Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall governance of the Institute, and is composed of distinguished individuals drawn from the Canadian business, research and professional communities.

William L. Young (Chair)
Chairman of the Board, Magna International
Aurora, ON

Alan Bernstein, O.C.
President & CEO, CIFAR
Toronto, ON

Antonia Maioni (Vice-chair)
Dean, Faculty of Arts, McGill University
Montreal, QC

A. Anne McLellan, P.C., O.C. (Vice-chair)
Senior Advisor, Bennett Jones
Edmonton, AB

David A. Dodge, O.C. 
Senior Advisor, Bennett Jones LLP
Ottawa, ON

Scott Bonham 
Co-Founder, Intentional Capital Real Estate
San Francisco, CA

Jean-Guy Desjardins, C.M.
Chairman & CEO, Fiera Capital Corporation
Montreal, QC

Olivier Desmarais
Senior Vice-President, Power Corporation of Canada
Montreal, QC

Brenda Eaton
Corporate Director
Victoria, BC

Anthony R.M. Graham
Vice-Chair, Wittington Investments, Limited
Toronto, ON

Jordan Jacobs
Co-Founder, CEO and Managing Partner, Radical Ventures
Toronto, ON

Jacqueline Koerner
Founder & Past Chair, Ecotrust Canada
Vancouver, BC

Stephen D. Lister
Managing Partner, Imperial Capital Limited
Toronto, ON

Jason McLean
President & CEO, McLean Group
Vancouver, BC

Patricia Meredith
Clarkson Centre for Board Effectiveness, University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

Gilles G. Ouellette
Group Head, BMO Asset Management
Toronto, ON

Lawrence Pentland
Former President, Dell Canada and Latin America
Toronto, ON

Ann Rooney
Corporate Director
Calgary, AB

Hugo F. Sonnenschein

President Emeritus & Distinguished Professor, University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

Barbara Stymiest (Immediate Past Chair)
Corporate Director 
Toronto, ON

Damon Williams
CEO, RBC Global Asset Management
Toronto, ON

Executive Team

CIFAR is led by Alan Bernstein, President & Chief Executive Officer who reports to the Board and is responsible for developing and leading the Institute in an overall strategic direction. Reporting to the President is the executive group.

Alan Bernstein
President & Chief Executive Officer
Mark Daley
Vice-President, Research
Rebecca Finlay
Vice-President, Engagement & Public Policy
Leslie McCarley
Vice-President, Advancement
Catherine Riddell
Vice-President, Strategic Communications
Elissa Strome
Executive Director, Pan-Canadian AI Strategy
Pauline Yick
Chief Operating Officer

Viceregal patrons

The Governor General of Canada may choose to support associations and organizations for their outstanding contributions to society. Patronage is granted at the discretion of the governor general to organizations whose objectives are aligned with the role and responsibilities of the Governor General, national in scope, governed and managed responsibly and sustainably, with a solid record of achievement.

The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada (2010-2017), Viceregal Patron (2014-2017), Chairman Emeritus

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada (2018-present), Viceregal patron 2018-present

Directors Emeriti

The Directors Emeriti is an honorary group of former long-standing Board members. They are friends of CIFAR, who have chosen to stay involved with the organization to provide intellectual insight and strategic advice.

Peter A. Allen

Chaviva Hošek – President Emerita

Robin L. Armstrong

Patricia Baird

Mona Bandeen

Ralph Barford

Peter Bentley

William R.C. Blundell

Beverley Brennan

Brian Canfield

David W. Choi

Evan V. Chrapko
F. Anthony Comper

Allan R. Crawford

Maureen Kempston

Darkes Michael Decter

Robert Dexter

James F. Dinning

Bruno Ducharme

Pierre Ducros 

J. Eyton 

Haig Farris 

Peter Farwell 

Anthony Fell 

Fraser M. Fell 

John Ferguson 

George A. Fierheller 

Charles Fischer 

Brian Flemming 

Claude Forget 

Pierre Fortin

Morten N. Friis

Kenneth Georgetti 

Irving Gerstein 

Maxine Granovsky Gluskin 

J. Linday Gordon 

Charles Gold

Gerald R. Heffernan 
Richard W. Ivey 

The Right Honourable David L. Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.D.

Thomas E. Kierans

Jacques Lamarre

Claude Lamoureux

Arthur Lau

J. Leclair

V. Lee

Martin Lippert

Peter C. Maurice

Arthur Mauro

Trina McQueen

Bruce H. Mitchell

Peter Nicholson

Frank O’Dea

Roger Parkinson

Martha C. Piper

Fred Pomeroy

Gerard J. Protti

Barbara Rae

Robert Rae

Raymond Royer

Guylaine Saucier

Arthur Sawchuk

Hugh Segal

Helen Sinclair

Barbara Sparrow

Andrei Sulzenko

Allan R. Taylor

Carole Taylor

Paul Tellier

Stephen J. Toope

Ilse Treurnicht

Norman Webster

Lynton Wilson

Charles Williams

Douglas Wright

Council of Advisors

The Council of Advisors assists the Board of Directors and the President & Chief Executive Officer by providing advice and counsel as requested. It is composed of engaged alumni of the Board of Directors, of the Research Council, or past participants in research programs.

Peter A. Allen
President, Mercator Investments Ltd.
Toronto, ON

James C. Baillie
Senior Counsel, Torys LLP
Toronto, ON

Patricia A. Baird, OC
University Killam Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

Mona Bandeen, CM
President & Trustee, S. M. Blair Family Foundation
Toronto, ON

Peter Bentley
Director & Chairman Emeritus, Canfor Corporation
Vancouver, BC

William R.C. Blundell, OC
Corporate Director
Toronto, ON

Evan V. Chrapko
CEO, The Crystal Cougar Group of Companies
Edmonton, AB

Pierre Ducros
President, P. Ducros & Associates
Westmount, QC

John T. Ferguson, CM
Founder, Chairman & CEO, Princeton Developments Ltd.
Edmonton, AB

George A. Fierheller, CM
President, Four Halls Inc.
Toronto, ON

James D. Fleck, CC
President, Fleck Management Services Ltd.
Toronto, ON

Pierre Fortin
Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, Université du Québec à Montréal
Montréal, QC

J. Lindsay Gordon
Chancellor, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

Allan E. Gotlieb, CC
Senior Business Advisor, Bennett Jones LLP
Toronto, ON

Maxine Granovsky Gluskin
Trustee, Ira Gluskin and Maxine Granovsky Gluskin Charitable Foundation
Toronto, ON

Richard F. Haskayne, OC
Chairman, Haskayne and Partners
Calgary, AB

Gerald R. Heffernan, OC
President, G.R. Heffernan & Associates
Toronto, ON

Richard W. Ivey, CM
Chairman, Ivest Corporation Inc.
Toronto, ON

David W. Kerr
Managing Partner, Edper Financial Group
Toronto, ON

Michael M. Koerner, CM
President, Canada Overseas Investments Ltd.
Toronto, ON

Jacques Lamarre, OC
Strategic Advisor, Jacques Lamarre Management Inc.
Montréal, QC

Claude Lamoureux, OC
Past President & CEO, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
Toronto, ON

Margaret Norrie McCain, CC
Former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick
Toronto, ON

Martha C. Piper, OC
Past President & Vice-Chancellor, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

J. Robert S. Prichard, OC
Chairman, Torys LLP
Toronto, ON

Stephen Toope
Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge
Cambridge, United Kingdom

C. William Stanley
Former CEO, Fundy Communications Inc.
Rothesay, New Brunswick

Allan R. Taylor, OC
Former Chairman & CEO, Royal Bank of Canada
Toronto, ON

Victor L. Young, OC Former Chairman & CEO, Fishery Products International
St. John’s, NL

President's Research Council

The Research Council is made up of eminent scholars from a wide range of disciplines. The Research Council is responsible for advising the President & Chief Executive Officer on formulating, developing and establishing high quality advanced research programs, and on the disposition of programs when their work is deemed complete.

Alan Bernstein, O.C.
President & CEO, CIFAR

Francis Bach
Research faculty, INRIA and École Normale Supérieure

Steven Beckwith
Professor, University of California, Berkeley
United States

Suzanne Berger
Raphael Dorman and Helen Starbuck Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
United States

Elizabeth Cannon
President Emerita, University of Calgary
Université Laval

Sophie D'Amour
Rector of Université Laval, Faculty of Science and Engineering-Department of Mechanical Engineering
Université Laval

Kay Davies
Dr. Lee’s Professor of Anatomy, Director of the MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford,
United Kingdom

Donald Bruce Dingwell
Director, Earth and Environment, University of Munich

Nita A. Farahany
Professor of Law, Professor of Philosophy, Duke University,
United States

Marie-Josée Hébert
Vice-President, Research, Discovery, Creation and Innovation, University of Montreal

Margaret Levi
Director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences,
Professor, Political Science, Stanford University
United States

Antonia Maioni
Dean of Arts, McGill University

Anne Martin-Matthews
Associate Vice-President, Health, UBC

Andrew Maynard
Director, Risk Innovation Lab, Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University
United States

Antoine Petit
Chairman and CEO, CNRS, (Scientific Research National Center)

Rémi Quirion
Chief Scientist, Government of Quebec

Matthias Ruth
PhD Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of York
United Kingdom 

Thomas Sugrue
Affiliated Faculty, NYU Wagner, Professor, NYU Department of Social and Cultural Analysis
United States

Honorary Appointments

Throughout its 30 years of knowledge breakthroughs and research excellence, CIFAR has recognized remarkable individuals who have played a key role in transforming CIFAR into one of Canada’s foremost global research assets. These individuals have been honoured as CIFAR Presidents Emeriti, Distinguished Fellows and Honorary Fellows.

Presidents Emeriti

Bestowed by the Board of Directors, the honorary title of President Emeritus is given to past CIFAR presidents who exhibit extraordinary leadership. This lifetime honour grants each of them the privilege of attending all CIFAR research program meetings and receiving research materials.

Chaviva Hošek, President and CEO (2001-2012)
A leader in government, academia and business, Dr. Hošek joined CIFAR as President and CEO in 2001. With her immense curiosity and intellect, her passion for making a difference, and her natural warmth, Dr. Hošek significantly expanded and strengthened CIFAR, leading it into several new topics such as quantum information and the role of genetic networks in disease. As CIFAR’s President and CEO, she was the Lawson Foundation Fellow and, as such, provided leadership of CIFAR’s research into early childhood development while mobilizing new knowledge for greater societal impact.

Her career included a post as Director of Policy and Research in the Prime Minister’s Office for Prime Minister Jean Chrétien from 1993-2000. She was Minister of Housing with the Province of Ontario and a Professor of English Literature at the University of Toronto for 13 years. She has also received four honorary degrees and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

J. Stefan Dupré, President and CEO (1996-2000)
Stefan Dupré joined CIFAR in 1996, after holding many senior academic positions including Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto and founding Chairman of the Ontario Council of University Affairs. He became a professor of political science at the University of Toronto in 1963, and later Professor Emeritus. He oversaw the evolution of the Institute’s early work on superconductivity and gravity to focus on the emerging revolutions in these fields.

Prior to his presidency, Dr. Dupré was a member of the National Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He was past-president of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, and received the Institute’s Vanier Medal. He was also appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Fraser Mustard, Founding President (1982-1996)
Fraser Mustard was the founding President of CIFAR and served for 14 years. His vision was to create a global institute that promoted interdisciplinary, inter-university research and explored the scientific and social challenges important to Canada and the world. Before establishing CIFAR, Dr. Mustard was widely respected for his work in blood and vascular disease and was one of the founding members of McMaster University’s Faculty of Medicine. He is well-known for his leadership of the Early Years Study with the Honorable Margaret Norrie McCain. He made an extraordinary contribution to our understanding of how social and economic gradients affect health, early development and lifetime well-being.

His many honours include Companion of the Order of Canada, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Laureate of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Before passing away in 2011, he was a member of CIFAR’s Advisory Committee for the Child & Brain Development program.

Distinguished Fellows

The title of CIFAR Distinguished Fellow is a lifetime honour granted by CIFAR’s Board of Directors on research fellows who have made outstanding, long-term contributions to the research programs of the Institute while substantially advancing knowledge in their fields of study.


George Akerlof, University Professor at Georgetown University and Koshland Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics at University of California, Berkeley
George Akerlof is a Nobel laureate best known for his prize-winning “Market for Lemons” theory of asymmetric information and its effect on economic behavior. His most important research initiative in recent years has involved bringing a new point of view into economics that incorporates concepts in classical sociology, including identity, norms, ideal types, and social categories. He joined CIFAR as an Associate Fellow in the Economic Growth & Policy program in 1992 and then a Senior Fellow in the Institutions, Organizations & Growth program. In 2005, he and John F. Helliwell became the founding Co-Directors of the Social Interactions, Identity & Well-Being program.

John F. Helliwell, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of British Columbia
John F. Helliwell is a Canadian economist renowned for his pioneering work in incorporating social concepts into economic theories of development and growth. In 2012, Helliwell co-edited the very first World Happiness Report and the fifth annual report was released in 2017. These reports have sparked a worldwide discussion on well-being, society, and government policy. He joined CIFAR as the founding Co-Director of the Social Interactions, Identity & Well-Being program with George A. Akerlof in 2005.


Elhanan Helpman, Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade, Harvard University
Dr. Helpman is one of the most respected and diverse economists in the world. He has changed the field of international trade and brought rigorous, creative approaches to studies of economic growth and political economy. He developed new trade theory and extended new growth theory with his collaborators. In 1992, he was among the first fellows appointed to the CIFAR program in Economic Growth & Policy, eventually becoming director. In 2004, he and his colleagues proposed a new program in Institutions, Organizations & Growth that would shift the focus from technology’s role in growth to examine how institutions influence growth and development. He stepped down as director of that program in 2014 and remains a senior fellow.


Geoffrey Hinton, Distinguished Professor, University of Toronto, and Distinguished Researcher, Google
Dr. Hinton is a pioneering computer scientist renowned for his work on deep learning. In 2013, Google purchased his startup company, DNNresearch, and hired him to improve its artificial intelligence functions for services such as image search and voice search. Hinton’s work has fuelled the movement toward creating computers that think more and more like humans. He joined CIFAR as a Fellow in the Artificial Intelligence & Robotics program in 1987, and became the founding Director of CIFAR’s Learning in Machines & Brains program (formerly known as Neural Computation & Adaptive Perception). He now serves on the program's Advisory Committee.


W. Ford Doolittle, Professor Emeritus, Dalhousie University
Dr. Doolittle, one of the world's top molecular geneticists, was the founding Director of CIFAR’s program in Evolutionary Biology. His research has revolutionized our understanding of the evolutionary “tree of life.” Working on the smallest of organisms, protists, he demonstrated that genes crossed over various evolutionary branches, fundamentally altering our thinking about how speciation occurred. He played a key role in establishing CIFAR’s program in Integrated Microbial Biodiversity, and sits on its Advisory Committee today.


Robert G. Evans, Professor of Economics, University of British Columbia
Dr. Evans is a world leading health economist and founding Director of CIFAR’s program in Population Health, serving in that role from 1987-1997. He made groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of the social and economic determinants of health and fundamentally transformed our thinking about health systems through comparative studies of such systems and their funding strategies. He continued as a Fellow until the program’s completion in 2002.

Werner Israel, Adjunct Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria
Dr. Israel is a well-known physicist who helped create one of CIFAR’s first programs, Cosmology and Gravity, in 1986. He is a pioneer in understanding the detailed structure of black holes, a topic that remains one of the foundational questions in physical cosmology. He remains an active member of the program.

Honorary Fellows

The title of CIFAR Honorary Fellow is a lifetime honour bestowed by CIFAR’s Board of Directors on individuals who have provided significant and outstanding leadership to the Institute over a sustained period of time.


Bruce Mitchell, President & CEO of Permian Industries
As a member of CIFAR’s board of directors from 1998 to 2019, Bruce Mitchell was an active member of the Audit & Finance and Investment Committees and served as a champion for CIFAR in the government and business communities. His generous contributions of time, resources and advice were instrumental in CIFAR’s growth and transformation, while remaining true to its core mission over 21 years. CIFAR’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to appoint Bruce Mitchell as a CIFAR Honorary Fellow in recognition of his longstanding commitment to the organization.

Peter J. G. Bentley
Peter J. G. Bentley, Director and Chair Emeritus of Canfor Corporation. As a member of CIFAR’s Board of Directors from 1995 to 2018, Peter was an articulate and strategic champion for CIFAR in British Columbia and Canada. He was actively involved in helping CIFAR raise funds from the Government of British Columbia, facilitating introductions of the Institute to wider audiences, and making generous contributions both personally and corporately. In 2018, CIFAR’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint Peter as a CIFAR Honorary Fellow in recognition of his 23 years of devoted service.


Richard W. Ivey, Chairman Emeritus, CIFAR, and Chairman and CEO of Ivest Corporation
As a member of CIFAR’s Board of Directors from 1995 to 2015, Richard W. Ivey was actively involved in helping CIFAR raise over $100 million of private and public sector funding. Richard and his wife Donna have also been generous donors to CIFAR. In his 20 years with the Board, he served as Chair for six years, as well as Chair of the Principal Gifts Campaign, Governance, and Advancement and Communications committees. In 2015, CIFAR’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint Richard as a CIFAR Honorary Fellow in recognition of his 20 years of devoted leadership and philanthropy.


The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada (2010-2017), Viceregal Patron (2014-2017), Chairman Emeritus
The Right Honorable David Johnston has a long history of supporting CIFAR. He was a member of CIFAR’s program in Law and Society from 1987 to 1990, and served as Chair of the Board from 1994 to 1999. In 1999 CIFAR appointed him an Honorary Fellow for devoting “his outstanding talents to the task of mobilizing the resources without which CIFAR would have ceased to exist.” In 2014 he became CIFAR’s first Honorary Patron. Mr. Johnston is the former Governor General of Canada, and a former president of the University of Waterloo.