Keynote Speaker


Ivan Joseph // Vice-Provost, Student Affairs at Dalhousie University

Ivan Joseph is Vice-Provost, Student Affairs at Dalhousie University. In this role, he leads Dalhousie’s efforts to promote interconnectedness among a diverse student body drawn from across the country and around the globe. In addition to offering outstanding experiences, he is focused on ensuring students feel that they matter and belong. Creating the conditions for individuals and communities to thrive has been an emphasis throughout Ivan’s life and career. Having emigrated from Guyana at age five, he grew up in Toronto’s Jane-Finch corridor, which taught him the importance of intercultural cohesion, role models and resilience. Following high school, he attended Graceland University in Iowa on an athletic scholarship and was among a handful of visible minorities on campus—a situation he would later study through his graduate research.

Ivan stayed on at Graceland, working as a residence life leader, soccer coach and assistant professor. In these roles, he built a leadership development program from the ground up and led Graceland’s men’s soccer team to the first national championship in school history. He also completed an MS in higher education administration from Drake University and a PhD in sports psychology from Capella University. Over the past decade, Ivan was Director of Athletics at Ryerson University, one of Canada’s most culturally diverse postsecondary institutions. While there, he led a transformation of athletics and recreation, oversaw the $100-million revitalization of the former Maple Leaf Gardens, elevated the program to national prominence, and created a spirit of belonging and pride on campus.  

Ivan is also an in-demand consultant, speaker and author in the areas of individual and organizational performance. He has worked with corporations and groups all over the world and is the author of the 2017 book, You Got This: Mastering the Skill of Self-Confidence. His 2012 TEDx talk, “The skill of self-confidence,” has been viewed almost 19 million times on YouTube and Forbes named it one of the “Top Ten TED Talks for Graduates About The Meaning of Life”.