Dr. Karima Velji


Karima Velji, President, Canadian Nurses AssociationKarima Velji is a health-care executive with over 25 years of progressive leadership experience across the full continuum of care. Her work includes developing and implementing innovations for patient-centered outcomes on models of care, interprofessional practice, and quality and safety systems. She has continually demonstrated the strategic and relational skill-sets needed to achieve transformational results, vibrant organizational cultures and high-performing teams. Velji has particular expertise in evidence-based practice and with mechanisms that put the missions of academic health science centers into effective operation. Velji is a peer-funded scholar; a sought-after keynote speaker; has roles on boards, professional associations and committees; and is an active global volunteer and community leader.

Most recently, Velji was the chief operating officer and chief nursing executive at Baycrest, a global leader in advances on aging and brain health. She was also vice-president of patient care and chief nursing executive at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, now a program in the University Health Network.

Velji’s responsibilities extend to provincial and national leadership roles. A member of several boards, including those of Accreditation Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, the University of Toronto (Mississauga), the Canadian Nurses Foundation and Assessment Strategies Inc., she was recently appointed by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Sunnybrook Hospital to be an external reviewer for Sunnybrook’s veteran’s centre.

Cross-appointed to the University of Toronto (U of T) and McMaster University, Velji has won several awards, including the Sigma Theta Tau Award of Excellence in nursing administration, the Ontario Hospital Association’s Margaret Comack National Award of Excellence in Nursing Leadership and, from the U of T’s Lawrence S. Bloomberg faculty of nursing, both the Distinguished Alumni Award for Nursing Practice and the Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award. As well, she is profiled in the boundless banner campaign as an outstanding alumnus of the U of T.

Velji is also a systems consultant for developing nurse programs in credentialing, education and quality-improvement, including sites in East Africa, the Middle East and Asia.