Sharmilla Rasheed
Sharmilla Rasheed

The University of Guelph has named Sharmilla Rasheed as its new vice-president (finance and operations). Rasheed, who is currently vice-president (financial and information services) and chief financial officer (CFO) of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, will join U of G Dec. 3.

The announcement was made today by president Charlotte Yates, who chaired the search committee.

“Sharmilla is a respected executive leader, with a solid record of accomplishment and diverse experience in finance, capital planning, innovations in corporate services, information technology and operations,” Yates said.

“She is known for her ability to build relationships across communities and for handling complex and sensitive situations. She has a reputation for engaging effectively with both internal and external stakeholders to determine strategies and solutions.”

Yates said Rasheed’s experience in the health sector with its emphasis on performance-based funding will be invaluable for the University, now entering its third Strategic Mandate Agreement with the provincial government.

“Sharmilla is a great fit for U of G, and I am delighted to welcome her to the leadership team.”

In making today’s announcement, Yates expressed gratitude to Martha Harley, associate vice-president (human resources), who has been serving as interim vice-president since July 1 following the retirement of Don O’Leary. Harley will remain in the position until Dec. 3. Yates also thanked members of the search committee for their hard work and commitment.

Rasheed currently oversees finance, environmental services, information technology, risk and performance management at St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph and St. Joseph’s Lifecare Brantford. As CFO of St. Joseph’s Housing Corp., she has worked with external partners on multiple land development projects to support patient and resident care. She led a multi-year negotiation process with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for operational support and initiated fiscal sustainability processes that eliminated structural deficits.

All three organizations are part of the St. Joseph’s Health System based in Hamilton. Previously, Rasheed was deputy CFO of St. Joseph’s Health Care, managing a budget worth more than $650 million.

She is also the finance lead on a team charged with launching the Guelph – Puslinch Ontario Health Team, part of a provincial health-care restructuring initiative.

A certified professional accountant, Rasheed completed a master of business administration degree at Wilfrid Laurier University and undergraduate studies at the University of Waterloo.

She lives in Cambridge with her husband and three sons. She immigrated to Waterloo Region from Guyana in 1993.

At U of G, she will oversee a diverse portfolio, including financial services, human resources, physical resources, campus community police, fire prevention and parking services, hospitality services investment management and the real estate division.

“We are working and living in unprecedented times, with many challenges but great opportunities,” Rasheed said.

“I believe that universities have an integral role in collaborating with health care, government and industry to ensure that we have a better world for our children and us. And I want to be part of this. I am extremely passionate about education and our community and believe we as leaders need to work together to manage our resources effectively and efficiently to ensure that no one is left behind.”