June 10, 2021
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – In support of Wilfrid Laurier University’s internationalization efforts, a key priority outlined in the Laurier Strategy: 2019-2024, the university has created an interim senior executive officer of internationalization position to lead strategic institutional internationalization activities.
Sheldon Pereira, Laurier’s chief of staff and director of strategic institutional initiatives, has been appointed to the position for a two-year term. Pereira has served as a strategic advisor to Laurier’s president and vice-chancellor and other senior leaders since 2017. In the role, Pereira will continue as chief of staff with a focus on internationalization and lead development of Laurier’s internationalization strategy; establish a senior council to champion the internationalization agenda; identify new international partnership opportunities; and lead and support internationalization across the university.
“Internationalization is a critical part of our strategic plan as we mature as a globally-recognized comprehensive university with a strong reputation for academic excellence, engaged research and student experience,” said Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s president and vice-chancellor. “I am excited to have Sheldon Pereira begin this new role of chief of staff and interim senior executive officer of internationalization at this important time for Laurier. He brings demonstrated innovative, inclusive and collegial leadership, expertise facilitating key institutional partnerships, and varied international experiences.”
Through the position, and in collaboration with leaders across the institution, Pereira will support Laurier’s internationalization goals, including raising Laurier’s reputation and reach internationally, and building partnerships abroad to create more international opportunities for recruitment and for Laurier faculty, staff and students, including exchanges, research projects and field courses. .
“I am pleased that Sheldon Pereira has taken on this role to work with our academic leaders and departments toward realizing their own program and research goals for internationalization, in alignment with a broader institutional strategy,” said Tony Vannelli, Laurier’s provost and vice-president: academic. “The timing is ideal for the creation of a senior executive officer of internationalization to work closely with the strategic enrollment management committee, international recruitment, and Laurier International to realize our ambitions as a comprehensive university.”
As outlined in the Laurier Strategy, the university excels at creating a culture of engagement that develops the whole person and builds reciprocal community relationships by increasing internationalization to cultivate global citizens with strong intercultural competence. By expanding world views and reducing barriers to common understanding, Laurier makes an impact as a globally integrated institution, supporting incoming students from abroad and domestic students seeking global exchange opportunities to gain the most benefit from their international experience.
“I am humbled and excited to take on this role at a time of tremendous opportunity and growth for Laurier,” said Pereira. “Not only will I be able to continue to serve an institution I love and a mission I believe in, but to do so at a place where my personal values find professional alignment is truly a gift. Laurier’s reputation sets the stage for us to grow and deepen our internationalization efforts and partnerships as we continue to deliver on our institutional proposition of inspiring lives of leadership and purpose.”
As chief of staff and director of strategic institutional initiatives, Pereira served as a facilitator between senior leaders for emerging priorities, opportunities and risks at Laurier, and a representative of the university in building partnerships locally, nationally and internationally. During his time at Laurier, he has supported delegations to Guatemala, China, India, the United States, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates. In past roles, Pereira has served as the director of university relations at Laurier, the stakeholder relationships manager in the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer at the City of Waterloo, manager of Residence Life at Laurier, as well as the project manager of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Laurier and the University of Waterloo. Pereira has a Bachelor of Science from Laurier and a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from the Ontario College of Arts and Design University. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Educational Research with a focus in higher education policy and leadership at Lancaster University in the U.K.
Having studied as an expatriate student in the Middle East prior to emigrating to Canada with his family, Pereira has made serving international students and immigrant newcomers to Canada a priority professionally and personally. He currently serves as a board member and volunteer with Reception House Waterloo Region, which welcomes and supports government-assisted refugees to the area.
The interim senior executive officer of internationalization position is effective immediately and extends until June 30, 2023. During this period, the university will establish a more permanent structure for internationalization leadership at the university.
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Lori Chalmers Morrison, Director: Integrated Communications
External Relations, Wilfrid Laurier University