Jan. 27, 2021

Simpson Centre for Agricultural and Food Innovation and Public Education appoints new director

Guillaume Lhermie named director of the Simpson Centre
Guillaume lhermie
Guillaume lhermie

The School of Public Policy, with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM), is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Guillaume Lhermie, DVM, PhD, as the new director of the Simpson Centre.

Almost a year ago, on Feb. 7, 2020, the Simpson Centre for Agricultural and Food Innovation and Public Education was launched with a transformational contribution from John Simpson, long-standing University of Calgary donor and chairman and CEO, CANA Group of Companies. Finding a dynamic director for the centre was a priority and involved an international search.

“Guillaume was selected after the most exacting process I have ever experienced, with candidates coming from five continents. He has a unique transdisciplinary profile, with experience in the private sector, the public sector and of course, a brilliant academic track record,” says Dr. Pierre-Gerlier Forest, PhD, professor and director, James S. and Barbara A. Palmer Chair in Public Policy.

Lhermie came to Calgary from the University of Toulouse, where he was associate professor in animal health and veterinary public health economics. He also held an adjunct assistant professor position at Cornell University for the last two years. Lhermie is a veterinarian, with an MSc in economics and a PhD in pharmaco-epidemiology and innovation, and will hold an academic appointment at UCVM.

“When I was approached to lead the centre, I was not only impressed by the enthusiasm and insightful objectives, but inspired by the mission of generating knowledge and educating people. Agriculture and rural development matter a lot to me, and having the opportunity to lead work in this field is a blessing,” says Lhermie.

Lhermie’s research interests are in planetary health and infectious diseases challenges, specifically the interface between animal agriculture and human health. His research focuses on the economics of antimicrobial use and resistance at the farm, supply chains, and global levels.

His activities help inform policy-makers, helping them to design sound and acceptable policies. Lhermie’s work will contribute to the University of Calgary’s increasing research and teaching strength in the agricultural sector.

“We are excited about the unique skill set Dr. Lhermie brings to the University of Calgary,” says Dr. Robert McCorkell, DVM, PhD, and interim dean of UCVM. “Veterinary medicine plays an important role in society, with its connection to animal welfare, food security and safety, and diseases that affect both animal and human health. Dr. Lhermie will be a significant voice shaping public policy in the agriculture sector.”

“The arrival of Guillaume Lhermie as the director of the Simpson Centre clearly demonstrates our intentions to drive research that informs the public stakeholder with facts about agri-food and agri-business. I am thrilled to add Guillaume’s talents to the University of Calgary and The School of Public Policy. We have much to do, but we are on the way to getting the job done,” says John Simpson.

The goal is to make the Simpson Centre a locus of Canadian research that strengthens and supports the growth and sustainability of agri-food and agri-business — especially in western Canada. The centre continues to develop partnerships with other research centres in the province, in Canada and beyond and looks forward to its one-year anniversary next month.

The School of Public Policy is Canada’s leading policy school. The School was founded with a vision to drive policy discourse with relevant research, outreach and teaching. Its faculty is composed of scholars with exceptional academic credentials and experienced practitioners in business, government and the non-profit sector. The School’s research is renowned for its independence, credibility and fact-based analysis. The School’s influence is reflected by its wide dissemination among policy-makers, business leaders and the media; it is Canada’s most cited policy school, by both traditional media and academic publications.

The University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was established in 2005 to meet Alberta’s need for highly skilled veterinary graduates to support rural Alberta, production animal and equine industries, animal and human health research, and public health. In a short period of time, UCVM has carved a reputation for itself as place for innovative veterinary education and cutting-edge basic and applied research, now ranking in the top 50 veterinary programs worldwide.