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Respected educator and researcher named new President and CEO of CMHR

This release is more than two years old

This release is more than two years old. For additional information, please contact Amanda Gaudes from our Media Relations team.

News release details

Dr. John Young known for his record on leadership and growth

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights' (CMHR) Board of Trustees today welcomed the appointment of Dr. John Young, a respected academic, leader and educator, as the Museum's new President and CEO. 

"Dr. Young has published and taught on issues of democracy, rights, and freedom for over 20 years, and will help the CMHR to build an international reputation in human rights education," Board Chair Eric Hughes said. "John also brings experience in working in developing institutions," Hughes noted, pointing to his track record from starting as an early faculty member at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) to taking on successive leadership roles as UNBC grew into a leading small Canadian university.

Prior to accepting the appointment with the CMHR, Dr. Young served as UNBC's Interim Provost and Vice President Academic, and prior to that as the Dean of the College of Arts, Social and Health Sciences. He is respected for his collaborative leadership approach and passion for education, having been recognized by UNBC for his teaching excellence.

Dr. Young will be relocating to Winnipeg from British Columbia to begin his new role, effective August 17. Interim President and CEO Gail Stephens will continue in her current role until that time and then return to her core responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer. "Gail provided critical leadership to the CMHR through its first months as a fully operational national museum, and on behalf of the Board I thank her for her service and dedication," Hughes said.

Dr. Young, who has served on the CMHR's Board of Trustees since 2012, has led its Human Resources and Governance Committee and has served as Vice‐Chair since 2013, brings an understanding of the CMHR's challenges and opportunities to his role. 

"I am deeply committed to the Museum's mandate and strongly believe in the potential to strengthen and grow its reputation as a trusted resource in human rights education," Young said. "We can play a critical role in engaging Canadians, and people from around the world, in discussion, dialogue and reflection about human rights and I'm honoured to be asked to lead this work."

Hughes also welcomed J. Pauline Rafferty as Vice‐Chair of the Board. Rafferty, who has served on the Museum's Board since 2012, has an extensive museum background. Ms. Rafferty spent the last 20 years of her career at the Royal British Columbia Museum, where she held the positions of Director of Customer and Corporate Services, and then Chief Executive Officer until her retirement in 2012.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. Using multimedia technology and other innovative approaches, the CMHR creates inspiring encounters with human rights for all ages, in a visitor experience unlike any other. 

Media availability and photo opportunity with Dr. Young from 11 am‑1 pm.

This release is more than two years old

This release is more than two years old. For additional information, please contact Amanda Gaudes from our Media Relations team.

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Louise Waldman