Board & Advisory

John Knubley

Board Chair and Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

John Knubley

John Knubley

Board Chair and Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

On September 17, 2012, John Knubley joined Industry Canada as Deputy Minister.

John comes to the department from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, where he served as Deputy Minister since 2009. There he supported the development and implementation of Bill C-18, The Marketing Freedom Act, which eliminated the monopoly of the Canadian Wheat Board, as well as the completion of negotiations with provinces of a new five-year suite of agricultural programs oriented to innovation and market development.

In 2008, John served as Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Privy Council Office, leading the organization and management of the First Ministers Meeting that year on the Economic Action Plan. Prior to this, he was Associate Deputy Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, as well as Associate Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Canada.

From 2002 until 2006, John lived in Halifax where he served as Vice-President (Nova Scotia) of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

John joined the Privy Council Office in 1994 as Director of Operations, Intergovernmental Affairs and he served there when a First Ministers Meeting was held to recognize the achievement of the Agreement on Internal Trade and during the period of the last referendum. From 1996 to 2002, he took on several positions at Human Resources Development Canada, including Assistant Deputy Minister of Corporate Affairs and Planning as well as of Employment Insurance.

In 1990 he was appointed Director, Strategic Investment Analysis, at Investment Canada.  In 1992, he became Director, Microeconomic Analysis, when Investment Canada became part of Industry Canada.

From 1985 to 1990, John worked in policy at the Federal-Provincial Relations Office, involved in the Meech Lake negotiations as well as the federal-provincial aspects of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. John’s career in the public service began in 1980, with the Economic Council of Canada.

John has a B.A. from Yale University and a Master of 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.

John also worked in the private sector for Thomas d’Aquino and Intercounsel Limited.

John is married with three children.

Hicham Adra

President, Ardan Fitzroy Enterprises

Hicham Adra

Hicham Adra

President, Ardan Fitzroy Enterprises

Hicham Adra is President of Ardan Fitzroy Enterprises, an information technology and business services firm.  He lives in Ottawa and is a business and community leader.

He has served as Senior Vice-President and General Manager for CGI’s business operations in the National Capital Region, Atlantic Canada, and Western Canada, and as a member of CGI’s global Management Committee.  He has served as a member of the Board and Chair of the Human Resources committee of Innovapost, a joint venture between CGI and Canada Post Corporation.

He served as the 2005 Chair of the United Way / Centraide fund-raising campaign in the Ottawa-Carleton Region, a campaign that raised over $25 million. He’s co- chair of Hire Immigrants Ottawa’s Employer Council of Champions.

He is the past-Chair of the Board of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation and is also a member of the Board of the Institute on Governance.

Bryce Conrad

President and CEO, Hydro Ottawa

Bryce Conrad

Bryce Conrad

President and CEO, Hydro Ottawa

Bryce Conrad is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hydro Ottawa Group of Companies (Hydro Ottawa), a leading energy provider that distributes electricity to more than 305,000 homes and businesses in the Ottawa area and generates more than 142,000 megawatt hours of clean, renewable energy per year.

Prior to joining Hydro Ottawa, Mr. Conrad served as Assistant Deputy Minister – Program Operations at Infrastructure Canada, where he managed the implementation of the $4 billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, overseeing the selection and management of 4,000 projects that created more than $10 billion in economic activity. He was also responsible for the oversight and administration of the Building Canada Fund, the Green Infrastructure Fund and the Gas Tax agreements with provinces and municipalities.

He has previously served in executive and senior roles at Infrastructure Canada, Transport Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat, and Human Resources Development Canada, with responsibilities including Highways and Borders, Surface Infrastructure Programs, Expenditure Management Review, and Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs. He has managed a wide range of programs and infrastructure investments, led large and complex organizations, and provided advice to deputy ministers, ministers, cabinet committees, and cabinet.

Mr. Conrad is fluently bilingual, and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Queen’s University, a Master of Public Administration from Carleton University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Ottawa.

Jean-François Tremblay

Deputy Minister of Indigenous Services

Jean-François Tremblay

Jean-François Tremblay

Deputy Minister of Indigenous Services

Jean-François Tremblay was appointed Deputy Minister, Infrastructure and Communities on March 2, 2016. Prior to this appointment, he was the Deputy Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities (TIC) between July and March 2016.

Before joining the TIC portfolio, Mr. Tremblay was Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Operations), Privy Council Office, since April 22, 2013.

Previously, he was with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, where he held the position of Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Treaties and Aboriginal Government, from 2012 to 2013. From 2010 to 2012, he was Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy and Strategic Direction.

Before joining Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Mr. Tremblay worked with the Privy Council Office, serving as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Priorities and Planning, from 2007 to 2010. Between 2006 and 2007, he worked in the Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat, where he held the positions of Director General, Sectoral Analysis, followed by Assistant Deputy Minister, Intergovernmental Operations.

Between 2003 and 2006, Mr. Tremblay held several positions at Health Canada, including Director General, Policy Coordination and Planning in the Health Care Policy Directorate, and Executive Director, Health System Development, Strategic Policy, Planning and Analysis Directorate in the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch.

Mr. Tremblay joined the federal public service in 2000 as a policy analyst with the Privy Council Office, holding a variety of responsibilities with Intergovernmental Affairs and the Social Development Policy Secretariat.

Mr. Tremblay holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Université Laval.

Deborah Richardson

Deputy Minister of Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

Deborah Richardson

Deborah Richardson

Deputy Minister of Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

Deborah Richardson, LL.B, BA is a seasoned intergovernmental affairs executive and Indigenous relationships expert. A business-savvy lawyer, with nearly two decades of private, not-for-profit and public sector experience, Deborah is a true visionary and deal-maker with an abundance of wisdom and experience in addressing inter-governmental affairs matters at all levels of government. Her caring, collaborative style and ability to nurture relationships have demonstrated wide-ranging impacts in the field of Indigenous affairs Canada-wide. A forward thinking, fiscally responsible leader, she has been able to effectively motivate large, diverse teams in rendering her ability to deliver, transform, connect and inspire.

Her distinguished career began as an articling student in a criminal law firm in Ottawa then she jumped into the finance industry where she worked as a business banker before becoming Manager of Diversity for the Royal Bank of Canada.

Over the years, Deborah Richardson has been on the forefront of Indigenous Affairs, spearheading many wide-ranging initiatives benefiting Indigenous youth, addressing poverty in the Far North and improving social conditions in Indigenous communities. Her professional foray into Indigenous Affairs began as Executive Director of the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto in 1999.  She used her financial and operational expertise to build the Centre into one of the strongest Aboriginal organizations in Toronto.  Much sought after for her operational experience, she then served as Director of Operations and Aboriginal Business Development for the OI Group of Companies located in Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.  Beginning and since 2004, Deborah has held progressively senior positions in the federal and provincial public service including Regional Director General for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Aboriginal Relationships and Ministerial Partnerships division of the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, and the Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ring of Fire Secretariat at the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.  In 2013, Deborah took a two-year leave of absence from the provincial government to pursue an Executive opportunity in the private sector with a company based out of Akwesasne First Nation called Ishkonigan.  She is currently the Deputy Minister of Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation since her appointment in January 2015.  She has been recognized as a Top Leader under 40 (in 2008) and was selected for the Governor General in Leadership Program.

Deborah is a proud Mi’gmaq woman with strong ties to her home community of Pabineau First Nation on the north shore of New Brunswick.  She lives with her husband Bob, and her daughters Jasmine and Fiona.  She also has three step children: Katherine Faith, Griffin and Miigwans.

Karen Aulie

Chair of the Saskatchewan Public Service Commission

Karen Aulie

Karen Aulie

Chair of the Saskatchewan Public Service Commission

Karen Aulie is the Chair of the Saskatchewan Public Service Commission.  She began her career in the Saskatchewan public service in 1985 as an analyst with the Ministry of Finance.  She then moved to the Public Service Commission where she served in a variety of positions.  From 1998 to 2007, she was the Director of Human Resources and Corporate Services with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.  She returned to the Public Service Commission as Assistant Chair of the Human Resource Client Service and Support Division in 2007. She then went back to the Ministry of Agriculture as the Assistant Deputy Minister of Programs in October 2013, before accepting the Chair’s position with the Public Service Commission in December 2015.

Karen has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan.

She was born and raised on a grain farm near Rouleau SK, and currently produces grain and raises purebred Clydesdale horses with her husband, Bill.

Karen is a busy community volunteer. She co-founded a celebrity golf tournament, called Hockey and Hearts, which raises money for community projects and needy families as well as a memorial bursary for students attending Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in nearby Wilcox SK.

Alexandra Conliffe

Director of the Policy Innovation Platform

Alexandra Conliffe

Alexandra Conliffe

Director of the Policy Innovation Platform

Alexandra Conliffe is the Director of the Policy Innovation Platform at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship. The platform assists policy professionals in generating innovative solutions to challenges in today’s society. Engaging multidisciplinary teams and applying new approaches and tools to complex policy issues, the platform aims to demonstrate the power of leveraging the collective intelligence of skilled, forward-thinking and civically minded individuals to accelerate change.

Between 2013-16, Alex was VP Operations at Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB), a movement of 40,000 Canadian and African leaders working together to end poverty and inequality through innovations in targeted sectors, including Global Engineering Education in Canada, Small and Growing Businesses in Africa, and Responsible Mining globally.

Between 2010-13, Alex was a Senior Policy Analyst at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Canada’s agriculture negotiator at the United Nations climate change negotiations. She worked interdepartmentally on issues related to global food security, agriculture and the environment. This work built on five years leading teams of reporters to United Nations negotiations on environment and development for the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Alex holds a doctorate in Geography and a master’s in Environmental Management from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She earned a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University, where she was a Loran Scholar. She is a member of the McGill Faculty of Engineering Advisory Board.

Anil Arora

Chief Statistician of Canada

Anil Arora

Anil Arora

Chief Statistician of Canada

Anil Arora was appointed Chief Statistician of Canada in September 2016.

Mr. Arora has led significant transformational initiatives throughout his career, with experience and partnerships spanning all three levels of government, the private sector and international organizations, including the UN and the OECD. He has led projects on high-profile policy issues, legislative and regulatory reform, and overseen large national programs.

In 1988, Mr. Arora joined Statistics Canada where he served in several positions, including regional operations, corporate services and the redesign of the dissemination function. In 2000, he became Director of Census Management Office and subsequently the Director General responsible for all aspects of the 2006 Census. In this role, Mr. Arora led the most comprehensive redesign of the Program, including the introduction of an online questionnaire. Following the successful delivery of the 2006 Census he became the Assistant Chief Statistician of Social, Health and Labour Statistics from 2008 to 2010.  

In 2009, Mr. Arora received the prestigious APEX Leadership Award in recognition of his exceptional leadership skills and management excellence.

In 2010, Mr. Arora joined Natural Resources Canada as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Minerals and Metals Sector, and in 2013 was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of Science and Policy Integration. He moved to Health Canada in 2014, becoming Assistant Deputy Minister of Health Products and Food Branch and leading a complex organization overseeing regulation of food, drug and health products for Canada. He also served as chair of the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities.  

Mr. Arora attended the University of Alberta, where he earned a Bachelor of Science, followed by further education in computing science and management, including a graduate certificate in Advanced Public Sector Management at the University of Ottawa, and the Advanced Leadership Program at the Canada School of Public Service.

Michael Tremblay

President and CEO, Invest Ottawa

Michael Tremblay

Michael Tremblay

President and CEO, Invest Ottawa

Michael Tremblay joined Invest Ottawa as President and Chief Executive Officer in March of 2017. Prior to joining Invest Ottawa, he was the Vice President of Public Sector for Microsoft Canada from April 2007. Michael led all of Microsoft Canada’s Public Sector activities across all levels of government including Healthcare and Education sectors. Mike has 34 years of sales, marketing, operations and general management experience, with considerable experience serving public sector clients. Prior to joining Microsoft, Mike worked for SAP Canada as Senior Vice President, Public Services, managing the Canadian Public Sector market. Mike has also held senior executive positions with Fujitsu Consulting, JDS Uniphase, EDS Systemhouse and Digital Equipment Corporation – principally across Canadian, American and Latin American markets. He has an MBA from Concordia University in Montreal and is a graduate of Computer Technology from Algonquin College. Michael completed the Directors Education Program and is ICD.D certified with the Institute of Corporate Directors. From 2004-2017, Michael served as a member of Algonquin College’s Board of Governors and served as Chair of the College’s Foundation Board. Michael is an active member of the Audit and Corporate Services Committee and has previously served on the Advocacy Committee with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Martine Durier-Copp, PhD

Director, Centre for Advanced Management Education, Dalhousie University

Martine Durier-Copp, PhD

Martine Durier-Copp, PhD

Director, Centre for Advanced Management Education, Dalhousie University

Originally from Montréal, Martine graduated from McGill University with her PhD, having obtained two Master’s degrees (Université de Montréal, McGill).

Martine has been in managerial and leadership positions for many years. She began her career with the Canadian Red Cross Society (Toronto) and the American Red Cross in Washington, DC, leading international development and humanitarian relief projects. She then moved to Ottawa to take up a Senior Policy position with the Canadian International Development Agency, where she was also invited by the Minister for External Relations to be part of a five-member Special Ministerial Task Force on Official Development Assistance.

Following her move to Nova Scotia, she was appointed Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Royal Commission on Health Care, which conducted a major review of NS’s health care system, and presented its reform agenda for a transformation of the health system. She was subsequently invited by the Minister of Health to head the Provinces’ Reform Implementation Working Group, and then became the founding Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Provincial Health Council. In 1992, she founded North South Group, which managed large international projects, with multidisciplinary teams, in Bolivia, the Russian Federation, Baltic and Eastern European countries, together with multiple projects for Health Canada and Nova Scotia Department of Health.

She has been teaching in the School of Public Administration since 1996, and in 2010 became Director of the Centre for Advanced Management Education.  She has also directed several international projects at Dalhousie, including three major Cuba projects focusing on strengthening the public policy and management capacity of Cuban public officials. She is the recipient of a SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) Knowledge Synthesis grant, and has published in the field of e-leadership. She teaches in the Master of Public Administration (Management) program, and her courses include Government Structure and Organisation, and 21st C Public Sector Leadership.