Cyndi McLeod, CEO of Global University Systems (GUS) Canada and Chair of University Canada West’s Board of Governors won the Canada China Business Council’s (CCBC) 5 at 50 Award in the Alumni category.
The awards recognizing individuals who have helped Canada benefit from its relationship with China were announced on Oct. 13, which also marks the 50th anniversary of Canada-China diplomatic relations, during the CCBC’s virtual business forum.
“Winning this award is a true honour,” Cyndi said. “I have spent most of my career working in international education developing strategic partnerships and joint programs with partners in China. Getting this recognition from the Canada China Business Council is truly humbling.”
Over the course of her 25-plus year career, Cyndi has been at the forefront of international initiatives. She has been a leader in the evolution of international education, looking beyond international student recruitment to the internationalization of institutions. She has helped influence the direction of international education policy in Canada and China.
Throughout her career, Cyndi has been involved in various aspects of international education and has held senior leadership roles in the Canadian public education system.
In 2017, she was appointed CEO of GUS Canada where she is responsible for the group’s expansion and operations in the country, which include University Canada West in Vancouver, The Language Gallery Canada, Toronto School of Management, the Trebas Institute and the Canadian College of Technology & Business.
Prior to that, Cyndi spent 5 years at Royal Roads University. As Vice President, Global Advancement, Marketing and Business Development she provided leadership to 9 portfolios – Marketing, Recruitment, Business Development, Advancement, Community Relations, External Relations, and International Education – and launched the university’s internationalization strategy.
Before her time at Royal Roads, Cyndi was Associate Vice-President, International & CEO, Global Operations at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and prior to that was Executive Director, International.
During her time at TRU, Cyndi was instrumental in advancing the university as a recognized leader in international education and developed a wide array of strategic partnerships, including dual degrees and joint programs with partners in China.
In 2012, Cyndi received a Chinese Government Scholarship to study at the Beijing Language and Culture University.
Since joining GUS she has utilized her relationships to bring many Chinese delegations to GUS Canada institutions, including Shanghai Publishing and Printing College, and has signed MOUs with the China Vocational Education Association and the South China Business School, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.
Recently, UCW became one of only two private universities in British Columbia to be added to the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Education’s list of recognized universities from across the globe.