Six months into his new role as Brock’s Vice-President, Administration, Ken Chan is grateful for the warm welcome he received from the University’s students, alumni, staff and faculty, and the Niagara community.
Before joining Brock on June 1, 2021, Chan was an Assistant Deputy Minister with the Ontario Government where he most recently led the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Secretariat. Prior to that, Chan was an Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.
One of Chan’s priorities since joining Brock was to meet with Niagara’s elected officials at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, and with representatives of business, social services and health organizations.
“I had the privilege of meeting many of Niagara’s community leaders to hear how Brock continues to be an anchor for the region as we look to recovering from the global pandemic,” Chan says. “There has been shared excitement by our community leaders in reaction to the resumption of in-person teaching and on-campus activities in the fall.”
Over the summer, Chan leveraged his prior experience from the province to provide leadership for the safe reopening of the campus. Steps taken included the implementation of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and other public health measures on campus.
Chan continues to be an active volunteer in the community, something he values as an opportunity to give back as an immigrant to Canada.
“An important part of my role is to be a community ambassador for Brock both within the region and beyond,” he says. “I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the betterment of the Niagara community while at the same time volunteering my time for non-profit organizations at the national and international level.”
Since joining Brock, Chan has jumped at the opportunity to be part of the Niagara community. He now volunteers his time on the boards of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and the Pathstone Foundation, a charity that supports the provision of mental health services for children and youth in Niagara. He continues to serve as a member of the boards of ALS Society of Canada and Open for Business, a London, U.K. -based coalition of leading global companies dedicated to LGBT+ inclusion using the influence of the private sector.
Chan says he is proud of the strong leaders he works with within the administration group, all of whom have been at Brock for many years.
“I am fortunate to be surrounded by a dedicated and experienced team of Associate Vice-Presidents and Directors who are committed to supporting Brock’s academic mission and commitment to the student experience,’” he says. “I’m proud of our team. We are at our best when we work in an environment that fosters inclusion, collaboration and innovation.”
Having lived and worked abroad, Chan brings a global perspective to the role. He previously served as an advisor in the Mayor’s Office in London, England, and with the U.K. Department for Business. His leadership roles in the biotech and life sciences sectors also provided him with international exposure.
As the Vice-President responsible for research funding at Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Chan oversaw the awarding of research grants that enabled the work of scientists at university labs across the country.
“From that vantage point, I was given a backstage look into the positive impact of scientific research in improving lives,” he says. He saw first-hand the value of supporting researchers at all levels of their career.
Chan is passionate about continually challenging himself and is a firm believer in the concept of lifelong learning.
Currently pursuing a Global Executive PhD at ESCP Business School in Paris, he believes his own experience as a graduate student and researcher will help him to see his new role from an academic perspective.
“I am most excited when I get to spend time with those engaged in teaching, learning and research,” Chan says. “It was humbling to be a guest lecturer in a first-year Sport Management class, inspiring to be in the audience of performances by our Performing Arts students and energizing to see our sports teams practise.”
In recent weeks, Chan was a keynote speaker at International Education Week, did a podcast with student recruitment and a user of the Makerspace, a hub for learning, creation and innovation.