President Alan Shepard congratulated Rigg, noting her significant accomplishments since joining Western in August 2020.
“Lesley has made a tremendous impact during her time here at Western. In addition to building an outstanding research leadership team and putting invaluable processes in place, she also led us to a record $267 million in research funding in 2021. Last year, Western Research also launched its new strategic plan, Mobilize for Impact! that will guide the university’s research agenda for years to come,” said Shepard. “While we’re sad to see her go, I’m delighted for Lesley and wish her all the best in her new leadership role at Brock.”
Other noteworthy Western Research achievements since Rigg joined the university include:
- new programs for students and postdoctoral scholars, including WE-Empower, a WORLDiscoveries initiative that creates new opportunities for women and underrepresented researchers to turn their innovations into business opportunities;
- an updated vision for Western Research Parks, to be recognized globally as a model for interdisciplinary excellence in research translation, student engagement, and innovation;
- a consistent governance structure for Western’s research institutes; and
- the creation of two new senior research roles: Western’s first-ever associate vice-president for innovation and strategic partnership, David Muir, is furthering the goal of empowering Western’s research activities to make real-world impacts; Mariam Hayward, Western’s first director of knowledge exchange, impact and EDI-D in research, is aiming to break down barriers to research equity.
“I am excited for this next step and truly sad to leave Western,” said Rigg. “I have been fortunate to work with a really strong team of professionals who are passionate about supporting our community.”
“It’s incredible to see how strong a network of support exists across campus,” Rigg added. “This desire to come together, lift each other up, and have impact will hold Western in good stead for years to come.”
Rigg will step down as Western’s vice-president (research) effective Sept. 30, 2022. An interim vice-president (research) will be announced in the coming weeks.