Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette Helps Place New Dean for College of Biological Science at University of Guelph

January 20, 2021 – Nova Scotia-headquartered executive search firm Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette (KBRS) has helped to place Mazyar Fallah as the new dean of the College of Biological Science at the University of Guelph in Ontario. Dr. Fallah, whose term will be for five years, had been associate dean, research, and innovation, in the faculty of health at York University.

“Professor Fallah is an energetic and visionary leader, and I am delighted he will be joining the University of Guelph,” said Gwen Chapman, provost, and vice-president (academic), who chaired the search committee. “He has an extensive track record of strategic leadership at York University, holding senior positions relating to teaching, research and administration. He has great enthusiasm for the College of Biological Science and a clear vision of how to best position it for continued excellence and future growth.” Dr. Chapman said Dr. Fallah has been successful in facilitating research partnerships and increasing external research funding at York. He also initiated changes that enhanced student experience and success. She described him as an excellent researcher, with a strong track record in the neural control of movement and neuroscience.

An Excellent Addition

“As well, Mazyar has a strong, demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, and has made significant contributions in this area at his current university,” said Dr. Chapman. “He will bring this wealth of knowledge and experience to University of Guelph and will be an excellent addition to the leadership team and university community.”

The provost also thanked Glen Van Der Kraak, who has served as interim dean for the College of Biological Science since August 2019. “Glen’s experience and dedication were tremendous assets to the college and University during this time of transition,” she said. Dr. Van Der Kraak will help with the leadership transition for two months before taking an administrative leave.

Dr. Fallah joined York in 2005 as a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health and has served as associate dean of the faculty of health since 2015.

At York, he oversaw vision and implementation plans, strategic research plans and numerous initiatives for intensification and enhancement of research. He also initiated and led efforts in faculty support, development, and mentoring.


Dr. Fallah has led numerous submissions to funding agencies, including the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

“‘I am very excited to join the outstanding and vibrant community of the College of Biological Science,” said Dr. Fallah. “I look forward to working with colleagues in the college, as well as across the University, to further advance its leadership in innovative biological research, scholarship and experiential education.”

Dr. Fallah earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Johns Hopkins University and a master’s degree in psychology and doctorate in psychology and neuroscience from Princeton University. He was a post-doctoral researcher in the Systems Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA. He studies the neurophysiology of cognitive processes, has secured millions of dollars in external research funding and has authored numerous scientific publications.

Founded in 1975, Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette has an extensive record of experience in executive search in Canada. The firm has a team of over 60 professionals located in offices in Halifax, Moncton, St. John’s, Edmonton and Toronto. The firm works in partnership with Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge’s 27 offices across Canada and Knightsbridge Amrop’s network of more than 80 offices in 50 countries, giving Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette both local presence and global reach.


Last summer, KBRS assisted the St. John’s Board of Trade in recruiting AnnMarie Boudreau as its new CEO. “AnnMarie’s experience providing counsel and strategic advice to diverse companies throughout the region will be an outstanding asset to our membership and our team,” said Andrew Wadden, board chair of St. John’s Board of Trade. “Her passion for helping businesses succeed and making meaningful connections will position her to lead the St. John’s Board of Trade into the future.”

Over the past 15 years, Ms. Boudreau has been a strategic marketing communications consultant for NATIONAL, the largest public relations firm in Canada. She led and managed the firm’s St. John’s office for four years, providing strategic business and communications counsel to clients across a variety of sectors and industries. Ms. Boudreau recently worked with Nalcor Energy, managing the corporate communications team.

“Throughout her career, she has worked with the region’s largest and often most complex organizations to help shape their vision, build meaningful relationships, establish connections with stakeholders, and achieve their business objectives,” St. John’s Board of Trade said in a statement.

The St. John’s Board of Trade is dedicated to enhancing the prosperity of its members and to helping them realize their full potential. The organization is committed to influencing public policy and providing resources for strategic issues management, networking and business-building events.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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