SFU Outstanding Alumni Award presented to MBA alumna Zabeen Hirji

Mar 04, 2016


Zabeen Hirji, Beedie School of Business alumna and Chief Human Resources Officer at the Royal Bank of Canada.

Zabeen Hirji, Beedie School of Business alumna and Chief Human Resources Officer at the Royal Bank of Canada.

Zabeen Hirji, Beedie School of Business alumna and Chief Human Resources Officer at the Royal Bank of Canada, has received the Professional Achievement honour at the 2016 SFU Outstanding Alumni Awards.

Each year, the Outstanding Alumni awards recognize SFU’s most accomplished graduates, whose contributions reflect the university’s mandate of Engaging the World. Since being introduced in 1983, the awards have become one of the university’s most celebrated traditions, with nominations for the awards made by alumni, faculty, staff, students, and the community.

She was presented with the award at a ceremony held on March 3 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Other winners this year included charter students Margaret Trudeau (BA 1969), an advocate for mental health and clean water, and David Mark (BA 1971, PhD 1977), a pioneer of Geographic Information Science, along with philanthropist David Fong (BA ’80), and scientist Jennifer Gardy (PhD 2006).

Hirji graduated from the MBA program at the Beedie School of Business (then known as SFU’s Faculty of Business Administration) in 1994. She began working for the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as a teller while attending university part-time in 1977.

From 1994 to 1997 she held the position of Regional Manager of Card Services for Central Canada. In 1997 she was appointed Vice President of Human Resources, and in 2001, Senior Vice President. In 2007 she was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, giving her global responsibility for human resources operations and strategies for nearly 79,000 employees in 50 countries.

As RBC’s Chief Human Resources Officer with global responsibility for Human Resources, Brand, Communications and Corporate Citizenship, Hirji has brought a fresh perspective to the human resources and corporate citizenship field by looking beyond convention and being creative in how talent is recruited, engaged, developed, and retained.

An internationally recognized champion for diversity and inclusion and a proponent of youth employment, she has twice been named a Top 25 Women of Influence. She was named Catalyst Canada Honours Champion in 2014 for leadership in the advancement of women and minorities, and was inducted into Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Hall of Fame by the Women’s Executive Network in 2012.

For more information on the 2016 SFU Outstanding Alumni Awards, visit sfu.ca/alumni/outstanding.html