Meric Gertler: Past chair

Meric Gertler, president, University of Toronto.

Past chair of Universities Canada’s board of directors


Meric Gertler began his term as the 16th president of the University of Toronto on November 1, 2013. Previously, he served as the dean of the faculty of arts & science from 2008 to 2013. 

He is a professor of geography and planning, and the Goldring chair in Canadian Studies at the University of Toronto. He is a co-founder of a research program at U of T’s Munk School of Global Affairs investigating the role of city-regions as sites of innovation and creativity in the global economy. His work engages in comparative analysis of North American and European cities to understand how local social and cultural dynamics create the foundations for economic success and prosperity. 

Professor Gertler has served as an advisor to local, regional and national governments in Canada, the United States and Europe, as well as to international agencies such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (Paris) and the European Union. 

He has held visiting appointments at Oxford, University College London, UCLA, and the University of Oslo. He serves as a director of the MaRS Discovery District, a trustee of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, chair of the Presidential Steering Committee of the U7+ Alliance of world universities, and past chair of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities. A veteran of past campaign cabinets for the United Way of Greater Toronto and former vice-chair of the Business Higher Education Roundtable, he currently serves on the leadership yable of the BMO Financial Group-United Way project on Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity.  

A graduate of McMaster University (BA), the University of California, Berkeley (MCP) and Harvard University (PhD), Professor Gertler was awarded honorary doctorates from Lund University, Sweden (2012) and from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China (2017). He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Academy of Social Sciences (UK) and a corresponding fellow of the British Academy. In December 2015, Professor Gertler was appointed to the Order of Canada. 

Professor Gertler is the past chair of the board of Universities Canada. 

Universities Canada