UPEI appoints leadership positions in new Department of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) and Human Rights

| University
Dr. Sobia Ali-Faisal and Patti Wheatley
Dr. Sobia Ali-Faisal and Patti Wheatley

The University of Prince Edward Island announced in December 2023 that it had created the Department of EDI and Human Rights. The department has three major categories of responsibility: (i) equity, diversity, and inclusion; (ii) sexual violence prevention and response; and (iii) administration of harassment and discrimination complaints.     

UPEI is glad to share the news that Dr. Sobia Ali-Faisal has been appointed as the new Director of EDI and Human Rights for the University, effective May 21, 2024. This position is responsible for oversight of the Department of EDI and Human Rights and for advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion within the University community. Sobia brings extensive experience, education, and expertise to this new role at UPEI. She is the co-founder and current Executive Director of BIPOC USHR. Sobia also has a long history with UPEI—she completed her undergraduate degree here, was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, has been a regular presenter and collaborator through her work with BIPOC USHR, and was most recently a member of the UPEI Action Plan Advisory Group. She earned a master's degree and a PhD in Applied Social Psychology at the University of Windsor.    

The University is also pleased to announce that Patti Wheatley has been appointed as the new Human Rights Counsel for UPEI, effective June 3, 2024. This position will provide leadership on all aspects of human rights law and to staff working in sexual violence prevention and response and the administration of the harassment and discrimination complaint process. Patti brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this role. She is currently the Chief Access to Information and Privacy Officer and the EDI Officer at UPEI. Prior to joining the University, Patti practiced law in the areas of human rights, labour and employment, criminal law, and general litigation. She completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Human Rights at St. Thomas University and a Bachelor of Laws at the University of New Brunswick. Patti is currently a board member of PEI Family Violence Prevention Services Inc. and the Learning Disabilities Association of PEI. 

Sue Connolly, Interim Vice-President, People and Culture, welcomes Sobia and Patti to their new roles.  

“We are so fortunate that Sobia is returning to UPEI to lead our new EDI and Human Rights department and to have the benefit of Patti’s expertise and experience in human rights law. Sobia will play a critical leadership role as we continue our journey of building a culture of trust, safety, and inclusion, while Patti will provide thoughtful guidance and leadership as we continue to move toward improving our policies and practices.” 

Media Contact

Nicole Phillips
Director of Communications and University Relations
Marketing and Communications

Relevant Links