The Office of EDI

We are committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive campus that is accessible to all and free from harassment, bullying and discrimination.

Photo of Dr. Malinda Smith

Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President Research (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion)

Professor, Political Science, Faculty of Arts

Email: malinda.smith@ucalgary.ca

Twitter: @MalindaSmith 

Dr. Malinda S. Smith


Vice-Provost, Associate Vice-President Research (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion), and a professor of political science at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Smith holds a PhD in political science from the University of Alberta, an MA, MDA, and a BA magna cum laude in political science and criminal justice, from Western Michigan University. 

Dr. Smith serves on several national bodies, including SSHRC Council and Executive, Statistics Canada’s Immigration and Ethnocultural Statistics Advisory Committee, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) External EDI Advisory Board.

Dr. Smith is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from Simon Fraser University (2021), Compelling Calgarians (2021), Susan S. Northcutt Award from the International Studies Association (2020), 100 Accomplished Black Women Honouree (2020), Rosalind Smith Professional Award (2020), Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellowship (2018), ISA-Canada Distinguished Scholar Award (2018-19), HSBC Community Contributor of the Year Award (2016); and the Equity Award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers (2015).

  • Co-Chair, President's Task Force on EDIA (PTF-EDIA)
  • General Faculties Council, APPC
  • Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
  • Provost Team 
  • Vice President Research – Operations
  • Chair, Faculty Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (FEDI) Leads
  • Chair, EDI Data Group 
  • Chair, Dimensions EDI Executive and Steering Committee

Executive Assistant to Dr. Malinda Smith

Rupa Shankar

Executive Assistant to Dr. Malinda Smith - Vice-Provost and Associate Vice President Research (EDI) 

Email: rupa.shankar@ucalgary.ca

Rupa Shankar, (she/her)

Ms. Rupa Shankar is the Executive Assistant (EA) to Dr. Malinda Smith, Vice Provost and Associate Vice President Research (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) of the OEDI. 

With a career spanning several countries and regions, Ms. Shankar has extensive global experience working with people from diverse backgrounds. Before joining the OEDI at the University of Calgary, Ms. Shankar worked as an Executive Assistant and Compliance Training Lead in the Healthcare Compliance Department at Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Toronto.  

Ms. Shankar holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Administration and Communications. She completed her early schooling and graduation in the Kingdom of Bahrain, where she also started her career working with several ministerial and financial institutions. She has 19 years of experience in office administration, working with various sectors in different countries, including financial industries, aviation, construction, and pharmaceuticals.

Coordinator - Programs + Operations

Tracy E. Garrick

Coordinator - Programs + Operations

Email: tracy.garrick@ucalgary.ca

Tracy E. Garrick, PMP, (she/her)

Tracy holds two BAs, Business Administration and Project Management (PMP™). She is certified in Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership, Indigenous Cultural Awareness and Competency, and Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional (CCIP™). 

Previously, Tracy was at Mount Royal University for 15 years, supporting Wellness Services (50%) and the former office of Campus Equity and Meaningful Inclusion (50%) under the former Student Services and Campus Life division. During her career at MRU, she had helped design and collaborate with stakeholders across Alberta and Canada a charter for the Healthy Campus Alberta community of practice - the first of its kind collaborative body that focuses on supporting mental health and well-being in Alberta campuses. 

She also supported the design and implementation of MRU's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Framework and updated policies, including Human Rights, Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Accommodation and Sexual Violence Response and Awareness. This work removed barriers for marginalized individuals to have safe learning, work and play spaces. 

Tracy is also a Project Manager supporting several humanitarian refugee projects throughout North America.

Academic Directors

Dr. Hieu Ngo

Academic Director - EDI and Anti-Racism Policy and Strategy

Email: hngo@ucalgary.ca


Dr. Hieu Ngo, (he/him)

Hieu Van Ngo is associate dean (teaching and learning) and associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work. As a person with intersecting identities, he has lived with and confronted many inequities facing immigrants, racialized people and LGBTQ2S+ members. 

Hieu has been involved in anti-racist and equity work since 1997. To date, he has led over 15 collaborative initiatives addressing systemic discrimination in education, health, and justice.  

Dr. Tolu Sajobi

Academic Director - EDI Data Research, Analysis, and Strategy

Email: ttsajobi@ucaglary.ca

Dr. Tolulope (Tolu) Sajobi, (he/him)

Dr. Sajobi is a professor and biostatistician in the Departments of Community Health Sciences and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary. He completed his undergraduate degree (First Class Honors) in Statistics from Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria), a Masters's degree in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Windsor, and a PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Sajobi is the Director of the Person-Centered Methods & Analytics Research Lab, through which he leads a methods research program that focuses on (1) measurement and analysis of behavioural/patient-reported outcomes, (2) design and analysis of randomized controlled trials, and (3) predictive analytics. He has received peer-reviewed research funds worth more than $26 million as a principal investigator and co-investigator/lead statistician and has published more than 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

As a biostatistician, Dr. Sajobi is a seasoned collaborator and statistical leader on several national and international health research projects. He received the 2018 Avenue Magazine’s Calgary Top 40 under 40 award.

Dr. Gregor Wolbring

Academic Director, EDI, Disabilities and Accessibility

Email: gwolbrin@ucalgary.ca

Dr. Gregor Wolbring (he/him)

Dr. Gregor Wolbring is a tenured full Professor at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine, Program in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. He is presently also a member of the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Karlsruhe, Germany and a senior fellow of the Institute for Science, Policy and Society, University of Ottawa, Canada.

Dr. Wolbring defines himself as an ability studies, disability studies, sustainability studies and science and technology governance studies scholar. 

Some of his awards include: Recipient of the University of Calgary’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award (Faculty and Postdoctoral Scholars category) (2022); Runner up, University of Calgary Sustainability Award (category Faculty Sustainability Research) (2020); Tanis Doe Award from the Canadian Disability Studies Association (2017); Bachelor of Health Sciences Research Mentor Award in recognition of making undergraduate students succeed in research (2014, 2016, 2018), the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal awarded by the government of Canada in recognition of the benefit of his academic work to the greater community (2013) and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, National Award (1998)

Some of the issues his research group works on include: ability studies (ability, ability expectation and ableism ethics and governance); disability studies; social, ethical, legal, economic, environmental, cultural and governance issues of existing, new and emerging sciences and technologies (S&T) such as quantum technologies, artificial intelligence/machine learning and reasoning, cognitive sciences, neurotechnologies, genetics, robotics, brain computer interfaces, human enhancement. They also explore the impact of S&T on marginalized populations, especially disabled people; sports; human security, global health; health- (technology assessment, law, care and policies); sustainability; conflict studies; peace; ecohealth; climate, water and energy issues; environmental education; environmental activism; emergency and disaster management; burnout; and equity, diversity and inclusion.

Senior Specialists/Advisors

Dr. Ghada Sfeir (she/her/elle)

Senior Advisor Anti-Racism and Racial Equity

Email: ghada.sfeir@ucalgary.ca

Dr. Ghada Sfeir, (she/her/elle)

Ghada Sfeir, PhD, is the inaugural Senior Advisor, Anti-Racism and Racial Equity with the Office of EDI at the University of Calgary. Dr. Ghada Sfeir holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon. Her research interests focus on Cosmopolitanism, Multiculturalism, Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Decolonization, Anti-Racism, and Global Citizenship Education. Using the cosmopolitan lens, which entails the “equal moral worth” of every individual across all categories of difference, Dr. Sfeir advocates for implementing the fundamentals of EDI and anti-racism to identify and remove systemic barriers facing underrepresented and racialized groups educationally, socially, and politically.

In her previous role at Concordia University, Montreal, she taught her graduate and undergraduate courses from a social justice perspective. She has recently co-edited the International Journal of Talent Development and Creativity (2022) special issue to promote cosmopolitan pathways for Canada’s growing diversity from coast to coast to coast and beyond. Her advocacy is not limited to her publications and teaching from a social justice perspective but also includes various academic initiatives to advance collective public understanding of the principles of justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, and decolonization.

Dr. William Yimbo

Senior Advisor, EDI Literacy, Education, and Training

Email: william.yimbo@ucalgary.ca

Dr. William Yimbo, (he/him)

William Yimbo is a Senior Advisor, EDI Literacy, Education, and Training in the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. He holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, a graduate diploma in International Relations from the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands, an MA in Public Affairs, and a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota, USA.

As a Senior Advisor, Dr. Yimbo develops and delivers equity, diversity, and inclusion workshops to staff, faculty, and students across the university. He previously worked as a diversity advisor in immigration and settlement services. In this role, he delivered diversity education and advocated for equity and inclusivity in government services for Canada’s newcomer communities.

Dr. Yimbo has an extensive career background and experience in public and foreign policy administration in Kenya, Africa.


Hira Shah

Senior Specialist, Communications, EDIA

Email: hsshah@ucalgary.ca

Hira Shah (she/her) 

Hira is a dedicated advocate for social justice, driven by a commitment to amplify underrepresented voices. With a background in science communications and a Master's in Conservation Biology, her journey exemplifies a passion for empowering change by encouraging communities, organizations, and governments to take action. Hira's work has involved championing equity-deserving groups and researching barriers these groups face. 

Throughout her career in the non-profit sector, Hira has demonstrated a strong commitment to inclusive communication strategies and community engagement. As a communications specialist at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, she supported the organization’s EDI committee to foster a sense of belonging for staff, volunteers, and visitors. 

Hira is also extremely passionate about inclusivity in nature and outdoor recreation. She is currently involved with the Multicultural Trail Network, a non-profit organization which strives to make outdoor adventures more accessible for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour youth. 

Shannon Black

Senior Specialist, Communications, EDIA

Email: shannon.black@ucalgary.ca

Shannon Black (she/her)

On leave.

Shannon possesses a passion for projects, organizations and initiatives that leave a legacy and create meaningful and tangible systematic change. She joins the University of Calgary’s OEDI after working in marketing and communications for a number of organizations over the past decade, including not-for-profit organizations and, most recently for Alberta’s first and only free workplace Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Hub, the Gateway to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Hub.

Shannon has and continues to lend her time and talent to creating inclusive spaces and workplaces for equity-deserving groups, with a significant focus and passion on supported employment and the inclusion of folks with disability within the workforce. Since 2020, Shannon has been an active committee member on the Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) Alberta Provincial Steering Committee and has been instrumental in creating a formal provincial strategy and brand and securing provincial grant funding. Shannon has also volunteered with the Calgary Stampede since 2013.

Shannon possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Calgary, has successfully completed Anti-Racism Organization Change (AROC) Training, and is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

Equity and Inclusive Leadership (EIL) Interns

Assad Ali Bik

Assad Ali Bik (he/him)

Assad Ali Bik is a thesis-based Graduate student at the Werklund School of Education currently researching the intersection of newcomer youth, sport participation and leadership development. As a first generation immigrant from Afghanistan, he found the value of leadership development through sport participation here in Canada, and thus is keen on applying his academic prowess in this area of study. Assad holds a Bachelor’s Degree, with honours, majoring in Philosophy from the University of Calgary. His undergraduate thesis explored environmental racism in the North American context and argued that racism was a factor of environmental degradation.  

Assad Ali Bik has dedicated much of his professional experience to the field of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion through his various roles as an Executive of the Students’ Union, UCalgary Senator, Graduate Resaerch Assistant, and Graduate Students Association Chair of the EDIA Committee. He is incredibly keen to continue this great work in his role as the Equity and Inclusive Leadership Graduate Intern at the UCalgary Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.  

Mojtaba Rostami

Mojtaba Rostami (he/him)

Mojtaba Rostami is a dedicated PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Calgary, specializing in the social psychology of identity and intergroup relations. His educational background includes a BA in English Language and Literature, a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics, and a second master's degree in Sociology.

A lifelong fascination with cultural diversity and a commitment to fostering positive intercultural contact among diverse social identity groups are the driving forces in Mojtaba’s academic pursuits. His research is centred on elucidating the factors that shape perceptions of social inclusion or exclusion and their consequent impact on mental well-being, social participation, and professional productivity in culturally diverse urban environments.

At the PhD level, Mojtaba's research specifically addresses the challenges confronting multiculturalism in Canadian post-secondary education. His goal is to identify the factors that either contribute to or undermine initiatives aimed at creating an inclusive, culturally rich, and emotionally safe space for all members of the campus community.

Molly Clare

Molly Clare (she/her)

Molly Clare is a Master of Arts student in the Sociology department at the University of Calgary. Molly completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminal Justice at Mount Royal University. Molly has a variety of research interests that surround violence against women, deviance, risk theories, victimology and the role and perceptions of law enforcement. 

Molly has a passion for volunteering and has been a Victims Advocate at the Cochrane and Area Victim Services for over three years. Molly's volunteer work also extends within academia, whilst co-creating a club at Mount Royal University called "MRU Justice Advocates" and working within the Sociology Graduate Student Caucus. She has worked in the public service and law enforcement sector for over 3 years. Molly has a variety of skills and experience that ground her worldview and guide her passion for helping the people around her. In her spare time, Molly spends time attending to her wide variety of house and outdoor plants, weightlifting and exploring the world!

Saaka Sulemana

Saaka Sulemana Saaka (he/him)

Saaka Sulemana Saaka is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science. His dissertation research, which has received Tri-Council Funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), focuses on ministerial appointments across Africa, with a particular emphasis on the contributions of women cabinet ministers in policymaking. 

Prior to joining UCalgary, he earned a Master of Arts in Political Science from Brock University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Ghana. Beyond academics, Saaka has showcased exemplary commitment to student leadership. In the 2022/23 academic year, he held the position of President of the Graduate Students’ Association at the University of Calgary and served on the University of Calgary Board of Governors, a role he held until June 2023. 

Shena Kaul

Shena Kaul (she/her)

Shena is an anti-racist feminist, an advocate in her community, and a doctoral candidate in Communication and Media Studies. She applies an inclusive lens to her work and campaigns for equitable change through research and education. Her PhD work centres around the online activism of racialized girls in Canada. In Winter 2024, Shena is instructing COMS 479: Feminist Media Studies, focusing on concepts such as intersectionality, representation, and queer theory. 

With a Master’s degree in Economics and over seven years of experience as an economist in both the public and private sector, Shena also brings a breadth of knowledge and expertise in research, analysis, and data-driven policy making. 

Shena is passionate about community-based girl advocacy. She volunteered as a facilitator for a girl’s feminist leadership program at the Women’s Centre of Calgary for several years. Currently, she sits on the Board of Directors for the Girls Action Foundation.

Tsion Beire

Tsion Beire (she/her)

Tsion is a University of Calgary student interested in improving the health outcomes of underrepresented groups. With a background in the insurance industry, she has witnessed firsthand the discrimination faced by minority groups in the health industry. She is interested in actively participating in research endeavours that have an impact on shaping policies.

She is actively engaged in her Ethiopian and Eritrean communities, and is dedicated to supporting youth in gaining equal access to technology and programming. Tsion's ultimate goal is to empower underrepresented groups to pursue post-secondary education in STEM-related fields. 

Currently serving as the Artist in Residence at the women's center, Tsion employs spoken word and oil painting to assist others in overcoming conflict and adversity. Inspired by Dr. Gregor Wolbring's work on the impact of artificial intelligence and technology on marginalized populations, Tsion is keen on research to address these challenges.

Request a workshop

OEDI delivers workshops on various diversity and inclusion topics to student, faculty and staff. Literacy and education are crucial mechanisms used to ignite change and foster inclusion. The impact of training and education depends on community members' understanding and committing to life-long learning, practicing mindfulness and taking responsibility for building an inclusive university.

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Report an incident

If you need to discuss an issue of protected disclosure or other concern, contact the Protected Disclosure Advisor, who is available to all members of the university community and serves as a central, confidential resource.

Contact the Office of Protected Disclosure and Research Integrity >>

EDI Events

Find recorded webinars and upcoming events to attend. 

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Our location

The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is located at:

AD116, Administration Building
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4


In 2019 the University of Calgary created the position of Vice Provost Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to oversee a new Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The OEDI builds on and extends the work of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Protected Disclosure (ODEPD), which was established in February 2014 to advance the core values that underlie the university's strategic direction, Eyes High.

Designed to deal with both individual and systemic issues, the OEDI reports to the Provost and Vice-President (Academic)