Tina Mah joins the RIA as executive director

The Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) is pleased to announce that Tina Mah, PhD, will be joining the team as executive director. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role with many years of senior executive leadership experience. She is strategic, goal-oriented, collaborative, and having watched the RIA’s growth over the past several years, is excited to lead the organization’s next chapter. 

Over the course of her three-decade career, Tina has led the development and implementation of strategic, operational and project planning, and pushed for the integration of evidence into practices and policies, all with the goal of making life better for individuals needing care.  

“The RIA is widely recognized for its contributions to improving the quality of life and care of older adults in Waterloo Region and around the world,” said Tina Mah, RIA’s incoming executive director. 

“At this juncture, the world needs more from the RIA than ever before.  I look forward to working closely with the brilliant team at the RIA, collaborating with the community and building new partnerships to do just that. I am very excited to join the RIA to further its relentless pursuit of a world where research is driving innovation to enrich the journey of aging.”  

Tina began her career as an occupational therapist, then went on to complete a Masters degree in business administration and a Doctorate in health studies and gerontology. Her early experience working as a health care practitioner in hospitals across Ontario and British Columbia gave her an understanding of the impact care can have on an individual’s quality of life.  

She recognized the opportunity for greater impact if she could influence change at the organizational and policy level, and moved into various senior and executive leadership positions. Her expertise in research and her collaborative spirit led to the success of many knowledge mobilization projects in the health care space. 

Most recently, Tina grew the research and innovation portfolio at Grand River Hospital in her role as Vice President Research and Innovation. Under her leadership, key partnerships with universities, colleges, start-ups and the private sector were established to build and profile programs of research in all 15 clinical programs at the hospital. She engaged physicians, nurses, pharmacists and many other stakeholders to build relationships and a culture of innovation.  

“We are very fortunate that Tina has agreed to lead the RIA,” said Ron Schlegel, Chair of the Board. “Her extensive experience and expertise in building partnerships to drive research and innovation will position the RIA well to deliver on our ambitious 3-year strategic plan.”   

Tina will join the RIA on May 3, 2021, where she will work alongside Josie d’Avernas, current executive director, until Josie’s retirement date of June 30, 2021. Tina will assume the role of executive director on July 2, 2021.