Announcement of Catherine Riddell as Assistant Vice-President, Communications 

From: David Estok, Vice-President, Communications
Date: March 31, 2022
Re: Announcement of Catherine Riddell as Assistant Vice-President, Communications 

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine Riddell as Assistant Vice-President, Communications as of April 18, 2022.

Catherine is an award-winning marketing and communications leader with 20+ years of experience in higher education, non-profit, and research institutions, including the University of Toronto.

The Assistant Vice-President, Communications is a newly created role at U of T Communications (UTC) that will develop and execute a cohesive communications strategy for the University of Toronto that addresses a variety of audiences and incorporates a digital-first approach that protects, enhances and promotes the reputation of the University locally, nationally, and globally, across multiple platforms. The AVP, Communications will be responsible for all publications both digital and print, media relations, social media, video creation and production, digital design, audio projects, communications planning, strategic website direction and issues management. With this new position, UTC’s two core portfolios— Communications and Brand Strategy & Integrated Marketing— will each be led by an AVP. Catherine will be working closely with the AVP, Brand Strategy & Integrated Marketing to build affinity for the University of Toronto brand in all markets.

Catherine’s long list of professional achievements and her commitment to the University have prepared her for success in this role. During her nearly two decades at the University, she worked in four different divisions – the University of Toronto Scarborough, the Rotman School of Management, the Division of University Advancement and the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. She served as a member of the Governing Council from 2013-2019, including three years as vice-chair of the University Affairs Board, and supported staff development for eight years as a mentor in the Rose Patten Mentoring Program. While at U of T’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, she led a communications strategy that contributed to an historic first for the Faculty: 40% first-year female enrolment. The team spearheaded an eye-catching graffiti installation at the construction site for the Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship and produced numerous communications campaigns that advanced the Faculty and University’s integrated priorities. In addition to an innovative and creative way of thinking, Catherine brings a deep understanding of the complexity of the University that will enable her effective leadership. 

In 2019, Catherine left U of T to join the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). As Vice-President, Strategic Communications, she established the global research organization’s first strategic communications team and led its public engagement strategy. She was responsible for strengthening CIFAR’s profile and positioning among key stakeholders, making many important contributions to its growth and success.

Catherine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media, Information and Technoculture from Western University, a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University, and a Master of Education (Leadership Cohort) from OISE.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Search Committee for their thoughtful guidance and critical involvement in this important stage of UTC’s strategic development. We are confident that Catherine’s consultative and collegial leadership style, as well as her great energy, enthusiasm, innovation and resourcefulness make her well-suited for this role. Please join me in welcoming Catherine back to the University of Toronto.