Former UBC prof named 10th president of SFU

Joy Johnson

Joy Johnson, a professor at the UBC School of Nursing for over 20 years before assuming the role of vice president, research and international, at Simon Fraser University in 2014, has been appointed the next vice-chancellor and president of SFU.

Since Johnson joined SFU, where she is also a professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, the university’s research income has increased from $103 million to $161 million — the fastest growth out of all universities in Canada, according to SFU.

Johnson also enhanced supports and services for SFU’s research community, hosted Canada’s most powerful academic supercomputer, launched a cross-cutting big data initiative and established a unifying innovation strategy, among other achievements.

“I am so proud that such a fabulous nurse leader and scholar will take the helm at one of BC’s research universities, bringing nursing’s values and her longstanding commitments to equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigenous truth and reconciliation to the broader academic community there,” said Elizabeth Saewyc, director of the UBC School of Nursing.

At UBC, Johnson pursued multidisciplinary research on how environments and social dynamics influence health outcomes and opportunities, particularly among youth. She co-authored over 180 peer-reviewed manuscripts and served as scientific director at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Gender and Health from 2008 to 2014.

Johnson holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Alberta and is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada. Her term as president and vice-chancellor of SFU will begin on September 1, 2020.


UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart. Time A clock. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Social Media The globe is the default icon for a social media platform. TikTok The logo for the TikTok social media platform. Calendar Location Home A house in silhouette. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Search A magnifying glass. Arrow indicating share action A directional arrow. Speech Bubble A speech bubble. Star An outline of a star. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. User A silhouette of a person. Vimeo The logo for the Vimeo video sharing service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service. Future of work A logo for the Future of Work category. Inclusive leadership A logo for the Inclusive leadership category. Planetary health A logo for the Planetary health category. Solutions for people A logo for the Solutions for people category. Thriving cities A logo for the Thriving cities category. University for future A logo for the University for future category.