The Canadian Light Source at USask. (Photo: CLS)
The Canadian Light Source at USask. (Photo: CLS)

Former provincial minister Rob Norris departs Canadian Light Source

After successfully completing his three-year term as senior government relations officer at the University of Saskatchewan’s Canadian Light Source, former provincial cabinet minister Rob Norris is leaving that role and retiring from the University of Saskatchewan.

“Since ground-breaking in 1999, I have worked to support the CLS, serving as a champion of Canada’s only synchrotron within Saskatchewan, across Canada and around the world. Over the last three years, it has been a privilege working with our world-leading scientists to highlight their remarkable research and the importance of the CLS to the University of Saskatchewan, our province, to Canada and for scientists and senior decision makers around the world,” says Norris.

During his tenure leading government relations efforts for the CLS, Norris helped to raise the profile of Canada’s synchrotron locally, nationally and globally, through efforts such as the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the facility’s groundbreaking, and most recently helping to negotiate and celebrate the partnership between the CLS, USask and CERN, Europe’s large particle accelerator.

Norris also strengthened relations with federal and provincial governments, through the coordination of numerous delegations to Ottawa and Regina, as well as hosting key federal and provincial parliamentarians and diplomats at the CLS.

Norris built strategic relationships with local private sector research partners, especially in agriculture, working with CLS scientists to showcase the synchrotron’s capabilities to companies such as NRGENE and PSI Engineering. 

Globally, Norris helped the CLS to reinforce research ties with partners in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, including raising CLS’s profile with the Organization of American States, supporting the creation of two MOUs with CERN, representing CLS in the Saskatchewan Premier’s trade mission to Japan in 2019, and as a catalyst for the partnership between the CLS and SESAME, the UNESCO-supported synchrotron in Jordan.

As Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan for Saskatoon-Greystone for nearly a decade, Norris held many ministerial portfolios during his tenure, including Advanced Education, Employment and Labour, Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board, Immigration, SaskPower, and Innovation. Further, he acted as the Minister Responsible for the Saskatchewan Research Council, the Premier’s Legislative Secretary for First Nations and Métis Peoples, and as Legislative Secretary for International Trade and Education. 

Beginning in 2016, as the university’s Senior Strategist for Partnerships within the Office of the Vice-President Research, Norris established key partnerships between the U of S’s major science centres and public and private partners across Canada and around the world. He also helped to shape the U of S strategy regarding the Government of Canada’s Innovative Supercluster Initiative announced in February 2018, and fostered greater engagement with numerous countries.

The university thanks Norris for his contributions and service to the institution.

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