Steven Jones will begin a five-year term as executive director of the School of Public Health on Sept. 1. Jones was formerly an adjunct assistant professor of immunology at the University of Manitoba, and is currently chief executive officer of Cognoveritas Consulting Inc., and a senior advisor to McKinsey & Company global management consulting firm. He has extensive international experience in places as diverse as Sierra Leone and Saudi Arabia to China and the United Kingdom, as well as a decade working for Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
“I am thrilled to be joining the School of Public Health and I am very much looking forward to working with the faculty and staff to deliver on the enormous potential that exists in the school and university,” said Jones. “Some of the biggest challenges of the next century will be public health issues, and the school is well placed to address these problems.”
Jones earned a Bachelor of Science Honours (1992) in cell biology and microbiology and a PhD (1997) in immunology and microbiology at the University of Plymouth, U.K. He has worked on health projects with the World Health Organization and the World Bank overseas and has also filled major public health security roles with Health Canada. Jones served as acting director of bioterrorism and public health emergency response for the Public Health Agency of Canada, working with the RCMP and the Canadian Forces to manage biological security operations for the Vancouver Olympic Games and the G8 and G20 summits in Vancouver.
Jones received an RCMP Assistant Deputy Commissioners Commendation for training and support to counter-terrorism operations in 2009, a Commander’s Commendation from the Canadian Special Forces for training in 2007 and a Research Fellowship Award in 2001-2004 from the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence. He was a principal investigator on nine major multi-million-dollar research projects from 2001 to 2013, exploring SARS, Ebola, Hantavirus and a variety of biothreat agents, and was previously interim manager of Canada’s only Level 4 micro-biological lab.
“Professor Jones brings a wealth of global experience in hands-on health management as well as an extensive research background that ideally positions him to take a leadership role with the School of Public Health,” said Michael Atkinson, U of S interim provost and vice-president academic. “His remarkable record of achievement and service nationally and internationally will help strengthen the academic mission of the school and greatly enhance our community connections.”
Jones takes over from Dr. George Mutwiri, who joined SPH as a professor in 2009—two years after the graduate school was established—and served as interim executive director since July 2015.