Sept. 22, 2021 The Division of Human Resources & Equity is now called the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

Chancellor’s Leadership Award

Program Overview

Established in 1999, the Chancellor’s Leadership Award is part of the University of Toronto’s Pinnacle Awards Program, which recognizes exceptional contributions by administrative staff and librarians.

Recipients of the Chancellor’s Leadership Award demonstrate outstanding leadership and significantly advance the University’s mission to foster an academic community in which the learning and scholarship of every member may flourish.

There are three categories of the Chancellor’s Leadership Award:

  • Influential Leader
  • Distinguished Leader
  • Emerging Leader
The Chancellor’s Leadership Awards are a component of the University’s broader Awards of Excellence Program.

2023 Award Recipients

Influential Leader

Ron Saporta

Chief Operating Officer, Property Services & Sustainability, Operations & Real Estate Partnerships

Ron Saporta headshot

Ron Saporta has led and collaborated on a broad range of initiatives since he joined U of T that have had a significant and lasting impact on the institution.

Lauded by his colleagues and staff as “incredibly collaborative”, “supportive”, “unflappable”, “inspirational”, “innovative, energetic, and [with] a prodigious capacity to work in a manner that is engaging, enthusiastic and joyful”, Saporta is also recognized for his creative and outside-the-box thinking that has resulted in innovative problem solving throughout his portfolio. Saporta has made a monumental impact across U of T with his clear vision for the tri-campus in his role as Chief Operating Officer. He centres the impacts on student experience in every project he manages while looking for opportunities to improve how our campus facilities can support student learning. Saporta’s leadership and influence can be found on numerous initiatives at the University, including essential sustainability initiatives, the University’s response to COVID-19, and in the operationalization of experiential learning opportunities for our students. Despite his relatively brief tenure at U of T, he has demonstrated incredible leadership in our community.

Distinguished Leader

Peter Hurley

Chief Administrative Officer, Department of Physics, Faculty of Arts & Science

Peter Hurley headshot

Peter Hurley is an outstanding leader who has demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment to the Department of Physics over the past 31 years. Peter is deeply engaged in all aspects of managing this large and complex Department to support its teaching and research mission. As a consummate professional with an unparalleled understanding of technical, managerial, financial, and policy issues, Hurley is incredibly effective in his role. He is proactive in identifying issues, creative in solving problems, known for his kindness and responsiveness, and universally admired throughout the Department of Physics. Many research programs have benefitted from his support in designing and supervising the manufacture of scientific instruments during his time as Technical Services Manager, and his development and implementation of student machine shop and electronics workshop courses has provided numerous students with practical skills and hands-on experience. He has also supported many faculty members with complex renovations and upgrades to establish cutting-edge research labs, including the recent expansion of the High Energy Physics Clean Room for an international collaboration. Committed to supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion in the Physics Department, Hurley spearheaded the conversion of washrooms in the Physics tower into all-gender facilities.

Hurley’s support of the Department’s teaching, research, administrative, and technical operations during the COVID-19 pandemic were truly exceptional. He oversaw the transition to working from home, supported the move to online teaching, and facilitated the gradual return to campus. As an essential worker, he worked on site, ensuring the provision of critical services and keeping the members of the Department of Physics well informed with tireless dedication.

Outside the Department, Hurley is a mentor in the Rose Patten Mentorship Program and member of the Faculty of Arts & Science South Joint Health and Safety Committee. He has served on the Arts & Science Faculty Council, the Academic Board of Governing Council, and the Planning and Budget Committee, and is respected for his well-informed contributions.

Emerging Leader

Heather Hines

Director of Office, Office of the Vice-President & Principal, University of Toronto Mississauga

Heather Hines headshot

Heather Hines’s leadership embodies the spirit of a quote that hangs above her office door, from the political activist and scholar Professor Angela Davis: “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change; I am changing the things I cannot accept.”

For the past twenty years, Hines has been an agent of positive change across U of T, empowering colleagues across our tri-campus community to accept nothing less than equity, anti-racism, and inclusive excellence. Over the past two years, she has stepped into larger leadership roles in the Dean’s Office at the Faculty of Music and in the Office of the Vice-President and Principal at U of T Mississauga.

Hines has led tri-campus collaborations for anti-racism and anti-oppression in response to commitments from U of T’s Anti-Black Racism Task Force and the calls to action of Wecheehetowin. She has streamlined campus-wide business processes and administrative operations; developed equitable, evidence-based approaches for staff to complement planning and recruitment; and provided exceptional advice to other senior leaders to advance divisional, campus, and tri-campus initiatives. She has also been an inspirational and compassionate mentor to her staff, opening space for her reports to learn, develop, and thrive as their full selves.


Lachmi Singh

Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, and Director, Education Programs & Administrative Services, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.

Lachmi Singh headshot

Lachmi Singh is recognized for her leadership and commitment to quality, excellence and innovation. Her collaboration and team-building skills advance the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion within the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. As Director of Education Programs and Administrative Services, Singh is responsible for providing administrative leadership to the Education Office, tasked with the responsibility of program delivery, evaluation, curriculum, governance, accreditation, and alignment across all academic programs at the Faculty.

Singh led the administrative process for the accreditation of the entry to practice PharmD program by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs in 2020. The result was a six-year accreditation for the program, the strongest result ever achieved by the program. In addition, Singh worked collaboratively with faculty members and program directors to design an annual course reporting mechanism, whereby the impact of course changes can be reported on, flagged for review or disseminated as best practice.

After the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Singh and her team worked to transition the curriculum to online teaching and assessments. This included the creation of the Education Continuity Hub to provide information related to the pandemic response, instructional design and virtual support for instructors, which remains in use. Singh is also leading the steering committee for the renovation of the Pharmacy Practice lab, where students will be able to practice their clinical skills.

Singh’s commitment to lifelong education is demonstrated by her undertaking of a Masters of Education in Social Justice Education at OISE. Singh has co-chaired the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion working group at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, and has also recently been appointed as the first Director Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Faculty.