Meric S. Gertler began his term as the 16th President of the University of Toronto on November 1, 2013. Prior to that, he served as Dean of Arts & Science—the largest faculty at the University—from 2008 to 2013, where he championed many important innovations in undergraduate teaching and learning.
He is Professor of Geography and Planning, the Goldring Chair in Canadian Studies, and a member of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. His research investigates the role of city-regions as sites of innovation in the global economy, and the foundations for local economic success and prosperity.
Professor Gertler has advised local, regional and national governments in Canada, the United States, Singapore and Europe, as well as international agencies such as the OECD and the European Union. He has authored or edited nine books, including The New Oxford Handbook of Economic Geography. He has held visiting appointments at Oxford, University College London, UCLA, and the University of Oslo.
Professor Gertler is a director of Canada’s Business + Higher Education Roundtable and the MaRS Discovery District and a trustee of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. He chairs Universities Canada and the Academic Committee of the China Institute for Urban Governance. He previously served on the International Advisory Board of Uppsala University in Sweden and on the Expert Panel on Business Innovation in Canada for the Council of Canadian Academies; the Ontario government’s Highly Skilled Workforce Planning and Partnership Table; the Singapore Ministry of Education’s 11th International Academic Advisory Panel; and as past chair of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities.
A graduate of McMaster University (BA), the University of California, Berkeley (MCP) and Harvard University (PhD), Professor Gertler holds honorary doctorates from Lund University, Sweden, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, and Université de Montréal. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Academy of Social Sciences (UK), the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.
He has received the Award for Scholarly Distinction in Geography from the Canadian Association of Geographers, the Distinguished Scholarship Honor from the Association of American Geographers, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in December 2015.