Deep Saini was appointed the 18th Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University in April 2023. A respected researcher and distinguished academic leader who has worked across continents, he brings to the role a strong international perspective and in-depth knowledge of the global higher education landscape.
Professor Saini grew up in India, where he completed a Master of Science (Honours) in Botany from Punjab Agricultural University and later earned a PhD in Plant Physiology from Australia’s University of Adelaide. He previously worked at five of Canada’s U15 universities, including as a Vice-President of the University of Toronto and Principal of its Mississauga campus, Dean of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, and Director General of the Plant Biology Research Institute at the Université de Montréal. Prior to joining McGill, he served as Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Canberra in Australia and later as President and Vice-Chancellor of Dalhousie University in Canada. He is the first person of colour to lead McGill and the second McGill principal, after Arthur Eustace Morgan in 1935, to have previously headed a university.
Professor Saini has held national and international governance and advisory roles, including on the Executive Committee of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities, governing Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and the Board of Directors of Universities Canada, where serves as Vice-Chair and will begin his term as Chair in the fall of 2023. He has served as the President of the Canadian Society of Plant Biologists and the Federation of Canadian Plant Science Societies. His numerous awards and honours include Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales, the Male Professional of the year by Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Medals.