UBC Okanagan announced today the appointment of Marten Youssef as its inaugural Associate Vice-President, University Relations.
Youssef will be leading the UBCO University Relations team responsible for the campus’ relationship with the public, including in the areas of marketing, media relations, community engagement and ceremonial activities on campus.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Marten to UBC Okanagan and to benefit from his many years of local and global communications experience,” says Lesley Cormack, UBCO deputy vice-chancellor and principal. “One of his key goals will be to build and expand on meaningful connections with our community on campus, in the Okanagan and beyond. His diverse experience is a perfect match for the University Relations team, who has been sharing the stories of our campus to the community since we first opened our doors in 2005.”
Youssef joins UBCO from Vancouver, where he was communications director for TransLink, one of North America’s leading transportation authorities. Before that, he worked for BC’s Independent Investigations Office where he championed community engagement and accountability. Youssef previously led the communications team for the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon—the first international court prosecuting acts of terrorism.
Youssef has strong roots in journalism, starting his career reporting on human rights and justice issues throughout Africa. He has also worked as a reporter in BC and in the United Arab Emirates.
“UBC Okanagan has a strong reputation as an innovative, research-intensive and world-class university with deep connections in the community,” says Youssef. “This is an outstanding opportunity to build on those accomplishments and advance UBCO’s place on the world stage.”
Youssef will begin his role starting January 4, 2022, and he expects to hit the ground running by connecting with as many members of the community as he can.
“What makes UBCO exceptional is not just its academic bona fides,” he adds. “It’s the campus’ deep-rooted connections with the Okanagan and the sense of place and meaning that those relationships imbue on its students, faculty and staff. I’m excited to explore that exceptionalism and connect with the members of the community both on and off-campus that make it possible.”
The Associate Vice-President, University Relations, position is a new campus executive role that was created and approved by the UBC Board of Governors in June of this year. As a key member of UBCO leadership, Youssef will work with a talented team in helping shape an integrated marketing communications approach to advance UBCO’s place on the world stage.