In addition to being Chair of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Council (STIC), Howard Alper is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Ottawa. The basic research he has been pursuing spans organic and inorganic chemistry, with potential applications in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and commodity chemical industries. He has published 537 papers, has thirty-seven patents, and has edited several books.
Dr. Alper has served on a number of NSERC committees (e.g., Committee on Research Grants), and as Chair of boards and committees including, among others, the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering, the Council of Canadian Academies, the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, and the Steacie Institute of Molecular Sciences. Dr. Alper was also Visiting Executive at the International Development Research Centre from 2006 to 2010, and was President of the Royal Society of Canada for a two-year term, commencing in November 2001, as well as its Foreign Secretary from 2004 to 2010.
Dr. Alper is very active in the international scientific community. He was appointed as a Titular Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities in 1996, and in 2002 he received the award of Officer, National Order of Merit, from the President of France. In 2004, he was elected to a three-year term as Co-Chair of the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Science (IANAS). In December 2006, he was elected Co-Chair of IAP: The Global Network of Science Academies, for a three-year term, and in January 2010 was re-elected to a second three-year term as Co-Chair. In 2010, Dr. Alper was also appointed for a three-year term to the U.S. National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering, the Science Advisory Committee of the World Economic Forum, the Board of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences-Next Einstein Initiative, the Advisory Board of the Young Global Academy, and as Vice-Chair of the RIKEN Advisory Council. In 2011, he was elected as Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Knowledge Economy Network, headquartered in Brussels.
Dr. Alper is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards. In 1999, he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2000, the Governor General presented him with the first Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal in Science and Engineering. The following year, he was given the National Merit Award for contributions to the Life Sciences. He also received the Urgel Archambault Prize (ACFAS) in physical sciences and engineering, as well as a number of prestigious fellowships, including the E.W.R. Steacie (NSERC, 1980 82), Guggenheim (1985 86), and Killam (1986 88) Fellowships. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Dr. Alper has also received numerous awards related specifically to his field of chemistry, including the Alcan Award for Inorganic Chemistry (1986), the Bader Award for Organic Chemistry (1990), and the Steacie Award for Chemistry (1993), all from the Canadian Society for Chemistry. The Chemical Institute of Canada has also presented Dr. Alper with the Catalysis Award (1984), the Montreal Medal (2003), and the CIC Medal (1997), its highest honour. In 2002, Dr. Alper received the Le Sueur Memorial Award of the Society of Chemical Industry from the U.K.top of page
President, Seneca College
David Agnew became the fifth President of Seneca College on July 1, 2009. Mr. Agnew has extensive experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors. In public service with the Government of Ontario, Mr. Agnew was the Secretary to the Cabinet from 1992 to 1995 and Principal Secretary to the Premier. In 1995, he led the Public-Private Partnerships Project and was seconded to the University of Toronto, where he was a Senior Resident at Massey College. He has served as the Ombudsman of Banking Services and Investments, and the President and CEO of UNICEF Canada, where he was the first head of the organization recruited from outside the development sector. He was also a Principal at the strategy consulting firm Digital 4Sight, and the Executive Vice-President and Corporate Secretary for the Credit Union Central of Ontario. He started his career as a journalist.
Mr. Agnew is Chair of the Board of Directors of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Vice Chair of Colleges Ontario, and Chair of the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Coordinating Committee. He serves on numerous other boards and committees, including the CivicAction Steering Committee, ventureLAB's Board of Directors, the ontarionewswatch Advisory Board, and the Canadian Ditchley Foundation Advisory Board. Mr. Agnew received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
Mr. Agnew is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he studied political science.top of page
President, Western University Canada
Amit Chakma is the 10th President and Vice-Chancellor of Western University. Dr. Chakma arrived at Western in July 2009, after serving the University of Waterloo since 2001 as Vice-President, Academic and Provost, and as a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Prior to that, Dr. Chakma served as Dean of Engineering and then Vice-President (Research) and International Liaison Officer at the University of Regina. He began his academic career as a professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Calgary.
In addition to his roles at Western, Dr. Chakma currently serves as Chair of the World University Service of Canada and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Ontario Centres of Excellence. He also served as Chair of the Government of Canada's Advisory Panel on Canada's International Education Strategy.
Dr. Chakma is a graduate of the Algerian Petroleum Institute (Dip. Ing., 1982) and holds graduate and doctoral degrees in Applied Science (chemical engineering) from the University of British Columbia. The author of more than 100 articles, he is an expert in areas related to petroleum research and energy management.
In 1998, Dr. Chakma was recognized with Canada's Top 40 Under 40 Award. He is also a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.top of page
Managing Partner, Brightspark Ventures
Sophie Forest has more than 18 years of experience in the high-tech venture capital industry. Prior to joining Brightspark, she was a partner at CDP Capital Technology Ventures, a subsidiary of la Caisse de Dépot et Placement du Québec.
Ms. Forest has led or overseen more than 50 investments in technology companies in Canada and abroad over the past 15 to 20 years. She has played a pivotal role in the investment, growth and exit of Radian6, leading to a twenty-three times return on capital invested, one of the most successful technology exits in Canadian history. As co-CEO of Brightspark 3.0, Ms. Forest helped develop Internet solutions that led to the creation and growth of Jewlr.com and iStopOver.com.
Ms. Forest is a member of the Advisory Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship for the Government of Canada, as well as a member of the Canadian Digital Media Network advisory board. She also sits on the Board of Directors of a number of companies, such as Protecode, Hopper, eXludus, b5media, and Jazinga.top of page
Chairman and CEO, AltaCorp Capital Inc.
George Gosbee has spent 20 years in corporate finance, investment banking, and global capital markets. Prior to founding AltaCorp Capital in 2010, Mr. Gosbee was Chairman, President and CEO of Tristone Capital Global Inc., a global energy investment firm which he founded in 2000. Prior to that, Mr. Gosbee spent over eight years as a Managing Director in a regional and then a national investment firm. His current firm, AltaCorp Capital, is a Canadian investment bank that is partnered with Alberta Treasury Branch (ATB Financial), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Government of Alberta.
Mr. Gosbee is Vice Chair of Alberta Investment Management Co (AIMCo), a $70 billion institutional investment fund. He is a member of the Government of Canada's Economic Advisory Council, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, and the Board of Directors for TMX Group. Mr. Gosbee is a former Director of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and a former board member of Chrysler Group LLC in Detroit, where he served on behalf of the Governments of Canada and Ontario to oversee their collective investment in the company. He is Chairman of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, Past Chair of the Board for the Alberta College of Art and Design, and Director of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta.
In 2009, Mr. Gosbee was honoured as one of 200 Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum for his professional accomplishments and community commitments. He has received the Haskayne School of Business' Distinguished Alumni Award, and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year for the Prairie Region by Ernst and Young. In 2012, Mr. Gosbee was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He also received the 2012 Calgary Board of Education Distinguished Alumni Award.
Mr. Gosbee holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary.top of page
CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs Inc.
Arvind Gupta is the CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs, a Canadian not-for-profit research organization dedicated to developing the next generation of innovators with scientific and business skills in partnership with companies, government and academia. He is also a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia.
In 2010, Dr. Gupta sat on the Expert Panel to Review Federal Support to Research and Development. He also sits on a number of boards including the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, the Banff International Research Station, the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute and Mprime Network and is a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee of the GRAND Network of Centre of Excellence. He is the editor of two book series on industrial mathematics and is author of more than 50 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Gupta was the President of the 2011 International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics in Vancouver.
Dr. Gupta obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto in 1991.top of page
Group Vice President, General Motors Corporation (retired); past President and General Manager, General Motors of Canada Limited
Maureen Kempston Darkes was President and General Manager of General Motors of Canada Limited (GMCL) and Vice President of General Motors Corporation from 1994 to 2001. In 2002, she was appointed General Motors Corporation Group Vice President and President, GM Latin America, Africa and Middle East (LAAM) and a member of the General Motors Automotive Strategy Board, positions which she held until her retirement from General Motors in December 2009.
Ms. Kempston Darkes currently serves on the boards of Canadian National Railway, Brookfield Asset Management, Irving Oil, Enbridge Inc., and Balfour Beatty plc, and she is a Director of Bridgepoint Health Foundation. Ms. Kempston Darkes was appointed by the Government of Canada to the Free Trade Agreement Automotive Select Panel in 1989 and, in 1994, to the Transportation Equipment Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade.
Ms. Kempston Darkes holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science from Victoria College, University of Toronto. She also holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto Law School and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1975. In 1997, Ms. Kempston Darkes received The Order of Ontario, and she was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000. The American Bar Association in 1998 recognized her with the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. In 1999, she received the Distinguished Service Citation from the Automotive Hall of Fame. In 2006, she received the Government of Canada's Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case. In 2011, she was honoured with the Global Athena Leadership Award and the Alice B. Ramsey Award from the Automotive Hall of Fame and the Women's Automobile Association International.top of page
Deputy Minister of International Trade, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Simon Kennedy was appointed Deputy Minister of International Trade, effective November 12, 2012. He was also named Canada's G-20 Sherpa. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Kennedy served as the Senior Associate Deputy Minister at Industry Canada, from September 2010. He began his career with the public service in 1990 with Transport Canada and subsequently the Canadian Coast Guard. In 1997, he joined the Privy Council Office and, in 2001, he moved to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to serve first as Director General for Policy, Planning and Integration and then as Director General of the International Markets Bureau. In 2004, he returned to the Privy Council Office, where he served first as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Economic and Regional Development Policy), and then as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Operations) and as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Plans and Consultation) until 2010.
Mr. Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Public Relations degree from Mount Saint Vincent University and a Masters of Science in Communications Management from Syracuse University. He is a graduate of INSEAD's Advanced Management Programme. Mr. Kennedy also holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute for Corporate Directors.
Deputy Minister, Industry Canada
John Knubley was appointed Deputy Minister of Industry Canada on September 17, 2012. Previously, he served as Deputy Minister at Agriculture and and Agri-Food Canada and as Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Privy Council Office. Prior to this, he was Associate Deputy Minister at Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, as well as Associate Deputy Minister at Natural Resources Canada.
Mr. Knubley has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and a Masters degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. He also obtained a post-graduate diploma from the Institut Européen des Hautes Études Internationales in Nice, France, as well as a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.top of page
Chairman, Mitel Corporation; Chairman, Wesley Clover
Sir Terence Matthews is the founder and Chairman of Wesley Clover, an investment vehicle and holding company with interests in a broad range of next-generation technology companies, real estate, hotels and resorts. He is also Chairman of a number of private and publicly-traded companies and he sits as a director on the boards of several other companies. He has either founded or funded over 80 companies since 1972, including Newbridge Networks, a company he founded in 1986 and which became a leader in the worldwide data networking industry. In 1972, before launching Newbridge, Mr. Matthews co-founded Mitel, a world leader in the design and manufacture of enterprise communications solutions.
Mr. Matthews holds an honours degree in electronics from the University of Wales and is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical Engineers and of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 1994, Mr. Matthews was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, and in the 2001 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was awarded a Knighthood. In 2011, he was appointed Patron of the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute at Cardiff University.top of page
Principal and Vice Chancellor, McGill University
Heather Munroe-Blum is the 16th Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University. She is a member of McGill's Faculty of Medicine and a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Prior to joining McGill, Dr. Munroe-Blum served at the University of Toronto as a Professor, a Governor, Dean of Social Work, and as Vice-President, Research and International Relations. She has also been a professor at York University and McMaster University. She started her career as a psychiatric social worker in an academic health setting and contributed to clinical research and the development of mental health policy and programs. Dr. Munroe-Blum is the author of the report Growing Ontario's Innovation System: The Strategic Role of University Research, which led to the creation of a new framework of science policies and programs in Ontario.
Dr. Munroe-Blum serves on the Board and the Internationalization Committee of the Association of American Universities, and chairs the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada's Standing Advisory Committee on University Research. She serves on the President's Council of the New York Academy of Sciences, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Trilateral Commission and, in the past two years served as a member of the U.S. National Research Council's Committee on Research Universities which reported to the U.S. Congress in June 2012. She also serves on the boards of the Trudeau Foundation, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the Conférence de Montréal, and the Royal Bank of Canada. Dr. Munroe-Blum is the past President of the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec (CREPUQ), was a founding director of the Toronto-based Medical and Related Sciences Discovery District (MaRS), and, of Genome Canada, where she also served as founding Vice-Chair of the Board. Dr. Munroe-Blum has served on the boards of numerous other Canadian and international organizations and firms.
Dr. Munroe-Blum holds a Ph.D. with Distinction in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in addition to a Masters degree in Social Work (Wilfrid Laurier University) and Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work degrees (McMaster University). She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the National Order of Quebec, and a Specially Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.top of page
President and Chief Executive Officer, Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Simon Pimstone is a Founder, Director, and President and Chief Executive Officer at Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. Xenon, a privately-owned biotechnology company, is engaged in discovering and developing novel pharmaceuticals for rare human diseases using its unique genetic platform for novel target discovery.
Dr. Pimstone is a director and the past Chair of LifeSciences British Columbia. He also serves as a director of Providence Health Care. He is a member of the Translation Advisory Committee of the PROOF (Prevention of Organ Failure) Centre, a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) and a member of the BC Health Research Strategy Advisory Board for the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. He is Vice Chair of the Executive Management Team for the BC Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (BCCRIN). Dr. Pimstone also serves as Director of the biotechnology companies Enject in California and Indel Therapeutics and Eupraxia in Vancouver.
Dr. Pimstone received his MD from the University of Cape Town. He is an internal medicine specialist (FRCPC) with an interest in cardiovascular disease. Prior to his specialization, he trained as a clinical research fellow with the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia and obtained his Ph.D. in cardiovascular genetics at the University of Amsterdam.top of page
President and Vice Chancellor, University of Alberta
Indira V. Samarasekera is the 12th President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Alberta. Prior to joining U of A, she was Vice-President, Research at the University of British Columbia, appointed to that position in 2000 after having worked in the Department of Metals and Materials Engineering, with a focus on the continuous casting and hot rolling of steel. Dr. Samarasekera has been recognized as a leading metallurgical engineer, serving as a consultant to nearly one hundred steel companies worldwide on steel processing and quality, and publishing widely on process engineering in the materials field.
Dr. Samarasekera currently serves on the Council of the National Institute of Nanotechnology (NINT) as well as the board of the Bank of Nova Scotia and as chair of the World Universities Network. She has also served on the Public Policy Forum of Canada, a Presidential Visiting Committee at MIT, the Conference Board of Canada, and the Prime Minister's Panel for the Renewal of the Public Service. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum.
Dr. Samarasekera has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Ceylon, a Masters of Science degree from the University of California in Mechanical Engineering (as a Fulbright-Hays Scholar), and a Ph.D from the University of British Columbia in Metallurgical Engineering. She received the E.W. R. Steacie Memorial fellowship in 1991, and was awarded the Order of Canada in 2002. In 2012, Dr. Samarasekera was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Public Policy Forum's Peter Lougheed Award for leadership in public policy.top of page
Canada Research Chair, Tissue Engineering, University of Toronto
Molly Shoichet holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering and is Professor of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Chemistry and Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. She is an expert in the study of polymers for drug delivery and regeneration, which are materials that promote healing in the body. Dr. Shoichet has published over 450 papers, patents and abstracts, and she has given over 275 lectures worldwide. She currently leads a laboratory of 25 researchers and has graduated 115 researchers over the past 18 years. She founded two spin-off companies from research in her laboratory. Before being recruited to the University of Toronto in 1995, Dr. Shoichet worked at CytoTherapeutics Inc. on encapsulated cell therapy.
Dr. Shoichet received her S.B. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1987) and her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in polymer science and engineering (1992). She is the only living person to be a Fellow of Canada's Three National Academies: the Canadian Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She is the recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts' Killam Research Fellowship, NSERC's Steacie Fellowship, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research's Young Explorer's Award (to the top 20 scientists under 40 in Canada), the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering's Syncrude Innovation Award, Canada's Top 40 under 40, the Royal Society of Canada's Rutherford Memorial Award, the Clemson Award from the Society for Biomaterials, and a Connaught Innovation Award. She was appointed to the Order of Ontario and recognized as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011. In 2013, Dr. Shoichet was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.top of page
Chair and CEO, NRStor Inc.
Annette Verschuren became the CEO of NRStor Inc. in March 2012. NRStor develops and commercializes energy storage technologies. Formerly the President of The Home Depot in Canada and Asia, Ms. Verschuren oversaw the Canadian operations growth from 19 stores in 1996 to 180 in 2011, as well as leading The Home Depot's entry into China.
Ms. Verschuren began her career as a development officer with a coal-mining operation in Sydney, Nova Scotia, called the Cape Breton Development Corporation. She then worked with the Canada Development Investment Corporation, as the executive vice-president, where she privatized crown corporations. Ms. Verschuren later joined Imasco Ltd., one of Canada's largest holding companies in financial services, retail, and food services, where she was the vice-president of corporate development. She then became co-founder of Michaels the Arts and Crafts store and opened 17 stores in 26 months before she joined The Home Depot.
Ms. Verschuren was recently asked to lead the Government of Ontario's Clean Energy Task Force. She also serves as the Chancellor of Cape Breton University, and chairs fundraising efforts for the university's new Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment. Ms. Verschuren has served as the vice chair of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Her board memberships include Air Canada, Liberty Mutual, the North West Company, Icynene, CAMH Foundation, and the Conference Board of Canada.top of page
Executive Chairman, Martinrea International Inc.
Rob Wildeboer is the Executive Chairman and co-founder of Martinrea International Inc., a global auto parts supplier specializing in automotive fluid systems and metal forming products. Martinrea has over 11,000 employees at 37 divisions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Europe. Previously, Mr. Wildeboer was a partner of Wildeboer Dellece LLP, a law firm that practices corporate, securities, and tax law that he co-founded in 1993, and where he remains as Counsel to the firm. Prior to that, he was a lawyer with Stikeman, Elliott; an associate professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he taught corporate law and corporate finance; and, a regulator with the Ontario Securities Commission.
Mr. Wildeboer is Vice-Chairman of Aecon Group Inc., Canada's largest public infrastructure company; Vice-Chairman of the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA); a director of the Canadian Automotive Partnership Counsel (CAPC); a member of the Ontario Manufacturing Council; a member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Minister of Finance of Canada; Chair of the CEO Manufacturing Advisory Council; Chair of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute; and, a director or advisor of numerous charitable organizations.
Mr. Wildeboer holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Guelph, a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, an MBA from York University, and an LLM from Harvard University.top of page
Deputy Minister, Health Canada
Glenda Yeates was appointed Deputy Minister of Health Canada in April 2010, after having served as Associate Deputy Minister of Health since May 2009. Previously, Ms. Yeates served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Institute for Health Information (from 2004 to 2009). She also held a number of positions in the Government of Saskatchewan, including as Deputy Minister of Health (1999 to 2004) and Deputy Minister of Social Services (1997 to 1999). Prior to this, she held various Assistant and Associate Deputy Minister positions in Saskatchewan Health, and a number of senior posts in the Saskatchewan Department of Finance.
Ms. Yeates has served in the past as a board member for Carleton University, the Ontario Change Foundation, and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation. She is currently serving on the Board of the Public Policy Forum.
Ms. Yeates holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Political Science and History and a Masters degree in Public Administration from Queen's University.