Staff Pension Plan Board

The UBC Staff Pension Plan Board consists of eight Board members and an Independent Chair. Four Board members are elected by Plan members, and four Board members are appointed by the University. The Independent Chair is also appointed by the University.

If you have any questions or concerns for the Board, please contact Orla Cousineau, Secretary to the Board, at

Independent Chair

Barry Gros
Retired actuary
Current Term: January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2021
First Appointed: 2015

Barry is a retired actuary and has a wealth of experience and knowledge regarding pension plans. His most recent position was Associate Partner at Aon Hewitt, where he provided pension consulting services. Prior to Aon Hewitt, Barry was a Partner at Morneau Shepell and a Principal at Towers Watson. As well, Barry was previously a University Appointed member of the UBC Staff Pension Plan Board.

Barry has a B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Winnipeg, is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

Barry has been active throughout his career, serving on committees with the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, and the C.D. Howe Institute Pension Policy Council. He has also written and contributed to numerous pension-related articles and publications with Aon Hewitt, C.D. Howe Institute, National Post, and Benefits Canada among others.

Appointed Board Members

Joanna Carson
Chief Financial Officer
Current Term: January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2021
First Appointed: 2018

Joanna serves TRIUMF, Canada’s particle accelerator centre, as Chief Financial Officer and brings over two decades’ experience providing financial leadership, business management, and compliance services at leading Canadian research universities. Seven of these years have been at UBC where Joanna’s work was focused on identifying and leveraging hidden opportunities and solutions, anticipating and solving problems, navigating bureaucracy, and earning the support of colleagues and internal stakeholders.

Joanna has an MBA from Queen’s University, a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Toronto, and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).


Laura O’Neill
British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union
Current Term: January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2023
First Appointed: 2016

Laura is a lawyer with experience in pension plan governance and investments. She is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1996, a Chartered Financial Analyst since 2001, and holds her Bachelors of Law from Queen’s University in 1994.

Laura is employed by the BCGEU, is a Trustee and Secretary of the BC Target Benefit Pension Plan Board, and is a member of the BC College Pension Plan’s Partner’s Committee.


Mike Leslie
Executive Director, Investments, UBC Faculty Pension Plan (Retired)
Current Term: January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2020
First Appointed: 2013

After serving over 11 years as the Executive Director, Investments for the UBC Faculty Pension Plan, Mike is now retired. Prior to this role, he spent 12 years as a senior consultant in the pension investment industry. His consulting experience included advising many large corporate, government and multi-employer pension plans on strategic investment related issues. Prior career experiences included working in both the oil industry and corporate banking fields.

Mike’s primary duties with the Faculty Plan included; monitoring and reporting on the performance of the Plan’s fund options and on the external investment managers, ensuring proper implementation of the Plan’s Investment Policy, supporting the Board of Trustees with their governance duties as they relate to investment issues and assisting with member education and communication needs.

Mike has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UBC and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (“CFA”) designation. He is also active member of the Pension Investment Association of Canada.


Yale Loh
UBC Treasurer
Current Term: March 4, 2019 to December 31, 2022
First Appointed: 2019

Yale is currently the Treasurer at UBC. As such, he provides strategic direction and leadership support for financial liquidity, capital financing, corporate borrowing, cash management, financial projects management, tax, leases, and revenue accounting on all UBC campuses. Previously, Yale held progressively senior positions with BC Hydro, Finning International and Capital Power Corporation, and most recently was Treasurer at Aritzia where he was responsible for the treasury, sales audit and retail accounting functions. Yale served as the Chair of the Finning pension management committee and was a member of the BC Hydro pension management committee.

Yale is a commerce graduate from UBC and earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Yale also holds his Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Professional Accountant designations.


Elected Board Members

Alan Marchant
Advancement Services (Retired)
Current Term: January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2020
First Elected: 2001

Alan Marchant was first elected to the Staff Pension Board in 2001. He is now retired after having been at UBC for almost 20 years, and was an Executive Director within the Development & Alumni Engagement Portfolio. He holds an honours degree in Physics from the University of Sussex, an MBA from Simon Fraser University and is a Certified Management Accountant. He is an experienced financial manager, administrator and information systems professional with over 35 years of diverse and progressive experience in industry segments that include higher education, manufacturing, retail, transportation and financial organizations.


Christie Stephenson
Executive Director, Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics, UBC Sauder School of Business
Current Term: January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2022
First Elected: 2019

Christie Stephenson is the Executive Director of the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics at UBC Sauder School of Business. Prior to joining UBC in 2016, she spent more than fifteen years at leading socially responsible and impacting investing firms including Sustainalytics and NEI Investments (Ethical Funds). She previously worked in politics, government and the non-profit sector.

Christie has more than two decades of diverse board experience, having served as a director of cooperatives, non-profit organizations, private companies and two university senates. She is currently a board director of Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR) and a governance committee member at BlueShore Financial.

Christie has an undergraduate degree from University of Victoria and a graduate degree from McGill University.


Michal Jaworski
Partner and Co-Chair, Higher Learning Practice Group, Clark Wilson LLP
Current Term: January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2020
First Elected: 2017

Michal Jaworski is a graduate of UBC’s Faculty of Arts (Psychology) and Allard School of Law, and has been practicing law since 2006.

Michal worked in UBC’s Office of the University Counsel from September 2012 until May 2018, during which he was elected to the UBC Staff Pension Plan (SPP) Board. In May, Michal returned to private practice where he focuses on providing legal advice and services to the post-secondary sector on a range of business and governance issues.

As a proud UBC alumnus and deferred member of the SPP, Michal is keenly aware of the Plan’s value to all of its members, and the need to ensure its viability.

This is Michal’s first term on the SPP Board. He looks forward to applying his knowledge and experience to this important task, and more importantly, to learning from his colleagues on the Board, the Plan’s advisors, and the Plan membership.


Shannon Dunn
Director, Business Operations
AVP Finance & Operations Portfolio, UBC Okanagan
Current Term: January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2022
First Elected: 2019

Shannon is the Director of Business Operations at the Okanagan campus of UBC where she previously served as the Director of Capital Planning and the Director of Student Housing and Hospitality Services.

In addition to having served six years on the UBC Board of Governors, Shannon is the current Chair of the President’s Non-Academic Misconduct Committee and Director for UBC’s Emergency Operations Centre. She is also the co-founder of the Canadian Senior Housing Officers Network and a member of the Policy Committee for the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services.

Shannon has a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University and a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on health, psychology and education from UBC.