Dr. Joan McArthur-Blair, Co-President of Cockell McArthur-Blair Consulting is an inspirational writer, speaker and facilitator. She believes positive leadership matters in the world and all of her work is around enabling and fostering that generative possibility. Joan specializes in the use of appreciative inquiry and appreciative resilience to foster leadership development, strategic planning and innovative strategies for organizational and team development.
Joan has fulfilled faculty, department head, dean, vice president and president roles over her career at four diverse Canadian colleges and now co-leads a highly successful consultancy focused on ‘making magic – facilitating futures not yet imagined.’ In her life as an educator from faculty to president, she cared most deeply about learners, their access to higher education and their success when there. Now as a consultant, she seeks to lift up the work of others, capitalizing on their strengths and successes.
She has a special interest in igniting pathways for women in leadership and is committed to the responsibility leadership provides for advancing equity and diversity.
She has sat on and/or chaired community arts boards, Executive Leadership Institutes and boards related to education and sustainability. As well, she has worked around the world in India, Pakistan, Qatar, the Caribbean and the United States from her base in British Columbia, Canada.
She has been humbled by the recognition of her work and especially warmed by receiving the Nautilus Silver Book Award, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Paul Elsner International Excellence in Leadership Award.
She has co-authored Appreciative Inquiry in Higher Education: A Transformative Force (2012) and Building Resilience with Appreciative Inquiry: A Leadership Journey through Hope, Despair, and Forgiveness (2018). As well, she has published many articles on appreciative inquiry and leadership; and embeds her poetry into in her academic writing. She believes that words shape our world and are a powerful force for good.
She has had the privilege of higher education attaining a BA in English from the University of Western Ontario, British Columbia Instructor’s Diploma, MEd from Simon Fraser University and EdD from the University of British Columbia.