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Leech reappointed as chancellor

[Chancellor Jim Leech]
Jim Leech has been reappointed to a second three-year term as the chancellor of Queen's University. (University Communications)

Jim Leech, the 14th Chancellor of Queen’s, has been reappointed to a second three-year term as the university’s highest officer and ceremonial head.

The reappointment was ratified by the University Council at its annual meeting on Saturday, Nov. 5.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Jim Leech over the last two and a half years, and I look forward to continuing to do so,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Queen's continues to benefit from his expertise and longstanding service to the university community; I am delighted he has been reappointed by University Council to a second three-year term.”

Chancellor Leech’s second term will begin on July 1, 2017.

A graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada and Queen’s, MBA 73, Chancellor Leech has maintained close connections with the university having served as a member of Queen’s Board of Trustees (1984-96) and University Council (1980-84) as well as the Initiative Campaign cabinet. He also kept close ties with the Smith School of Business having served as chair of the advisory board on three separate occasions and as a member of its global council.

In January 2014, Chancellor Leech retired from his position as president and CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan which oversaw the management of $130 billion in assets, representing the pensions of 303,000 working and retired teachers. During each of the final three years of his leadership the organization’s 10-year total returns and client service were ranked No. 1 in the world among its peers and the pension plan returned to surplus.

Before leading the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, he served as president and CEO of Unicorp Canada Corporation and Union Energy Inc.

Chancellor Leech is also involved in a number of charitable causes, including as chair of the board of the MasterCard Foundation and Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation, an Honorary Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and was a founding director of Right to Play International. In 2012 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his involvement with the True Patriot Love Foundation, which supports Canadian military families, and in 2014 was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada for his international business building, writings on the subject of pension management and community leadership. Earlier this year, Chancellor Leech was inducted into the Wall of Honour at Royal Military College.

“I am truly honoured that Queen’s has placed its confidence in me as Chancellor,” he says. “I have enjoyed my frequent interactions with faculty, staff and, in particular, students over the past two years. This is a very special university.”

Created in 1874, the position of Chancellor at Queen’s includes a group of highly-esteemed individuals including Sir Sanford Fleming, Canada’s foremost railway engineer and the father of standard time, and Sir Robert Borden, the eighth prime minister of Canada who made important steps toward a fully-independent Canadian government.

More about the role of the Chancellor and the history of position at Queen’s can be found online.

Follow Chancellor Leech on Twitter at @QUchancellor.