After graduating from the Glendon Campus of York University some 30 years ago, I am thrilled to return here as the new Director of Glendon School of Public & International Affairs (GSPIA). I recall fondly my undergraduate years where I was introduced to international development studies, taught by some exceptional professors. Throughout my career, within the federal government and at the United Nations, I was always thankful that I had attended Toronto’s only bilingual university campus. It gave me the added advantage to compete in a bilingual or multilateral workforce and instilled in me the importance of bilingual education. After a long career in the public or private sectors, many Glendon graduates, including myself, would attest and validate the true value of Glendon’s bilingual education and the positive impact it had on our careers.
In the past decades, Glendon has accomplished much more. It has truly become a unique francophone/bilingual institution in the heart of Toronto and continues to offer students the environment to study in Canada’s two official languages. As well, the campus continues to offer high quality teaching by internationally recognized scholars, which is complemented by experts who bring practitioners’ experience in the management of the public sector – nationally and internationally.
In the next several months, working with my colleagues, the student body at the Glendon and Keele campuses, I will focus my attention to learning about Glendon’s flagship programmes, be it in the area of refugee studies or indigenous languages – both issues remain high on the agenda of the federal government and the international community. I would like to also reach out to federal and other institutions and create long-term partnership opportunities between Glendon and other partners in research and educational programming. Furthermore, building on Glendon’s well established international tradition, I would like to promote opportunities for the graduate students to link with international institutions and consider career opportunities in international organizations.
Most of all, I would like to promote the GSPIA, support the students and faculty, learn from them and bring my contribution to the School.
As the President of York University, Dr. Mamdouh Shoukri, recently said “The potential of the Glendon Campus is truly unlimited”.
I consider myself fortunate to be, yet again, part of this unique, dynamic, Canadian institution. And I am looking forward to working with as many students and faculty as possible.
Director, Glendon School of Public and International Affairs
Annie Demirjian was featured in the 2019 Spring Issue of Catalyst, a CUSO International Magazine. The full issue can be found here.