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OCAD U announces new Board Chair and Vice-Chairs

New board members

Lanita Layton has been elected Chair of OCAD U’s Board of Governors for a one-year term beginning Dec. 4. Layton previously served as a Board member from June 1, 2019, to May 31, 2022. Board members Gail Lee and Roma Khanna have been elected to the new roles of First Vice Chair and Second Vice Chair, respectively.

“I am elated to accept the role as Chair of OCAD U’s Board of Governors,” says Layton. “As a previous Board member, I know how exceptional this University is, and I’m excited to continue supporting the OCAD U community in this new capacity. I look forward to working alongside Board members and the executive team to ensure OCAD U continues to deliver on our mission to create the best opportunities for our students to maximize their potential through Canada’s largest art, design and digital media university.”
At its December Board meeting, the Board extended a thank you to outgoing Board Chair Brenda M. Hogan, who served as Chair for the past year, and continues to serve on the Board.

OCAD U’s 28-member Board of Governors is responsible for governing the affairs of the University, including approving the budget and establishing policies and institutional priorities. Its members include 18 external members, which include six appointees from the Government of Ontario, 10 elected by the Board and two elected by the OCAD U Alumni Association.

The remaining eight members are drawn from the OCAD U internal community, including three faculty members who are cross appointed by Senate, and one staff and manager who are elected from their respective constituencies, and three students (two undergraduate and one graduate). The President and Chancellor are ex-officio members of the Board.


Lanita Layton – New Board Chair

Lanita Layton proudly identifies as a member of the community of the Lytton First Nation of the larger N’lakapamux First Nation.

Layton is a prominent Senior Executive and Luxury Brand Consultant, renowned for her pivotal role in driving business transformation, amplifying sales, and fostering revenue growth for emerging and established luxury brands. Demonstrating strategic prowess, she adeptly builds strong teams and strategically repositions businesses for lasting success.

Her career features leadership roles at Hugo Boss as Managing Director, Birks as the Chief Omni Channel Sales and Marketing Officer, and Holt Renfrew as the Vice President and General Merchandise Manager for Menswear.

As a consultant, Lanita blends creativity and strategic-thinking, with integrity and an outcome-orientation helping brands including Bottega Veneta, Baccarat and Stylepulse, accelerate growth. In addition to her corporate roles, she serves as an advisor at Goodszilla and as Chair Patron of the Master’s in Management in Retailing at McGill University.

Gail Lee – First Vice Chair

CPA and CMA Gail Lee joined the Board for a three=-year term that started December 7, 2021. She was elected as First Vice Chair at the Dec. 4 meeting for a one-year term.

Lee is an independent finance consultant and a collaborative and results driven leader, with over 15 years of finance experience in the media and telecommunications sector.

She most recently served as Director, Finance at Rogers Communications, and has expertise in financial planning & analysis, operational finance, strategy, business case analysis, and M&A. She has also worked extensively within the Canadian broadcasting industry, ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements through managing programming/content acquisition spend. She has also served on the board of directors of Cable 14, a local specialty channel serving the Hamilton community.

Lee is a CPA, CMA and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto.

Roma Khanna – Second Vice Chair

Roma Khanna was elected Second Vice Chair at the Dec. 4 Board meeting and joined the Board for a three-year term that began Dec. 7, 2021.

Khanna is a content innovator and entrepreneur, with proven success growing global businesses in TV, broadcast, digital, film and distribution. She believes in the power of stories to shape how we see the world and in the opportunities that content provides when it intersects with technology across infinite platforms.

She is currently the Executive Chair of HiddenLight Productions, founded by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sam Branson and Chelsea Clinton. HiddenLight is a global studio creating premium documentary, unscripted and scripted entertainment for TV, film and digital.