Dr. Stephen Toope named CIFAR’s next President and CEO
On behalf of CIFAR’s Board of Directors, Chair Bill Young announced today the appointment of Dr. Stephen Toope as the incoming President & CEO of CIFAR, commencing November 1, 2022.
In the fall of 2021, President & CEO Dr. Alan Bernstein informed the Board that he would be stepping down when his current term ends, after 10 years at the helm. Following an international search and an impressive group of candidates, the Search Committee unanimously recommended to the Board that Dr. Toope be chosen as CIFAR’s fifth president.
“Stephen’s impressive background as head of two world-leading universities, coupled with his track record of bringing together great minds across disciplines, will continue the trajectory that began under Alan’s leadership.” said Board Chair Bill Young. Dr. Toope was a valued member of the CIFAR Board of Directors from 2014 -2017.
Since 2017, Dr. Toope has served as the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Cambridge, universally regarded as one of, if not the most, highly ranked university in the world. He will be stepping down from that position in the fall of 2022 to become CIFAR’s President and CEO.
“CIFAR is an extraordinary organization, bringing together some of the world’s very best researchers, across national and disciplinary boundaries, to address the most complex and pressing questions of our time. It is in essence a university without walls and I am very honoured to be offered this opportunity to lead it as it enters its next 40 years.” said Dr. Toope.
Dr. Toope holds degrees in literature and history from Harvard, a degree in law from McGill, and received his PhD in Law from Cambridge. As a scholar, Dr. Toope has specialized in human rights, international dispute resolution, international environmental law and the use of force. He has published numerous articles and books on change in international law and the origins of international obligation.
He taught law at McGill before becoming the faculty’s youngest ever Dean of Law at age 34. Dr. Toope served as President and Vice-Chancellor at UBC from 2006-2014, and was the founding president of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. Before joining the University of Cambridge as Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Toope was the Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. He is currently a member of the Board of Canada’s International Development Research Council (IDRC) and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2015.
Bill Young also recognized Dr. Alan Bernstein’s exceptional tenure as CIFAR’s fourth president. “Under Alan’s extraordinary leadership, CIFAR has gone from strength to strength, positioning CIFAR as the world’s research institute, launching global competitions to solicit ideas for new CIFAR programs, developing the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program to nurture the careers of the world’s most promising young researchers, and developing the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy.” said Young.
“Working with CIFAR’s superb board, our remarkable researchers, global scholars, advisors, generous supporters, and staff has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career,” said Dr. Bernstein. “I am proud to have played a role in CIFAR’s evolution over the past decade and am confident that Stephen will take CIFAR to the next level.”
CIFAR will be celebrating Dr. Alan Bernstein’s extraordinary leadership and CIFAR’s 40th anniversary throughout 2022.
CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.