Dr. Janis Sarra was appointed UBC Presidential Distinguished Professor effective May 1, 2014 for a three year term. The UBC Presidential Distinguished Professor recognizes faculty who have made outstanding contributions as scholars and academic leaders. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Sarra served as Director of the Institute.
Dr. Sarra is Professor of Law, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia and founding Director of the National Centre for Business Law. She served as Associate Dean of the Faculty until 2007, with oversight of development, strategic planning, alumni relations and communications. Dr. Sarra’s research and teaching interests are in the areas of corporate finance, banking law, corporate governance, securities law, contracts, commercial insolvency law and law and economics. In 2004, she was awarded the title of Distinguished University Scholar for her scholarship in corporate and securities law. She has published ten books and more than one hundred refereed articles in corporate finance, corporate governance and management, securities law and commercial insolvency law.
Dr. Sarra also served as Senator of the University of British Columbia from 2003 to 2008. She was previously Director of the Canadian Insolvency Foundation and Director of the Canadian Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals Association. For more than 12 years, Dr. Sarra served as a commercial arbitrator and labour mediator/arbitrator. Dr. Sarra previously served as Vice-Chair of the Ontario Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal, as well as Vice-Chair of the Canadian Social Assistance Review Board. She holds five degrees from the University of Toronto in Political Science, Economics and Law. She previously taught at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and the Ryerson University School of Business. Former posts include also Board Member, Ontario Labour Relations Board, Senior Research Associate Ontario Legislative Assembly and Executive Assistant, Metropolitan Toronto Municipal Council, and Research Associate, Health Advocacy Unit.
Dr. Sarra’s contributions to public policy development include: World Bank Insolvency and Creditors Rights Task Force, Working Group on Insolvency of Non-Bank Financial Institutions, 2009, Washington, DC; Experts Committee, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group on Corporate Groups and Cross-Border Insolvency Law, 2008-2011, Vienna and New York; Expert Witness, Senate Committee on Banking Trade and Commerce, Review of Insolvency Legislation, February, 2008, Ottawa; Member, Ontario Attorney General's Interministerial Task Force on Administrative Tribunals