Former Research head named to lead SSHRC

Ted Hewitt, Western Sociology professor and former vice-president of research and international relations, has been named president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), effective March 1, government officials announced Thursday.

“As both a scholar and administrator, Ted has always been a great champion for social science and humanities research,” said Amit Chakma, Western president. “He will bring a tremendous degree of experience and passion to this important leadership role.”

A member of the council since 2011, Hewitt is the Canadian co-chair of the Canada-Brazil Joint Committee for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation, as well as a member of the boards of International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada and the Brazil–Canada Chamber of Commerce.

“I would like to welcome Dr. Hewitt in his new role,” said James Moore, Minister of Industry. “His wealth of experience in research and international relations will help the council promote its objectives.”

Hewitt, who led Western’s research office from 2004-11, focuses his work, in part, on the expanding political and economic relationships between the countries of Portuguese-speaking Africa and Brazil. His areas of specialization include national and international innovation systems, with an emphasis on the role played by universities, industry and government in promoting economic prosperity in the 21st century economy.

Hewitt is a leading Canadian authority on Brazil and a member of the Board of International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada. He has published extensively on issues related to social movements and population health, local government, and international cooperation for urban development in Latin America.

While on leave in 2012-13, Hewitt served as a visiting public policy scholar at the Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

“Dr. Hewitt has a deep understanding of how social science and humanities research at Canada’s colleges and universities can generate innovative solutions to our economic, social, cultural and technological challenges,” said Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology).