Kwan tapped as University Secretary

Kathleen Kwan has been named Western University Secretary, effective September 2017, university officials announced this week. Kwan has served as Director of Legal Services and University Solicitor at the University of Hertfordshire (U.K.) since 2010.


Kwan follows Irene Birrell, who stepped down from the role in April to become the College Secretary at King’s College London.

At Hertfordshire, Kwan is the principal legal advisor to senior university administration and the Board of Governors on legal and governance issues, which includes providing strategic advice and negotiation support on a wide range of operational and academic matters. Prior to that role, she spent a decade as a solicitor in private legal practice with Mills & Reeve LLP in Cambridge, U.K. While in private practice, she advised more than 40 universities in the U.K. on a wide range of issues. Before that, she served as Secretary of Academic Council at Ryerson University and Judicial Officer at the University of Guelph.

Kwan holds a BSc (Psychology and Anthropology) and LLB from the University of Toronto, and she is currently Vice-Chair (Chair Elect) for the Association of University Legal Practitioners in the U.K.

At Western, the University Secretary’s mission is to manage and support the institution’s bicameral governance system – university Senate and Board of Governors – in accordance with legal requirements and obligations, the University of Western Ontario Act, the governing bodies’ bylaws and regulations and accepted best governance practices.