May 28, 2015
Eric Newell is Chancellor Emeritus and Special Advisor to the Provost, the University of Alberta, with an exceptional history of corporate leadership and achievement, and a notable record of service to industry and community. He served for 14 years as CEO (1989 to 2003) at Syncrude Canada Ltd. followed by an additional nine years as Chairman (1994 to 2003). He also served as President from 1989 to 1997. Under his leadership, Syncrude, which is the world’s largest producer of crude oil from oil sands, became a key player in the western Canadian economy. Currently Dr. Newell is serving as Chair of the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation, an arm’s length organization that is responsible for investing money collected by Alberta’s emissions reductions regulations into projects that support emissions reduction technologies and improve the province’s ability to adapt to climate change. He also serves as Board Chair for the Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions, which acts as the technology arm of the Government of Alberta in these critical areas for responsible natural resource development.
Dr. Newell plays an active role promoting and creating opportunities for the wider community and is well known for his successful and ongoing efforts to strengthen partnerships between education and business, and for championing corporate social responsibility. His commitment to consensus building and finding cooperative solutions has earned him the respect and trust of the Aboriginal community, the energy industry, and government and community leaders. Dr. Newell has worked extensively to encourage Alberta businesses to work in partnership with post-secondary institutions to develop scholarships and strengthen the quality of programs and experiences available to all Alberta students. His longstanding association with the University of Alberta includes service as Chair of the Board of Governors (1996 to 2002), before becoming the 18th Chancellor of the University (2004 to 2008).
Dr. Newell is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence. He has had Honorary Doctorates conferred on him by the University of Lethbridge (2005), University of British Columbia (2003), University of Alberta (2002), and Athabasca University (1995). He has also been honoured by many other organizations whose interests lie in business leadership, education, youth development, and public policy. The Energy Council of Canada named him the 2003 Energy Person of the Year and he was inducted into the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2012, he was recognized by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business with the Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations for his enduring commitment to the prosperity of Aboriginal communities.