The Board of Directors for the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Ann Fitz-Gerald has been reappointed as BSIA Director for a second five-year term from August 1, 2024 – July 31, 2029. Her current term runs until July 31, 2024.
Ann joined the BSIA in August 2019 from Cranfield University in the UK. Over the past four years, she has led the School effectively, fostering community among its stakeholders, and building the School’s reputation globally. Despite a worldwide pandemic and resulting years of constant pivoting, she has moved the School forward in many important ways, including through the establishment of the Balsillie Executive Institute and the Balsillie Papers, and by building extensive external partnerships that have resulted in new opportunities for both students and faculty.
“Dr. Fitz-Gerald has demonstrated exceptional leadership in her role as Director,” said Jeff Casello, BSIA Board Chair. “Ann leads with purpose and great effect. Her dedication to leading the School in addressing contemporary global challenges is only matched by her commitment to her colleagues – students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty and staff. The Board is thrilled to have Ann continuing in her role.
Ann has degrees in both commerce and political science from Queen’s University, and in war studies from the Royal Military College of Canada. Prior to completing a PhD at Cranfield University, she worked at the North Atlantic Assembly, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s headquarters, and the Lester B. Pearson International Peacekeeping Training Centre. She also worked at the Centre for Defence Studies at King’s College, London University and became Director, Defence and Security Leadership at Cranfield University’s Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. Ann has helped facilitate internationally sponsored peace talks and national security and defence policies in a number of African countries, efforts which the Government of Canada recognized in 2012, when it awarded Ann with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
“I feel honoured and delighted to continue in the role as BSIA Director – to move the School’s strategic plan to the next level and, by working closely with the tremendous expertise across Waterloo’s leading research and higher education institutions, lead innovative, relevant and impactful programs that will help produce our future international policy leaders,” said Ann Fitz-Gerald, BSIA Director.
In contemplating Ann’s reappointment, the Board sought input from members of the universities’ senior administrations and the BSIA Council, comprised of faculty from University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, student representatives, BSIA staff members and postdoctoral fellows. The input received was all exceptionally positive, endorsing Ann’s reappointment. A theme among many comments indicated excitement to be part of the BSIA under her leadership, and enthusiasm for seeing her vision for the School implemented.
The BSIA Board unanimously approved Ann’s reappointment on August 21, 2023.
About the BSIA
The Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) is an institute for advanced research, education, and outreach in the fields of global governance and international public policy. Founded in 2007 by philanthropist Jim Balsillie, the BSIA is an equal collaboration among the Centre for International Governance Innovation, the University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University.