Season finale puts UBC President in conversation with CBC Daybreak host

The final UBC Okanagan Distinguished Speaker Series event of the season brings together a skilled Okanagan interviewer and a passionate advocate for civil society in Canada and around the world.

Next Wednesday (Apr. 4) UBC President Stephen Toope will be interviewed by Marion Barschel, CBC Radio One's Daybreak host, in an engaging conversational format, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Cabernet Sauvignon room at the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna.

"The format is a departure from the formal lectures of previous Distinguished Speaker Series events," says UBC Okanagan Associate Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. "People can expect a great finale to the series as we examine some very important areas of this year's theme – civil society and sustainability."

He notes that the intention of the series is to expand opportunities for the Okanagan community to hear from distinguished speakers with important insights and unique perspectives to share.

"We're very excited to welcome Professor Toope as part of this series," Dr. Abd-El-Aziz says. "This conversation will offer insights about his experience in public international law, advocating for civil society, and his views as president of one of the world's top research institutions."

Prior to his appointment as UBC's President and Vice Chancellor in 2006, Professor Toope was head of the non-partisan Canadian educational foundation that honours the legacy of the late Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Professor Toope obtained his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1979, and his law degrees from McGill University in 1983. In 1987, he earned a PhD from Cambridge University and joined the faculty at McGill in the same year. He served as dean of McGill's Faculty of Law from 1994 to 1999, the youngest person to hold the position.

He has consulted extensively with Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Canadian International Development Agency. He has conducted human rights seminars for government officials in Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, and was a member of the UN observer delegation to the first post-apartheid South African elections.

Professor Toope also served as Research Director, Office of the Special Representative concerning the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People in 1991.

Tickets to the April 4 "In Conversation" event are free, but you must pre-register either on the UBC Okanagan website (, or by calling 250-807-8000. Space is limited.

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