NSCAD University appoints Aoife Mac Namara as new President

HALIFAX, NS – NSCAD University (The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr. Aoife Mac Namara as President. Her appointment is effective August 4th, 2019.

“NSCAD University is an eminent institution, globally recognized for the impact it has in the creative realm,” says Louise Anne Comeau, Chair of NSCAD’s Board of Governors. “Over the last number of years, the Board, administration, faculty, and staff have worked to secure NSCAD’s continued success. We are seeing the results of this commitment reflected in a stable financial position and year-on-year growth in student enrolment. Now, under Dr. Mac Namara’s leadership, we are poised and ready to write the next chapter in NSCAD’s storied history.”

Dr. Mac Namara brings to her new role extensive international experience, a global perspective, and a passion for arts education, ingenuity, and innovative practices. Born in Nova Scotia, Dr. Mac Namara moved to Ireland as a child. She comes to NSCAD from British Columbia, where she served as the esteemed Dean of Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology. She has had a vast and successful 30-year career in arts education, working in academic institutions in the United Kingdom and Canada, including Emily Carr University of Art + Design, University of Arts, London, and Middlesex University.

“I am extraordinarily honoured to serve as the next President of NSCAD University,” said Dr. Mac Namara. “As someone who has lived and worked abroad, I can speak to NSCAD’s prominent global reputation as a significant contributor to contemporary visual art and material culture. I am excited to work with our entire university community to build on this legacy, share our incredible stories, and identify even more opportunities to contribute to Nova Scotia’s cultural, economic and environmental future. Our work focuses on preparing students for a future of creative, innovative, and strategic thinking. Those skills are needed now more than ever – and by all Nova Scotians, not just our artists and designers.”

The appointment comes after an extensive search, receiving interest from candidates all over the world. The criteria for the position included an aspiration for academic excellence, an ability to effectively represent NSCAD throughout Canada and abroad, and a commitment to manage the institution in line with its strategic vision. The position was previously held by Professor Dianne Taylor-Gearing, who has decided to return home to her native United Kingdom after an exceptional five-year tenure.


NSCAD University offers a rigorous, interdisciplinary educational experience that is unlike any other art school in the country. For 132 years, our students, faculty and administrators have shared a commitment to progressive thinking and cutting-edge art, craft and design. For more information visit www.nscad.ca/

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For further information, please contact
Jolinne Kearns, Director of Marketing and Communications
T: 902-494-8251  E: jkearns@nscad.ca