We benefit from visionary leadership.
CIFAR’s team of leaders and advisors includes accomplished scholars, administrators, policy-makers, and business leaders.
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.
Fellow, Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue
Simon Fraser University
Indira Samarasekera, OC
University of Alberta
Bennett Jones LLP
CIFAR is led by Stephen Toope, 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.
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
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.
Patricia Baird, OC
Ralph Barford, CM
Peter Bentley, OC
William Blundell, OC
Brian Canfield, CM
Anthony Comper, CM
Maureen Kempston Darkes, OC
James Dinning, CM
Pierre Ducros, CM
John Ferguson, CM
Claude Forget, OC
Kenneth Georgetti, CM
Irving Gerstein, CM
J. Lindsay Gordon
Maxine Granovsky Gluskin
Gerald Heffernan, OC
Chaviva Hošek, OC
Richard Ivey, CM
Right Hon. David Johnston, CC
Jacques Lamarre, OC
Claude Lamoureux, OC
V. Paul Lee
Arthur Mauro, OC
Trina McQueen, OC
Martha Piper, OC
Hon. Robert Rae, PC, CC
Raymond Royer, OC
Hugh Segal, CM
Hon. Barbara Sparrow, PC
Allan R. Taylor, OC
Hon. Paul Tellier, PC, CC
Lynton Wilson, OC
Victor L. Young, OC
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.
President, Mercator Investments Ltd.
Former Senior Counsel, Torys LLP
Patricia Baird, OC
University Killam Distinguished Professor Emerita, University
of British Columbia
William Blundell, OC
Chairman & CEO, Trust Science
President, P. Ducros & Associates
John Ferguson, CM
Founder, Chairman & CEO,
Princeton Developments Ltd.
James Fleck, CC
President, Fleck Management Services Ltd.
Professor Emeritus, Department
of Economics, Université du
Québec à Montréal
J. Lindsay Gordon
Former Chancellor, University of British Columbia
Maxine Granovsky Gluskin
Trustee, Ira Gluskin and Maxine Granovsky Gluskin Charitable Foundation
Richard Haskayne, OC
Chairman, Haskayne and Partners
Gerald Heffernan, OC
President, G.R. Heffernan & Associates
Richard W. Ivey, CM
Chairman, Ivest Properties Inc.
Affiliated Director, Brookfield Asset Management
Michael Koerner, CM
President, Canada Overseas Investments Ltd.
Jacques Lamarre, OC
Strategic Advisor, Jacques Lamarre Management Inc.
Claude Lamoureux, OC
Past President & CEO, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
Margaret McCain, CC
Former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick
President & CEO, Permian Industries Limited
Martha Piper, OC
Past President & Vice-Chancellor, University of British Columbia
J. Robert Prichard, OC
Chairman, Torys LLP
C. William Stanley
Former CEO, Fundy Communications Inc.
Rothesay, New Brunswick
Allan R. Taylor, OC
Former Chairman & CEO, Royal Bank of Canada
Victor L. Young, OC
Former Chairman & CEO, Fishery Products International
St. John’s, NL
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.
Stephen Toope, OC, LLD, FRSC
President & CEO, CIFAR
Professor, Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley
Elizabeth Cannon, OC
President Emerita and Professor of Geomatics Engineering, University of Calgary
Sophie D’Amours, OC
Rectrice, Université Laval
Donald Bruce Dingwell
Director, Department for Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Senior Vice President and Director of Research, IBM
Yorktown Heights, NY
President and Executive Director
Director, Sara Miller McCune, CASBS
Director, Risk Innovation Lab, School for the Future of Innovation in Society,
Arizona State University
Professor of Indigenous Studies,
University of Auckland,
Auckland, New Zealand
Chancellor, Professor of Political Science,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Chairman & CEO, National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Rémi Quirion, OC
Scientifique en chef, Gouvernement du Québec
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of York
Professor of Science and Technology Policy, Science Policy Research Unit,
University of Sussex
Falmer, United Kingdom
Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History,
New York University
New York City, NY
Albert van Jaarsveld
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA),
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.
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.
Alan Bernstein, President and CEO
Alan was President & CEO of CIFAR until 2012 and was responsible for developing and leading the institute’s overall strategic direction. He is one of Canada’s leading scientists and was an early champion of women in science and young scientists.
After receiving his PhD from the University of Toronto and following postdoctoral work at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, Dr. Bernstein joined the Ontario Cancer Institute. In 1985, he joined the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, was named its Associate Director in 1988 and served as Director of Research from 1994 to 2000. In 2000, he was asked to become the founding President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada’s federal agency for the support of health research. In that capacity, he led the transformation of health research in Canada. In 2010, Bernstein became Executive Director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise in New York, an international alliance of researchers and funders charged with accelerating the search for an HIV vaccine.
Author of over 225 scientific publications, Alan made landmark contributions to the study of stem cells, blood cell formation (hematopoiesis), and cancer. He chairs or is a member of advisory and review boards in Canada, the U.S., U.K., Italy, and Australia. He serves as co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Stand Up 2 Cancer Canada, is a member of the Sabin-Aspen Vaccine Science and Policy Group, and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In May 2020 he was appointed to Canada’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force and in February 2021, he was appointed Chair of the Variants of Concern, Scientific Advisory Council.
Alan’s contributions to science and science policy have been recognized with numerous awards and honorary degrees, including Officer of the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, the McLaughlin Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, the Award of Excellence from the Genetics Society of Canada, the Gairdner Foundation Wightman Award, induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and the 2017 Henry Friesen International Prize in Health Research.
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.
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.
W. Thomas Boyce, Professor Emeritus, University of California, San Francisco
W. Thomas Boyce is a leading expert on the interplay between neurobiological and psychosocial processes – an interplay that leads to socially partitioned differences in childhood health, development and disease.
Studying the interactive influences of socio-economic adversities and neurobiological responses, Boyce has demonstrated how psychological stress and neurobiological reactivity to aversive social contexts operate conjointly to produce both physical and mental health disorders in childhood populations. A central goal of his work is to develop a new synthesis between biomedical and social epidemiologic accounts of human pathogenesis and to articulate the public health implications of that synthetic view.
Marla Sokolowski, University Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto
Marla Sokolowski co-directed the Child and Brain Development Program (2008-2019). Her innovative work is esteemed worldwide as a clear, integrative mechanistic paragon of the manner in which genes can interact with the environment, thus impacting behaviour.
She has trail-blazed the development of a branch of behaviour genetics that addresses the genetic and molecular bases of natural individual differences in behaviour. Sokolowski is best known for her discovery of the foraging gene. She has more than 200 publications, is an award-winning teacher and mentor, and has given close to 250 invited lectures.
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 is a computer scientist who investigates how neural networks can be used for learning, memory, perception, and symbol processing.
He was one of the researchers who introduced the back-propagation algorithm that has been widely used for practical applications in deep learning. His other contributions to neural network research include Boltzmann machines, distributed representations, time-delay neural nets, mixtures of experts, Helmholtz machines and products of experts. His current main interest is in unsupervised learning procedures for neural networks with rich sensory input.
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.
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.
David A. Dodge, Senior advisor at Bennett Jones LLP
David Dodge is the former Governor of the Bank of Canada.
Prior to that he had a distinguished career in the federal public service, where he held senior positions in the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Anti-Inflation Board, and the Department of Employment and Immigration. After serving in a number of increasingly senior positions at the Department of Finance, including that of G-7 Deputy, Mr. Dodge was appointed Deputy Minister of Finance in 1992. During that time, he served as a member of the Bank of Canada’s Board of Directors. In 1998, Mr. Dodge was appointed Deputy Minister of Health, a position he held until his appointment as Governor of the Bank of Canada. He is a former trustee of the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation and a former Director of the International Economics Program at the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Ottawa. He is also a former director of Scotiabank, ATCO Limited and Canadian Utilities Limited.
During his academic career, he served as Assistant Professor of Economics at Queen's University, Associate Professor of Canadian Studies and International Economics at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Senior Fellow in the Faculty of Commerce at the University of British Columbia; and Visiting Professor in the Department of Economics at Simon Fraser University. He holds a Ph.D in economics from Princeton University and a B.A. in economics from Queen’s University.
He was Chairman of CIFAR’s Board of Directors from 2010 to 2014. Currently he is Chairman of the Board of the Council of Canadian Academies and Senior advisor at Bennett Jones LLP.
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.
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.
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.