Waterloo Appoints New Chair, Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors

Bill WatsonThe University of Waterloo has appointed an international business and legal expert as chair of its Board of Governors, and a community leader and IT executive as vice-chair.

Bill Watson becomes chair of the Board of Governors. A Waterloo distinguished alumnus from St. Paul's University College, Watson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hon.) in 1976 in economics and political science. He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1979 and was called to the bar in Ontario in 1981. He is a principal with the international law firm Baker & McKenzie LLP. His areas of practice specialties include administrative law; complex negotiations, both domestic and international; employment law; labour relations; international labour standards and occupational health and safety.  Watson joined Waterloo's board in 2011.

He has been a member of the University of Waterloo Alumni Council since 2005, and served as its chair. He is a recipient of the University of Waterloo’s 50th Anniversary Alumni Award. In 2010, the Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized Bill and Jeanne Elgie-Watson for individual philanthropy.

Watson succeeds the Honourable Kevin G. Lynch, whose term as chair ended April 30, 2015.

Catherine BoothCatherine Booth becomes vice-chair of the Board of Governors. A Waterloo alumna, Booth graduated with a BASc in systems design engineering in 1988 and an MASc in management sciences in 1990. She served as the chief information officer of Plexxus, was senior vice-president of information technology for Loblaw Companies Limited, and vice-president of information technology for the retail division of Canadian Tire Corporation. She is a certified management consultant. Booth is currently a senior project executive with the University Health Network and operates her own technology consultancy.

Booth has been active in a wide range of external board and community service roles. She was on the board of the Timberland Group, a privately held manufacturer, and served on the Board of Trustees of the United Way of Greater Toronto. Booth was among Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 in 2009, and one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 in 2003. She received an Alumni Achievement Medal from the University of Waterloo in 2005. She joined the board in 2007.

Booth succeeds David McKay, president and chief executive officer of RBC, whose term ended April 30, 2015. She is the first woman to serve as vice-chair of the board.

“The University of Waterloo is fortunate to have two illustrious Waterloo alumni in these vital roles,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. “Both bring a familiarity with the University, years of experience serving on the Board of Governors, and immensely valuable skill sets that will directly contribute to the University’s ongoing success as Canada's most innovative university.”

Watson and Booth are both University of Waterloo donors and will be serving two-year terms, which began May 1.