanding leadership in higher education, the arts and amateur athletics are making Canada a better place to live and work,” says Mamdouh Shoukri, president and vice-chancellor, York University. “She has advanced the model of effective board governance, including her dedicated efforts to increase the number of capable women who sit on boards in all sectors. We are exceptionally proud of her as she receives this well-deserved recognition.”
The 2014 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 award from the Women’s Executive Network recognizes the top female leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in Canada. The complete list of winners is available on the WXN Top 100 Women website.
Foster was honoured for her groundbreaking work in higher education, the arts and healthcare. She is also the first female chair of the Board of Governors of York University.
She was appointed to the Board of Governors of York University in 2005 and was elected chair as of July 1, 2012. Foster is an ex officio member of all board committees as chair of the board. She also sits on the board of the York University Development Corporation and the University Senate.
Foster chairs the National Arts Centre Board of Trustees in Ottawa. She is the past chair of the 13th Annual Canadian Arts Summit, the Ontario Arts Council and the Stratford Festival. Foster is also a past member of the executive committee of the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund; former trustee of the Bata Shoe Museum; past member of the Art Gallery of Ontario’s public affairs committee; and a past advisory council member of the Centre for Cultural Management at the University of Waterloo.
Her professional background in market research and financial management includes senior administrative positions at McCann Erickson and Environics Research Group, and time spent as president and CEO of Olympic Trust of Canada.
Her community contributions have included the advisory board of the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program at the Schulich School of Business. In addition to her dedicated work in the arts, Foster has been active on various international corporate boards, including the Board of Directors of Brascan Corporation, and was also trustee of the Hospital for Sick Children.
Foster joins a list of 800 women across Canada named to WXN’s Top 100 list since its inception in 2003.
More about the Women’s Executive Network
The Women’s Executive Network creates and delivers innovative networking, mentoring, professional and personal development to inform, inspire, connect and recognize its community of 19,000 smart women and their organizations in the pursuit of excellence. Founded in 1997, WXN is Canada’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. WXN is a founding member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council, dedicated to increasing the diversity of Canada’s corporate boards. In the fall of 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, a first step in creating an international community of female leaders.