The Dean’s Speaker Series returns with a rare opportunity to hear directly from Fiona Macfarlane, Managing Partner, British Columbia, and Chief Inclusiveness Officer of Ernst & Young LLP, as she shares her work experience, successes, challenges, and life lessons.

Fiona’s professional achievements and volunteer commitments garnered her a place among “Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100”. She has been recognized as one of Business in Vancouver’s influential women of business. Her passion for inclusion, diversity, and women’s leadership in the workplace have been widely celebrated, and she is a regular speaker and writer on the topics of diversity, inclusiveness and leadership.

The Dean’s Speaker Series offers students and alumni a unique opportunity to gain insights on life, careers, and responsible leadership from some of our most successful alumni and community partners. After the event, alumni and students are invited to connect and network over food and drinks.


Thursday, January 10, 2019
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Henry Angus 098
2053 Main Mall, UBC Point Grey Campus- map

Check-in: 5:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. 
Keynote: 6:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Reception: 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 

$15 alumni and guests
$10 UBC Sauder class of 2018 

Alumni are welcome to bring a guest.

 Speaker Biography

Fiona Macfarlane is currently the Managing Partner of the British Columbia practice for Ernst & Young LLP, as well as the firm’s Chief Inclusiveness Officer. Prior to her current role, Fiona was the Canadian Managing Partner, People and Ernst & Young’s Americas Chief Operating Officer, Tax; previously, she held the role of Ernst & Young’s Tax Managing Partner for the Canadian Tax practice, a team of more than 800 tax practitioners.  Fiona is the first woman among the Big Four accounting firms to have held such a position. Fiona is a member of the Board of Governors of the Business Council of British Columbia and serves on the organization’s Executive Committee. She was appointed by the British Columbia Minister of Finance to the province’s Expert Panel on Business Taxation. Fiona is Vice Chair of the Board of Shawnigan Lake School, and Vice Chair of the BC Chapter of the Institute of Corporate Directors.  She was previously a member of the Aboriginal Business Investment Council (a provincially established council) and until recently sat on the Executive Board of the Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia and was a Governor of the Board of UBC. She was also a member of the Presidents Group. 

Fiona holds a BA LLB and B.Comm (Hons) from the University of Cape Town and an LLM from Cambridge University. Before joining Ernst & Young’s South African firm in 1983, Fiona trained as a lawyer in Cape Town, where she was admitted to the bar.  She joined the Canadian firm’s Tax practice in 1987 and was admitted to the partnership in 1991. She was awarded an honorary CPA by the Chartered Accountants of British Columbia in 2011.

Fiona has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of Canada's Most Powerful Women, Top 100. She was awarded the International Women's Forum 2013 Global Women Who Make a Difference award. She has been recognised as one of the Top 35 Most Influential Women: Power to Disrupt by Business in Vancouver and Top 25 Canadian Women of Influence, Professional Services. She also received the inaugural Luminary Award from Big Sisters in 2015 and received Canada's Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award in 2016.

She was recently featured in Canada 150 Women and recognized as BC’s Top 25 Women Mentors in 2017.

For questions about this event, please email Marina Tischenko, Alumni Engagement Officer, at