Sheila Embleton is Distinguished Research Professor of Linguistics, York University, Toronto, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She served as Vice-President Academic & Provost at York University 2000-2009, and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts 1994-2000. She served as Chair of the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents 2004-2008 and of the National Vice-Presidents Academic Council 2006-2007. Her academic background and graduate work is in both mathematics (BSc 1975, MSc 1976, U of Toronto) and linguistics (PhD 1981, U of Toronto); she has published extensively in historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, dialectology, mathematical/statistical methods in linguistics, onomastics, Peircean semiotics, and women and language. Her language specializations include English, German, Germanic, French, Romanian, Romance, Russian, Slavic, Finnish and Finno-Ugric.
She is deeply interested in policy and practical issues related to contemporary post-secondary education, both in Canada and internationally (especially EU and India), as well as being a tireless advocate both for the internationalization of education and for access to higher education, based on merit rather than social, financial, or geographical factors.
She is past or current president of many national and international scholarly associations, institutes, and foundations, and of the Boards of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, Mprime Networks, and MITACS (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems). She is associate editor, review editor, or member of the editorial board of numerous journals and book series, and has won many awards for her academic contributions. She is a Knight First Class of the Order of the White Rose of Finland, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), London, a Senior Fellow of Massey College in the University of Toronto, and an Invited Member of Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden seura (Finnish Literature Society, Helsinki). She is expert academic advisor to Stoakley Dudley Ltd. (search firm), Special Advisor to the President and CEO of Mitacs Inc., and consults on various academic topics, especially internationalization. Dr. Embleton has been involved in many aspects of academic relations between Canada and India, and frequently lectures, writes for the media, and leads panels on the rapidly evolving higher education scene in India. She has represented York University at the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute since 2001, and was Shastri’s Vice-President/President 2008-2010. She led York University’s India Strategy from 2005-2009, and was closely involved in the preparation, negotiation, and approvals for York University’s Schulich School of Business MBA program in India. As Chair of OCAV, she conceived, established, and obtained funding for the Ontario-Maharashtra-Goa exchange program.
She has travelled and lectured widely in India, visiting dozens of universities, institutes, and government ministries. She was involved in advising and planning for the academic portions of the visits to India by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty (twice), Québec Premier Jean Charest, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She is a member of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Focus India Group, was a member of Canada-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement Joint Study Group Advisory Committee and is currently President of the Canada India Education Council.