Alexa McDonough, the former provincial and federal NDP leader, will be taking over as interim president of Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax starting in August.
McDonough will serve as the university’s president for one year while the school looks for a permanent replacement for former president Kathryn Laurin, who was recently announced as the new president of British Columbia’s Camosun College.
Janet MacMillan, chair of the university’s board of governors, told the CBC that McDonough won’t be just a figurehead.
“She’s very much going to come in and provide the leadership and the continuity,” she said. “We’re in the middle of a capital campaign, so to keep that momentum going is really important to us.”
McDonough became the first woman to lead a recognized political party in Canada when she was elected as the leader of Nova Scotia’s New Democratic Party (NDP) in 1980. She held that position for 14 years, and was elected as the leader of the federal NDP in 1995, where she led until 2003. She was a Member of Parliament for Halifax until 2008.
Last month, she received an honorary degree from MSVU.