Cari’s has a great deal of experience in social and public innovation research. After ten years in the not for profit and private sectors, she joined government to work on the social partnerships and inclusion agenda. Since then, her work at ESDC has focused on engagement and evaluation initiatives to support higher performing programs and policies. She provides expertise in the areas of qualitative (ethnographic) research methods, program design, impact measurement, and collaborative facilitation. She is also currently working on a PhD on the conceptualization and measurement of social progress at Carleton University.
Roukya Abdi Aden
Djibouti native Roukya Abdi Aden now lives in Ontario. Since September 2012, she has been Administrator, National Cooperation at RDÉE Canada. Her responsibilities include activities related to economic issues deemed a priority for RDÉE Canada and its members, such as tourism, economic immigration etc.
Before joining the RDÉE Canada team, she worked with international organizations, such as UNICEF (United Nations Children's Emergency Fund). In Canada, she has worked at several francophone organizations. She was Economic Development Officer at the Conseil de la Coopération de l'Ontario (CCO), and then Deputy Director of Immigration at the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes (FCFA) du Canada (2002-2012). She holds a Masters in Management and Applied Foreign Languages.
Vince Accardi has spent his career working with like-minded professionals that are passionate about building a competitive and vibrant tourism sector in Canada. He is an accomplished Tourism industry professional with comprehensive experience in product development, marketing and business development for both national and local, not for profit, associations as well as with privately held Tourism organizations. Vince moved to Ottawa and started his career with Tourism HR Canada (formally known as Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council) ten years ago and is Tourism HR Canada’s Vice President of Marketing and Business Development and the Canadian Director, for the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership. Prior to his work at Tourism HR Canada, Vince was the Vice President of Marketing and Media Relations for Tourism Sun Peaks in BC.
Michelle has been with Mitacs for over three years and is currently Director, Professional Skills Development with the Step Program. As the Director she is responsible for the overall development of the training strategy, partnerships, and operational planning and oversight. She has also worked as the Manager, Step Facilitators and Manager, Professional Skills Development, supervising the day-to-day operations of the program.
Michelle was previously employed with the Canadian Board Diversity Council (CBDC) as Senior Manager where she assisted in advancing the council’s mission to increase diversity on Canadian boards through a number of research initiatives and its flagship education program “Get on Board.”
Michelle pursued her education in the field of Communication Studies. She has also taught a number of courses to students at the undergraduate level and has published academic articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Michelle holds a BA from Concordia University in Psychology, a MSc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in Media, Communications and Gender Studies. She is completing her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Concordia University. She speaks French, Spanish, and Italian.
Alessandro Alasia is Chief of Special Projects, Centre for Special Business Projects, Statistics Canada. He has been working full-time at Statistics Canada since 2007. Prior to that appointment, he led several research projects with the Agriculture Division (Statistics Canada) and the Rural and Co-operatives Secretariat (AAFC) as consultant and post-doctoral fellow. He also worked as consultant in agriculture and rural development research projects, mainly in Southern Africa, with international organizations and national cooperation agencies. Alessandro has taught at the graduate and undergraduate level at the University of Bologna (Italy), the Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique), and the International Comparative Rural Policies Studies program. Alessandro graduated in Economics from the University of Torino (Italy), earned a MSc from the School of Specialization in Agriculture Economics and Business of the Catholic University (Italy), and a PhD in Agricultural Economics with specialization in Rural Studies from the University of Guelph.
Louis Beauséjour was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of the Integrity Services Branch, Service Canada, in June 2012. He is fully committed to help deliver on our mission to create better outcomes for Canadians through service excellence within Service Canada and with our partners.
Prior to joining Service Canada, Louis served as the Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of the Skills and Employment Branch (SEB) at Human Resources and Skills Development. In this role, he lent his leadership talents to developing programs and initiatives that promote skills development, labour market participation and inclusiveness.
Prior to his appointment as AADM, Mr. Beauséjour was Director General of the Employment Insurance Policy Directorate within SEB, where he led the implementation of a number of initiatives in support of the Economic Action Plan. He also spent five years within the Treasury Board Secretariat, where he led compensation planning for the Public Service. He has also held various positions within the Department of Finance where he was also able to valuably apply his economic expertise.
Mr. Beauséjour holds a master's degree in Economics from the University of Laval in Quebec (1991), as well as a bachelor's degree in Agroeconomics (1985).
Charlotte was appointed President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) in April 2015 where she is responsible for the overall leadership of the organization representing tourism interests at the national level. Canada’s tourism success stems from its unique and plentiful attributes as a destination, the professionalism and dedication of operators and the tourism workforce, as well as a cohesive national association of tourism businesses that gets results on behalf of its members.
Having spent more than 25 years in the broadcasting sector in Canada, Charlotte has an extensive background in advocacy, strategic planning and public affairs. During her tenure as head of regulatory affairs for some of Canada’s most prominent media companies, she spearheaded advocacy and public affairs strategies to garner approval for some of the largest media acquisitions in Canada and important regulatory reforms. She has also served on a number of Boards, including Canadian Women in Communications, The Banff International Television Festival and Advertising Standards Canada. She was also Chair of the Joint Board of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters for three years.
Hailing from Tracadie, New Brunswick, Jean-Guy Bigeau received his primary and secondary education in Timmins and completed his university studies at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. Mr. Bigeau has been Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Economic Development and Employability Network (RDÉE Canada) since September 2015.
For over twenty five years, Mr. Bigeau has served as executive director of several national and provincial service organizations. From 1986 to 1992, he was CEO of a community training centre, the Carrefour francophone, in the Sudbury region. Following this, he was appointed Executive Director for the Association of Canadian Studies (ACS). In 1995, he became Executive Director of Crossroads International, an organization funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). From 1999 to 2011, he was Chief Executive Officer for Katimavik (OPCAN), a national youth program funded by Heritage Canada. His responsibilities included managing a team of over 275 employees, and working on large-scale projects in all regions across Canada. In 2012, Mr. Bigeau was appointed Executive Director and Secretary Treasurer for the Municipality of Chelsea, Quebec.
Throughout his career, he has implemented several innovative programs and initiatives, in addition to developing numerous strategic plans, chairing various working committees, as well as organizing national and international conferences. He has efficiently overseen negotiations to increase and diversify funding for the several organizations he served. Moreover, he has vast knowledge of marketing and communications, as well as a broad spectrum of legal and administrative expertise.
Mr. Bigeau has also been involved with many provincial and national committees, notably as President of the Assemblée des centres culturels de l’Ontario (ACCO) for over five years.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, as well as a certificate in public administration and industrial relations.
A native of New Richmond in the Gaspé, Stephane Blanchard is an Islander by adoption, having settled in the little town of Rustico in the summer of 2010. This is actually his second stay on the Island, as he came here as a French instructor from 1995 to 1999 while studying at UPEI in order to improve his English. Since 2012, he has become a father to a beautiful little girl.
In his work with the Conseil acadien de Rustico, Stéphane helped develop activities for the community, which provided him with a deeper understanding of the issues of all the Island's Francophone regions. He served on the committee of the Rendez-Vous Rustico, a well-known festival. He also organized the annual mini-handball tournament for players and coaches throughout the province.
Having taught for over 10 years at all levels, from kindergarten to Grade 11, Stéphane has always demonstrated his adaptability and will continue to do so at the RDÉE.
He has been active on several boards since his return to the Island, including the Friends of the Farmers' Bank of Rustico, the Central Region Sports and Recreational Council, and the Regional Committee of the PEI Acadian Games, as Rustico representative. In addition, he served as president for the organization of the first Regional games in the Rustico area in 2013.
With his background in teaching and youth work, Stéphane came to the RDÉE to assume the post of Development Officer for the Youth Sector. As such, he is in charge of several projects and initiatives, including PERCÉ, Young Millionaires, Young Businesses and the Youth Service Cooperative. He works from the Charlottetown satellite office in the Carrefour de l'Isle-Saint-Jean.
Marketing consultant Micheline Bourque made the transition to web consulting in 2006, focusing her practice on integrating social media with small businesses. She partnered with Détail Formation to help businesses with the transition by developing and conducting workshops and training sessions on the various social networks and the web in general.
She is an experienced moderator of focus groups and has given presentations on topics related to the social web. In 2014, with her passion for books on business and her love of the web, she created the Club de lecture Affaires (Business Book Club), an innovative concept promoting the business book as a learning tool and creating activities for learning together from books.
Alain Brosius has over 20 years of experience in business management and private and public tourism projects, some in highly competitive international environments.
He holds a Masters in Tourism Development from the UQAM School of Management, as well as a number of Canadian and French Tourism diplomas.
In Europe: Alain was notably Director of Campgrounds, Director of the Marketing Office for Les Sybelles (France's 6th largest ski resort), and Director of Development for the European franchise of the high-end campground operator Yelloh! Village (France's 7th top tour operator).
In Canada: He was VP North America and Canada representative for the World Association for Hospitality and Tourism Education and Training (AMFORHT, a working group of the UNWTO/OMT); and since 2008, he has been involved in implementing the offer of products and services tailored to the needs of tour operators and domestic and international markets, especially European. He has worked for 6 years at RDÉE Ontario as head of the Tourism Sector.
John Buck is Executive Director of CEDEC, the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation. Based in Huntingdon, Quebec and with 9 offices located across Quebec, CEDEC is a leader in economic development, entrepreneurial development, and community revitalization. CEDEC has over the past 15 years established itself as a key resource in Quebec for helping small businesses grow and find ways to innovate.
John is a founding member of CEDEC. While attending Bishops University in Lennoxville, Quebec, John became involved in community economic development opportunities and helped launch CEDEC in 1999. While attending McGill University and before leaving Quebec in 2001 to work in the financial services industry in Toronto, John was President of the Board of CEDEC. John returned to Quebec in 2006 to become Executive Director of CEDEC.
John is excited about his team and his work at CEDEC, and he is proud to be part of an organization that is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and employers succeed and grow.
The Banque de développement du Canada is the only bank that invests exclusively in entrepreneurs. We are not only a commercial bank. We are a development bank with a single goal: to help entrepreneurs succeed. At BDC, we know entrepreneurs and understand the challenges they face.
Donald Cyr est le directeur général de la Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique (SDECB). En partenariat avec divers organismes économiques, la SDECB fait la promotion du développement économique auprès des francophones et francophiles de la Colombie-Britannique. Monsieur Cyr a reçu un prix honorifique remis par la province pour sa contribution à la Francophonie et à la prospérité économique de la Colombie-Britannique. Il est aussi récipiendaire du prix Gérald-et-Henriette-Moreau pour son excellence et dévouement envers la communauté, offert par la Fédération francophone de la Colombie-Britannique en 2013. Il a également obtenu le prix Baldwin-Lafontaine, présenté par le Canadian Club de Vancouver en 2009, pour son Leadership et ses contributions à la promotion de la Francophonie et au rapprochement entre francophones, anglophones et allophones.
Marie-Andrée Delisle has run her own tourism development consulting firm since 1988. Co-author of the book Un autre tourisme est-il possible?, she has studied national and international tourism trends for over twenty-five years.
She is an excellent communicator with a wealth of multicultural experiences and insatiable curiosity about the phenomena and evolution of the tourism industry. With her involvement in the field, her wide network of contacts and her access to multiple reference sources, she is always up on the latest trends. Given her travels in over 65 countries and her familiarity with of all the regions of Quebec, she has a broad perspective on tourism issues, both nationally and internationally. Since the spring of 2015, she has been pursuing her doctorate in Urban and Tourism Studies at UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal) and the INRS (Institut national de recherche scientifique). Marie-Andrée Delisle holds a Masters in Tourism Management and Planning from the UQAM School of Management, where she works as a professional research associate.
Since 2004, Michel Doucet has held several key roles at the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC), a leader in professional and technical education. As director of Continuum, Michel is responsible for the Continuing Education sector that responds to New Brunswick's development activities with a variety of courses and customized programs to meet the training and development needs of learners, workers and industry. Michel ensures the correlation between the NBCC's strategic priorities and the activities of its revenue-generating division, with a focus on the indigenous sector, language training, skills development and employability, and services to industry.
For three years, as Director of NBCC – Acadian Peninsula Campus and the Fisheries School in Caraquet, Michel oversaw operations management, relations with various government and community bodies, and teaching related to approved NBCC programs of study. With a gift for innovation, Michel inspired major initiatives during his tenure, such as the NBCC cohabitation project with the University of Moncton in Shippagan and a major maritime sector study. He also served as a department head at NBCC – Bathurst Campus where he provided operational and pedagogical leadership for programs in business administration, international trade, language, the environment and continuing education.
The various positions that he occupied before coming to the NBCC include the directorship of the New-Brunswick East Coast Railway, where he was responsible for the company's strategic management, safety, and government and customer relations, provincially, nationally and internationally. He has also served as northwest regional director for Aliant Telecom, sales manager for the New Brunswick Telephone Company and marketing development officer for the Chaleur Regional Development Commission.
Michel Doucet holds a Masters in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Recreation from the University of Moncton, as well as a diploma in Recreology from Algonquin College in Ottawa. Actively involved for several years in various regional, provincial and national committees and boards, he has served as president of two regional chambers of commerce in New Brunswick and treasurer of the Centre international du développement de l’inforoute en français [International centre for the development of the information highway in French]. Passionate about postsecondary education and economic development, Michel Doucet was awarded the Prix de leadership communitaire by the City of Bathurst and the province of New Brunswick.
Julie Fafard has worked for 16 years in the tourism industry in various positions in Canada and abroad, as a tour guide, destination representative and sales rep for a Quebec tour operator. For the last 10 years, she has lived in Alberta, drawn by its unparalleled natural beauty.
As Director,Tourism Development and Entrepreneurship at the Conseil de développement économique de l'Alberta (CDÉA), she publishes an official annual tourist guide in French and has developed a Web site, tourismealberta.ca, and a tourist app, CanadaOuest.
These digital tools have raised Alberta's profile as a tourist destination for Francophones. With the number of partners and revenues increasing each year, the organization is able to reinvest in tourism development, an indisputable engine of economic development. Julie is also involved in the development and support of an expanded Francophone/bilingual tourism offer in Alberta.
She holds a BA in Public Communications from Laval University and a Certificate in International Relations from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Aix-en-Provence; she also has studied Tourism at Merici College and Concordia University.
Denise GAREAU has an undergraduate degree from the University of Ottawa and a Master's degree (M.Sc.) from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland (1994). She is currently Director at Employment and Social Development Canada where she is responsible for horizontal initiatives in employment programs and partnerships. In addition, she is the director responsible for the Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities (OLMC), which supports the work of 14 community organizations involved in economic development and human resources in OLMCs. She supports efforts that feature approaches rooted in communities and believes that governments can be effective facilitators in creating an environment that enables communities to create strong and resilient economies.
Carl-Éric Guertin became Managing Director of the ÉCONOMUSÉE® Network in 2013. He is a visionary focused on customer service, results, accountability and profitability. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a real ability to rally different organizations around a common project. Recognized locally and internationally as a developer, he is passionate about strategic planning and its implementation. He is motivated by both local and international development, and has an excellent sense of entrepreneurship.
Carl-Éric Guertin holds a Masters in Economics and Forest Policy and a Bachelor of Forest Engineering. He has 17 years' experience in leadership positions in business associations.
Josette-Renée Landry is the Vice President, Business Development for Mitacs, a not-for-profit private research organization. Since joining Mitacs in 2010, Josette's focus has been to facilitate partnerships between university researchers, industry, and the public sector. Through collaborations with other research funding organizations, she also helps to promote innovation across Canada and beyond.
During her graduate studies, Josette co-founded a consulting firm providing bioinformatics services to the Vancouver biotechnology sector. She received her Ph.D. in Genetics from the Terry Fox Labs at the University of British Columbia in 2003, followed by postdoctoral training at the University of Cambridge. Josette also holds an MBA from HEC Montréal and has served on a diverse roster of academic, industry, and research committees
Nathalie has a background in sociology, theatre and films studies. She has conducted quantitative research and GIS mapping in the not-for-profit sector on housing, social inclusion, children and youth and has worked on increasing access to data for municipalities and community groups. Since joining ESDC she has worked in the areas of homelessness, income security, social innovation and social finance. She is a big proponent of fostering innovation in the public sector and is looking forward to applying her innovation and creative skills to the lab.
Irving Lewis is Manager, Development, Research and Innovation at RDÉE Canada. He manages the organization's research agenda, including studies like the one he will be presenting: "Profile of businesses in Francophone minority communities." Before coming to RDÉE Canada, he worked in the corporate world, taught at university and was a member of research teams at Canadian and foreign research institutes. Author and co-author of over twenty publications (book chapters, peer-reviewed journal articles, studies and consultation reports), he has participated in numerous roundtables as a speaker, organized several scientific events (workshops, seminars and lectures) and appeared in the media. Irving Lewis holds a Doctorate in Political Science from Université Laval.
Originally from Rivière-du-Loup, Rémi Massé is the current Director General of Cégep de Matane. Previously, he worked for 16 years as a manager and senior executive in various federal departments in both Ottawa and Matane. Rémi is very familiar with the workings of the Canadian government and firmly believes in the potential of his region. Over the years, he has developed strong business relationships with several provincial, federal and foreign government representatives. These contacts, combined with his experience, knowledge and skills, have enabled the realization of a number of initiatives to improve his region. His dedicated efforts helped attract investment, create quality jobs, develop the biggest document imaging centre in Eastern Canada, and build affordable homes. Rémi is now determined to work with the same enthusiasm on Parliament Hill so that the district of Avignon-La Mitis-Matane-Matapédia can have the means to realize its ambitions.
He is also chairman of the board of directors of the Centre de développement et de recherche en imagerie numérique [Centre for R & D in digital imaging] and sits on the board of the TechnoCentre éolien (TCE). In addition, he was involved in developing the fundraising campaign for the Cégep de Matane Foundation. Rémi has a BA in French Studies and has done graduate studies in Linguistics at the Université de Sherbrooke. Proud of their family values, his wife, Helen, and he are the parents of four boys.
Dr. Horatio Morgan
Dr. Horatio Morgan is an Associate Professor in Global Management Studies at the Ted Rogers School of Management.In his ongoing research, Dr. Morgan investigates how individuals and companies learn, invest and innovate in the presence of various risk factors, incentive and information problems, and governance structures. While this work is primarily focused on the case of mergers and acquisitions, it also features other applications including strategic information-technology investments. A major area of his current research is the study of the financing, internationalization and innovative activities of small and medium-sized enterprises in general, and immigrant-owned businesses in particular. His work has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of World Business and the International Journal of Production Economics. In addition, his work has been covered by popular media including the Vancouver Sun. Dr. Morgan has advised and collaborated with various government organizations and think tanks including Industry Canada and the Conference Board of Canada. Prior to joining Ted Rogers School of Management, he worked as a Senior Analyst at Grant Thornton LLP in their Toronto-based International Tax Services (Transfer Pricing) practice.
Mr. Richard O’Shaughnessey holds B.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from McGill University, as well as a Graduate diploma in business administration from HEC-Montreal. Through his work at National Research Council Canada (NRC), Industrial Research assistance Program (IRAP), he contributes to the creation of wealth in Canada through technological innovation. Mr. O’Shaughnessey is currently Director (Montreal Island) at NRC-IRAP. Previously, he was an Industrial Technology Advisor (ITA), still at NRC-IRAP, where he helped close to 170 small and medium size businesses (SMBs) increase their innovation capability and commercialize new product and services. Prior to joining IRAP, Mr. O’Shaughnessey has led technology development groups in small and large firms, such as Nortel, and also conducted research in university environments.
Lorraine est diplômée en gestion du tourisme et de l’hôtellerie ainsi qu’en histoire de l’art et en arts visuels. Elle a travaillé au sein des organismes communautaires en Nouvelle-Écosse pendant plusieurs années et s’est joint à l’équipe de la SDÉ en Septembre, 2015. Le cheminement professionnel de Lorraine lui a permis de focaliser ses efforts sur la mise en valeur de la culture et du patrimoine comme vecteur de développement économique et social des communautés.
Allen Richards was born and raised in Quebec’s Gaspésie region where he lives today with his family. Allen has been working in Community Economic Development for the past 16 years. Currently a Provincial Development Officer with CEDEC, he leads teams working on community revitalization, tourism, and workforce development initiatives.
Dany Robidoux is the Director of Eco-West, an initiative encouraging rural communities in Western Canada to participate in greening their local economies by creating inventories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and developing local action plans on climate change, in order to support municipalities seeking opportunities for marketing green technologies, attract direct foreign investment and create a skilled workforce.
He was coordinator of the knowledge economy sector at the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM), and works with businesses, community organizations and the three levels of government to develop action plans for generating profits while supporting sustainable development. He is passionate about educating the public on science and the impact of climate change, as well as finding solutions to this challenge. Whether the cogeneration of geothermal energy, composting or biomass heating, his projects all reflect the expertise he has developed in an area that has become essential. The Eco-West project allows him to share CDEM's green economy expertise with a dozen municipalities in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, thus building a vast territory involved in sustainable development. Since spring 2014, he and his team have travelled across Western Canada to recruit municipalities that may be interested in participating in the Partners for Climate Protection Program (PCP) of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. In Manitoba, some fifteen communities are already participating in the program with considerable success. He took part in Tomorrow Now, a series of consultations to develop a strategy for implementing Manitoba's green plan. He is also a Climate Leader with Climate Reality Canada. Dany Robidoux was trained by former US Vice-President and 2007 Nobel Laureate Al Gore. A native of Manitoba, he holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Manitoba.
Elise Tessier is Deputy Executive Director of RDÉE Canada. She has more than thirty-five years of experience in economic development. After earning her Bachelor of Business Administration, she started working in various social tourism organizations, and went on to gain solid experience in local and regional development as well as social economy and female entrepreneurship. She developed and directed various funds to finance small businesses. Elise Tessier firmly believes that Canada's Francophone communities provide added value to Canada's economic prosperity. Accessibility and control of economic levers specifically dedicated to Francophone minority communities definitely form the cornerstone. That is why she has been offering her expertise on support at RDÉE Canada since 2014.
Michel Têtu was a diplomat, specifically a trade commissioner, for 30 years. Today, he is an enthusiastic promoter of exports as a source of growth, jobs and prosperity for Canada. Abroad, he represented Canada in Hamburg, Munich, Kuwait, Baghdad, Berlin, London and Boston. In Ottawa, he was Deputy Director for German-speaking countries and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Minister of International Trade. As Director General for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) in Moncton, he directed the foreign trade team and co-chaired the Canada-France Joint Commission for Regional Cooperation with Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. Since leaving the public service, he has worked as a consultant, speaker and volunteer in matters of trade, international relations and protocol. Michel Têtu was born in Lévis, Quebec and holds a BA in Economics and a Law degree from Université Laval.
Robert Thérrien is Executive Director of the Conseil économique et coopératif de la Saskatchewan (CÉCS). His progressive and richly varied professional career spans more than 37 years, including 35 years in management. His management background covers several areas: manager of credit unions for more than 8 years; owner and manager of an insurance firm for more than 9 years; and manager of the Conseil économique et coopératif de la Saskatchewan (CÉCS) for more than 20 years now. During this period, he has played a leadership role in these organizations and the networks associated with them. He holds a Certificate in Strategic Leadership from the Banff Centre professional program. His still acts as a manager today, with a focus on leadership and change within organizations, the planning and development of economic strategies, and partnership development.
Married in 1978, Robert and Jocelyne lived in small rural communities in Saskatchewan until moving to Regina in 1995. They are the proud parents of five children and nine grandchildren.
Thomas Townsend is a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Public Management and Policy, University of Ottawa. He is also a regular lecturer to the Executive MBA program at the University of Turku, Finland and has taught Public Strategy at the KDI University in Korea. Mr. Townsend is an economist by training and holds a BA and MA from Carleton University.
Immediately preceding his retirement from the Federal Public Service Mr. Townsend was the Executive Head (Assistant Deputy Minister) of the Policy Research Initiative (PRI) now called Horizons Canada. Horizons Canada supports the Canadian Government with forward scanning, medium term analysis and research on emerging issues. Mr. Townsend has also worked with the Canadian Mission to the European Union exchanging policy advice with the European Commission and EU member states in areas related to health, labour market, social affairs and education. In previous roles he was responsible for federal programs related to learning which included literacy, student financial assistance, learning technology, and academic mobility.
Nicole Vaugeois is a co-director for the World Leisure Center of Excellence in Sustainability and Innovation at Vancouver Island University, in Canada. She is also the BC Regional Innovation Chair in Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development. In this role, she works with people in rural BC communities to diversify economies and enhance the quality of life in communities by utilizing their natural and cultural amenities. She is an active researcher and has conducted research with numerous communities throughout BC with her students. She collaborates with academics from other institutions and maintains strong ties with policy makers in the provincial and federal government to ensure that her research informs decision making.
Working with Champlain Regional College’s Saint-Lambert Campus since 2003, Mark has held several managerial roles within its Continuing Education division. Presently the Director of Continuing Education for the St. Lambert Campus, Mark is responsible for overseeing the full spectrum of offerings of the division, Including credit and non-credit courses and training programs, prior learning and recognition, as well as business and industry services. His work at Champlain, one of five Anglophone CEGEPs in the Province of Quebec, has provided him opportunities to work with a large cross-section of adult learners including immigrants from around the world, parents returning to the job market, employees, employers, and First Nations community members.
For the past three years, Mark has also been responsible for overseeing one of Quebec’s four Centres of Expertise in Recognition of Acquired Competencies (CERAC) located at Champlain Saint-Lambert, whose mandate is to assist other colleges in Quebec to improve their capacity to deliver prior learning and recognition services. Mark is a member of the Regional Table of the Montérégie for the Le Pôle d'excellence québécois en transport terrestre, whose mission is to address the needs of industry related to the transport sector. For the past five years, Mark has been a member of the executive of the Commission representing Continuing Education at the College level for Quebec.
Mark received his MBA from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business. He also has a background in biology, having completed a Bachelor of Science from Concordia, as well as extensive training in the information technology sector, and is a graduate of the Information Technology Professional (ITP) program developed by the Software Human Resource Council of Canada.