Skip to content


smaller line


We benefit from visionary leadership.

CIFAR’s team of leaders and advisors includes accomplished scholars, administrators, policy-makers, and business leaders.


smaller line
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)
Chair of the Board,
Magna International
Boston, MA

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

Hon. Anne McLellan, PC,
OC, AOE (Vice-chair)
Senior Advisor,
Bennett Jones LLP
Edmonton, AB

Alan Bernstein, OC, OOnt,
President & CEO,
Toronto, ON

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

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

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

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

Brenda Eaton
Corporate Director
Victoria, BC

Anthony R.M. Graham
President & CEO,
Sumarria Inc.
Toronto, ON

Jordan Jacobs
CEO and Managing Partner,
Radical Ventures
Toronto, ON

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

Stephen D. Lister
Chairman, Private Debt
Partners Inc.
Toronto, ON

Jason McLean
President & CEO,
McLean Group
Vancouver, BC

Patricia Meredith
Meredith Consulting
Toronto, ON

Gilles G. Ouellette
Chairman, BMO Global
Asset Management
Toronto, ON

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

Ann Rooney
Corporate Director
Calgary, AB

Indira Samarasekera, OC
President Emeritus,
University of Alberta
Senior Advisor,
Bennett Jones LLP
Vancouver, BC

Damon F. Williams
CEO, RBC Global
Asset Management
Toronto, ON

smaller line
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 team.

Alan Bernstein, PhD
President & CEO

Mark Daley, PhD
Vice-President, Research

Rebecca Finlay
Vice-President, Engagement & Public Policy

Leslie McCarley
Vice-President, Advancement

Catherine Riddell
Vice-President, Strategic Communications

Elissa Strome, PhD
Executive Director, Pan-Canadian AI Strategy

Pauline Yick
Chief Operating Officer

smaller line
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.

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada (2018–2021), Viceregal patron November 2018–January 2021

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

smaller line
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.

Robin Armstrong

Peter Allen

Patricia Baird, OC

Ralph Barford, CM

Peter Bentley, OC

William Blundell, OC

Beverly Brennan

Brian Canfield, CM

David Choi

Evan Chrapko

Anthony Comper, CM

Allan Crawford

Michael Decter

Robert Dexter

James Dinning, CM

Bruno Ducharme

Pierre Ducros, CM

Haig Farris

Peter Farwell

Anthony Fell

John Ferguson, CM

James Fleck

Brian Flemming

Claude Forget, OC

Pierre Fortin

Morten Friis

Kenneth Georgetti, CM

Irving Gerstein, CM

Charles Gold

J. Lindsay Gordon

Maxine Granovsky Gluskin

Graham Hallward

Gerald Heffernan, OC

Chaviva Hošek, OC

Richard W. Ivey, CM

Right Hon. David Johnston, CC

Maureen Kempston

David Kerr

Thomas Kierans

Jacques Lamarre, OC

Claude Lamoureux, OC

Arthur Lau

V. Paul Lee

Martin Lippert

Pierre Lortie

Peter Maurice

Arthur Mauro, OC

Trina McQueen, OC

Bruce Mitchell

Peter Nicholson

Frank O'Dea

Roger Parkinson

Martha Piper, OC

Fred Pomeroy

Gerard Protti

Barbara Rae

Hon. Robert Rae, PC, CC

Raymond Royer, OC

Guylaine Saucier

Arthur Sawchuk

Hugh Segal, CM

Helen Sinclair

Hon. Barbara Sparrow, PC

Andrei Sulzenko

Allan Taylor, OC

Carole Taylor

Hon. Paul Tellier, PC, CC

Stephen Toope, OC

Ilse Treurnicht

Norman Webster

Charles Williams

Lynton Wilson, OC

Victor Young

smaller line
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 Allen
President, Mercator Investments Ltd.
Toronto, ON

James Baillie
Former Senior Counsel, Torys LLP
Toronto, ON

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

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

William Blundell, OC
Corporate Director
Toronto, ON

Evan Chrapko
Chairman & CEO, Trust Science
Edmonton, AB

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

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

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

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

Morten Friis
Corporate Director
Toronto, ON

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

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

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

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

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

David Kerr
Affiliated Director, Brookfield Asset Management
Toronto, ON

Michael 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 McCain, CC
Former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick
Toronto, ON

Bruce Mitchell
President & CEO, Permian Industries Limited
Toronto, ON

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

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

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

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

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

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

smaller line
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, OC, OOnt,
President & CEO, CIFAR
Toronto, ON

Francis Bach
Professor, Computer Science Department, École Normale Supérieure, INRIA
Paris, France

Steven Beckwith
Professor, Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA

Suzanne Berger
John M. Deutch Institute Professor, Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA

Elizabeth Cannon, OC
President Emerita and Professor of Geomatics Engineering,  University of Calgary
Calgary, AB

Sophie D’Amours, OC
Rectrice, Université Laval
Laval, QC

Dame Kay Davies, DBE
Dr. Lee’s Professor of Anatomy and Director, MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford
Oxford, UK

Donald Bruce Dingwell
Director, Department for Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Munich, Germany

Nita A. Farahany
Professor of Law and Philosophy, Duke University
Durham, NC

Marie-Josée Hébert
Vice-rectrice à la recherche, à la découverte, à la création et à l’innovation, Université de Montréal
Montreal, QC

Margaret Levi
Sara Miller McCune Director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University
Stanford, CA

Anne Martin-Matthews, OC
Associate Vice-President, Health & Professor of Sociology, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

Andrew Maynard
Director, Risk Innovation Lab, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

Antoine Petit
Chairman & CEO, National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Paris, France

Rémi Quirion, OC
Scientifique en chef, Gouvernement du Québec
Montreal, QC

Matthias Ruth
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of York
York, UK

Thomas Sugrue
Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History, New York University
New York City, NY

smaller line
Honorary Appointments

Throughout nearly 40 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
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
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. Dr. Dupré passed away in 2012.


Fraser Mustard, Founding President
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 Hon. 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.


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 Integrated Microbial Biodiversity program, and sat on its Advisory Committee.


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 was an active member of the program until 2017.


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.


The Honourable William C. Winegard, Minister for Science (1990-1993), Minister of State for Science and Technology (1989-1990)
As Canada’s Minister of Science, William C. Winegard helped secure federal funding for CIFAR during a critical period of growth. This transformational funding helped sustain the Institute’s research mission and to build new support from private-sector partners. William C. Winegard received this CIFAR honour "in recognition for all that he has done to promote the importance of science and innovation throughout his career."

Support Us

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.

MaRS Centre, West Tower
661 University Ave., Suite 505
Toronto, ON M5G 1M1 Canada