President's Cabinet

The ACAD President’s Cabinet is the strategic leadership body of the Alberta College of Art + Design advising the President + CEO on all issues related to delivering academic excellence.

Cabinet is a standing committee responsible to the President, composed of Vice Presidents and Directors who have full budget authority for their respective programs and departments and who have significant leadership and planning responsibilities. Cabinet works within the context of ACAD’s mandate to advance all priority directions with respect to business related matters and the academic experience at the college.

Terms of reference

Jill Brown, Interim Vice President - Administration

Jill Brown was appointed as Director, Human Resources in August 2014, and provides leadership to the College community with respect to the strategic direction and the overall management of Human Resources policies, programs and services.

Jill has a varied career in higher education, both domestically and internationally. She has worked for the University of Calgary, and was the Director of Human Resources during the start-up phase of the University of Calgary’s Doha Nursing Program in Qatar. Jill’s professional experience includes leading teams and projects in the areas of organizational planning and development, training, performance management, compensation, policy development, employee and labour relations, and HRIS and payroll. 

She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Lethbridge with a concentration in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations, and holds her Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation.

Richard Brown, Interim Director - Research + Graduate Studies

Richard Brown joined ACAD's faculty in 2002 and has served as the Chair of the School of Visual Art, Head of Drawing, and Head of First-Year Studies.

He holds an MFA from Hunter College, City Universities of New York, and a BFA Honours from the University of Manitoba School of Art.

Richard maintains an active studio practice with solo exhibitions at Stride Gallery and ACAD's Illingworth Kerr Gallery and the Winnipeg Art Gallery among many others.

Nicole Hamilton, Executive Director - Continuing Education + Professional Development

 
Nicole Hamilton has almost 20 years’ of experience in higher education and has held a variety of roles as a senior administrator working to direct strategic growth and position institutions for national and international recognition.  In her most recent appointment as the National Vice President of Education, with the Canadian Institute of Management, Nicole worked with businesses and post-secondary institutions from across the country and most recently directed the development of a groundbreaking partnership to fortify the sustainability of the institute.  Nicole has several years’ experience in practical and applied learning environments and entrepreneurial education.     She has been successful in evaluating market competitiveness and responding with innovative programs and services designed to enhance the student experience, and provide educational pathways that fortify both the personal and professional interests’ of the students.  
 
Nicole has a Bachelors’ of Arts, a Masters’ in Business and a Master’s in Education with a specialization in Adult Education.  Nicole has a personal interest in art which comes from the advocacy that she has provided to burgeoning artists.  Nicole is also inspired by the wide range of opportunities that is currently available within the field of creative art and design and wants to bring new learning opportunities to ACAD, for a diverse range of student audiences.

Marianne Elder, Associate VP - Student Affairs

Prior to joining ACAD, Marianne was the Senior Curator at the Art Gallery of Calgary where she organized contemporary art exhibitions and community programs. Before that she served as an Adjunct Professor in the MA/PhD Arts and Cultural Management and Museum Studies programs at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont California. While at Claremont she also served as the MFA Program Administrator and Gallery Director of East and Peggy Phelps Galleries.

For over ten years, Marianne has administered education programs and organized art exhibitions of contemporary art in the U.S. and Canada. While in California, Marianne developed more than 34 contemporary art exhibitions each year and directed collaborative projects including the Smith Gallery, Los Angeles in the Zoot Suit Era, the University of Southern California Annenberg Foundation new media exhibition, Labyrinth Project, which included an educational program for the public, and contributed to the book, Bas Jan Ader: Please Don't Leave Me, accompanying the retrospective exhibition at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.

Marianne consulted for several Los Angeles area community galleries and non-profit arts organizations. In that role, she created a youth art education and exhibition program for five community centres and coordinated a contemporary art exhibition program for the city of Claremont. Marianne was the Executive Director of the Gallery of Gifted Youth of Pomona, Inc., a non-profit arts organization for disabled and disadvantaged youth.

Marianne holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine and a Bachelor of Fine Art in Visual Art from the University of Windsor. She has developed professional practices workshops for emerging artists and has guest lectured in colleges and universities in California on exhibition development and design.

Dr. Alex Link, Interim Vice President - Academic Affairs

Dr. Alex Link (BA York; MA Toronto; PhD York) has been Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs since June 2017, a position with oversight over ACAD's academic areas including the Schools of Visual Art, Communication Design, Craft and Emerging Media, and Critical and Creative Studies; the Office of Research and Academic Affairs; the Illingworth Kerr Gallery; and the Luke Lindoe Library. Since joining ACAD in 2005, he has served in many roles at ACAD, including Faculty Association President, Academic Council Chair, and Chair of Critical and Creative Studies.

As an Associate Professor in the School of Critical and Creative Studies, his areas of specialization include the history and analysis of North American and Japanese comics, the Gothic and other popular genres, American prose fiction, and the literary representation of urban space.  He is the author of over a dozen scholarly articles and book chapters, as well as a co-author of several comics.

Kristine Williamson, Executive Director - Engagement

Kristine has nearly two decades of senior management experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors. A recognized leader in fundraising strategy and management, Kristine comes to us from her own consultancy where she worked with national and regional charitable organizations to realize stability and fundraising success.

Prior to consulting, Kristine served as a senior member of the University of Calgary’s development team for nearly eight years, ending her tenure as the Associate Vice-President, Development. At that time, the university was heavily engaged in a $1.3 billion fundraising campaign, raising an average of $110 million annually and managing nearly 3000 active donor relationships.

Kristine has an MBA from Royal Roads University in British Columbia and a bachelor of science from the University of Saskatchewan. As well, she is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and serves as Vice-president of the board for LINKages Society of Alberta.