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Martha Piper

Global Educator

Dr. Piper was President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia (UBC) from 1997 to 2006.  Prior to her appointment at UBC, she served as Vice-President, Research at the University of Alberta.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Creating Global Citizens: Educating children for the 21st century Political, ethical and environmental issues are all global. This presentation discusses how we can build create global citizens and equip the next generation of Canadians to take on these challenges. Canadian Competitiveness: Building the agenda to be the best This presentation challenges audiences to strive to be the best in the world, and outlines how Canadian organizations can become international leaders in their fields.

Platform Plus

Panelist/In Conversation


Order of BC

  • Your thoughtful and inspirational words were the highlight of the Symposium, and our participants were still talking about your remarks well into the next day.

    - Associate Publisher, Alberta Venture and Unlimited Magazines
  • It was wonderful! ... many people felt your words were truly inspirational. It really started our conference out on the right note.

    - Crown Leadership Conference
  • She put a lot of effort into her speech to ensure it covered the context and interest of the audience. Her delivery was, of course, impeccable.

    - Federal Assistant Deputy Minister Forum

Summary Profile

Known for her tenacity and tremendous interpersonal skills, Piper shaped the University of British Columbia into a leading research facility and economic powerhouse for the province of BC. She laid out a clear vision for the university that focused on developing global citizens and succeeded in establishing UBC as an international leader in education, community involvement and research. During her 10 years at UBC, Piper encouraged the university to reach beyond its traditional boundaries. She developed key strategic relationships to enhance the university and brought in new investment for research and education. Piper’s ability to articulate her vision sets her apart on the platform. She is engaging and thoughtful and one of the most influential and charismatic leaders in the Canadian academic community. Her achievements have also been acknowledged on an international scale. In 2002, she was appointed to the National University of Singapore Council by the Minister of Education. She was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Melbourne in 2003 to add to her many honorary degrees from Canadian institutions, and in 2006, a ceremony was held in Mexico by the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) to recognize her contributions to higher education Martha is a member of the board of directors of Bank of Montreal. She also sits on the boards of the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace & Education, CARE Canada and the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, non-public entities.