Picture of Marlene Smadu

Marlene Smadu MA, EdD, LLD Executive-in-Residence, U of R

Executive-in-Residence, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy; Co-founder, RaiseHER Community

Areas of Interest

  • Healthcare leadership and administration
  • Healthcare policy and education
  • Governance

Marlene Smadu has led a variety of leadership roles in health, nursing, and education during her 45-year career. Some of her accomplishments include serving as Chair, Vice-Chair, Chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee; Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of the University of Regina Board of Governors during her 6 years on the Board; Board member and Vice-President for the International Council of Nurses.

She worked extensively in healthcare as the board member of the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) (2010-2016), founding member and Chair of the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council (2002-2011), President-Elect and President of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) (2004-2008) and co-chair of the CNA National Expert Commission on the Health of the Nation and the Future of the Health System (2011-2012).She actively led and facilitated regional, provincial and national committees on a braod range of topics, ranging from high-quality health workplaces, promoting interprofessional education to patient safety and fostering a robust nursing workforce. Her research program included high-quality healthcare workplaces, Indigenous health, international health, leadership, and health and nursing policy.

In recognition of her leadership in Canadian nursing and international healthcare, the University of Calgary awarded her the Honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws in 2013. She was also awarded the Canadian Nurses Association Order of Merit for Nursing Policy in 2016.

She is a co-founder, of RaiseHER Community, an intergenerational, for-impact social movement to empower women to unleash their leadership potential, together with her daughter, Talitha Smadu McCloskey, and colleagues Skylar Gerard and Gwen Keith.