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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.

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William Young (Chair)

Mr. Young currently serves as Chair of the Board of Magna International Corporation, Chair of the Board of SNC Lavalin, Chair of the Board at CIFAR and is a Board Director at Intact Financial.

He began his career as a professional engineer with Imperial Oil before moving into management consulting as a partner in Bain & Company’s European practice from 1981-1989. He was a founding partner of the Westbourne Management Group, a business focused on turnaround management opportunities. From 1996-2018, Mr. Young was partner of Monitor Clipper Partners, which he co-founded, a mid-market private equity firm with over $2 billion invested in 45 portfolio companies in North America and Western Europe.

Mr. Young was a member of Queen’s University’s Board of Trustees from 1996-2012 and is now Chair Emeritus. He has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University.

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Barbara G. Stymiest (Immediate Past Chair)
Corporate Director

Ms. Barbara Stymiest, a corporate director, is a former member of the Group Executive for the Royal Bank of Canada, a former CEO of TMX Group Inc., Executive Vice-President and CFO at BMO Capital Markets and Partner of Ernst & Young LLP. She currently serves on the boards of Blackberry Limited, George Weston Limited, President’s Choice Bank and Sun Life Financial Inc.

Ms. Stymiest also contributes to non-profit organizations as Vice-Chair of the Board of trustees of University Health Network and Vice-Chair of AGE-WELL, an organization dedicated to providing technology to ageing Canadians. She also serves as a director of CIFAR, an organization which convenes world leading scientists to address the most important questions facing science and humanity, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Ivey Institute for Leadership.

Ms. Stymiest obtained her H.B.A. from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University. She is a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant and received the 2011 award of Outstanding Merit from the Council of CPA Ontario. She also received honorary degrees from Western University, University of New Brunswick, University of Guelph and the Canadian University of Dubai.

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Anne McLellan (Vice-Chair)
Bennett Jones LLP

The Honourable A. Anne McLellan, P.C., O.C., A.O.E. served four terms as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre from October 25, 1993 – January 23, 2006. She served as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and as the first Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in the government of the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin (December 2003 – January 2006). Ms. McLellan served as Minister of Health (January 2002 – December 2003), Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (June 1997 – January 2002) and Minister of Natural Resources (November 1993 – June 1997).

Ms. McLellan joined Bennett Jones in its Edmonton office July 4, 2006. She provides strategic advice to the firm and its clients.

Ms. McLellan serves on the Board of Directors of Cameco, Summit Industrial Income REIT, and Invest Alberta Corporation. Among her many community commitments she is Chair of the Boards of Pearson College UWC, TELUS Edmonton Community Board and the Institute for Research for Public Policy and serves on the Board of CIFAR.

In May 2015 Ms. McLellan became Dalhousie University’s seventh chancellor, a position she held until May 31, 2020.

On May 12, 2006 Ms. McLellan was appointed Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University of Alberta in the Alberta Institute for American Studies, a position she held until her retirement from the University of Alberta in June 2013. Ms. McLellan was awarded honorary doctorate of law degrees by both the University of Alberta (in 2007) and the University of Cape Breton (in 2009).

She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Law degree from Dalhousie University and a Master of Laws degree from King's College, University of London.

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Alan Bernstein (President and CEO)

Alan has been President & CEO of CIFAR since 2012, 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.

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Scott B. Bonham
Intentional Capital

Mr. Bonham is a corporate director and the Co-Founder of Intentional Capital, a privately held real estate investment management company that manages properties serving Canadian entrepreneurs and start-up companies. He also co-founded GGV Capital, an expansion stage venture capital firm with investments in the U.S. and China, where he served as a Partner (2000-2011), and as a Venture Partner (2011-2015).

Prior to co-founding GGV in 2000, Mr. Bonham served as Vice President of the Capital Group Companies, where he managed technology investments across several mutual funds (1996-2000). Mr. Bonham previously served in various marketing roles at Silicon Graphics (1992-1996), as a manufacturing and information systems strategy consultant at Booz, Allen & Hamilton (1989-1992) and systems engineer and maintenance foreman at General Motors of Canada.

Mr. Bonham has previously served on a number of private and public company boards and audit committees. He is currently a board member of Magna International Inc., Loblaw Companies Limited, Scotiabank and DenmarkBridge, a public private initiative that similarly connects Danish companies with Silicon Valley. Mr. Bonham has a B.Sc. in electrical engineering (Queen’s) and an MBA (Harvard).

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Jean-Guy Desjardins
Fiera Capital Corporation

Jean-Guy Desjardins is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Fiera Capital Corporation, an independent investment management firm that he created in 2003. The firm has since continued its expansion by way of several acquisitions across North America, Europe and Asia.

After working as a financial analyst and portfolio manager for a life insurance company, Mr. Desjardins co-founded TAL Global Asset Management in 1972 and was its principal shareholder until its purchase by a financial institution in 2001.

Mr. Desjardins is a member of the Board of Directors of the Société de Services Financiers Fonds FMOQ, HEC Montréal, DJM Capital Inc. and CIFAR.

Mr. Desjardins also supports a variety of community and social programs, in particular as a member of the Council of Governors of Centraide of Greater Montréal. Additionally, he sits on the Investment Committee of the Canadian Centre for Architecture and on the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.

Mr. Desjardins graduated from Collège Mont-Saint-Louis in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts. In 1969, he earned his L.Sc.Comm. (Finance) from HEC Montréal. Mr. Desjardins is also a CFA Charterholder. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in December 2014 and, in 2015, received the CFA Institute Award for Excellence, the highest and most prestigious distinction bestowed by the CFA Institute.

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Olivier Desmarais
Power Corporation of Canada

Mr. Desmarais has been Senior Vice-President of Power Corporation since 2017. He is Chairman and CEO of Power Sustainable Capital, a global sustainability-led alternative asset manager. He was Senior Vice-President of Power Financial from 2017 until 2020. Prior to joining Power as Vice-President in May 2014, he was Director of Business Development at Square Victoria Digital Properties. From 2010 to 2013, he worked as an Associate at Putnam Investments. While completing his Law degree, Mr. Desmarais was an articling student at Heenan Blaikie LLP and also worked as an analyst at Pandion Investments.

Mr. Desmarais chairs the boards of directors of Power Pacific Corporation Limited and Power Energy Corporation. He also serves as a director of Canada Life, IG Wealth Management, Mackenzie and Lumenpulse.

In November 2018, he was named Chair of the Canada China Business Council (CCBC). Mr. Desmarais is also a member of the board of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation and CIFAR.

Mr. Desmarais holds a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Political Science from McGill University. He has been a member of the Québec Bar since 2009.

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David A. Dodge
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.

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Brenda Eaton

Brenda Eaton is a corporate director serving on a number of Boards including Westland Insurance (Chair), BC Ferries (incoming Chair), LifeLabs and the Project Board which is constructing Victoria's new sewage treatment project.

Prior to becoming a corporate director she held a variety of senior positions in finance, including four years as CFO at a health authority. She also served as Deputy Minister in a number of government departments, including Finance, Energy and Social Services. For four years, she was Deputy Minister to the Premier of British Columbia.

Ms. Eaton also serves on a number of not-for-profit Boards, including the Max Bell Foundation (Chair), Canadian Red Cross and BC Alzheimer's Society. She is a Trustee for the Killam Trusts and a juror for the Donner Prize.

Ms. Eaton has been awarded the ​Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal​, has three times been named in the ​100 Most Powerful Women in Canada​, and has been voted Consumer Choice’s BC Businesswoman of the Year.

Ms. Eaton has a Master’s degree in Economics.

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Anthony R.M. Graham
Sumarria Inc.

Anthony Graham is President and CEO of Sumarria Inc. and a Director of his family-owned company, Graymont Limited and its affiliated company Grupo Calidra S.A de C.V.. Mr. Graham is also a Director of several other Canadian corporations including Bombardier Inc. and Power Corporation of Canada as well as a number of private companies.

In addition to being a Director of CIFAR, Mr. Graham is also Chairman of the Ontario Arts Foundation, the Shaw Festival Foundation and Vice Chairman of the Council of Business and the Arts in Canada. He is also a Trustee of the Art Gallery of Ontario and Director of Luminato.

In 1998 he was awarded with the Government of Ontario Volunteer Service Award. In June 2007, he was awarded a Honourary Doctorate of Laws Degree from Brock University and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

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Jordan Jacobs
Radical Ventures

Jordan Jacobs is Co-Founder, CEO and Managing Partner of Radical Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on investing in world-leading companies developing and applying deeply disruptive tech, with a particular focus on Artificial Intelligence. In May 2019 Radical launched a US $325 Million fund focused primarily on Series A investments.

Jordan previously co-founded Layer 6 AI and was co-CEO prior to its acquisition in January 2018 by TD Bank Group, where he joined as Chief AI Officer (Business & Strategy). Jordan is also a founder of the Vector Institute, a concept he devised and initiated with Layer 6 co-founder Tomi Poutanen and Professors Geoffrey Hinton and Richard Zemel.

Jordan previously co-founded Milq, a cultural content discovery platform that was an early adopter of using machine learning for personalization. Jordan also founded SpyBox Media, through which he developed and partnered with Elton John’s Rocket Pictures to executive produce the TV series Spectacle. Hosted by Elvis Costello, the Emmy-nominated, NY Times Top 10 TV series features guests including Bono and The Edge of U2, Bruce Springsteen, Renée Fleming, Lou Reed, Diana Krall and Herbie Hancock.

Jordan spent 15 years as a tech and media lawyer, and received his JD from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, where he was admitted at age 19.

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Jacqueline Koerner

Dr. Koerner has an extensive background in the non-profit sector and in philanthropy, both professional and voluntary, public and private. She brings evidence-backed innovative thinking and best practices to public benefit social enterprises and charities.

Dr. Koerner is a founder, and current Co-Chair, of Ecotrust Canada, a Vancouver-based enterprising charity that works with rural, remote, and Indigenous communities toward building an economy that provides for healthy and resilient natural ecosystems, prosperous and meaningful livelihoods, vibrant cultures, and inclusive societies.

Dr. Koerner completed her doctoral studies in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. Her research was carried out in Bangladesh with the world’s largest and top ranked, non-profit organization, BRAC. She investigated its integrated charitable and social enterprise approach to poverty alleviation, framed in theories of resilience and place in a globalized economy.

Dr. Koerner was employed by both The Vancouver Foundation (Vancouver, BC) as a Program Director, and Calmeadow Foundation (Toronto, ON) as a Project Director, Micro-enterprise. In addition, she has worked as an independent consultant on micro-enterprise projects in Canada, in the USA, and in various countries in Africa and in South America.

Dr. Koerner is a Director of Foundations for Social Change (Vancouver, BC) and CIFAR (Toronto, ON). She served as a Director and Vice-Chair of Ecotrust (Portland, OR), 1994-2005, and as a founding Advisory Committee member of UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, 2007-2014. Jacqueline earned her M.A. in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University (Ottawa, ON) and a BA Honours in Geography from Queen’s University. She is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and colleague who can nearly always be found drinking coffee, in her vegetable garden, reading, or hiking.

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Stephen D. Lister
Private Debt Partners Inc.

Stephen Lister is a private financier and Chairman of Private Debt Partners Inc., a company he co-founded in early 2020 as a provider of senior debt financing to Canadian mid-market companies from Funds managed on behalf of institutional and individual investors.

Mr. Lister is also Co-Founder of Imperial Capital, one of Canada’s most successful private equity buy-out firms. He was Managing Partner of the firm from inception in 1989 to 2019, when he stepped back from its daily activities. He is a member of Imperial’s Investment Advisory Committee for its Funds. Mr. Lister has been a director and/or trustee of many private and public companies including: Stantec, Inc., E.D. Smith & Sons Ltd., Associated Freezers Income Trust, Lise Watier Cosmetics, and YPTel Corp.

At Imperial, Mr. Lister co-led the establishment of Acquisition Funds I through VII, and led the acquisition and stewardship of many portfolio companies in a variety of industries in both Canada and the United States. He assisted the management teams with the strategic direction of these businesses, as well as the follow-on acquisitions and related financings. Mr. Lister played a key role in the growth of each of these companies, including their public listings on major Canadian and U.S. stock exchanges via initial public offerings or mergers.

From 1987 to 1989, Mr Lister was President of Startups Inc., a venture capital firm he founded to provide equity financing and consulting assistance to high growth early stage companies. From 1985 to 1987, Mr. Lister was a Management Consultant with the Financial & General Management Services Groupe of Touche Ross & Partners where he provided strategic planning, financial and marketing consulting services to companies in North America and internationally. From 1982 to 1984 he was an Economist with the House of Commons, Government of Canada, where he wrote economic policy papers and research reports for Members of Parliament.

Mr. Lister is a member of the following clubs and organizations: Young President’s Organization (YPO); Chief Executives Organization (CEO); The Toronto Club; The Ticker Club (Past President); Grey Oaks Club (Florida); Goodwood Golf Club (Toronto); Oviinbyrd Golf Club (Muskoka); Lake Joseph Club (Muskoka); and the Eden Club (Scotland). He is a Director of: CIFAR; the Ivey Business School Advisory Board; the Royal Conservatory of Music; and is a member of the Investment Committee for the Pension & Endowment Funds of Victoria University at the University of Toronto. He was a past Director of the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation.

Mr. Lister obtained an MBA from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario in 1985 and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Toronto in 1982. He grew up in Ottawa where he attended Lisgar Collegiate Institute.

Mr. Lister is married to Dr. Margaret (“Molly”) Rundle, a family physician, and they have two sons. He plays amateur golf and has competed in two Canadian Mid Amateur Championships. He is an avid reader and collects biographies as well as Canadian art. He is a Level II ski instructor, ski races, plays the tenor saxophone, and is a fitness enthusiast.

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Jason McLean
McLean Group

Jason McLean is President and Chief Executive Officer of the McLean Group, a real estate development and investment firm with operating businesses in film and television, telecommunications, construction, and aviation. As CEO, Jason leads McLean Group’s businesses, overseeing strategic goals, capital decisions, and all major transactions in each of McLean Group’s operating and investment businesses, as well as coordinating dialogue between McLean Group ownership and company management. Jason is particularly committed to supporting and empowering individual business leaders across the McLean Group portfolio and over the last decade, he has focused on ensuring that the businesses have the right capital structure and financing to achieve their goals. More recently, he led two achievements for the companies: Blackcomb Helicopters becoming fully carbon neutral and Vancouver Film Studios achieving B-Corp certification – both world firsts for their industries.

Prior to joining McLean Group, Jason worked in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada as Special Assistant, leading advance teams for international and domestic summits which included G8 consultations in Africa, APEC and NATO; meetings in China and Europe; and major trade missions to Germany and the United States. A lawyer by profession, Jason graduated from UBC Law School in 1999 and was called to the Bar of Bar of British Columbia in 2000 after articling with Stikeman Elliot in Vancouver. He is a certified member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, and a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Owner President Management Program.

Jason gives his time to multiple boards and community organizations. He served as Director and Chair of the Board of the Vancouver Foundation, Canada’s largest community foundation, and remains a member of their investment committee. He is a Governor (past Chair) of the Vancouver Board of Trade. Additionally, he is a past member of the Vancouver Police Board where he chaired the Finance Committee, and past Chair of the UBC Board of Governors where he chaired the Governance Committee.

Jason is an enthusiastic outdoorsman whose love for mountaineering expeditions (Mt. McKinley, Nepal, Tibet, and Alaska) has given way to skiing, hiking, and boating with his wife, A.J. McLean, and their daughters, Lucy and Frances.
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Patricia Meredith
Meredith Consulting

A former senior banking executive and strategy advisor, Patricia Meredith is a global thought leader, an award-winning author, and a consultant in the emerging field of strategic governance. She is best known for her role as Chair of Canada’s Task Force for the Payment System Review, bringing together government, community, and industry leaders to transform the payments system in under two years.

Pat Meredith is a Director of many public, private and not-for-profit organizations.  She was Executive Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer of a major financial institution and Senior Strategy Advisor to financial services and technology companies for a global strategy consultancy.

From 2010 to 2012, Pat was the Chair of the Task Force for the Payments Review. The Task Force – which applied a catalytic governance process – delivered a community supported action plan that enabled government and industry to quickly act on all four of the recommendations. With her Catalytic Governance co-authors, Steven Rosell and Ged Davis, she is working to create a community of leaders developing better approaches to governing in the information age.

Pat has written three books on strategy and governance: Stumbling Giants: Transforming Canada’s Banks for the Information Age (2017), which won the Donner Prize for best public policy book of the year; Catalytic Governance: Leading Change in the Information Age; and Better Boardrooms: Repairing Corporate Governance for the 21st Century (2020).

Dr. Meredith has a PhD in Business Strategy, an MBA in Management Information Systems, and a Bachelor of Mathematics. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, the David and Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and the Centre for International Governance Innovation. She teaches Strategy, Uncertainty and Governance to MBAs and executives. Patricia is Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee at CIFAR.

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Gilles G. Ouellette
BMO Global Asset Management

Throughout his impressive 40-year career at BMO Financial Group, Gilles has led the significant expansion of BMO’s wealth business and built its reputation for excellence, customer centricity, and innovation. As Chairman of BMO Global Asset Management since August 2019, he leads the 10 boards in place across BMO’s asset management business, which offers investment products and solutions to institutional, retail, and high-net-worth investors from more than 20 offices around the world.

Gilles entered the investment industry in 1979 after teaching investment management at the University of Western Ontario and owning a small business. He built a successful career as an Investment Executive at Burns Fry Limited and then assumed progressively senior roles leading to his appointment as Executive Vice-President in 1993. Following the 1994 merger of Nesbitt Thomson and Burns Fry, Gilles assumed increasing responsibilities within BMO’s wealth management business. In 2001, he was appointed Group Head, Wealth Management.

In 2015, Gilles was appointed Group Head, BMO Asset Management, and Vice-Chair, International, where he defined strategic goals to maximize customer and shareholder value for the bank and ensured the appropriate governance and risk management frameworks were well embedded to mitigate risk.

Gilles has also served on several influential boards in the financial industry and in his community, including CIFAR and the C.D. Howe Institute. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Richard Ivey School of Business and is a Director Emeritus of the Art Gallery of Ontario Board of Trustees.

Gilles holds an undergraduate degree and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario.

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Lawrence Pentland
Corporate Director

Mr. Pentland is the former President of Dell Canada and Latin America where he had full profit and loss (P&L) responsibility spanning 40 countries including manufacturing operations in Brazil. During his 10 years at Dell, revenues in his region grew from $750 million to $4.6 billion and Dell became the market share leader.

Prior to joining Dell, Mr. Pentland held various industry roles and was a partner at Bain & Company Consulting in Boston and Toronto serving Fortune 500 companies in North America and internationally on issues of strategy, manufacturing, and performance improvement. He is now a private investor in emerging technology companies.

Mr. Pentland has served as a Director at Telus Inc. and Softchoice Inc. He currently serves on the Boards of several technology and private equity portfolio companies and the Board of Globe and Mail. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at the University Health Network and Chairs the Research Committee.

Mr. Pentland holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate degree in Honors Business Administration from the Ivey School at Western University.

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Ann Rooney

Ms. Ann Rooney, FCPA, worked for several years as an environmental scientist before pursuing a career as a chartered accountant. She has extensive experience in finance and accounting and has served as a Director and often Chair of the Audit Committee for many public and private companies. She served as lead independent member for the Alberta Securities Commission, where she was a commissioner for six years.  She has served on many not-for-profit boards, and has done volunteer work on several professional committees, including serving as president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta. Ann has a BA in Music, a MSc. in environmental science/limnology and became a Chartered Accountant in 1987. She resides in Alberta.

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Indira V. Samarasekera
President Emeritus, University of Alberta
Senior Advisor, Bennett Jones LLP

Dr. Indira V. Samarasekera served as the 12th President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Alberta, from 2005-2015. She also served as Vice-President Research at the University of British Columbia from 2000-2005.

She is currently a Senior Advisor for Bennett Jones LLP and serves on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Nova Scotia, Magna International, TC Energy and Stelco. She serves on the selection panel for Canada’s outstanding CEO of the Year sponsored by Caldwell Partners and Bennett Jones. Dr. Samarasekera is a member of the Tri-Lateral Commission.

Dr. Samarasekera is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Foreign Associate, of the National Academy of Engineering. She has honorary degrees from eight national and international universities. As a Hays Fulbright Scholar, she earned an MSc from the University of California in 1976. In 1980, she was granted a PhD in metallurgical engineering from the University of British Columbia. She has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Ceylon.

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Hugo F. Sonnenschein
Department of Economics
University of Chicago

Hugo Sonnenschein is President Emeritus and Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He served as President of the University of Chicago from 1993 to 2000. Prior to that, he was Provost of Princeton University and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1976 to 1988 he was Professor of Economics at Princeton.

Professor Sonnenschein is a distinguished economic theorist whose most important scholarly work concerns the mathematical structure of market demand functions. He is a laureate of the 2009 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (with Andreu Mas-Colell) for Economics, Finance and Management. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Philosophical Society. He has served as President of the Econometric Society, Chairman of the Board of Argonne National Laboratories, Director of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, and Member of the Civic Committee of the City of Chicago.

Sonnenschein is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Rochester and an Honorary Trustee of the University of Chicago. He is a former Director of the Invesco and Van Kampen Mutual Funds, and several non-profit organizations.

Sonnenschein is the recipient of honorary doctoral degrees from six colleges and universities, including Tel Aviv University and the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.  He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Purdue University in 1964.
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Damon Williams
Royal Bank of Canada

Damon is CEO of RBC Global Asset Management (RBC GAM), the asset management division of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). He is also a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. RBC GAM invests over $395 billion for individuals and institutions, primarily from offices in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. Damon is also the CEO and Ultimate Designated Person of RBC GAM in Canada (RBC Global Asset Management Inc.) and sits on that firm’s Board of Directors.

Damon joined Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management (PH&N IM) in 2005 as an institutional portfolio manager specialized in fixed income and became part of RBC GAM when the firm was acquired by RBC in 2008. Damon served as head of the institutional business globally and as President of PH&N IM (the institutional asset management business in Canada), before becoming CEO of the global and Canadian businesses in 2015. His previous experience includes leading the global and Canadian investment consulting practices at a large multinational insurance, risk management, and human capital consulting firm.

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