IRP is very pleased to be able to share a few of the affiliates that we can work closely with to make our partnerships, projects and activities come to life based on our clients needs.


Dr. Karen Barnes

Dr. Karen Barnes recently retired as President of Yukon University (formerly Yukon College) in Whitehorse, Yukon; a role she held from 2011-2020.  In overseeing the transition of the college to become Canada’s first northern university, Dr. Barnes dedicated her attention to meaningful community engagement to build an institution that reflected the voice and aspirations of Canada’s northern peoples and has been held up as an example for other regional institutions across Canada for its strong commitment to reconciliation.


Dr. Barnes chaired the governing committees for the Yukon University Research Centre and the University’s Northern Institute of Social Justice.  She has served as a board member of the Mining Industry Human Resource Council of Canada and was appointed as Vice Chair of the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board from 2012-2018.  She currently sits as a board member of UArctic based in Norway, on the national advisory committee for the People for Education organization based in Toronto; on the selection committee for the 2020 and 2021 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation scholars, and is chairing an expert panel for the Canadian Council of Academies.


During her 35-year career in post-secondary institutions in Alberta and Yukon, Dr. Barnes has been involved in a number of national initiatives, including co-chairing the Colleges and Institutes Canada committee that developed the national Indigenous Protocol, participating as faculty in numerous leadership development institutes and working with other post-secondary college and university presidents to raise the profile of institutions serving rural and remote communities.


Since coming north in 2008, Dr. Barnes continues to volunteer in the community on the board of the Yukon Imagination Library, as AVP sponsorship for the 2012 and 2020 Arctic Winter Games, and as a founding member of 100 Women Who Care Whitehorse.


Dr. Barnes holds a BA and a professional after degree in Education from UBC and an M.Ed (Adult Education) and EdD (Policy Studies) from the University of Alberta, where she was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni in 2020.