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31 May 2018

Recently, we shared news of the impending arrival of Anne Louise Aboud, TRIUMF’s inaugural Chief Operating Officer (COO)/Deputy Director, Operations (DDO).

Anne’s arrival commences another chapter in TRIUMF’s unfolding story of continuous evolution. As we discussed briefly at the 50th-anniversary celebration last month, to tour the lab today is to experience an organization in motion. From ARIEL and IAMI to the hunt for dark matter to the study of metallic atoms in biomolecules, TRIUMF has developed the expertise and competence necessary to pursue science in an incredible diversity of sectors – much of which is predicated on the lab’s enduring ability to adapt and grow as an organization.

When the search committee for the COO/DDO embarked upon their search for candidates, they sought the right fit for a role that would enable TRIUMF to set a bold and ambitious new path and vision for the future. They sought a candidate that could help build a contemporary support organization that leads with a continuous improvement mindset, further enabling the scientific excellence for which TRIUMF is renowned. While the role of COO/DDO is new for TRIUMF, it embodies forward thinking and agility – themes as inherent to the history of TRIUMF as mesons or magnets.

We invite you to join us in welcoming TRIUMF’s first COO/DDO, Anne Louise Aboud, on her first official day at the lab. Anne has been familiarizing herself at TRIUMF for the past few weeks, and we had a chance to sit down with her to discuss her initial thoughts and impressions: 

TRIUMF (T): A new commute, a new desk, new coworkers- we’ve all been there. How has your arrival to TRIUMF been different from other new beginnings/positionyou’ve experienced in your life? Walk us through your first few weeks at TRIUMF. 

Anne Louise Aboud (ALA): First of all, I’ve been very appreciative of the warm welcome I’ve received. I’m already now almost fully immersed in Vancouver yet physically still located in Toronto, so it’s a bit challenging at the moment living out of suitcases and sleeping away from my own bed. I do already have an office here at TRIUMF, something I’m grateful for as I realize space is at a premium (and incidentally one of many challenges I’m looking forward to tackling). With a direct phone extension and email address, I’m open for business! I’m looking forward to continuing to meet my TRIUMF colleagues and gaining their perspectives on the lab – past, present.

T: At first glance, where do you see the biggest potential for growth at TRIUMF? Are you getting glimpses of what the lab could look like in 5, 10, 25 years? If so- what does that lab look like? 

ALA: Despite its perennial funding challenges, TRIUMF is internationally recognized for its calibre of scientific staff and discoveries. My primary role as the operations leader is to ensure that we build a world-class support organization that continues enabling our science output and allowing it to thrive and grow. Helping build a more contemporary, self-sustaining, twenty-first-century laboratory that is a global leader in its niche and regarded as one of the top employers is my mission and that goal may entail challenging a few of the existing organizational paradigms.

T: What is the biggest challenge you’ll face as you settle into this new position? What are you most excited to work on in your first few weeks?

ALA: There are several priorities competing for immediate attention. And, unfortunately, we don’t currently have sufficient funds nor resources to tackle them all at once. So, it’s likely that the first thing I’ll be completing is a gap analysis, which entails reviewing how we’re presently structured versus how we should be organized, to address current challenges as well as position us optimally for future growth. Further, I’d like to introduce a much sharper business focus to TRIUMF’s processes and decision-making: when do we spend money, what is the expected return on investment, and other industry-standard approaches that may not have yet been implemented at the lab. All that said, I’m excited to jump right in while continuing to navigate the learning curve at TRIUMF. 

Thanks, and welcome aboard, Anne!

You can read the full TRIUMF press release here.