Meet President Vivek Goel

Dr. Vivek Goel is the University of Waterloo's seventh president and vice-chancellor. He is a distinguished scholar with extensive achievements in research, teaching and leadership across both public and private sectors.

As president, Dr. Goel has led the advancement of equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, and decolonization initiatives at Waterloo. Working alongside Indigenous knowledge keepers, the University committed to reconciliation, Indigenization and decolonization through a formal commitment in September 2022. Under President Goel’s leadership, the University of Waterloo has made significant progress on ensuring Indigenous cultures are represented in formal institutional processes and ceremonies (including introducing Waterloo’s Eagle Staff at convocation and designing a new student residence that prioritizes Indigenous engagement and principles), released its President’s Anti-Racism Taskforce report with 88 recommendations, and became a signatory to the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education.

Dr. Goel also led a visioning exercise to chart a long-term vision for the institution. The process engaged thousands of community members resulting in the Waterloo at 100 vision being launched in 2023. The vision addresses the question: what do we as an institution aspire to be known for by our 100th anniversary in 2057? Waterloo at 100 seeks to evolve the University of Waterloo’s unique strengths to prepare graduates to not only navigate uncertainty in the future, but to help shape that future for the betterment of humanity and our planet. Five interconnected “Global Futures” provide a strong organizing frame for interdisciplinary activity led and co-produced by students, faculty, staff and community and external partners working together across education, research, innovation and service. The Waterloo at 100 vision also recognizes the University’s deep connection to its surrounding community and its important role in the region’s globally renowned innovation ecosystem.

Goel is recognized in Canada and globally as a leading public health researcher, health-services evaluation expert, and champion for the use of research evidence in health policy making. In Dec 2020, Goel was named a member of the Order of Canada, recognized for his contributions as an academic and administrator who is committed to the advancement of public health services, evidence-based healthcare and research innovation. Dr. Goel played an integral role in supporting Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a member of the federal COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, and as scientific advisor for the CanCOVID Research Network, the national research platform for COVID-19 research.

President Goel has and continues to benefit regional, national and global governance through leadership service to numerous boards and committees including Canadian Institute for Health Information, Grand River Hospital and the Business + Higher Education Roundtable.

Before joining the University of Waterloo, Goel held several senior leadership roles at the University of Toronto, including Vice-President and Provost, and most recently Vice-President, Research and Innovation. He served as founding President and CEO of Public Health Ontario from 2008 until 2014, and was also Chief Academic Strategist with Coursera, a global platform that connects universities and learners with online courses.

Goel is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a fellow of the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences. In 2023, he was recognized for his contributions to the Canadian health system through the Canadian Health Leadership Network’s McNaught-Taillon Leadership Award.

Goel obtained his medical degree from McGill University and completed post-graduate medical training in Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Goel obtained a master’s degree (MSc) in Community Health from U of T and a master’s degree (MS) in Biostatistics from Harvard University School of Public Health.

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President Vivek Goel

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A selection of images available for download (all rights reserved)

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Vivek Goel seated and smiling at camera

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Vivek Goel seated and looking at camera

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Vivek Goel smiling at camera

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Vivek Goel seated with hands together smiling at camera

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Media Gallery

Videos and speech transcripts

Vivek Goel named president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo

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Waterloo’s next president – Vivek Goel – on the role of a post-pandemic University

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Vivek Goel was installed as the University's seventh President and Vice Chancellor on November 8, 2021

President Goel speaks at a podium during his installation

Commitment Ceremony

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Eagle Staff Ceremony

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