Process

The Governor General's Innovation Awards are an annual celebration of innovations that exemplify excellence and help improve the quality of life in Canada and around the world.

The Selection Committee is comprised of distinguished individuals chosen for their expertise in and breadth of understanding of the innovation ecosystem.

  • 2022 Selection Committee

    Charles Deguire (Selection Committee Chair )

    CEO and Co-Founder, Kinova | 2016 GGIA Laureate

    Charles Deguire, CEO and co-founder of Kinova, has dedicated his life to empower individuals through robotics. It all started when Charles got the “invention bug” at an early age to assist and encourage three of his uncles living with muscular dystrophy. His achievements quickly earned him the reputation as a trailblazer in the modern robotics revolution, including a 2014 Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award, as well as a 2016 Governor General Innovation Award. Charles Deguire is a visionary who works tirelessly to change the robotic paradigm by creating human-centered technology. While completing his studies at Montreal’s École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS), Charles developed a clear vision and mission for Kinova, which he co-founded in 2006. From day one, Charles’s priority has always been to enable individuals to transcend their limitations through next-generation robotic technologies. At Kinova, he is dedicated to seeding top talent through robotics internships and Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities.

    Dr. Breanne Everett

    CEO & CO-FOUNDER OF ORPYX MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES INC. and KINETYX SCIENCES INC.

    Dr. Breanne Everett is the CEO and Co-Founder of Orpyx® Medical Technologies Inc. (“Orpyx”) and Kinetyx Sciences Inc. (“Kinetyx”), as well as a medical doctor and resident in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Calgary. Seeing the burden that diabetic foot complications pose on both patients and the healthcare system, and with the goal of addressing these issues, she founded Orpyx to create meaningful, life-changing impacts with medical-grade wearable technologies. Orpyx has developed a proprietary, pressure sensor platform designed to empower patients to optimize the medical care of certain conditions, such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Beyond these immediate applications in diabetic foot monitoring and amputation prevention, the platform technology that Orpyx has developed can be leveraged to multiple applications in pressure sore prevention, athletic performance optimization, and injury prevention. For her work at Orpyx, Dr. Everett was awarded the Governor General’s Innovation Award in 2016. She was named one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40, one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada, and the University of Calgary’s Graduate of the Last Decade in 2014. She is a Loran National Scholar who serves as an active member of the Loran Alumni Community, and is a member of the Canadian Medical Association’s Joule Innovation Council, and the Governor General Innovation Award Selection Committee. Her pride and joy is her family, and when not working, she loves spending time with her husband, their two sons, and their extended families.

    Dr. Kamran Khan

    Dr. Kamran Khan, MD, MPH, is a practising infectious disease physician and a Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, where he holds a Temerty Health Nexus Chair in Innovation and Technology. Motivated by his experiences as a frontline healthcare worker during the 2003 Toronto SARS outbreak, Kamran has been studying outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging pathogens for nearly two decades to lay the scientific foundation for a global early warning system for infectious diseases. His research has been published in leading scientific journals from the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, Science, and Nature. Kamran’s work during global health emergencies such as the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the 2016 Zika epidemic in Latin America has led him into numerous advisory roles from the World Health Organization to the White House. To translate and disseminate scientific knowledge into timely action, Dr. Khan founded BlueDot, a global biothreat intelligence company that combines human and artificial intelligence to help governments protect national security, and global enterprises protect their operations, supply chains, and employees from the growing number of disruptive biological threats appearing in the world today. BlueDot’s pioneering work during the COVID-19 pandemic has been featured in international forums such as CNN, BBC World, and CBS’ 60 Minutes.

    Kelly Gillis

    DEPUTY MINISTER, INFRASTRUCTURE AND COMMUNITIES

    Kelly Gillis was appointed Deputy Minister, Infrastructure and Communities in September 2017. Infrastructure Canada is the Government of Canada department that provides long-term, predictable support to help Canadians benefit from world-class, modern public infrastructure; makes investments, builds partnerships, develops policies, delivers programs, and fosters knowledge about public infrastructure in Canada; and helps address complex challenges that Canadians face every day, ranging from the rapid growth of our cities, to climate change, and environmental threats to our water and land. Prior to this appointment, Kelly served as Associate Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), the department that worked to develop Canada’s Inclusive Innovation Agenda to help build an economy that promotes clean growth, high-quality jobs and increased prosperity. Previous to this, Kelly held a number of positions within the federal government, including, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications (SITT) Sector and Chief Financial Officer at Industry Canada. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Graduate Diploma in Public Accounting from McGill University and is also a qualified chartered accountant. Kelly is originally from Montréal. She and her husband have three children.

    John Knubley

    Senior Business Advisor

    John Knubley is a Senior Advisor with McKinsey & Company, Corporate Director, Strategic Advisor, and former senior civil servant. Mr. Knubley was the Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) from September 2012 to June 2019. Before he stepped down from government, John had been a longstanding public servant with experience in over eight departments, including the Privy Council Office, Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Transport and Infrastructure Canada, Natural Resources Canada as well as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). John’s career in public service began in 1980 at the Economic Council of Canada. In 2020, John founded InnovAction Advisory Services. InnovAction provides strategic counsel to organizations across a variety of sectors and verticals including agriculture, food production, technology, innovation, and sustainability. John holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, a Master’s of Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He also received a post-graduate diploma in Nice, France, from the Institut Européen des Hautes Études Internationales. A resident of Ottawa, John also serves as a Director on the Conference Board of Canada, the Asia-Pacific Foundation and the Ontario Energy Board.

    John Stackhouse

    Senior Vice-President, Office of the CEO, RBC

    John Stackhouse is a nationally bestselling author and one of Canada’s leading voices on innovation and economic disruption. He is Senior Vice-President in the Office of the CEO at Royal Bank of Canada, leading the organization’s research and thought leadership on economic, technological and social change. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail and editor of Report on Business. He is a senior fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and sits on the boards of Queen’s University, the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada and the Literary Review of Canada. His latest book, Planet Canada: How Our Expats Are Shaping the Future, explores the untapped resource of the millions of Canadians who don’t live here but exert their influence from afar

    Chief Perry Bellegarde

    Former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations

    Chief Perry Bellegarde has dedicated his life to championing the rights and well-being of First Nations. For 35 years, he has held various First Nations leadership roles, including two terms served as the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). Chief Bellegarde believes passionately that at the heart of the original Treaty relationship sits a vision of peace and friendship that is the key to building a better and brighter future for Canada. A member of Little Black Bear First Nation, Chief Bellegarde credits the wisdom shared by the First Nations Elders of Saskatchewan for instilling in him a deep sense of pride in his culture, as well as a lasting conviction that Indigenous knowledge and values are crucial to building a more just and inclusive society. He describes himself as an oskâpêwis, a Cree word meaning “helper”, and he believes this understanding of the role and responsibilities of a leader applies to many walks of life. Chief Bellegarde has championed that vision through all his leadership roles. First, as the Tribal Council Representative for the Touchwood-File Hills-Qu’Appelle Tribal Council, and then as the Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Councillor and Chief of Little Black Bear First Nation, and National Chief of AFN, a position he held from 2014-2021. As National Chief, Chief Bellegarde campaigned tirelessly to close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and other families in Canada. He led the AFN through a period of profound transformation in public awareness of First Nations concerns and priorities. Critical accomplishments include the passage of Canada’s first national legislation recognizing and protecting Indigenous languages, much needed changes in how government services in First Nations communities are funded, and securing a legal commitment to national implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Chief Bellegarde also influenced the acknowledgement of Indigenous Rights in the final Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), as a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Advisory Council. He has also raised the international profile of First Nations expertise on sustainable development, promoting rights-based solutions to the climate crisis from the Paris Agreement to the Sustainable Markets Initiative. In recognition of his work, Chief Bellegarde has been awarded the Confederation Medal, the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, and both the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and Golden Jubilee Medal. In 2018, he was recognized with the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and in 2019, was awarded an Honourary Doctorate of Law from Queen’s University. Most recently, Chief Bellegarde was named “Nation Builder of the Year” by the Empire Club of Canada and the Honorary President of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

    Meredith Powell

    VENTURE PARTNER, VOYAGER CAPITAL

    Meredith is a Venture Partner with Voyager Capital, Cascadia’s leading B2B software venture capital fund investing in the region’s most exciting tech founders innovating in tech, from artificial intelligence and robotics to the future of work and pay equity. She is also an active angel investor with a broad portfolio focused on women-led ventures. Recently, Meredith served as the Global CMO at Microsoft for Startups, the tech giant’s $500m high impact program for early-stage entrepreneurs around the world. Prior to joining Microsoft, Meredith launched multiple companies of her own including an online enterprise marketplace for fashion brands that was acquired in 2014. Meredith is a sought-after public speaker appearing regularly on stage and in the media and serves on multiple boards including the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and Metabridge. Passionate about giving back to the community, she generously mentors innovators at Founder Institute, Techstars, and Launch Academy in her spare time. Meredith is the YWCA’s award recipient for “Entrepreneurship & Innovation”, Startup Canada’s national award winner for promoting entrepreneurship, a Business in Vancouver Top 40 Under 40, a BC Business “Top Innovator” and one of The Boardlist’s “Top Canadian Women in Tech”. Born and raised on the West Coast, Meredith spends as much time as possible outdoors – with her husband, daughter and rescue pup, Charlie – as well as visiting with extended family.

  • 2021 Selection Committee

    Charles Deguire (Selection Committee Chair )

    CEO and Co-Founder, Kinova | 2016 GGIA Laureate

    Charles Deguire, CEO and co-founder of Kinova, has dedicated his life to empower individuals through robotics. It all started when Charles got the “invention bug” at an early age to assist and encourage three of his uncles living with muscular dystrophy. His achievements quickly earned him the reputation as a trailblazer in the modern robotics revolution, including a 2014 Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award, as well as a 2016 Governor General Innovation Award. Charles Deguire is a visionary who works tirelessly to change the robotic paradigm by creating human-centered technology. While completing his studies at Montreal’s École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS), Charles developed a clear vision and mission for Kinova, which he co-founded in 2006. From day one, Charles’s priority has always been to enable individuals to transcend their limitations through next-generation robotic technologies. At Kinova, he is dedicated to seeding top talent through robotics internships and Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities.

    Dr. Breanne Everett

    CEO & CO-FOUNDER OF ORPYX MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES INC. and KINETYX SCIENCES INC.

    Dr. Breanne Everett is the CEO and Co-Founder of Orpyx® Medical Technologies Inc. (“Orpyx”) and Kinetyx Sciences Inc. (“Kinetyx”), as well as a medical doctor and resident in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Calgary. Seeing the burden that diabetic foot complications pose on both patients and the healthcare system, and with the goal of addressing these issues, she founded Orpyx to create meaningful, life-changing impacts with medical-grade wearable technologies. Orpyx has developed a proprietary, pressure sensor platform designed to empower patients to optimize the medical care of certain conditions, such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Beyond these immediate applications in diabetic foot monitoring and amputation prevention, the platform technology that Orpyx has developed can be leveraged to multiple applications in pressure sore prevention, athletic performance optimization, and injury prevention. For her work at Orpyx, Dr. Everett was awarded the Governor General’s Innovation Award in 2016. She was named one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40, one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada, and the University of Calgary’s Graduate of the Last Decade in 2014. She is a Loran National Scholar who serves as an active member of the Loran Alumni Community, and is a member of the Canadian Medical Association’s Joule Innovation Council, and the Governor General Innovation Award Selection Committee. Her pride and joy is her family, and when not working, she loves spending time with her husband, their two sons, and their extended families.

    John Knubley

    Senior Business Advisor

    John Knubley is a Senior Advisor with McKinsey & Company, Corporate Director, Strategic Advisor, and former senior civil servant. Mr. Knubley was the Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) from September 2012 to June 2019. Before he stepped down from government, John had been a longstanding public servant with experience in over eight departments, including the Privy Council Office, Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Transport and Infrastructure Canada, Natural Resources Canada as well as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). John’s career in public service began in 1980 at the Economic Council of Canada. In 2020, John founded InnovAction Advisory Services. InnovAction provides strategic counsel to organizations across a variety of sectors and verticals including agriculture, food production, technology, innovation, and sustainability. John holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, a Master’s of Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He also received a post-graduate diploma in Nice, France, from the Institut Européen des Hautes Études Internationales. A resident of Ottawa, John also serves as a Director on the Conference Board of Canada, the Asia-Pacific Foundation and the Ontario Energy Board.

    Kelly Gillis

    DEPUTY MINISTER, INFRASTRUCTURE AND COMMUNITIES

    Kelly Gillis was appointed Deputy Minister, Infrastructure and Communities in September 2017. Infrastructure Canada is the Government of Canada department that provides long-term, predictable support to help Canadians benefit from world-class, modern public infrastructure; makes investments, builds partnerships, develops policies, delivers programs, and fosters knowledge about public infrastructure in Canada; and helps address complex challenges that Canadians face every day, ranging from the rapid growth of our cities, to climate change, and environmental threats to our water and land. Prior to this appointment, Kelly served as Associate Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), the department that worked to develop Canada’s Inclusive Innovation Agenda to help build an economy that promotes clean growth, high-quality jobs and increased prosperity. Previous to this, Kelly held a number of positions within the federal government, including, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications (SITT) Sector and Chief Financial Officer at Industry Canada. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Graduate Diploma in Public Accounting from McGill University and is also a qualified chartered accountant. Kelly is originally from Montréal. She and her husband have three children.

    John Stackhouse

    Senior Vice-President, Office of the CEO, RBC

    John Stackhouse is a nationally bestselling author and one of Canada’s leading voices on innovation and economic disruption. He is Senior Vice-President in the Office of the CEO at Royal Bank of Canada, leading the organization’s research and thought leadership on economic, technological and social change. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail and editor of Report on Business. He is a senior fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and sits on the boards of Queen’s University, the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada and the Literary Review of Canada. His latest book, Planet Canada: How Our Expats Are Shaping the Future, explores the untapped resource of the millions of Canadians who don’t live here but exert their influence from afar

  • 2020 Selection Committee

    Heather Munroe-Blum (Selection Committee Chair)

    PRINCIPAL EMERITA, MCGILL UNIVERSITY AND CHAIRPERSON, THE CANADA PENSION PLAN INVESTMENT BOARD

    Dr. Munroe-Blum is a distinguished academic and business leader, and an outstanding scholar in the fields of psychiatric epidemiology and public policy. Before serving as principal and vice-chancellor/president of McGill University—the first woman to serve in this role—she was the vice-president of Research and International Relations at the University of Toronto. She is a graduate of McMaster University, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from which she received a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology (with distinction). She is extensively published in epidemiology and public policy, having conducted major research programs funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and Canadian research agencies. She has served on various domestic, international and governmental advisory councils on science, health and innovation, has chaired peer-adjudication research and scientific award-granting panels and is a member of several prominent corporate boards. She is the recipient of numerous Canadian and international awards and honorary degrees in recognition of her leadership in research, science and innovation, higher education, health and governance. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Quebec and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

    Charles Deguire (Selection Committee Chair )

    CEO and Co-Founder, Kinova | 2016 GGIA Laureate

    Charles Deguire, CEO and co-founder of Kinova, has dedicated his life to empower individuals through robotics. It all started when Charles got the “invention bug” at an early age to assist and encourage three of his uncles living with muscular dystrophy. His achievements quickly earned him the reputation as a trailblazer in the modern robotics revolution, including a 2014 Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award, as well as a 2016 Governor General Innovation Award. Charles Deguire is a visionary who works tirelessly to change the robotic paradigm by creating human-centered technology. While completing his studies at Montreal’s École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS), Charles developed a clear vision and mission for Kinova, which he co-founded in 2006. From day one, Charles’s priority has always been to enable individuals to transcend their limitations through next-generation robotic technologies. At Kinova, he is dedicated to seeding top talent through robotics internships and Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities.

    Kelly Gillis

    DEPUTY MINISTER, INFRASTRUCTURE AND COMMUNITIES

    Kelly Gillis was appointed Deputy Minister, Infrastructure and Communities in September 2017. Infrastructure Canada is the Government of Canada department that provides long-term, predictable support to help Canadians benefit from world-class, modern public infrastructure; makes investments, builds partnerships, develops policies, delivers programs, and fosters knowledge about public infrastructure in Canada; and helps address complex challenges that Canadians face every day, ranging from the rapid growth of our cities, to climate change, and environmental threats to our water and land. Prior to this appointment, Kelly served as Associate Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), the department that worked to develop Canada’s Inclusive Innovation Agenda to help build an economy that promotes clean growth, high-quality jobs and increased prosperity. Previous to this, Kelly held a number of positions within the federal government, including, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications (SITT) Sector and Chief Financial Officer at Industry Canada. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Graduate Diploma in Public Accounting from McGill University and is also a qualified chartered accountant. Kelly is originally from Montréal. She and her husband have three children.

    John Knubley

    Senior Business Advisor

    John Knubley is a Senior Advisor with McKinsey & Company, Corporate Director, Strategic Advisor, and former senior civil servant. Mr. Knubley was the Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) from September 2012 to June 2019. Before he stepped down from government, John had been a longstanding public servant with experience in over eight departments, including the Privy Council Office, Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Transport and Infrastructure Canada, Natural Resources Canada as well as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). John’s career in public service began in 1980 at the Economic Council of Canada. In 2020, John founded InnovAction Advisory Services. InnovAction provides strategic counsel to organizations across a variety of sectors and verticals including agriculture, food production, technology, innovation, and sustainability. John holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, a Master’s of Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He also received a post-graduate diploma in Nice, France, from the Institut Européen des Hautes Études Internationales. A resident of Ottawa, John also serves as a Director on the Conference Board of Canada, the Asia-Pacific Foundation and the Ontario Energy Board.

    Chief Clarence Louie

    CEO, Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation

    Recipient of the Order of Canada in 2017 and two years later, inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, Chief Clarence Louie is an internationally acclaimed leader dedicated to the economic and social prosperity of his people. For over 30 years, Clarence has been a champion for the Osoyoos Indian Band’s working culture, inspiring generations not only within the band but around the world with his message about self-empowerment through employment, hard work, and community building. Clarence is quoted widely in media and is a highly sought-after speaker for his strong and straightforward views on the link between economic development and First Nations self-reliance. Known for doing business in a modern First Nations context, Chief Clarence wants to build an ‘indigenous economy’ where First Nations business people and leaders not only participate in the mainstream of Canada’s business economy, but more and more, take a stronger leadership position to shape environmentally and socially responsible outcomes that still feed the bottom line.

    Meredith Powell

    VENTURE PARTNER, VOYAGER CAPITAL

    Meredith is a Venture Partner with Voyager Capital, Cascadia’s leading B2B software venture capital fund investing in the region’s most exciting tech founders innovating in tech, from artificial intelligence and robotics to the future of work and pay equity. She is also an active angel investor with a broad portfolio focused on women-led ventures. Recently, Meredith served as the Global CMO at Microsoft for Startups, the tech giant’s $500m high impact program for early-stage entrepreneurs around the world. Prior to joining Microsoft, Meredith launched multiple companies of her own including an online enterprise marketplace for fashion brands that was acquired in 2014. Meredith is a sought-after public speaker appearing regularly on stage and in the media and serves on multiple boards including the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and Metabridge. Passionate about giving back to the community, she generously mentors innovators at Founder Institute, Techstars, and Launch Academy in her spare time. Meredith is the YWCA’s award recipient for “Entrepreneurship & Innovation”, Startup Canada’s national award winner for promoting entrepreneurship, a Business in Vancouver Top 40 Under 40, a BC Business “Top Innovator” and one of The Boardlist’s “Top Canadian Women in Tech”. Born and raised on the West Coast, Meredith spends as much time as possible outdoors – with her husband, daughter and rescue pup, Charlie – as well as visiting with extended family.

  • 2019 Selection Committee

    Heather Munroe-Blum (Selection Committee Chair)

    PRINCIPAL EMERITA, MCGILL UNIVERSITY AND CHAIRPERSON, THE CANADA PENSION PLAN INVESTMENT BOARD

    Dr. Munroe-Blum is a distinguished academic and business leader, and an outstanding scholar in the fields of psychiatric epidemiology and public policy. Before serving as principal and vice-chancellor/president of McGill University—the first woman to serve in this role—she was the vice-president of Research and International Relations at the University of Toronto. She is a graduate of McMaster University, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from which she received a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology (with distinction). She is extensively published in epidemiology and public policy, having conducted major research programs funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and Canadian research agencies. She has served on various domestic, international and governmental advisory councils on science, health and innovation, has chaired peer-adjudication research and scientific award-granting panels and is a member of several prominent corporate boards. She is the recipient of numerous Canadian and international awards and honorary degrees in recognition of her leadership in research, science and innovation, higher education, health and governance. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Quebec and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

    Charles Deguire (Selection Committee Chair )

    CEO and Co-Founder, Kinova | 2016 GGIA Laureate

    Charles Deguire, CEO and co-founder of Kinova, has dedicated his life to empower individuals through robotics. It all started when Charles got the “invention bug” at an early age to assist and encourage three of his uncles living with muscular dystrophy. His achievements quickly earned him the reputation as a trailblazer in the modern robotics revolution, including a 2014 Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award, as well as a 2016 Governor General Innovation Award. Charles Deguire is a visionary who works tirelessly to change the robotic paradigm by creating human-centered technology. While completing his studies at Montreal’s École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS), Charles developed a clear vision and mission for Kinova, which he co-founded in 2006. From day one, Charles’s priority has always been to enable individuals to transcend their limitations through next-generation robotic technologies. At Kinova, he is dedicated to seeding top talent through robotics internships and Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities.

    Kelly Gillis

    DEPUTY MINISTER, INFRASTRUCTURE AND COMMUNITIES

    Kelly Gillis was appointed Deputy Minister, Infrastructure and Communities in September 2017. Infrastructure Canada is the Government of Canada department that provides long-term, predictable support to help Canadians benefit from world-class, modern public infrastructure; makes investments, builds partnerships, develops policies, delivers programs, and fosters knowledge about public infrastructure in Canada; and helps address complex challenges that Canadians face every day, ranging from the rapid growth of our cities, to climate change, and environmental threats to our water and land. Prior to this appointment, Kelly served as Associate Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), the department that worked to develop Canada’s Inclusive Innovation Agenda to help build an economy that promotes clean growth, high-quality jobs and increased prosperity. Previous to this, Kelly held a number of positions within the federal government, including, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications (SITT) Sector and Chief Financial Officer at Industry Canada. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Graduate Diploma in Public Accounting from McGill University and is also a qualified chartered accountant. Kelly is originally from Montréal. She and her husband have three children.

    Daniel Lamarre

    PRESIDENT AND CEO, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL Entertainment Group

    Daniel Lamarre has an exceptional talent for global business development. This outstanding ability will be his ticket to a long career in creation and innovation. Fascinated with the world around him, Daniel’s greatest strength is his knack for finding the right solutions and positive outcomes for everyone involved, thanks to his heightened sensitivity and unifying leadership. As President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, Daniel maintains the fine balance between the company’s overall strategy, stability and financial growth, as well as the integrity of its culture and its corporate values. Before joining Guy Laliberté’s team in January 2001, he served as President and CEO of Groupe TVA for nearly four years. From 1984 to 1997, he was employed by National Public Relations, initially as Executive Vice-President and Senior Partner, and then as President. In 1981, as Vice-President and CEO, he opened the first Montreal branch of the world’s largest PR firm, Burson-Marsteller. He also held a number of leadership roles in the communications industry with Cogeco and the Fédération des Caisses Populaires du Centre-du-Québec and was a journalist for 10 years. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Ottawa. In 2012, he received his first Honorary Doctorate from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ottawa, and his second from McGill University’s Faculty of Law. In 2018, Daniel received his third Honorary Doctorate from the Université du Québec and was also appointed Officer of the Order of Canada, the highest and most respected honour in Canada. Daniel and Cirque du Soleil are committed to aiding underprivileged youth around the world. Thanks to the touring shows and various social programs at Cirque du Soleil, the power of art has proven an extraordinary means for interacting with local and international communities and, in so doing, helping to make the world a better place. Daniel has always been personally active in various charitable organizations. Whether they benefit the arts, education or sports, his devotion extends beyond philanthropy. To this day, he contributes his heart and his expertise in sundry capacities on various boards of directors and advisory committees.

    Chief Clarence Louie

    CEO, Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation

    Recipient of the Order of Canada in 2017 and two years later, inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, Chief Clarence Louie is an internationally acclaimed leader dedicated to the economic and social prosperity of his people. For over 30 years, Clarence has been a champion for the Osoyoos Indian Band’s working culture, inspiring generations not only within the band but around the world with his message about self-empowerment through employment, hard work, and community building. Clarence is quoted widely in media and is a highly sought-after speaker for his strong and straightforward views on the link between economic development and First Nations self-reliance. Known for doing business in a modern First Nations context, Chief Clarence wants to build an ‘indigenous economy’ where First Nations business people and leaders not only participate in the mainstream of Canada’s business economy, but more and more, take a stronger leadership position to shape environmentally and socially responsible outcomes that still feed the bottom line.

    Meredith Powell

    VENTURE PARTNER, VOYAGER CAPITAL

    Meredith is a Venture Partner with Voyager Capital, Cascadia’s leading B2B software venture capital fund investing in the region’s most exciting tech founders innovating in tech, from artificial intelligence and robotics to the future of work and pay equity. She is also an active angel investor with a broad portfolio focused on women-led ventures. Recently, Meredith served as the Global CMO at Microsoft for Startups, the tech giant’s $500m high impact program for early-stage entrepreneurs around the world. Prior to joining Microsoft, Meredith launched multiple companies of her own including an online enterprise marketplace for fashion brands that was acquired in 2014. Meredith is a sought-after public speaker appearing regularly on stage and in the media and serves on multiple boards including the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and Metabridge. Passionate about giving back to the community, she generously mentors innovators at Founder Institute, Techstars, and Launch Academy in her spare time. Meredith is the YWCA’s award recipient for “Entrepreneurship & Innovation”, Startup Canada’s national award winner for promoting entrepreneurship, a Business in Vancouver Top 40 Under 40, a BC Business “Top Innovator” and one of The Boardlist’s “Top Canadian Women in Tech”. Born and raised on the West Coast, Meredith spends as much time as possible outdoors – with her husband, daughter and rescue pup, Charlie – as well as visiting with extended family.

  • 2018 Selection Committee

    Sakchin Bessette

    CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, MOMENT FACTORY

    Since co-founding Moment Factory in 2001, Executive Creative Director Sakchin Bessette has spearheaded the creation of over 400 multimedia shows and installations around the world. He leads the studio in a perpetual quest to amaze, inspire and bring people together by exploring new types of entertainment. As Moment Factory has grown—now with more than 300 in-house employees in Montréal, Los Angeles, London, Paris, New York and Tokyo—Mr. Bessette has fostered an ecosystem where artists can strive, collaborate and evolve. His great responsibility is to provide guidance, vision and inspiration to the diverse, multidisciplinary artists who have joined the team over the years, pushing them to think in new ways, create with passion and make no sacrifices to mediocrity. The collaboration and cross–disciplinary process that he has put in place in the studio is key to its success. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) in 2017.

    Peter Dinsdale

    PRESIDENT AND CEO, YMCA CANADA

    Peter Dinsdale is a strategic leader who has demonstrated his ability to generate results and manage complex change efforts in large, mission-driven networks made up of strong, diverse and autonomous member organizations. Former CEO of the Assembly of First Nations, executive director of the National Association of Friendship Centres and of the YMCA Canada board of directors, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Native studies and political science, and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary humanities from Laurentian University. He has co-edited three volumes of Aboriginal Policy Research and has written a policy piece and review. He holds an honorary degree from Canadore College.

    Chaviva Hošek

    PRESIDENT & CEO EMERITUS, CANADIAN INSTITURE FOR ADVANCED RESEARCH

    From 2012 to 2017, Chaviva Hošek was a professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance. From 2001 to 2012 she was the president and CEO of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Prior to that she served for seven years as the director of Policy and Research in the office of the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, then-Prime Minister of Canada. Between 1990 and 1993, she ran the Liberal Caucus Research Bureau and was the senior policy advisor to Mr. Chrétien in his role as leader of the Official Opposition. A lifelong feminist, Dr. Hošek was an active member of the Ontario Committee on the Status of Women and chaired the Women’s Studies Program Committee at the University of Toronto. For several years, she was a member of the elected executive of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, and served as its president from 1984 to 1986. Since 2002, she has been a member of several for-profit and non-profit boards. She has received four honorary degrees, the Outstanding Performance Award of the Public Policy Forum, and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

    Daniel Lamarre

    PRESIDENT AND CEO, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL Entertainment Group

    Daniel Lamarre has an exceptional talent for global business development. This outstanding ability will be his ticket to a long career in creation and innovation. Fascinated with the world around him, Daniel’s greatest strength is his knack for finding the right solutions and positive outcomes for everyone involved, thanks to his heightened sensitivity and unifying leadership. As President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, Daniel maintains the fine balance between the company’s overall strategy, stability and financial growth, as well as the integrity of its culture and its corporate values. Before joining Guy Laliberté’s team in January 2001, he served as President and CEO of Groupe TVA for nearly four years. From 1984 to 1997, he was employed by National Public Relations, initially as Executive Vice-President and Senior Partner, and then as President. In 1981, as Vice-President and CEO, he opened the first Montreal branch of the world’s largest PR firm, Burson-Marsteller. He also held a number of leadership roles in the communications industry with Cogeco and the Fédération des Caisses Populaires du Centre-du-Québec and was a journalist for 10 years. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Ottawa. In 2012, he received his first Honorary Doctorate from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ottawa, and his second from McGill University’s Faculty of Law. In 2018, Daniel received his third Honorary Doctorate from the Université du Québec and was also appointed Officer of the Order of Canada, the highest and most respected honour in Canada. Daniel and Cirque du Soleil are committed to aiding underprivileged youth around the world. Thanks to the touring shows and various social programs at Cirque du Soleil, the power of art has proven an extraordinary means for interacting with local and international communities and, in so doing, helping to make the world a better place. Daniel has always been personally active in various charitable organizations. Whether they benefit the arts, education or sports, his devotion extends beyond philanthropy. To this day, he contributes his heart and his expertise in sundry capacities on various boards of directors and advisory committees.

    Heather Munroe-Blum (Selection Committee Chair)

    PRINCIPAL EMERITA, MCGILL UNIVERSITY AND CHAIRPERSON, THE CANADA PENSION PLAN INVESTMENT BOARD

    Dr. Munroe-Blum is a distinguished academic and business leader, and an outstanding scholar in the fields of psychiatric epidemiology and public policy. Before serving as principal and vice-chancellor/president of McGill University—the first woman to serve in this role—she was the vice-president of Research and International Relations at the University of Toronto. She is a graduate of McMaster University, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from which she received a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology (with distinction). She is extensively published in epidemiology and public policy, having conducted major research programs funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and Canadian research agencies. She has served on various domestic, international and governmental advisory councils on science, health and innovation, has chaired peer-adjudication research and scientific award-granting panels and is a member of several prominent corporate boards. She is the recipient of numerous Canadian and international awards and honorary degrees in recognition of her leadership in research, science and innovation, higher education, health and governance. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Quebec and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

    Sue Riddell Rose

    PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF PERPETUAL ENERGY INC.

    Sue Riddell Rose is president and CEO of Perpetual Energy Inc. and the predecessor of Paramount Energy Trust since its inception in 2002. She graduated from Queen’s University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in geological engineering. She launched her career as a geological engineer with Shell Canada and has close to 30 years of experience in the Canadian oil and natural gas industry. From 1990 until 2002, she was employed by Paramount Resources Ltd. in various capacities, culminating in the position of corporate operating officer. She has been a director of Paramount Resources Ltd. since 2000, as well as a director of Newalta Corporation and AltaLink, L.P., and was a member of the board of trustees of Brookfield Canada Office Properties until their go-private transaction in June 2017. Ms. Rose is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and is a governor of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. She is actively involved with a number of non-profit organizations including the United Way of Calgary, UNICEF Canada, Queen’s University and Fulbright Canada.

  • 2017 Selection Committee

    Sakchin Bessette

    CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, MOMENT FACTORY

    Since co-founding Moment Factory in 2001, Executive Creative Director Sakchin Bessette has spearheaded the creation of over 400 multimedia shows and installations around the world. He leads the studio in a perpetual quest to amaze, inspire and bring people together by exploring new types of entertainment. As Moment Factory has grown—now with more than 300 in-house employees in Montréal, Los Angeles, London, Paris, New York and Tokyo—Mr. Bessette has fostered an ecosystem where artists can strive, collaborate and evolve. His great responsibility is to provide guidance, vision and inspiration to the diverse, multidisciplinary artists who have joined the team over the years, pushing them to think in new ways, create with passion and make no sacrifices to mediocrity. The collaboration and cross–disciplinary process that he has put in place in the studio is key to its success. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) in 2017.

    Chaviva Hošek

    PRESIDENT & CEO EMERITUS, CANADIAN INSTITURE FOR ADVANCED RESEARCH

    From 2012 to 2017, Chaviva Hošek was a professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance. From 2001 to 2012 she was the president and CEO of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Prior to that she served for seven years as the director of Policy and Research in the office of the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, then-Prime Minister of Canada. Between 1990 and 1993, she ran the Liberal Caucus Research Bureau and was the senior policy advisor to Mr. Chrétien in his role as leader of the Official Opposition. A lifelong feminist, Dr. Hošek was an active member of the Ontario Committee on the Status of Women and chaired the Women’s Studies Program Committee at the University of Toronto. For several years, she was a member of the elected executive of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, and served as its president from 1984 to 1986. Since 2002, she has been a member of several for-profit and non-profit boards. She has received four honorary degrees, the Outstanding Performance Award of the Public Policy Forum, and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

    Paul Lacerte

    NATIONAL AMBASSADOR MOOSEHIDE CAMPAIGN, BC

    Paul Lacerte is a member of the Carrier First Nation in northern British Columbia. He served as the executive director for the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres for the past 20 years. In 2011, Mr. Lacerte and his daughter, Raven, co-founded the Moosehide Campaign, a grassroots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men working to end violence against women and children. He is the vice-chair of the Vancouver Foundation board of directors and the co-chair of Reconciliation Canada. Mr. Lacerte was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 2014.

    Daniel Lamarre

    PRESIDENT AND CEO, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL Entertainment Group

    Daniel Lamarre has an exceptional talent for global business development. This outstanding ability will be his ticket to a long career in creation and innovation. Fascinated with the world around him, Daniel’s greatest strength is his knack for finding the right solutions and positive outcomes for everyone involved, thanks to his heightened sensitivity and unifying leadership. As President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, Daniel maintains the fine balance between the company’s overall strategy, stability and financial growth, as well as the integrity of its culture and its corporate values. Before joining Guy Laliberté’s team in January 2001, he served as President and CEO of Groupe TVA for nearly four years. From 1984 to 1997, he was employed by National Public Relations, initially as Executive Vice-President and Senior Partner, and then as President. In 1981, as Vice-President and CEO, he opened the first Montreal branch of the world’s largest PR firm, Burson-Marsteller. He also held a number of leadership roles in the communications industry with Cogeco and the Fédération des Caisses Populaires du Centre-du-Québec and was a journalist for 10 years. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Ottawa. In 2012, he received his first Honorary Doctorate from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ottawa, and his second from McGill University’s Faculty of Law. In 2018, Daniel received his third Honorary Doctorate from the Université du Québec and was also appointed Officer of the Order of Canada, the highest and most respected honour in Canada. Daniel and Cirque du Soleil are committed to aiding underprivileged youth around the world. Thanks to the touring shows and various social programs at Cirque du Soleil, the power of art has proven an extraordinary means for interacting with local and international communities and, in so doing, helping to make the world a better place. Daniel has always been personally active in various charitable organizations. Whether they benefit the arts, education or sports, his devotion extends beyond philanthropy. To this day, he contributes his heart and his expertise in sundry capacities on various boards of directors and advisory committees.

    Heather Munroe-Blum (Selection Committee Chair)

    PRINCIPAL EMERITA, MCGILL UNIVERSITY AND CHAIRPERSON, THE CANADA PENSION PLAN INVESTMENT BOARD

    Dr. Munroe-Blum is a distinguished academic and business leader, and an outstanding scholar in the fields of psychiatric epidemiology and public policy. Before serving as principal and vice-chancellor/president of McGill University—the first woman to serve in this role—she was the vice-president of Research and International Relations at the University of Toronto. She is a graduate of McMaster University, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from which she received a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology (with distinction). She is extensively published in epidemiology and public policy, having conducted major research programs funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and Canadian research agencies. She has served on various domestic, international and governmental advisory councils on science, health and innovation, has chaired peer-adjudication research and scientific award-granting panels and is a member of several prominent corporate boards. She is the recipient of numerous Canadian and international awards and honorary degrees in recognition of her leadership in research, science and innovation, higher education, health and governance. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Quebec and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

  • 2016 Selection Committee

    Sakchin Bessette

    CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, MOMENT FACTORY

    Since co-founding Moment Factory in 2001, Executive Creative Director Sakchin Bessette has spearheaded the creation of over 400 multimedia shows and installations around the world. He leads the studio in a perpetual quest to amaze, inspire and bring people together by exploring new types of entertainment. As Moment Factory has grown—now with more than 300 in-house employees in Montréal, Los Angeles, London, Paris, New York and Tokyo—Mr. Bessette has fostered an ecosystem where artists can strive, collaborate and evolve. His great responsibility is to provide guidance, vision and inspiration to the diverse, multidisciplinary artists who have joined the team over the years, pushing them to think in new ways, create with passion and make no sacrifices to mediocrity. The collaboration and cross–disciplinary process that he has put in place in the studio is key to its success. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) in 2017.

    Jocelyne Bourgon

    PRESIDENT, PUBLIC GOVERNANCE INTERNATIONAL

    From 1974 to 1999, Jocelyne Bourgon held various positions in Canada’s public service, notably as deputy minister Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Industry), cabinet secretary for Federal-Provincial Relations, and president of the Canadian International Development Agency and Transport Canada. She was the first woman appointed as clerk of the Privy Council, serving from 1994 until 1999. She was president of the Canadian Centre for Management Development from 1999 to 2003, and was named president emeritus when it became the Canada School of Public Service. She also served as ambassador to the OECD until 2007. Ms. Bourgon is a distinguished fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and a visiting professor at the University of Waterloo.

    Erin Egan

    CHIEF PRIVACY OFFICER, FACEBOOK

    Erin Egan helps drive innovation by ensuring privacy considerations are embedded throughout Facebook and facilitates an ongoing dialogue with policymakers about the company’s products and services. Prior to joining Facebook, Ms. Egan was a partner at Covington & Burling where she represented companies on a range of tech policy issues, including privacy, data security, e-commerce and advertising. Ms. Egan sits on the board of the Internet Association, an organization dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect Internet freedom, foster innovation and economic growth, and empower people.

    Naveen Jain

    BOARD OF TRUSTEES, XPRIZE FOUNDATION

    As a board trustee at the XPRIZE Foundation, Naveen Jain is focused on finding entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges in education, health, agriculture, water and energy. An entrepreneur with a passion to solve world’s biggest challenges with innovative technologies, he is the founder of Moon Express, iNome, World Innovation Institute, Intelius, TalentWise and Infospace. He is on the board of directors at Singularity University, an interdisciplinary university with the mission to educate and inspire leaders to address humanity’s grand challenges through innovative technologies. He is a regular contributor to Forbes, Inc.com, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post. He is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and The Explorer Club. Mr. Jain has been awarded many honours for his entrepreneurial successes and leadership skills.

    Daniel Lamarre

    PRESIDENT AND CEO, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL Entertainment Group

    Daniel Lamarre has an exceptional talent for global business development. This outstanding ability will be his ticket to a long career in creation and innovation. Fascinated with the world around him, Daniel’s greatest strength is his knack for finding the right solutions and positive outcomes for everyone involved, thanks to his heightened sensitivity and unifying leadership. As President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, Daniel maintains the fine balance between the company’s overall strategy, stability and financial growth, as well as the integrity of its culture and its corporate values. Before joining Guy Laliberté’s team in January 2001, he served as President and CEO of Groupe TVA for nearly four years. From 1984 to 1997, he was employed by National Public Relations, initially as Executive Vice-President and Senior Partner, and then as President. In 1981, as Vice-President and CEO, he opened the first Montreal branch of the world’s largest PR firm, Burson-Marsteller. He also held a number of leadership roles in the communications industry with Cogeco and the Fédération des Caisses Populaires du Centre-du-Québec and was a journalist for 10 years. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Ottawa. In 2012, he received his first Honorary Doctorate from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ottawa, and his second from McGill University’s Faculty of Law. In 2018, Daniel received his third Honorary Doctorate from the Université du Québec and was also appointed Officer of the Order of Canada, the highest and most respected honour in Canada. Daniel and Cirque du Soleil are committed to aiding underprivileged youth around the world. Thanks to the touring shows and various social programs at Cirque du Soleil, the power of art has proven an extraordinary means for interacting with local and international communities and, in so doing, helping to make the world a better place. Daniel has always been personally active in various charitable organizations. Whether they benefit the arts, education or sports, his devotion extends beyond philanthropy. To this day, he contributes his heart and his expertise in sundry capacities on various boards of directors and advisory committees.

    Heather Munroe-Blum (Selection Committee Chair)

    PRINCIPAL EMERITA, MCGILL UNIVERSITY AND CHAIRPERSON, THE CANADA PENSION PLAN INVESTMENT BOARD

    Dr. Munroe-Blum is a distinguished academic and business leader, and an outstanding scholar in the fields of psychiatric epidemiology and public policy. Before serving as principal and vice-chancellor/president of McGill University—the first woman to serve in this role—she was the vice-president of Research and International Relations at the University of Toronto. She is a graduate of McMaster University, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from which she received a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology (with distinction). She is extensively published in epidemiology and public policy, having conducted major research programs funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and Canadian research agencies. She has served on various domestic, international and governmental advisory councils on science, health and innovation, has chaired peer-adjudication research and scientific award-granting panels and is a member of several prominent corporate boards. She is the recipient of numerous Canadian and international awards and honorary degrees in recognition of her leadership in research, science and innovation, higher education, health and governance. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Quebec and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

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