Dean’s Executive Team
The Dean’s Executive Team supports the Departments, Schools, Centres and other units in achieving the Faculty’s academic mission, and provides strategic leadership to the Faculty of Medicine. The Team determines direction to inform decisions on cross-cutting issues and opportunities that affect the Faculty’s image, profile and success. The Team fosters and exemplifies the Faculty values. They also build and nurture external relationships including the UBC Executive, government, clinical and community partners. Learn more about the Team and each portfolio.
As Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Gavin Stuart creates and empowers an effective leadership team for the Faculty and ensures a supportive and exciting environment for learners, faculty and staff. An active teacher, clinician and researcher, he is a role model of an academic health leader.
A native of Manitoba, Dr. Stuart attended the University of Western Ontario for his undergraduate medical and postgraduate training in obstetrics and gynecology. This was followed by a Fellowship in Gynecological Oncology at Wayne State University in Detroit, where he stayed on as a faculty member.
Prior to joining The University of British Columbia, Dr. Stuart was Professor and Head of the Department of Oncology at the University of Calgary and Director of the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, a position he had held for 12 years. He was appointed Vice President of the Alberta Cancer Board in 1999.
Dr. Stuart has been Dean of the UBC Faculty of Medicine since September 2003. Upon his renewal in September 2009, he was also appointed UBC's Vice Provost, Health which involves representing the University in health-related interactions with other universities and health authorities.
As Vice Dean, Academic Affairs since July 2012, Dr. Frederick Mikelberg provides internal leadership to the Faculty on academic affairs. He ensures that succession planning and recruitment are well managed and he actively supports the process of strategic planning. Dr. Mikelberg represents the Faculty in the absence of the Dean.
Dr. Mikelberg completed his medical degree at McGill University, followed by postgraduate training at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Queen's University and UBC.
Since joining the UBC Faculty of Medicine in 1984, he has served as Director of Undergraduate Education, Residency Program Director, Director of the Glaucoma Fellowship Training Program, and Head of the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences. A Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, Dr. Mikelberg's clinical practice is focused on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with glaucoma and his research examines the assessment of the optic disc in glaucoma.
As Executive Associate Dean, Clinical Partnerships and Professionalism, Dr. Parhar provides strategic coordination and leadership between the Faculty of Medicine and the Health Authorities. Working with the provincial government, other universities, agencies and other public sector institutions, he supports faculty members engaged in clinical activities throughout the Province, and provides oversight of the Office of Clinical Faculty Affairs.
In addition, Dr. Parhar provides professionalism leadership to facilitate the prevention and resolution of concerns and complaints across all sites for undergraduate students, post-graduate trainees, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty members.
After growing up in Kitimat, BC, Dr. Parhar received his MD from the University of Calgary in 1992 and subsequently completed his postgraduate training at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. His clinical practice in Vancouver Coastal Health and in Fraser Health focuses on immigrants, refugees, workers’ health and patients with severe disabilities. He teaches extensively in undergraduate and postgraduate programs on the topics of professionalism, equity, cultural safety, psychosocial aspects of healthcare, and medical disability. Dr. Parhar is currently the principal investigator on several educational innovation grants employing interprofessional models to address issues important to underserved populations, particularly Indigenous Peoples.
As Executive Associate Dean, Education, Dr. David Snadden establishes and communicates a vision for the Faculty of Medicine’s educational programs. He ensures that accreditation standards are met across health education programs, in addition to the appropriate integration of educational programs across the health disciplines and across the continuum of learning. Dr. Snadden creates and nurtures effective partnerships to deliver the Faculty’s distributed model of health professional education.
Dr. David Snadden completed his medical degree at the University of Dundee and his family residency training in Inverness, United Kingdom. He subsequently completed a master’s degree in Family Medicine from the University of Western Ontario and a doctorate from the University of Dundee.
Dr. Snadden joined UBC in July 2003 as Associate Dean, Northern Medical Program, and in 2008 he took on the role of Regional Associate Dean, Northern BC. In these roles, Dr. Snadden worked in partnership with the University of Northern British Columbia and Northern Health to develop and implement the Northern Medical Program and the expansion of postgraduate medical education in the north. Dr. Snadden served as Acting Co-Executive Associate Dean, Education from August 2010 to November 2011 prior to his appointment as Executive Associate Dean, Education.
Dr. Howard Feldman is a Professor of Neurology in the Department of Medicine. He was appointed Executive Associate Dean, Research in January 2012. In this role, he leads the development of a health and life sciences research strategy and ensures the research is translational and of the highest caliber. Dr. Feldman provides guidance to health research program leaders and ensures resources are supported effectively across the Faculty on all campuses and Health Authorities. He maintains his active research and clinical program in Alzheimer’s disease and geriatric cognitive disorders.
He has held the positions of Head of the Division of Neurology at the UBC Faculty of Medicine and Vancouver Coastal Health, and the Director of the Clinic for Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders at UBC Hospital. In 2007, he was appointed the inaugural Fisher Family and Alzheimer Society of British Columbia Endowed Professor for Research in Alzheimer’s Disease.
In January 2009, Dr. Feldman took a leave from his academic appointments to take on the role of Vice President and Therapeutic Area Head in Neuroscience, Global Clinical Research and Development at Bristol-Myers Squibb. In this role, he led research and development of novel pharmaceutical therapies for neurological and psychiatric conditions at the company’s laboratories in Connecticut.
Appointed to the position of Associate Dean, Health Professions Education in March 2013, Dr. William Miller provides strategic leadership to the health professions (other than medicine) within the Faculty. He ensures that resources are optimized across the health professions and that cross-cutting education themes identified in the Strategic Plan are embedded in the Faculty’s educational programs.
Dr. Miller completed his undergraduate degree in Occupational Therapy at UBC followed by graduate studies in Occupational Therapy, and Epidemiology and Biostatics at the University of Western Ontario. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship in Rehabilitation Sciences, he joined UBC’s Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy. Dr. Miller is currently a Professor in the Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy.
His research is focused on the measurement, determination and epidemiology of mobility disability and its influence on the participation in daily and social activities of adults. In addition to his research, Dr. Miller teaches students in the Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences graduate programs. He also provides continuing education to occupational therapists and other health professionals.
As Executive Director, Faculty Affairs, Shanda Jordan Gaetz provides professional leadership in all areas related to organizational effectiveness, human resources and governance in order to support the Faculty’s strategic commitments, including that of being an exceptional work environment. Working closely with our internal and external partners, she works to improve collaboration and coordination to support faculty and staff at all of our sites.
With more than 15 years of experience at UBC, Ms. Jordan Gaetz has a strong background in human resources. She previously filled a variety of roles within UBC Human Resources, including Human Resources Advisor for the Faculty of Medicine. Before taking on the role of Executive Director, Faculty Affairs in June 2013, she was the Faculty’s Director of Human Resources.
As Executive Director, Finance and Operations, Michael will join the Dean’s Executive Team and provide critical strategic, financial and organizational support to the Faculty to fulfill its academic mission and strategic priorities. With functional responsibilities for Finance, Information Technology, Space Management and Administration, Michael will cultivate and foster strategic relationships throughout the Faculty, UBC, partner Universities, provincial Health Authorities and other Faculty stakeholders.
Michael first joined UBC in 2009 in the Treasury department where he was responsible for the University’s short- and long-term cash and debt management as well as on- and off-campus leasing activity. In 2012, he relocated to UBC’s Okanagan campus as the Associate Vice-President, Finance and Operations. As a key member of UBC Okanagan’s executive team, he provided leadership in capital and financial planning, financial operations, campus planning and infrastructure development, supply chain and procurement services, facilities management, operational sustainability, risk management, ancillary services and information technology. Along with his Bachelor of Business Administration, Michael is a silver medallist Chartered Professional Accountant, CMA.
As Special Advisor to the Dean, Government Relations, Cindi Valensky liaises with the UBC Executive and UBC Government Relations on matters of significant impact to the Faculty. She provides enabling linkage to the Provincial Government and supports the Dean in responding to new issues of significant impact to the Faculty.
Ms. Valensky brings over 20 years of management experience working with the not-for-profit sector, most recently as VP and Chief Development Officer, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. After taking a sabbatical to spend time with her young son and complete an MBA, she joined the Faculty in 2007.
Ms. Valensky worked initially with the Dean and Executive Team to recruit a strong Development and Alumni Affairs team, and has also played a significant role in development of the Faculty’s strategic plan.