By: Liz Do
20 Oct, 2022
As tribute to the outgoing President and CEO, Dr. Alan Bernstein, CIFAR community members have contributed $1 million in his honour. As a result of this generosity, a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, who becomes a CIFAR Fellow, will receive the honorary designation of Alan Bernstein Fellow.
The Alan Bernstein Fellow is symbolic of Bernstein’s legacy at CIFAR and his incredible contributions to supporting the next generation of research leaders.
Close to 100 members of the CIFAR community contributed to the honorary recognition. The announcement was unveiled at an event in celebration of Bernstein on October 19.
A framed full-page ad of the announcement was presented, which ran in the Globe and Mail the next day.
“Alan thank you — it has been such a deep privilege to work alongside you and to be part of the distinguished organization you’ve helped lead on the world stage,” said William Young, CIFAR Board Chair.
Tributes for Bernstein that evening were made both in-person and virtually, and included: board members; donors, CIFAR staff; CIFAR fellows, scholars and researchers; a former Governor General; government officials; and, many others from the CIFAR network around the world.
“You’ve been a great friend and mentor to myself and to so many others,” said Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor, Government of Canada, who also noted in her video tribute Bernstein’s significant contribution as a science leader during the pandemic in Canada.
“His excitement and enthusiasm for the research, for the programs, for us as future leaders has been incredibly inspiring,” added Gabriela Schlau-Cohen, Heffernan Fellow in the Bio-inspired Solar Energy program, and a former CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar.
Over his decade as CIFAR’s President and CEO, Bernstein was instrumental in launching two international Global Calls for Ideas, shaping CIFAR’s programming, and rallying scientists from around the world to share their bold questions and solutions to humanity’s greatest challenges. He established the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program, in support of advancing knowledge and connections for early-career researchers, and positioned Canada as a world leader in artificial intelligence (AI), with CIFAR’s leadership of the world’s first national AI strategy.
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.