Office of the President
202 Regina Street, Waterloo
Office of the President
75 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON, N2L 3C5
Madison Cox was appointed Director, Government and Community Relations and Chief of Staff to the President and Vice-Chancellor as part of Laurier’s Executive Leadership Team in October 2021. Prior to this, she served as Director of Government and Community Relations in Laurier’s External Relations unit. With over a decade of senior public affairs experience, Madison has previously held roles in government relations and strategic communications at the University of Waterloo and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). She has also previously worked in strategic communications and marketing, policy, and parliamentary affairs on Parliament Hill, including in the Office of the Prime Minister from 2013-2016. Madison holds an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in political studies from Queen’s University and currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Government Relations Officers table at the Council of Ontario Universities and also sits on the Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin Grant Review Team for the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Matthew Grills, Associate Director of Government and Community Relations, joined Laurier June 2021. Matt has an extensive career spanning politics, governance, and finance. Immediately prior to joining the Laurier community, he worked for Bank of Montreal at an enterprise-level on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing initiatives, including Project Protect, recognized as an innovative public-private partnership and an important element of the Government of Canada’s National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking: 2019–2024. Before BMO, Matt worked in the Office of the Prime Minister from 2012-2015, supporting the Prime Minister’s tours and logistics in the role of Advance to the Prime Minister. Matt holds an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in political science (international relations concentration) from Carleton University and is also an accredited Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS). Additionally, Matt is a graduate of BMO’s Senior Leadership Program and the Canadian Securities Institute’s Canadian Securities Course.
Liz Brown joined Laurier in 2016, working in the Development department before joining the Office of the President in 2018. She currently works as the Associate Director of Presidential and Strategic Communications in the office. Prior to Laurier, Liz spent more than a decade working as a journalist and editor, including in roles at the Calgary Herald and Metro News. Liz has a Bachelor of Journalism and post-graduate certificate in Public Relations from Metropolitan Toronto University. She also holds a Master of Arts from Park University, in Parkville, Missouri. In the community, Liz sits on the Person-Centered Excellence Committee for Community Living Brant.
Galen Naidoo Harris joined the Office of the President at Wilfrid Laurier University as Government and Community Relations Officer in February, 2022. Prior to joining the team, Galen spent three years working with Milton’s Member of Parliament, Adam van Koeverden, including more than two years serving the community in his constituency office. Galen has held previous positions with the provincial and federal governments, not-for-profits, and in the private sector in marketing and communications. Galen received his honours Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric, Media and Professional Communication from the University of Waterloo and currently sits on the Conservation Halton Foundation Board.
Manreet Birdi joined the Office of the President in January 2022 as Communications and Events Coordinator. Prior to joining the team, Manreet held several marketing and communications roles at the University of Waterloo, spanning from Advancement, the Faculty of Engineering, and the central University Relations marketing team. Manreet also has previous communications and events experience in municipal and provincial election campaigns. Manreet holds an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Rhetoric, Media, and Professional Communication from the University of Waterloo.
Savannah Pluzak joined Laurier in 2018, working in the Advancement department before joining the Office of the President as the Executive Assistant in 2021. Prior to Laurier, Savannah spent time working for the Ontario Public Sector as well as holding various student positions while completing her education at the University of Waterloo. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Global Business and Digital Arts degree and is working towards obtaining her Project Management certification. Savannah is passionate about people, communication, innovation, and sustainability.
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