Appointed in mid-2011, Dr. Maura Hanrahan is Memorial University's first Special Adviser to the President for Aboriginal Affairs. Prior to assuming this position, Dr. Hanrahan worked with Aboriginal organizations in four provinces and at the national level on land claims and health and education policy. In 2005, Dr. Hanrahan was invited by the federal government to review the process which led to the Kelowna Accord. A paper she completed for the Officer of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations was well received and used as a template. Dr. Hanrahan's work is interdisciplinary, rooted in anthropology, sociology and the law and she is recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada as an expert in Indigenous issues in Canada.
Dr. Hanrahan is the author or editor of three academic books, eight books in other genres, and several book chapters. Her books have won a number of awards including an Independent Publishers Book Award, New York (Sheila's Brush: A Novel) and the Newfoundland and Labrador History and Heritage Award (Tsunami: The Newfoundland Tidal Wave Disaster). Her short fiction and travel writing have won awards from the American Anthropological Association and Britain's Independent newspaper.
Dr. Hanrahan has published 13 articles in peer-reviewed journals, covering such topics as the Inuit diet and the epidemiologic transition, Mi'kmaq resistance to residential schooling and centralization policies, Mi'kmaq leadership practices, Southern Inuit/Inuit-Metis health concepts, and other Indigenous topics.
Since 2000, Dr. Hanrahan has been an adjunct professor in the Division of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University. She has earned degrees from Memorial University, Carleton University and the London School of Economics, where she was a Rothermere Fellow and was awarded an LSE Graduate Fellowship. Born in Newfoundland, Maura is of Mi'kmaq, English, and Irish ancestry.