The recipient of the 2020 Bissett Alumni Award for Distinctive Contributions to the Public Sector is Barbara Grantham (Master of Arts in Public Administration, 1987).

Barbara Grantham has 30 years of experience as a successful senior executive and consultant in the philanthropic, non-profit and public sectors, across BC and nationally. She is recognized as a charismatic and engaging leader with proven experience in building long-term partnerships with government, and with business and community leaders striving to leave a legacy and have a positive impact on their communities. She has held executive positions with some of Canada’s foremost non-profit organizations, including the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Canadian Mental Health Association and the StreetoHome Foundation. She also established and ran her own highly successful consulting practice.

Barbara served as President & CEO of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation—one of Canada’s top five revenue-producing health care foundations—from 2013 to 2019. Through her years as CEO, Barbara oversaw a revenue increase of 84% to current annual revenue of approximately $100 million. She and the Foundation team successfully repositioned the organization as BC’s philanthropic hub for funding health care innovation and research, inner city/urban health, specialized surgery, oncology, heart and lung disease, mental health/addictions and other elements of Canada’s largest and most complex academic health authority—Vancouver Coastal Health.

Active as a community leader, Barbara serves on the Board of Directors of YMCA of Greater Vancouver, the largest ‘on the ground’ social service organization in BC, and on the Board of jack.org, a national organization working to revolutionize the conversation for Canada’s young people around mental health. She also serves as a volunteer with the national Loran Scholars program.

Barbara thrives in opportunities that stimulate Canadian dialogue on important public policy issues, with organizations and teams that share an innovative and ambitious vision, are committed to excellence in strategy and execution, welcome new ideas and change, and where philanthropy is an important element in success.

Barbara has been repeatedly recognized by both the business and philanthropic communities. In 2016, she was named one of Women’s Executive Network‘s annual Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. Most recently, she received the 2019 AFP Lifetime Achievement in Fundraising Award in recognition of her decades of philanthropic leadership. She holds a BA degree from Queen’s University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Carleton University.