Acceleration Consortium’s Sean Caffrey receives President’s Excellence Award for Distinguished Excellence

March 20, 2024 by A&S News

Sean Caffrey, executive director of the Acceleration Consortium has been awarded a President’s Excellence Award for Distinguished Excellence.

The President’s Excellence Award is the University of Toronto’s most prestigious staff award for leadership and is bestowed in recognition of outstanding service to the university and for the recipient’s role in enhancing the university experience. It is part of the Pinnacle Awards Program, which recognizes exceptional contributions by administrative staff and librarians.

“It is an honour to have my work acknowledged,” says Caffrey. “Especially at an institution like the University of Toronto, where there are so many dedicated and talented people. I am lucky to have worked with many of them over the years.

“The accomplishments I am being recognized for today would not have been possible without the amazing staff at the Acceleration Consortium, the Office of Institutional Strategic Initiatives, Research Services Office, and visionary faculty members such as Alán Aspuru-Guzik, director of the consortium.”

Caffrey is receiving the honour for his commitment, dedication and drive to achieve the university’s world-class research mission throughout his tenure. He joined the Division of Vice President of Research & Innovation to support the team in developing and operationalizing the newly created Institutional Strategic Initiatives (ISI) portfolio.

As the executive director of strategic initiative development, Caffrey led, in partnership with academic leads, the development of several of the ISI’s most significant initiatives, including Climate Positive Energy, the Emerging Pandemics and Infections Consortium, and the Acceleration Consortium strategic initiatives.

In addition to his direct ISI responsibilities, Caffrey supported several large-scale institutional grants associated with strategic initiatives including the Biomedical Research Fund Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

Prior to assuming a leadership role with the Acceleration Consortium, he was instrumental in the Acceleration Consortium securing $200M from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), the largest grant ever awarded to a Canadian institution, to support the consortium’s work on self-driving labs.

“Sean is without question deserving of this, the top recognition amongst our community, for his outstanding work and dedication to the university,” says Aspuru-Guzik. “He is an example to us, somebody to be inspired by, and truly deserving of an award with the word excellence in it. I am confident that through his leadership, dedication and conscientiousness, he will continue to make important contributions to the university.”

“Sean Caffrey’s contribution to the university, and its world-class research mission, is immensely deserving of this recognition,” says Melanie Woodin, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science. “As a senior leader, he’s been instrumental in helping to not just build — but shepherd — the Acceleration Consortium to ever higher levels of impact.”