Vice-chair of Universities Canada’s board of directors
Professor Deep Saini began his term as the 18th principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University on April 1, 2023. A career academic and accomplished researcher in plant biology, Professor Saini brings a unique combination of national post-secondary experience with an international perspective. He most recently served as president of Dalhousie University in Canada and, prior to that, was vice-chancellor and president of the University of Canberra in Australia. Professor Saini had previously worked at four of Canada’s U15 universities, including as a vice-president of the University of Toronto and principal of its Mississauga campus, dean of the faculty of environment at the University of Waterloo and director general of the Plant Biology Research Institute at the Université de Montréal.
His awards and recognitions include honours from the Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists, Nanjing University, the Sikh Foundation of Canada, the Royal Society of New South Wales, the Punjab Academy of Sciences and the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce. He was featured in India Abroad’s “2011 Power List” and is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum and Diamond Jubilee Medals and the NRI Welfare Society of India Hind Rattan Award.
His leadership roles have included governance and advisory roles at national and international levels, presidencies of national professional societies, journal editorships, membership on national and international granting panels, international trade missions and membership of the executive committee for the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities.
Professor Saini grew up in India and holds a doctor of philosophy in plant physiology from the University of Adelaide in Australia. He is fluent in English, French, Hindi and Punjabi.
He is currently the vice-chair of the board of directors for Universities Canada and will begin his term as chair later this year.