Published on February 01, 2021
(EDMONTON, AB) Laura Jo Gunter, the seventh president and CEO of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), spoke about the polytechnic’s role in fostering prosperity through education at her virtual installation on Monday afternoon. The event marked Gunter’s official welcome to NAIT, following her appointment to the role on Aug. 24, 2020.
Gunter’s remarks focused on NAIT’s long-standing dedication to enhancing prosperity through hands-on learning and a practical approach to innovation. She reinforced the increasingly important roles of continuing education and microcredentials to help address skills gaps, as well as the need to embrace new technology and tools like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and simulations.
She also spoke about the positive impact NAIT’s applied research and support of industry – especially in energy, environment and sustainable development sectors – has had on Alberta, and her plan to lead growth in both areas. Gunter acknowledged that NAIT must become more inclusive and diverse as it continues to meet the evolving needs for skills and talent.
Gunter is the polytechnic’s first female president and a nationally respected leader in post-secondary and private sectors. She came to NAIT after serving three years as president and CEO of Bow Valley College in Calgary and has held senior executive roles at George Brown College and Seneca College in Toronto.
The installation – a formal acknowledgement of a change in leadership – is the president’s first formal introduction to students, alumni, industry and members of the community.
Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor, Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani, Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, and NAIT Board Chair Ray Pisani participated in the event, congratulating Gunter on her appointment.
“I came to NAIT because I am a great believer in the direct connection between polytechnic education and prosperity. NAIT is making a difference because we know polytechnic education is the key to a better future. We have the courage to be agile and creative so that we can continue to meet the ever-changing needs for skills and talent. I look forward to the days and years ahead where we can build a better future for our students, alumni, industry partners, Alberta, and Canada.”
- Laura Jo Gunter, NAIT’s President and CEO.
“On behalf of the NAIT Board of Directors, it is my pleasure and privilege to welcome Laura Jo to the institute. Laura Jo brings tremendous strength to the role. She is an innovative and collaborative leader who has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities we see today in Alberta. She has a pragmatic perspective on contributing to the well-being and prosperity of this province and she sees NAIT students and graduates as essential to that. Laura Jo Gunter is the right leader for NAIT, today and in the future.”
- Ray Pisani, NAIT’s Board of Governors Chair
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and skilled trades. With 35,000 credit and non-credit students and a 98 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to the provincial economy. NAIT also contributes to Alberta's prosperity by helping business and industry become more competitive with Industry Solutions offered through its Productivity and Innovation Centre, including technology adoption, business and product innovation and industry-driven research. Recognized as one of Alberta's top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.
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