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OCAD University announces election of Brenda M. Hogan as Board Chair and selection of Jaime Watt as next Chancellor

Photo of four people, far left is a white woman with brown dark hair, an Asian woman with medium dark hair, a woman of colour and a white man with glasses

OCAD University is pleased to announce the election of Brenda M. Hogan as Chair of the University’s Board of Governors for a one-year term beginning December 6, 2021, and the selection of Jaime Watt, a long-time champion of OCAD U and the arts and culture sector, as the new Chancellor for a four-year term beginning January 1, 2022.

OCAD U is also welcoming two new external members to its Board of Governors: Content innovator and entrepreneur Roma Khanna who joined the Board for a three-year term, effective October 5, 2021, and CPA and CMA Gail Lee who joined the Board for a three-year term, effective December 7, 2021.

Khanna has had success growing global businesses in TV, broadcast, digital, film and distribution, and 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.

Lee is a collaborative and results-driven leader who has more than 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 and analysis, operational finance, strategy, business case analysis, and mergers and acquisitions.

New Board Chair brings extensive leadership and governance experience
In her new role, Hogan looks forward to working alongside Board members and the executive team to ensure that OCAD U continues to deliver on its academic mission of high-quality studio-based learning that produces leaders in art and design who are poised to make a difference in their communities and the world.

“OCAD U graduates are not only entrepreneurs who are driving the creative economy but they are applying their art and design thinking, expertise and skills in diverse sectors such as manufacturing, environmental design, health care, gaming, advertising, integrated media and digital technologies,” says Hogan who is currently Chief Investment Officer at the Ontario Capital Growth Corporation and has more than 15 years of experience in strategy and execution in venture capital investing.

“OCAD U is a strong and diverse community of engaged students, faculty, staff and alumni.  They are community-builders who are actively finding creative solutions to solving real-world problems we are facing today in society,” she says, pointing to how OCAD U continues to be an active partner in the city’s economic recovery from the global pandemic.

Hogan was elected to OCAD U’s Board of Governors as an external member in June 2018 for a three-year term and chaired the University’s Audit, Finance and Risk Committee from February 15, 2020 to December 6, 2021. She began her second three-year term in June 2021.

She has held senior roles in corporate development, finance and strategic investment with Bell Aliant, EY, the Business Development Bank of Canada and a software start-up. She is well-known as a strategic thinker who brings a hybrid of private and public sector experience and perspectives to bear on opportunities and issues.

New chancellor has strong record of support for OCAD U
Watt is well-known for his service and leadership at OCAD U, his outstanding contributions to advancing human rights and equality issues, and for supporting the arts and culture sector.

“It is a tremendous honour to be selected to serve as OCAD University’s Chancellor, especially as we work to meet the challenges left to us by COVID 19. After having served as Chair of the Board of Governors for the last four years, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the University in this new and meaningful way,” says Watt who is currently the Executive Chairman of Navigator and founder of the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation.

Watt is deeply involved with efforts to promote equality and human rights issues. He was instrumental in the growth of Casey House – Canada’s pioneer AIDS hospital and was a co-founder of the Canadian Human Rights Campaign and the Canadian Human Rights Trust. He has also worked with and supported Canadians for Equal Marriage, CANFAR, Rainbow Railroad, Rainbow Faith and Freedom, The 519 and Friends of Ruby, among many, many others.

He is also very passionate about the arts, and has worked hard to support various arts groups, serving on many boards, including the board of The Shaw Festival, and as a past board member of the Stratford Festival.

Watt will be installed as Chancellor, along with OCAD U’s first BIPOC President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano, at the June 2022 Convocation Ceremony.

Meet OCAD U’s New Board Chair: Brenda M. Hogan
Brenda M. Hogan is currently Chief Investment Officer at the Ontario Capital Growth Corporation and has more than 15 years of experience in strategy and execution in venture capital investment and funding.

She has held senior roles in corporate development, finance and strategic investment with Bell Aliant, EY, the Business Development Bank of Canada, and a software start-up. She is well-known as a strategic thinker who brings a hybrid of private and public sector experience and perspectives to bear on opportunities and issues.

In addition to serving on OCAD U’s Board of Governors, Hogan is on the board of the Canadian Venture Capital Association and co-chairs the Membership Committee. She also serves with the Institutional Limited Partners Association as a member of the Content Committee, is on the Canadian Executive of the Private Equity Women Investor Network, and is on the board of the Youth in Philanthropy Initiative where she chairs the Finance and Audit Committee.

She served on Dalhousie University’s Board of Governors and chaired the university’s Finance, Audit, Investment and Risk Committee, and is past co-chair of Canadian Women in Private Equity.

Hogan served three terms on the Board of Women in Capital Markets, serving as chair of the Governance Committee and is a past president of the Junior League of Toronto. She was on the Board of the Geneva Centre for Autism and chaired the Human Resources and Nominating Committee, and is a founding member of the Royal Ontario Museum Young Patrons Circle.

She holds an MBA in Finance, has completed the Institute of Corporate Directors SME Board Effectiveness Program, and has received leadership training from the Ivey School of Business.

Meet the new Chancellor: Jaime Watt
Jaime Watt is currently the Executive Chairman of Navigator and founder of the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation. He is widely regarded as Canada’s leading high stakes communications strategist who is a trusted advisor to boards of directors, business and professional leaders as well as political leaders at all three levels of government across Canada. He specializes in complex public strategy issues, serving both domestic and international clients in the corporate, professional services, not-for-profit, and government sectors.

As OCAD U’s Board Chair for four years, Watt provided exceptional leadership at a time of significant transformational change for the institution, including navigating the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and supporting University initiatives to advance equity and diversity and address the under-representation of Black and Indigenous faculty and staff.

He also led the successful search for OCAD U’s new president after 15 years with Dr. Sara Diamond at the helm, resulting in the hiring of Ana Serrano, the University’s first BIPOC president and vice-chancellor.

Meet the New External Members on the OCAD U Board

Roma Khanna
Roma 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. Khanna 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. Her three-year term as an external Board member began on October 5, 2021.

Gail Lee
Gail Lee is a collaborative and results-driven leader who has more than 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 and analysis, operational finance, strategy, business case analysis, and mergers and acquisitions. Lee has 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. A CPA and CMA, Lee holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto. Her three-year term as an external Board member is effective December 7, 2021.