The University of Winnipeg has appointed Annette Trimbee as its new president and vice-chancellor.

Outgoing president Lloyd Axworthy is set to retire on Friday and will be replaced with Trimbee, who has a background in science and extensive experience in the public service.

Trimbee was appointed to a five-year term Tuesday evening.

She grew up in Winnipeg and graduated from the university in 1977. Years later she finished a PhD in ecology at McMaster University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta in the mid-1980s where she researched algae and the nutrient dynamic of lakes.

More recently, Trimbee has served as a deputy minister in the Alberta government in a number of portfolios, including advanced education and technology (2008-2011) "where she gained insight into the unique challenges and opportunities facing post-secondary institutions," states a news release from the U of W.

She also served in the ministries of environment, health and wellness, treasury board and finance.

Trimbee said her experience at the U of W laid the foundation for her academic and career successes.

“Without the financial and emotional support I received from the University of Winnipeg, I doubt I would have pursued a post-secondary education. I am a leader today because I was inspired by my UWinnipeg professors to become one,” she said.

Trimbee takes over Aug. 1 from Axworthy, who has served as the U of W's president and vice-chancellor since 2004.

He was recently named chancellor of the University of Waterloo in Ontario.