Joy Johnson

Headshot of Joy Johnson

Universities Canada board director


Joy Johnson became the 10th president and vice-chancellor of Simon Fraser University in 2020 and is also a professor in its faculty of health sciences.

As president, Joy is committed to enhancing student learning experiences, working towards Indigenous reconciliation and advancing equity, diversity and inclusion across the university.

Prior to her appointment as president, Joy served as Simon Fraser University’s vice-president, research and international from 2014 to 2020 where she oversaw the evolution of cutting-edge research, innovation and international engagement across eight faculties. Under her leadership, SFU’s research income grew from $103 million in 2014 to $161 million in 2020—the fastest growth of any Canadian university. Other major accomplishments include launching a groundbreaking big data initiative, hosting one of Canada’s largest supercomputers and establishing a university-wide innovation strategy.

Joy has had a distinguished career in academics and research. She completed her PhD in nursing at the University of Alberta and joined The University of British Columbia as a professor in the School of Nursing. Her commitment to research led her to the role of scientific director with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Gender and Health, where she is credited for shaping the Canadian research landscape to ensure gender is considered in health research.

Joy is an elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and has co-authored more than 180 peer-reviewed articles.

Professor Johnson is a director on the board of Universities Canada.

Universities Canada