The Hub Welcome Dr. Catherine Swindlehurst, chief growth officer

Welcome Dr. Catherine Swindlehurst, chief growth officer

By: Alex Clark

Dr. Catherine Swindlehurst joins senior leadership team as Athabasca University’s first-ever chief growth officer

It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Dr. Catherine Swindlehurst as chief growth officer at Athabasca University (AU).

With a mandate to support AU’s academic, teaching, and research mission and strategic direction through building and fostering sustainable growth, the chief growth officer (CGO) role is innovative: the first at a university or college in Canada.

Dr. Catherine Swindlehurst, chief growth officerIn her role, Catherine will work across the university’s academic and administrative departments, and external partners, to support and build our capacity for growth, bring new resources to AU to improve our work and workplace, and foster long-term sustainability in and for the university. Catherine will be focused on AU growth with benefits for the communities AU serves, including the town and region of Athabasca.

With more than 20 years of experience in senior and executive academic leadership, Catherine brings invaluable experience to AU and to this new position. Through a range of roles with the University of Alberta and the University of Cambridge—including chief strategy officer and interim vice-president (University Relations), among others—Catherine’s expertise spans strategic planning, fund and business development, strategic communications, issues and change management, stewardship, government relations, and community engagement. With a global reputation for excellence, she has established herself as a trusted, collaborative, and adaptable leader across the sector and province. Further, Catherine has become a trusted advisor to me and the full AU senior leadership team since this spring.

Catherine has developed a strong reputation for her collegial approach to create and implement results-driven, strategic, multi-disciplinary partnerships and initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion in growth.

A certified executive coach, she holds her BA, MA, and MBA from the University of Alberta, as well as her PhD from the University of Cambridge, U.K.

Throughout her career, Catherine has led and advised on multiple presidential and leadership transitions at universities across Canada and has brought her considerable expertise and experience to her recent work with AU as a consultant to the Office of the President. I am excited to build on this work in her new role as CGO, which is supported through the President’s Strategic Fund.

I look forward to working closely with Catherine as AU moves into developing our new strategic plan—one rooted in community and diversity, and oriented towards sustainable local-to-global growth that enables our highest contributions. As a member of the senior leadership team, the CGO will play a vital role in our success in the coming months and years ahead.

Please join me in welcoming Catherine to her new role.


Alex Clark

Filed Under:
  • October 6, 2023
Guest Blog from:
Alex Clark