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avatar for Ursula Gobel

Ursula Gobel

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Associate Vice-President, Future Challenges

Ursula Gobel was appointed associate vice-president, future challenges, at SSHRC in April 2014. In her role, she collaborates with the research community and partners across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to advance the social sciences and humanities contributions toward meeting future, long-term societal challenges and opportunities. In recent years, Ursula and her team have worked closely with Indigenous organizations and the research community to address the knowledge systems, experiences and aspirations of Indigenous Peoples, as part of SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative, and in support of the Truth and Reconciliation’s call to action to establish a national research program to advance the understanding of reconciliation  She is now co-leading a national engagement process in support of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee’s commitment to co-develop, in partnership with Indigenous communities, an interdisciplinary Indigenous research and research training model that contributes to reconciliation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples. 

Ursula joined SSHRC in 2007 as director of communications. Overseeing the development and implementation of strategic communications for SSHRC, as well as for several international programs, including the Canada Research Chairs and Canada Excellence Research Chairs, on behalf of Canada’s three federal research granting agencies. 

Ursula brings 30 years of experience in leadership and management across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including at the National Gallery of Canada. She is Vice Chair on the Board of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, National Capital Region, with extensive Board and Committee experience at the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, the Canadian Tourism Commission, as well as at numerous regional economic development agencies. 

Ursula holds executive leadership training from Queen’s University, as well as business and economics diplomas from Algonquin College and John Abbott College.