Membership

The Council consists of a Chair and 17 members (at full complement). STIC members are appointed by the Minister of Industry and the Minister of State (Science and Technology) to serve for three-year, renewable terms. Members include leaders from the private sector and academia with representation from across Canada. The Chair of STIC is appointed through an Order-in-Council to provide leadership and guidance on STIC's ongoing work.


Chair

Howard Alper

In addition to being Chair of the Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC), Howard Alper is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Ottawa. The basic research he has been pursuing spans organic and inorganic chemistry, with potential applications in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and commodity chemical industries. He has published 537 papers, has thirty-seven patents, and has edited several books.

Dr. Alper has served on a number of NSERC committees (e.g., Committee on Research Grants), and as Chair of boards and committees including, among others, the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering, the Council of Canadian Academies, the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, and the Steacie Institute of Molecular Sciences. Dr. Alper was also Visiting Executive at the International Development Research Centre from 2006 to 2010, and was President of the Royal Society of Canada for a two-year term, commencing in November 2001, as well as its Foreign Secretary from 2004 to 2010.

Dr. Alper is very active in the international scientific community. He was appointed as a Titular Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities in 1996, and in 2002 he received the award of Officer, National Order of Merit, from the President of France. In 2004, he was elected to a three-year term as Co-Chair of the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Science (IANAS). In December 2006, he was elected Co-Chair of IAP: The Global Network of Science Academies, for a three-year term, and in January 2010 was re-elected to a second three-year term as Co-Chair. In 2010, Dr. Alper was also appointed for a three-year term to the U.S. National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering, the Science Advisory Committee of the World Economic Forum, the Board of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences-Next Einstein Initiative, the Advisory Board of the Young Global Academy, and as Vice-Chair of the RIKEN Advisory Council. In 2011, he was elected as Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Knowledge Economy Network, headquartered in Brussels.

Dr. Alper is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards. In 1999, he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2000, the Governor General presented him with the first Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal in Science and Engineering. The following year, he was given the National Merit Award for contributions to the Life Sciences. He also received the Urgel Archambault Prize (ACFAS) in physical sciences and engineering, as well as a number of prestigious fellowships, including the E.W.R. Steacie (NSERC, 1980-82), Guggenheim (1985-86), and Killam (1986-88) Fellowships. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Dr. Alper has also received numerous awards related specifically to his field of chemistry, including the Alcan Award for Inorganic Chemistry (1986), the Bader Award for Organic Chemistry (1990), and the Steacie Award for Chemistry (1993), all from the Canadian Society for Chemistry. The Chemical Institute of Canada has also presented Dr. Alper with the Catalysis Award (1984), the Montreal Medal (2003), and the CIC Medal (1997), its highest honour. In 2002, Dr. Alper received the Le Sueur Memorial Award of the Society of Chemical Industry from the U.K.

Members

Elizabeth Cannon
President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Calgary

Elizabeth Cannon is the eighth President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calgary. Prior to her appointment as President, Dr. Cannon was Dean of the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Cannon currently chairs the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, and she is Vice-Chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada Board of Directors and the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities. She has served on numerous public- and private-sector boards and with national advisory groups and community committees, including director of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. From 1997 to 2002, she held the NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, encouraging young women to consider science and engineering careers.

Dr. Cannon holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in mathematics from Acadia University and a BSc, MSc and PhD in geomatics engineering from the University of Calgary. Dr. Cannon's research has been on the forefront of global positioning systems since 1984, and she has commercialized technology to over 200 agencies worldwide.

Dr. Cannon is the recipient of many honours and awards, including the Johannes Kepler Award from the U.S. Institute of Navigation, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship (2002 – 2004). She is a Professional Engineer, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, as well as an elected foreign associate of the National Academy of Engineering In 2012, Dr. Cannon was recognized with a Centennial Leadership Award from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA); and, was honoured with a Gold Medal Award from Engineers Canada in 2013.

Amit Chakma
President, Western University Canada

Amit Chakma is the 10th President and Vice-Chancellor of Western University. Dr. Chakma arrived at Western in July 2009, after serving the University of Waterloo since 2001 as Vice-President, Academic and Provost, and as a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Prior to that, Dr. Chakma served as Dean of Engineering and then Vice-President (Research) and International Liaison Officer at the University of Regina. He began his academic career as a professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Calgary.

In addition to his roles at Western, Dr. Chakma currently serves as Chair of the World University Service of Canada and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Ontario Centres of Excellence. He also served as Chair of the Government of Canada's Advisory Panel on Canada's International Education Strategy.

Dr. Chakma is a graduate of the Algerian Petroleum Institute (Dip. Ing., 1982) and holds graduate and doctoral degrees in Applied Science (chemical engineering) from the University of British Columbia. The author of more than 100 articles, he is an expert in areas related to petroleum research and energy management.

In 1998, Dr. Chakma was recognized with Canada's Top 40 Under 40 Award. He is also a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Sophie Forest
Managing Partner, Brightspark Ventures

Sophie Forest has more than 18 years of experience in the high-tech venture capital industry. Prior to joining Brightspark, she was a partner at CDP Capital Technology Ventures, a subsidiary of la Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec.

Ms. Forest has led or overseen more than 50 investments in technology companies in Canada and abroad over the past 15 to 20 years. She has played a pivotal role in the investment, growth and exit of Radian6, leading to a twenty-three times return on capital invested, one of the most successful technology exits in Canadian history. As co-CEO of Brightspark 3.0, Ms. Forest helped develop Internet solutions that led to the creation and growth of Jewlr.com and iStopOver.com.

Ms. Forest is a member of the Advisory Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship for the Government of Canada, as well as a member of the Canadian Digital Media Network advisory board. She also sits on the Board of Directors of a number of companies, such as Protecode, Hopper, eXludus, b5media, and Jazinga.

Donna Garbutt
North America Business Manager, Schlumberger Technology Corp.

Donna Garbutt is North America Business Manager for Schlumberger Technology Corp., responsible for the Data Services segment across North America. Schlumberger supplies technology, integrated project management and information solutions to the oil and gas industry worldwide. Ms. Garbutt joined Schlumberger in 1994 in Calgary. Her career with the company has spanned a variety of global management positions in sales, operations, information technology, and mergers and acquisitions. From 2010 to 2014, she served as President of Schlumberger Canada Limited. Prior to joining Schlumberger, Ms. Garbutt worked in the information technology field, including in the oil and gas industry, with Gartner Group Inc, DSL Digital Scanning Ltd. (President and Founding Partner), Northwest Digital, and Control Data Canada Ltd. She has lived and worked throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Ms. Garbutt currently serves on the Board of Absolute Completions Technology and recently completed terms on the Boards and Audit Committees of the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (including serving as Vice Chair of the Board) and the Petroleum Services Association of Canada.

Ms. Garbutt holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Athabasca University, and has completed her ICD.D (Institute of Corporate Directors) certification. She was a Blackberry Women in Technology Finalist (2006) and a US Energy Woman of the Year Finalist (2003), and she received a Woman of Achievement Award–Alaska in 2001. In 2013, she was selected as one of Alberta's 50 Most Influential People.

Arvind Gupta
President and Vice-Chancellor, University of British Columbia

Arvind Gupta is the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia, a position he has held since July 1, 2014.

From 2000 to 2014, Dr. Gupta was CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs, a Canadian not-for-profit research organization dedicated to developing the next generation of innovators with scientific and business skills in partnership with companies, government and academia. He is also a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia.

In 2010, Dr. Gupta sat on the Expert Panel to review Federal Support to Research and Development. He has sat on a number of boards, including the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, the Banff International Research Station, the Canadian Mining Innovation Council, the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute, Mitacs Inc. and Mprime Network, and is a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee of the GRAND Network of Centres of Excellence. He is the editor of two book series on industrial mathematics and is author of more than 80 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Gupta obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto in 1991.

Monique Haakensen
President and Principal Scientist, Contango Strategies

Monique Haakensen is a scientist who successfully bridges the business and scientific worlds to address environmental challenges. She began her career as a university research associate with the University of Saskatchewan and then as a government scientist, examining the way microbiology and biogeochemistry could be applied in the natural resources sector. Recognizing the large and growing need for applied microbiology research to help companies with bioconversion and biorestoration (processes that use microbes to remediate contaminated water and soil, such as seepage, effluents and spill sites), Dr. Haakensen founded Contango Strategies, which opened its laboratories in Saskatoon in 2011. Specializing in the development, piloting and implementation of low-cost and sustainable technologies for water treatment and soil remediation, as well as complementary microbial profiling (metagenomic and RNAseq) next-generation DNA sequencing technologies, Contango has since won contracts from local and multinational mining, oil and gas, and waste-management firms, and it has expanded its services across North America and overseas.

At the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Haakensen continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability and on graduate student advisory committees in the Departments of Food and Bioproduct Sciences and Computer Sciences (Bioinformatics). She also formerly served with the University of the Arctic as an Academic Lead and member of its Core Course Revision Team. She currently serves on the board of the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership. Dr. Haakensen is the author of numerous peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, and presents scientific research at conferences, working groups, and technical and public hearings.

Dr. Haakensen received her PhD in microbiology, genomics and bioinformatics from the University of Saskatchewan in 2009. In 2011, she was named as a winner of Profit Magazine's Future Entrepreneurial Leader's awards, recognizing Canada's top 20 entrepreneurs under the age of 30. Contango Strategies was awarded a 2012 Saskatchewan Award for Business Excellence in the new business venture category and, in 2013, Dr. Haakensen was featured in a book on entrepreneurship titled The In-credibility Factor by Teresa Kruze and Terry Beach.

Maureen Kempston Darkes
Group Vice President, General Motors Corporation (retired); past President and General Manager, General Motors of Canada Limited

Maureen Kempston Darkes was President and General Manager of General Motors of Canada Limited (GMCL) and Vice President of General Motors Corporation from 1994 to 2001. In 2002, she was appointed General Motors Corporation Group Vice President and President, GM Latin America, Africa and Middle East (LAAM) and a member of the General Motors Automotive Strategy Board, positions which she held until her retirement from General Motors in December 2009.

Ms. Kempston Darkes currently serves on the boards of Canadian National Railway, Brookfield Asset Management, Irving Oil, Enbridge Inc., and Balfour Beatty plc, and she is a Director of Bridgepoint Health Foundation. Ms. Kempston Darkes was appointed by the Government of Canada to the Free Trade Agreement Automotive Select Panel in 1989 and, in 1994, to the Transportation Equipment Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade.

Ms. Kempston Darkes holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science from Victoria College, University of Toronto. She also holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto Law School and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1975. In 1997, Ms. Kempston Darkes received The Order of Ontario, and she was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000. The American Bar Association in 1998 recognized her with the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. In 1999, she received the Distinguished Service Citation from the Automotive Hall of Fame. In 2006, she received the Government of Canada's Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case. In 2011, she was honoured with the Global Athena Leadership Award and the Alice B. Ramsey Award from the Automotive Hall of Fame and the Women's Automobile Association International.

Simon Kennedy
Deputy Minister of International Trade, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Simon Kennedy was appointed Deputy Minister of International Trade, effective November 12, 2012. He was also named Canada's G-20 Sherpa. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Kennedy served as the Senior Associate Deputy Minister at Industry Canada, from September 2010. He began his career with the public service in 1990 with Transport Canada and subsequently the Canadian Coast Guard. In 1997, he joined the Privy Council Office and, in 2001, he moved to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to serve first as Director General for Policy, Planning and Integration and then as Director General of the International Markets Bureau. In 2004, he returned to the Privy Council Office, where he served first as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Economic and Regional Development Policy), and then as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Operations) and as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Plans and Consultation) until 2010.

Mr. Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Public Relations degree from Mount Saint Vincent University and a Masters of Science in Communications Management from Syracuse University. He is a graduate of INSEAD's Advanced Management Programme. Mr. Kennedy also holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute for Corporate Directors.

John Knubley
Deputy Minister, Industry Canada

John Knubley was appointed Deputy Minister of Industry Canada on September 17, 2012. Previously, he served as Deputy Minister at Agriculture and and Agri-Food Canada and as Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Privy Council Office. Prior to this, he was Associate Deputy Minister at Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, as well as Associate Deputy Minister at Natural Resources Canada.

Mr. Knubley has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and a Masters degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. He also obtained a post-graduate diploma from the Institut Européen des Hautes Études Internationales in Nice, France, as well as a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Joy Romero
Vice President, Technology Development, Horizon Oil Sands; Canadian Natural Resources Limited

Joy Romero is Vice President, Technology Development, at the Horizon Oil Sands operation of Canadian Natural Resources Limited. CNRL is one of the largest independent crude oil and natural gas producers in the world and, in 2012, was the largest research and development investor in the oil and gas sector in Canada and among the top 10 across all industries in the country. Ms. Romero joined the company in 2001 and held a succession of positions related to stewarding the development, commissioning and operation of bitumen production within the Horizon Oil Sands Project before assuming her current position in 2010. An engineer, Ms. Romero's career has spanned more than 30 years, focusing on oil sands innovation and development and on the iron ore and coal industries with companies such as SNC-Lavalin Inc. (where she was part of the team that built the Suncor Millennium project), Elkview Coal Corporation, and Westar Mining Limited.

Ms. Romero is Chair of the Board and a member of the Shareholder Steering Committee of Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (a new alliance of oil sands producers focused on accelerating the pace of environmental performance improvements in Canada's oil sands through collaborative action and innovation). She is a board member of the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada and the past Chair of the Canadian Oilsands Network for Research and Development (CONRAD), as well as CONRAD's Bitumen Production Focus Group. Ms. Romero also sat on the Governing Council of Athabasca University for six years, including serving as its Chair from 2006 to 2009.

Ms. Romero holds a Bachelors degree in Metallurgical Engineering with Distinction from the Technical University of Nova Scotia/St. FX and a Masters of Business Administration in Project Management, with a specialization in energy, from Athabasca University.

Jacquelyn Thayer Scott
Past President and Professor of Organization Management, Cape Breton University

Jacquelyn Thayer Scott is Professor of Organizational Management and Strategy, and Past President of Cape Breton University (CBU), in Sydney, Nova Scotia. She was President and Vice-Chancellor of CBU (then known as University College of Cape Breton), an undergraduate and graduate postsecondary institution offering degrees, diplomas, and certificates in a range of liberal arts, scientific, and technical topics and competencies, from 1993 to 2002. Dr. Scott has also operated her own public relations and management consulting firm and been employed as a journalist. She remains active in the management of two family-owned small businesses.

Dr. Scott has served on a number of governing boards and advisory committees. She is currently, among other things, Chair of the Board of Directors of Innovacorp and Vice-Chair and Member of the Board of Directors of the MacDonald-Laurier Institute. She is also a member of the board for Yorkville University, HIPPY Canada, Eco-Vision Environmental Consulting Services, Caribbean Social Innovation Exchange (C-SIX), and was a member of the Council of Canadian Academies' Expert Panel on the State of Science and Technology in Canada. From 1995 to 2006, she served on the Prime Minister's Advisory Council on Science and Technology (Canada) and was its Deputy Chair (Operating Head) from 2003 to 2006.

Dr. Scott has been awarded a number of honours, including the Nova Scotia Gzowski Award for Literacy, the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education Lifetime Honourary Membership Award, and the first Canadian Alliance of Education and Training Organizations' Honourary Membership Award. She is the author of numerous scholarly and popular articles and works. She was recognized by the Government of Canada with a Canada 125th Medal, and by the University of Waterloo with an honourary degree of Doctor of Laws. In 2001, she was awarded the Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Excellence in Public Administration and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2002, she was awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal. In 2012, she received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

IIse Treurnicht
Chief Executive Officer, MaRS Discovery District

Ilse Treurnicht is the CEO of MaRS Discovery District (MaRS), an innovation centre located in Toronto. She oversees both the development and operations of MaRS and its suite of entrepreneurship and innovation programs. She joined MaRS in early 2005 from her role as President and CEO of Primaxis Technology Ventures, a startup-stage venture capital fund focused on the advanced technologies sector. Prior to Primaxis, Dr. Treurnicht was an entrepreneur with senior management roles in a number of emerging technology companies.

Dr. Treurnicht is an active member of Canada's innovation community. She currently serves on the boards of two private companies created by the MaRS community, Triphase Accelerator (Chair) and Cognicity, as well as on the boards of MaRS Discovery District, MaRS Innovation, The Next 36, and the Public Policy Forum. She also serves on the advisory boards for a number of research organizations. She was Chair of the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance in 2010, and continues as Chair of Canada's National Advisory Board to the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force. Currently, Dr. Treurnicht is a member of the Council of Canadian Academies' Expert Panel on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Skills.

Dr. Treurnicht holds a doctoral degree in chemistry from Oxford University, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar. Dr. Treurnicht is a four-time recipient of the Women's Executive Network's (WXN) Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards, in recognition of her longstanding contribution to Canadian innovation. She has been inducted into WXN's Top 100 Hall of Fame.

Peter van der Gracht
Chairman, Wavefront

Peter van der Gracht is Chairman of Wavefront, a business accelerator for the mobile industry, connecting wireless companies with resources and partners. Mr. van der Gracht has over 30 years' experiences as a corporate executive and serial entrepreneur, as a founder, CEO, investor and director of technology companies in a broad range of industries, including cable television, telecommunications, broadcasting, information technology and automotive. He has bought over a dozen companies and successfully launched five technology companies, and he has operated businesses in North America, Europe and Asia. He co-founded Nexus Engineering while still in graduate school, a firm that grew to seven companies with over 300 employees with operations around the world, before being sold to Scientific Atlanta in 1993. The first company in the group, Nexus Engineering, became the second largest manufacturer of cable television headends in the world, with installations in over 100 countries. Other firsts for Mr. van der Gracht's companies include the development of the world's first video statistical re-multiplexer for cable television and broadcasting (Imedia), introduction of the first product able to change the channel lineup of compressed digital video streams allowing cable companies to match content to customers (Imedia), development of the world's first noise reduction technology used to improve the performance of hands-free calling for the automotive market (Wavemakers), and development and patenting of a vertical inlaid fibre optic cable deployment system (Teraspan).

Mr. van der Gracht is currently Chairman of Ocean Floor Geophysics Inc and, in the past, served as Chairman of QuickMobile (2007–2011), Light-based Technologies (2007–2011), Fatport (where he was also CEO) (2002–2007), and Teraspan (where he was also CEO) (2001–2007). He is a Founding Board Member of Entrepreneurship@UBC, a University of British Columbia seed-stage investment fund and program, and a board member of the Alacrity Foundation, a not-for-profit start-up foundation.

Mr. van der Gracht holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Applied Science from the University of British Columbia and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of British Columbia. He is the recipient of numerous awards for entrepreneurship and innovation, including several Canada Awards for Business Excellence.

Annette Verschuren
Chair and CEO, NRStor Inc.

Annette Verschuren became the CEO of NRStor Inc. in March 2012. NRStor develops and commercializes energy storage technologies. Formerly the President of The Home Depot in Canada and Asia, Ms. Verschuren oversaw the Canadian operations' growth from 19 stores in 1996 to 180 in 2011, as well as leading The Home Depot's entry into China.

Ms. Verschuren began her career as a development officer with a coal-mining operation in Sydney, Nova Scotia, called the Cape Breton Development Corporation. She then worked with the Canada Development Investment Corporation, as the executive vice-president, where she privatized crown corporations. Ms. Verschuren later joined Imasco Ltd., one of Canada's largest holding companies in financial services, retail, and food services, where she was the vice-president of corporate development. She then became co-founder of Michaels the Arts and Crafts store and opened 17 stores in 26 months before she joined The Home Depot.

Ms. Verschuren was recently asked to lead the Government of Ontario's Clean Energy Task Force. She also serves as the Chancellor of Cape Breton University, and chairs fundraising efforts for the university's new Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment. Ms. Verschuren has served as the vice chair of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Her board memberships include Air Canada, Liberty Mutual, the North West Company, Icynene, CAMH Foundation, and the Conference Board of Canada.