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Executive Biographies

SAIT is under the administration of the following Executive Management Team:

Dr. David Ross Dr. David Ross, President and CEO

Dr. David Ross is SAIT's 16th President.

Under Dr. Ross' leadership, SAIT has become Alberta's third largest institution. SAIT is known internationally for its applied education, solution-focused research and enterprising collaborations with people and partners from around the globe.

Prior to joining SAIT, Dr. Ross was President and CEO of Langara College where he transformed the institution through extensive growth and strategic market development.

A life-long educator, Dr. Ross has held academic appointments in Business at both the University of New Brunswick and Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Active in his community and on the national and international levels in post-secondary education, Dr. Ross is a Member of the Board of several foundations, and associations including the Calgary Homeless Foundation, and the Business Research Advisory Council for the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council. He is also Chair of the Canadian Bureau of International Education, Chair of the International Committee for Colleges and Institutes Canada, and is a member of the Business Council of Canada's Higher Education — Business Roundtable.

Dr. Ross holds a PhD from the University of Nebraska, Master of Aquaculture (MAq) from Simon Fraser University, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) from Dalhousie University. David lives in Calgary, Canada with his wife Ewa and son, Aleksander.

Roy Daykin, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, SAITRoy Daykin, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Corporate Services

With more than 30 professional years in the education system, Roy Daykin brings a wealth of knowledge and post-secondary experience to the role of Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Corporate Services.

As a key member of SAIT's leadership team, Daykin oversees SAIT's financial, technology and capital planning to ensure efficient and effective operations continue to be in alignment with SAIT's students-first mandate.  

Prior to joining SAIT, Daykin most recently spent the last three years as Vice President, Employee and Corporate Services at Okanagan College in British Columbia. He has extensive institutional leadership experience in finance, human resources, facilities, technology, risk management and business services.

Daykin is a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA). He also holds a Master of Arts in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University.

Daykin is committed to lifelong learning. His scholarly activity includes teaching experience in accounting and numerous works on topics such as improving processes and understanding cost drivers in the post-secondary sector.

Brad DonaldsonBrad Donaldson, Vice President, Academic

Brad Donaldson is focused on providing the highest level of competency for SAIT students.

He views education as an integral part of life, and is passionate about the way learning — both formal and experiential — can become a powerful state of mind.

Donaldson became Vice President, Academic in March 2015, but is no stranger to SAIT — previously Donaldson was the Dean of the School of Manufacturing and Automation. From 2011 to 2015, he was the Vice President, Academic at Red Deer College.

Twenty years in engineering and manufacturing gives him a strong background in process and structure, but Brad credits his time in post-secondary for teaching him the importance of people in delivering a solid educational experience.

Donaldson holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Master's degree, both specializing in Chemical Engineering, from the University of Toronto. He is currently completing a Doctor of Education in Post-Secondary Leadership at the University of Calgary.

Donaldson is active in the community and has served on provincial committees, including the Alberta Senior Academic Officers and the Alberta Association in Higher Education for Information Technology. He currently sits on the Board of the Chair Academy.

Dr. Alex ZahavichAlex Zahavich, Vice President, Corporate Development and Applied Research

Dr. Alex Zahavich is responsible for developing and maintaining SAIT's corporate-development and applied-research strategies and initiatives. This includes corporate training, continuing- and distance-learning, as well as industry-based applied research and technology development.

Zahavich has served as Dean of the School of Manufacturing and Automation, as well as the MacPhail School of Energy at SAIT. Prior to his current appointment, Zahavich was the Director of Applied Research and Innovation Services, a department he grew from two staff members and researchers to 40 over the course of 10 years.

Before joining SAIT, Zahavich was Vice President of Production and Product Development at Uniplast Films Canada, the founding coordinator of the Technology Transfer Institute and an instructor of Quality Management, Mathematics, Statistics and Designed Experiments at Mohawk College. He also worked for Dow Chemical Canada and the National Research Council of Canada.

Zahavich holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from McMaster University. His professional memberships include the Association of Professional Engineers and Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA). He is a member of the Board of Directors for Partners in Research, ASTech Foundation, Manning Innovation Awards (Calgary Chapter) and the Alberta Skeleton Association.

Heather Magotiaux, Vice President, External RelationsHeather Magotiaux, Vice President, External Relations

Heather Magotiaux brings 16 years of executive leadership and two decades of strategic communications experience from the health and advanced education sectors to SAIT.

Her talents in strategic communications, resource development and reputation management have made her an award-winning strategist and allowed her to be a results-oriented leader who builds high-performing teams.

Most recently, Magotiaux served as CEO of the Saskatchewan Health and Research Foundation from 2015 to 2017 where she fostered transformative change in health research. As Vice President, University Advancement at the University of Saskatchewan for 12 years, and at Saint Francis Xavier University for two years, she excelled in philanthropy and fund development. At the University of Saskatchewan, she led a team that raised more than $350 million in funding. Her passion for advancing research and student success will serve SAIT and the province of Alberta well.

Magotiaux holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Regina and is currently completing a Master of Communications from McMaster University.

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