Creed named director of The Africa Institute

Western Biology professor Irena Creed has been named director of The Africa Institute, effective May 1.

“Irena has been a strong proponent of research and teaching approaches that are transdisciplinary, translational and transformative,” wrote Janice Deakin, provost and vice-president (academic), while announcing the position on Friday.

As Canada Research Chair in Watershed Sciences, with cross-appointments in Geography and Earth Sciences, Creed is experienced working on complex global problems. Her work in Africa on a community- focused ecosystem-health project in the Lake Naivasha basin of Kenya received the inaugural Western Humanitarian Award in 2011, and her work in North America on a grassroots analysis of potential futures of the Laurentian Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin won a Western Green Award in 2013.

She has served in several leadership positions, including acting director of the Centre for Environment of Sustainability and member of the Steering Committee for the formation of The Africa Institute.

“I know that Irena assumes her new role with a high respect for inclusivity of diverse perspectives and a commitment to excellence in teaching, research and service in Africa, for Africans,” Deakin continued. “Please, join me in congratulating and supporting Irena as she undertakes her new role in raising Western’s international profile through the scholarly activities of the Institute.”

Creed becomes The Africa Institute’s second director, following founding director Political Science professor Joanna Quinn, who served from 2010-13. Quinn presently serves as director of Western’s Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction.