McGill Appoints New Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Saini

On November 14th, 2022, McGill announced the appointment of the University’s 18th Principal and Vice-Chancellor, H. Deep Saini. Professor Saini was voted in unanimously by the Board of Governors. 

Professor Saini currently serves as President and Vice-President of Dalhousie University and formerly served as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra in Australia. 

In addition to his experience serving as President, Professor Saini brings a wide range of academic backgrounds to this role. He first completed his Masters of Science (Honours) at Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, and later moved to Australia to obtain his Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from the University of Adelaide. Saini also lived in Montreal for two decades, providing him with rich knowledge of Quebec culture. 

In January 2022, Suzanne Fortier, who was Saini’s predecessor, announced she would be stepping down from her role as Principal earlier than expected. Fortier began her role as the University’s 17th Principal and Vice-Chancellor in September 2013 and officially ended her second term on September 5th, 2022. Her announcement to step down prompted the Board of Governors to appoint a new Principal for the following academic year. 

The process of finding the best-fit candidate for this role was thorough. In accordance with the University Statutes, an Advisory Committee was responsible for reviewing and assessing prospective candidates. The committee has met 18 times since March 2022. Additionally, the committee carried out 24 sessions with members of the McGill community over a six-day period in April 2022. At the end of the process, the Board of Governors appointed Professor Saini. 

“I am honoured and humbled to have been chosen as McGill’s next Principal and Vice-Chancellor,” shares Professor Saini, “Already a leader on the national and international stage, McGill is entering its third century poised to take its global impact even further. I am looking forward with great anticipation to returning to Montreal, joining this illustrious community, and making a bold contribution to the University’s most promising future.” 

Members of the McGill community share this excitement about the incoming Principal. Maryse Bertrand, Chair of McGill’s Board of Governors, says he brings “an exceptional breadth and depth of leadership experience, from Dalhousie, several other research-intensive universities in Canada and abroad.” Professor Saini’s five-year, renewable term will begin on April 1st, 2023. 

For further details on Professor Saini, please visit

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