Caribbean-born educator lands top job here

By RON FANFAIR

A University of the West Indies (UWI) graduate has been appointed the executive director of the newly established Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education (COE).

Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow – who has over three decades of talent development experience specializing in the areas of executive and leadership development, curriculum development and implementation, technology-mediated distance learning and program evaluation – takes up her new post with immediate effect.

“This is an exciting challenge for me,” said Chandler-Crichlow. “I look forward to bringing together stakeholders from the financial services sector, government and the educational community to make the most of Toronto region’s ‘people’ advantage.

“Toronto has an international reputation for the quality of its workforce. The level of education, including specialized designations, the diversity of our community and the sophistication of the businesses themselves – all of this provides us with comparative advantage and the COE will help us maintain our leadership.”

Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA) president Janet Ecker said the COE needs strong leadership in its infancy stage.

“We are delighted that we have recruited such a fine candidate to launch this initiative and bring focus to the talent needs of Toronto’s financial services sector,” said Ecker, a former senior cabinet minister in the Mike Harris and Ernie Eves governments.

The TFSA, in its landmark report titled, Talent Matters, cited the establishment of a centre of excellence in financial services education as a key recommendation. The report warned that a lack of critical talent will continue to grow unless steps are taken to attract, develop and retain people with specialized skills.

The provincial government embraced the recommendation and pledged $4 million over three years to set up the centre.

Intended to be a catalyst for sector-wide collaboration, the COE will act as a research and information aggregator, facilitate exchanges between employers and educators to enhance the focus and quality of educational offerings and partner with others to help attract local and global talent to the region.

Chandler-Crichlow, who graduated from the UWI St. Augustine campus in Trinidad & Tobago with a Diploma in Education and a Bachelor of Science degree (honours), holds a Masters in Education from Harvard University and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Toronto. She worked as an associate vice-president, Education and Training, at TD Bank Financial Group and served as executive and leadership development advisor to a number of international agencies, including the Toronto International Leadership Centre for Financial Sector Supervision which is an international financial sector development initiative funded by the federal government, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

In addition, she has overseen the design, development, delivery and evaluation of capacity building programs for financial sector supervisors in T & T, Brazil, Poland, Singapore and Malaysia and also played a key role in the development of leadership programs for international financial sector supervisory associations.

Chandler-Crichlow, who has extensive experience in the private sector and advises leaders on organizational change and staff development, has been a consultant to the World Bank, the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Malaysia. She has also conducted high-level needs analyses for both industry sectors and large organizations for the development of integrated education and training curricula designed to meet the learning needs of diverse stakeholder groups.

 

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