Since coming to Waterloo in 2014, Marilyn Thompson has played a key role in strategic planning, providing high-level vision and HR leadership in service to Waterloo’s mission. The APHR supports Waterloo’s HR needs through policy development and leadership of service delivery portfolios, ensures compliance with legislation, and provides guidance and counsel to University senior leadership regarding a wide range of HR and employee relations issues. The APHR portfolio includes: Human Resources which is responsible for the operational effectiveness of general HR programs and policies including Client Services, Talent Management, HR Operations and HRMS, Pension and Benefits, Total Compensation, Payroll, Onboarding, and Health Management; Organizational and Human Development which is responsible for comprehensive learning and professional development programs for staff and faculty; and Strategic Initiatives which includes developing and optimizing programs that further nurture a healthy, learning-enriched, and high-performance work culture.
From 2011 to 2013, she was vice president at the Eastern Health Regional Health Authority where she led senior management teams, among many other duties. During the course of her career, she has developed and implemented strategic plans for different departments and organizations. From 2006 to 2011, she was director, organizational management and design, and then director, policy capacity at the Cabinet Secretariat of the Executive Council of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. From 1994 to 2001, she was manager, organizational effectiveness at Memorial University, and director of human resources and senior consultant, Industry and Trade at the Bristol Group in Newfoundland, where she assisted in complex organizational change.
Marilyn Thompson holds a Bachelor of Nursing from Memorial University of Newfoundland, a Master of Education (Higher Education Group - University of Toronto) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Theory and Policy Studies of Higher Education [Administration of Post-Secondary Institutions] - University of Toronto). She began her career as a registered nurse in Newfoundland and Florida from 1977 to 1981 before becoming a faculty member and teaching at the St. Clare's Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in St. John's. In 1986, she moved to St. Michael’s Hospital (Toronto) as a training and development specialist, and in 1991 she became a manager, training and development at the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. She was an educational consultant from 1988 to 1991 at the Canadian Hospital Association in Ottawa. Simultaneously, Thompson continued in the academic world as a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and she published several articles, gave public presentations and supervised graduate theses.
In 2002, Marilyn was awarded the Queens’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Canadians who have made a significant contribution to their community and their country.