You are here

Leadership Team

Nigel Smith

Executive Director & CEO

Dr. Nigel Smith assumed the role of TRIUMF Executive Director and CEO in May 2021. Previously, Smith served as Executive Director of SNOLAB (Sudbury, ON); he also holds adjunct Professor status at Queen's University, and a visiting Professorial chair at Imperial College, London. 

In his role as TRIUMF Director, Smith draws on an extensive portfolio of strategic and leadership experience in the development of science research facilities in the U.K. and Canada. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) in the Earth4D programmeco-Chair of the IUPAP Neutrino Panel, and a valued contributor to a wide variety of international advisory committees for the advancement of science across the globe.  

As a scientist, Smith has pursued a wide breadth of world-leading research in extreme environmentsincluding astrophysics and astronomy, deep underground science, and experimental and detector physics. He has worked in underground labs in the UK and Canada, and served as Group Leader, Dark Matter Research at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory for over a decade 

Smith continues to serve science and academic communities across the globe in several capacities. He received his Bachelor of Science in physics from Leeds University in the U.K. in 1985 and his Ph. D. in astrophysics from Leeds in 1991 for work in VHE gamma ray astronomy from the South Pole. 

Sanjeev Dewett

Chief Administrative Officer

As TRIUMF’s CAO Sanjeev leads the ongoing modernization of TRIUMF’s Core Services division to ensure that TRIUMF systems and processes continue to support the needs of the cutting-edge research performed at the lab, with an eye to ensuring operational excellence across our programs. He oversees TRIUMF’s compliance with the CNSC and other regulatory bodies. 

Sanjeev brings over twenty years of experience in the public sector serving federal, provincial, and local governments, including executive roles responsible for Corporate Services, Intergovernmental & Stakeholder Relations, Compliance, and Chief of Staff to a Deputy Minister. He also has proven experience developing and delivering initiatives for Indigenous peoples, and for portfolios related to economic development and innovation. Born and raised in Vancouver, he recently moved back to British Columbia after 28 years in Toronto to be closer to family. 

James D. Hanlon

Special Advisor

Mr. James “Jim” Hanlon has worked in the field of Research Administration for 35 years, with 30 years at TRIUMF. During his tenure at the laboratory, Jim has held a number of key roles including Chief Administrative Officer and interim Chief Executive Officer. Jim currently serves as Executive Secretary to the Board of Governors.

Prior to working in research administration, Jim worked in a number of financial and administrative positions in the manufacturing and distribution business. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Ottawa and is currently Co-Chair of the Governance Committee for the Society of Research Administrators International.

Shavi Morsara 

Interim Chief Financial Officer 

Shavi Morsara is TRIUMF's Interim Chief Financial Officer.  He is a senior finance executive with extensive experience leading finance teams in increasingly complex environments and ensuring financial planning & strategy are aligned with the overall vision of the company. Shavi is responsible for all aspects of TRIUMF's Finance and Supply Chain functions.   

Prior to joining TRIUMF, he was the Chief Financial Officer at Paragon Testing Enterprises Inc. (formerly a subsidiary of the University of British Columbia).  Paragon specialized in offering English language proficiency tests for those wishing to immigrate to Canada, become Canadian citizens, and study in Canada.  Shavi was a key member of the leadership team that positioned the company for its next phase of growth through a successful M&A deal. Prior to that, he held various leadership roles in high-tech publicly traded companies, privately held and high-growth entrepreneurial start-up ventures. 

Shavi is a Chartered Professional Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Joint Major Accounting & Economics) from Simon Fraser University. 


Kathryn Hayashi

President & CEO, TRIUMF Innovations

Kathryn Hayashi is President and CEO of TRIUMF Innovations, the business interface and commercialization arm, connecting TRIUMF, Canada's particle accelerator centre, to the private sector via industry partnerships, licensing, and company creation.

Ms. Hayashi is a Chartered Professional Accountant with more than 25 years of operational and strategic planning, finance and governance experience in not-for-profit organizations, public and private companies, start-ups, and commercialization accelerators/incubators.

Prior to TRIUMF Innovations, she was the Founding Chief Financial Officer of The Centre for Drug Research and Development, Canada’s national drug development and commercialization engine. In addition to her work establishing CDRD as a leader in pre-clinical translational research and commercialization, Ms. Hayashi presides as a Director and Audit Committee Chair of the Center for Commercialization and Cancer Immunotherapy at the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, as well as the Discovery Parks technology incubator, and has served on the boards of several spinoff companies.

Oliver Kester

Director, Accelerator Division

Dr. Oliver Kester joined TRIUMF as the Director for the Accelerator Division in September 2016. Prior to joining TRIUMF, Oliver served as a Director for the GSI accelerator facility in Darmstadt, Germany. He has also previously served as the director of the FAIR subproject ACC, where he was responsible for the construction of all FAIR accelerators.

An accomplished accelerator physicist, Dr. Kester has been a professor at the Institute of Applied Physics at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt and has held various faculty and administrative positions at CERN, Universität München, and Michigan State University. Oliver's research interests include the production and transport of intense charged particle beams, accelerator cavity developments, beam instrumentation, and electron target development for heavy ion storage rings. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from Goethe-Universität Frankfurt and is the member of several national and international professional panels and committees. As Director of TRIUMF's Accelerator Division, Dr. Kester is responsible for the safe, effective, and reliable operation of all of TRIUMF’s accelerator facilities, the construction of the ARIEL project, and the advancement of accelerator research.    


Sean Lee

Chief of Staff

Mr. Sean Lee is TRIUMF’s Chief of Staff, responsible for managing the interface between TRIUMF leadership and internal and external stakeholders, as well as ensuring the alignment and execution of strategy across the organization. In this role, Sean has line management responsibilities for Communications, Academic Engagement, Education, and Stakeholder Relations.

Sean joined TRIUMF in May 2014, bringing significant experience in government relations and international affairs and previously served as Head, External Relations, as well as Interim Head, Communications. Prior to joining TRIUMF, Sean developed his skills in various positions in Washington, DC and Ottawa, in roles which included Senior Innovation Officer with Global Affairs Canada where he worked on the development of Canada’s international science and innovation policies. Sean holds a MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and a BA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia. 

Petr Navratil

Interim Director, Physical Sciences Division

Dr. Petr Navratil has served as the Interim Director of TRIUMF's Physical Sciences Division since August 2021. He is a Senior Scientist and Head of the Theory Department at TRIUMF, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria. Navratil graduated with a M.Sc. in Physics from the Charles University in Prague and continued with his PhD studies in Nuclear Physics at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic where he was awarded PhD in 1992. Petr gained research experience as a postdoc at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and later at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he started his work on ab initio calculation for light nuclei. Petr then spent 10 years as a staff physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he continued to develop the ab initio approaches to atomic nuclei focusing in particular on nuclear reaction applications.

Petr joined TRIUMF in October 2010 as a Research Scientist in the Theory Department and became the Head of the Department in 2012. He is active in further development of ab initio techniques in nuclear physics and their applications to nuclear astrophysics and to tests of fundamental symmetries involving atomic nuclei. In 2013, he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Bill Richert

Interim Director, Projects and Infrastructure Division

Bill Richert joined TRIUMF in 2011 as part of the ARIEL construction project management team and over time has assumed a growing portfolio of engineering responsibilities, first as Mechanical Services Group Leader then as Chief Engineer and Director, Engineering Services. Bill brings a wealth of engineering design and construction management experience from his time as a consulting engineer, including having served as a principal in two firms and as AECOM’s Manager for Program and Construction Management in southern Alberta. As a consultant he has specialized in tailoring project controls to suit the needs of each client including large-scale science projects such as the construction of the University of Hawaii’s free electron laser facility.

Mr. Richert is registered as a professional engineer in British Columbia and Manitoba and brings 30 years experience in the management of technically challenging engineering projects and the coordination of multi-discipline engineering and construction teams. Bill’s passion for sustainability led him to be the design lead for the implementation of TRIUMF’s initial round of Power Smart energy conservation measures that have resulted in significant infrastructure modernization and energy savings of over 1,000 MWh/year for TRIUMF. As the Interim Director of Projects and Infrastructure, Mr. Richert is responsible for managing a team that is dedicated to the development and implementation of an infrastructure plan that ensures the delivery of TRIUMF’s program over the long term.

Paul Schaffer

Director, Life Sciences Divison

Dr. Paul Schaffer came to TRIUMF in 2009. Before joining TRIUMF, Paul worked in the private sector as a Lead Scientist at General Electric Global Research in upstate NY where he was responsible for developing novel radiotracers for GE Healthcare. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1998 with a B.Sc. in both chemistry and biochemistry. He earned his Ph.D. at McMaster University in 2003, with his doctoral work focused on the design and synthesis of technetium and rhenium chelates as potential new radio-imaging or radiotherapy agents.

Dr. Schaffer then became a Research Scientist at the McMaster Nuclear Reactor until joining the private sector. In response to the 2007-2009 Tc-99m supply crises, Paul and his collaborators spearheaded one of four successful efforts to establish proof of concept commercial-scale production of Tc-99m. This effort saw four institutions come together with funding from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to demonstrate direct production of this isotope using Canada’s existing medical cyclotron infrastructure.

For his leadership on the NRCan effort, Dr. Schaffer was recognized by Business in Vancouver as one of British Columbia’s Top Forty under 40 individuals. The TRIUMF-led Tc-99m project team was also awarded the 2015 NSERC Brockhouse Prize for Interdisciplinary Research. Dr. Schaffer continues to re-define the TRIUMF Life’s Sciences program by focusing on its core competencies to deliver specific outcomes, and continues to connect the TRIUMF program with industrial and commercial interests.