Appointment of Mr. Andrew Thomson as Chief of Government Relations (PDAD&C #27)

From: Meric Gertler, President
Date: October 20, 2016
Re: Appointment of Mr. Andrew Thomson as Chief of Government Relations (PDAD&C #27)

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Andrew Thomson as the Chief of Government Relations effective November 7, 2016.

This new role was created following extensive consultation in anticipation of the end of term of the previous Vice-President, International, Government, and Institutional Relations, and the decision to split the portfolio into two distinct positions: Vice-President, International and Chief of Government Relations.

The creation of the position of Chief of Government Relations is intended to elevate further the importance of the Government Relations role. The still relatively new government in Ottawa, the continuing importance of Queen’s Park in defining policy with respect to post-secondary education, and the growing significance of the University of Toronto’s relationship with city halls in Toronto, Mississauga, and other nearby communities underscore the critical importance of this function to the future success of the University. This role reports directly to the President.

A comprehensive international search was undertaken to fill this position, led by Boyden Global Executive Search. The search committee membership included David Cameron, Mel Cappe, Janet Ecker, Shirley Hoy, and Tiff Macklem. The Committee undertook extensive consultation with senior divisional leaders on the characteristics needed in an effective Chief of Government Relations.

Mr. Thomson has over 20 years of progressive experience in corporate and public sector leadership. As an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan, Mr. Thomson served in a number of senior Cabinet portfolios, including Minister of Finance, Learning (including higher education), Public Safety, and Energy. He also served as Chair of the Treasury Board, and Vice-Chair of the Crown Investment Corporation, the holding company for publicly-owned telecommunications, electrical, and energy utilities.

After leaving government in 2007, Mr. Thomson moved to Toronto and joined Cisco Systems, where he led policy advocacy for its Global Education Group. This work focused on helping government agencies address the changing technology and business drivers that impact education policy globally. He was subsequently appointed Director of International Business Development for the Asia-Pacific, Japan, and China Region and Chief of Staff to the enterprise sales segment based in Sydney and then Singapore. In these roles he led go-to-market strategy and government engagement initiatives across the region. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan.

I look forward to having Mr. Thomson join our senior leadership team. I hope you will join me in welcoming him to the University of Toronto.