The 2021 ICD National Conference will feature renowned speakers and governance experts leading important conversations around this year’s theme: Next Level Governance In an Era of Massive Transformational Change.

Moderator: Peter Armstrong
Senior Business Correspondent, CBC

Peter Armstrong is CBC's Senior Business Correspondent. He brings a wealth of reporting experience and an energy and enthusiasm that is infectious. Peter has a strong interest in business and economics and has excelled in his role as economics reporter and as host of CBC News Network's daily business show, On The Money.

An award winning journalist, Peter has covered sports and was the host of World Report. He also covered the Middle East for four years as CBC's foreign correspondent in the area and before that Peter was a Parliamentary reporter in Ottawa.

Armstrong has worked in CBC locations across Canada, beginning in Quebec City with stops in Saint John, Toronto, Ottawa's Parliamentary Bureau and Vancouver. His coverage of news stories in Canada and the United States includes the SARS outbreak, three federal elections, and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

Originally from Oakville, Ont., Armstrong is bilingual in French and English. He is a graduate of Acadia University in Nova Scotia and completed his journalism studies at l'Université Laval in Quebec City. His newsletter can be accessed at: CBC.ca/mindyourbusiness 

Rahul K. Bhardwaj
President and CEO, Institute of Corporate Directors

As President and CEO of the Institute of Corporate Directors, Rahul Bhardwaj leads an organization of nearly 15,000 members committed to improving national outcomes by growing the board leadership and governance capacities within Canadian businesses, agencies and not-for-profits.

Mr. Bhardwaj currently serves on the boards of the Rideau Hall Foundation, supporting the office of the Governor General of Canada as it connects, inspires and honours Canadians, the Institute of Corporate Directors as well as the Leader Council at the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership at Ivey Business School. In April 2021, he was appointed Chair, Global Network of Director Institutes, a global network representing more than 150,000 directors which is focused on developing and promoting leading practices and programs that enhance the capability of directors to drive sustainable performance for the benefit of shareholders, the economy and society.

He was Chair of the 2012 Ontario Summer Games, the first multi-sport games to be held in Toronto, and was Co-chair of TO2015 IGNITE, a program of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan Am Games. Other past board commitments include founding board member of Metrolinx and Chair of the Governance Committee, Chair of the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, Chair of Community Foundations of Canada, Upper Canada College, George Brown College, Stratford Festival of Canada and United Way of Toronto, among others.

Prior to joining the ICD, Mr. Bhardwaj was a corporate lawyer at a leading Canadian law firm, and then later, President and CEO of the Toronto Foundation, where he focused on engaging philanthropy to improve the quality of life in Toronto. He was also Vice President of the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid and, as part of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Fiscal review panel in 2008, Mr. Bhardwaj was involved in identifying efficiencies for the City of Toronto.

In 2012, Mr. Bhardwaj’s commitment to city building was recognized as he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He has been named one of “The 50 Most Influential” people in the city by Toronto Life magazine and was named to the Quadrangle Society at Massey College and The Ultimate List of Social CEOs on Twitter. His corporate governance vision has made him a sought-after presenter, speaker and media commentator, in Canada and across the globe.


ICD Fellow: Isabelle Courville
Chair, Canadian Pacific Railways;
Chair, HR Committee, SNC-Lavalin; 
Director, Veolia Environment, IGOPP

Isabelle Courville, an engineer and lawyer, is Chair of the Board of Directors of Canadian Pacific Railway.
Ms. Courville was active for 30 years in the Canadian telecommunications and energy sectors. She served as President of Bell Canada’s Enterprise Group and President and Chief Executive Officer of Bell Nordiq Group. Following that, Ms. Courville was President of Hydro‐Québec Distribution and President of HydroQuébec TransÉnergie.
She is currently a Board Director of Canadian Pacific Railway, Veolia Environment, SNC-Lavalin, the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations and ICD-Quebec.
Ms. Courville received the McGill University’s Desautels Management Achievement Award for her contribution to the business world and community involvement. In 2012, she was selected amongst Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. In 2010, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec awarded her the Prix Hommage for her exceptional contribution to the engineering profession. In 2017, she received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Montreal.


Speaker: Gillian Davidson
Director, New Gold and Central Asia Metals PLC

Gillian Davidson has 25 years of experience as an internal and external advisor to companies and other organizations regarding ESG, sustainability and responsible supply chains. Gillian presently serves as a director on the board of New Gold Inc and Central Asia Metal Limited and serves as the Chair of their Sustainability Committees. Gillian was a director of Lydian International Limited until March 2020. She also acts a sustainability advisor to leading extractives organisations.
Previously, Gillian was the Head of Mining and Metals for the World Economic Forum where she led global and regional engagement and multi-stakeholder initiatives to advance responsible and sustainable mining. Prior, she was Head of Social Responsibility at Teck Resources Limited and held senior roles related to community development, environment and natural resources as a consultant and in government. She is currently the chair of International Women in Mining and the Resolve Leadership Council, and serves on the board of the Global Battery Alliance. Gillian holds a PhD in Development Economics and Geography from the University of Liverpool and is an alumna of the Governor General of Canada’s Leadership Conference.

Speaker: Robert G. Eccles
Visiting Professor of Management Practice, Said Business School, University of Oxford;
Senior Advisor to the Boston Consulting Group

Robert G. Eccles is a leading authority on the integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in resource allocation decisions by companies and investors. He is also the world’s foremost academic expert on integrated reporting. 

Currently, Eccles is a Visiting Professor of Management Practice at the Said Business School, University of Oxford where he is engaged in a number of research projects. He was a Professor at Harvard Business School and received tenure in 1989. 
Eccles is a member of the Advisory Board of the JANA Impact Capital Fund and is an advisor to the non-profit Impact Management Project. He is on the board of the Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets at the Stockholm School of Economics, was the founding Chairman of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and was one of the founders of the International Integrated Reporting Council. In 2018 he was named by Barron’s as one of the top 20 influencers in ESG investing and cited for being an “ESG research trailblazer.” Also in 2018, he received “The CSR Lifetime Achievement Award” at “The 8th International Conference on Sustainability & Responsibility” in Cologne, Germany.

ICD Fellow: Dr. James (Jim) D. Fleck
Past Chair and Director of numerous public, private, non-profit and government boards

Dr. Fleck’s contribution to the knowledge and practice of good governance has been both as a practitioner and professor/teacher.

Has has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Fleck Manufacturing Limited, ATI Technologies, Alias Research, Business for the Arts, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canadian Museum of History, Canadian War Museum, Power Plant Art Gallery at Harbourfront, Tennis Canada, University of Toronto Schools. 

He has also served as a Board Director of Rogers Multimedia Inc, Certicom, Promis Systems, Travelers Insurance, Zurich Insurance, the Banff Centre. 

In addition, Dr. Fleck has taught   at Harvard Business School, INSEAD, Rotman School of Management, Ivey Business School and Schulich School of Business.

Dr. Fleck made a significant contribution to public governance under former Premier Bill Davis as the Executive Director of the Ontario  Committee on Government Productivity which created the current Cabinet committee structure and processes. For this, he received the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal of Distinction in Public Service, Ontario’s highest honour for public service.

He later served as Secretary of Cabinet in Ontario.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Fleck served as International President of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). 

Speaker: Nicole Gillespie
KPMG Chair in Organisational Trust;
Professor in Management, University of Queensland Business School;
International Research Fellow at the Centre for Corporate Reputation, Oxford University

Nicole Gillespie is the KPMG Chair in Organizational Trust and Professor of Management at the University of Queensland Business School, and an International Research Fellow at the Centre for Corporate Reputation, Oxford University.

Nicole joined UQ Business School in January 2010. Prior to this she held faculty and research positions at Melbourne Business School, Warwick Business School (UK), The Australian & New Zealand School of Government, The University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, and Swinburne University of Technology.

Trained as an organizational psychologist, Nicole's research focuses on trust development and repair in organisational contexts, and in contexts where trust is challenged (e.g. after a trust failure, in complex stakeholder environments, during organizational transformation and digital disruption, in virtual healthcare and Artificial Intelligence, in cross-cultural relations). Current research projects focus on understanding stakeholder trust in organizations and industries, organizational trust repair, designing trustworthy organizations, trust in Artificial Intelligence, and stakeholder trust and uptake of telemedicine. Her research appears in leading international journals, including the Academy of Management ReviewJournal of ManagementJournal of Applied Psychology, Organization Studies, Accounting Organizations and SocietyBusiness Ethics QuarterlyHuman Resource Management, Sloan Management Review and Work and Stress, as well as in books and book chapters. Her work has been extensively presented in Europe, the USA and Australia. She is Deputy Editor of the Journal of Trust Research and on the editorial board of Leadership Quarterly.
Her research spans the Health, Finance, Resources, Higher Education, R&D, Defence and Not-for-Profit industries. Nicole has written commissioned reports on building and repairing trust for the Institute of Business Ethics (sponsored by PwC) and a policy note on restoring trust in the financial sector for the UK Parliament. She has consulted to and/or conducted research in a range of private and public sector organisations including Barclays Bank, UBS Bank, the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Santos, Origin Energy, CSIRO, and the Australian Army. Nicole is an active member of the Academy of Management, the European Group of Organisational Studies, the European Institute of Advanced Studies in Management, and the Australian & New Zealand Academy of Management.

Conference Co-Chair: JP Gladu
Chair, Mikisew Group of Companies;
Director, Noront Resources and Suncor Energy Inc.;
President, A2A Rail Canada

Mr. Jean Paul (JP) Gladu is currently the President of A2A Rail Canada and previously served as the President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) from September 2012 until April 2020. Anishinaabe from Thunder Bay, JP is a member of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek located on the eastern shores of Lake Nipigon, Ontario. Currently, JP is the Chair of Mikisew Group of Companies and also serves on the boards of Noront Resources and Suncor Energy Inc.. He previously served on the board of Ontario Power Generation. He was appointed as the Chancellor of St. Paul’s University College Waterloo in 2017. His previous appointments include Canadian Electricity Association Public Advisory Panel, Colleges and Institutes Canada (previously ACCC), the Northern Policy Institute, Canadian Foundation for Economic Education. He has also advisory member to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and a committee member to the Ontario Provincial Forest Policy Committee.

Speaker: Roberta L. Jamieson
Director, Deloitte Canada;
Co-Chair, Indigenous Advisory Council, CN Rail

Roberta Jamieson, is a Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, she was the first First Nations woman in Canada to earn a law degree and the first woman to be elected chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is an experienced mediator serving as Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario. Ms. Jamieson also served ten years as Ontario’s first female Ombudsman. She has been awarded 27 honorary degrees, the designation of IPC from the Indigenous Bar Association, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. She was appointed to the inaugural Gender Equality Advisory Council of the G7 Summit, to embed gender equality in decisions made by the world’s seven most advanced economies. Now a corporate director, Ms. Jamieson is the former President and CEO of Indspire, Canada’s largest Indigenous charity, which funds the education of Indigenous post-secondary students and informs Canadians about Indigenous accomplishments. During her time there, Indspire distributed $132 million in bursaries and scholarships to more than 40,000 Indigenous post-secondary students across Canada.

Speaker: Colleen Johnston
Chair, Unity Health;
Director, McCain Foods, Shopify and the Shaw Festival

Colleen Johnston currently serves on the boards of Shopify, McCain Foods and Q4. Ms. Johnston is Chair of Unity Health Toronto, which includes St. Michael's Hospital, St. Joseph's Health Centre and Providence Healthcare, a member on the Board of the Shaw Festival, and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Schulich School of Business. She previously served as the Chair of Bridgepoint Health and the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Ms. Johnston retired from TD Bank Group in 2018. Prior to this, she was the Group Head Direct Channels, Technology, Marketing and Corporate & Public Affairs, TD Bank Group. Colleen served as TD’s Chief Financial Officer from 2005-2015.

Interviewer: Annalisa King
Chair, Vancouver Airport Authority;
Director, First Capital Realty, Saputo and the Northwest Company

Annalisa King is the Chair of the Board for the Vancouver Airport Authority and also serves on three TSX public company boards, Saputo Inc., First Capital REIT, where she is Governance Committee Chair, and The North West Company Inc.  where she is the Chair of the Audit Committee.  She also contributes as a member of the audit committee on all her boards.

Annalisa was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Best Buy Canada Ltd. From 2008 to 2016, Where she led the company’s finance and accounting departments and also carried responsibility for overseeing the Information Technology, Ecommerce Technology, Data security, Legal and Real Estate functions. An integral part of the development of Best Buy Canada’s strategic plans, she provided guidance around the achievement of the company’s vision and goals. 

Recognized in 2012 as the British Columbia CFO of the Year by Business in Vancouver, Annalisa King is one of Canada’s most respected senior business executives.  She was inducted into the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Hall of Fame™ in 2010She also received an award for Significant board contribution, from The Association of Women In Finance in 2019.  Her dedication to leadership has earned her a reputation as a dynamic business thought-leader in the areas of corporate finance and business transformation.

Prior to joining Best Buy Canada Ltd., Annalisa was the Senior Vice President of Business Transformation for Maple Leaf Foods in Toronto, and prior to that Vice President of finance for Maple Leaf Foods Poultry Division.

ICD Fellow: Harold (Hal) Kvisle
Chair, Finning International, ARC Resources;
Director, Cenovus Energy

Hal Kvisle is a native of Alberta and has worked for Canadian and international energy companies for more than 40 years, in the oil and gas, utilities and power generation industries.

Mr. Kvisle is Chair of the Board of Directors of ARC Resources and Finning International, and a Board Director of Cenovus Energy.  He previously served as a Director of the Bank of Montreal, TransCanada Corporation, Talisman Energy, Methanex Corporation, Fletcher Challenge Energy, Norske Skog Canada and PrimeWest Energy.
Mr. Kvisle was CEO of Talisman Energy from 2012 to 2015 and CEO of TransCanada Corporation from 2001 to 2010, where he was recognized as Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year® in 2008.

He holds a B.Sc.Eng. from the University of Alberta, an MBA from the Haskayne School, University of Calgary, and honorary degrees from Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary.  Mr. Kvisle served for many years as a Board Director and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and currently serves as founding Board Chair of the Business Council of Alberta.


Interviewer: Hubert T. Lacroix
Chair, Stornoway Diamond Corporation and Axio Health Group;
Director Canadian Olympic Committee and Cascades;
Strategic Counsel, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

As strategic counsel for Blake, Cassels & Graydon, Hubert assists clients with the development of business strategies, corporate governance, long-term planning and major deals.

Before joining Blakes in February 2019, Hubert spent 10½ years as president and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada, a tenure during which he notably achieved an unprecedented digital transformation of the broadcaster.

In that capacity, he was responsible for overseeing the management of CBC/Radio-Canada in order to ensure that Canada’s national public broadcaster could deliver on the various aspects of its mandate and continue to offer Canadians a broad spectrum of high quality programming that informs, enlightens and entertains, and that is created by, for and about Canadians.

Just prior thereto, Hubert held the position of Senior Advisor with the Montreal office of Stikeman Elliott, a law firm recognized nationally and internationally for its business law practice. From 2000 to 2005, he acted as Executive Chairman of Telemedia Corporation and of the other boards of directors of the various companies in the Telemedia corporate structure.

Before joining Telemedia Corporation, Hubert was a Senior Partner at McCarthy Tétrault, another major Canadian law firm, for 20 years. His practice was concentrated in business law, mostly in mergers and acquisitions of public companies, and securities.

Hubert received his Bachelor of Civil Law (1976) and his Master’s degree in Business Administration (1981) from McGill University. He has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1977.

Over the years, Hubert also sat on the boards of directors of companies like Adventure Electronics, Cambior, Circo Craft, Donohue, Fibrek, ITS Limited Partnership, Michelin Canada, Secor, Transcontinental and Zarlink Semiconductors and of non-profit organizations like l’Accueil Bonneau, the Fonds de développement du Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, the Martlet Foundation of McGill University and Blue Metropolis. He was also a Trustee of the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation and is still a Director of their private holding company.

He is currently the chairman of Stornoway Diamond Corporation (diamond mining), and of Axio Health Group (medical and health services), and sits on the boards of Cascades Inc. (recovery and manufacturing of packaging and tissue products) and of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Finally, Hubert spent five years as an Adjunct Professor with the Faculty of Law at Université de Montréal where he taught securities, mergers and acquisitions. He also taught the business law module at the Quebec Bar School for many years. He was also among the first in Canada to complete the ICD Corporate Governance College program and holds the certified designation of ICD.D.

Moderator: Bruce Lourie
President, Ivey Foundation

Bruce is president of the Ivey Foundation, a university lecturer, and author. Bruce is a Board Director of several organizations including the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, the Transition Accelerator, Canadians for Clean Prosperity, and the SeedChange Foundation. He is a former Director of the Independent Electricity System Operator, the Ontario Power Authority, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and many others.

Speaker: Bruce MacLellan
CEO, Proof Strategies Inc.;
Director, Nature Conservancy of Canada and Canada’s Natural History Society

Bruce MacLellan is a communicator, entrepreneur and the founding CEO of Proof Strategies Inc. Now with 150 staff members, Proof was named the #1 workplace in Canada in 2010 by Great Place to Work® and has also been named several times to the list of best workplaces for women. Since 2016, Bruce has led the CanTrust Index, an annual study of trust in Canada, surveying more than 10,000 Canadians over the years. The study’s results are shared publicly to advance knowledge and understanding on how to maintain and grow internal and external trust. He is experienced in not-for-profit governance, including serving as Chair of the board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada from 2017-19 and has also served on the boards of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Canada’s History Society. Bruce holds an MA in Public Administration from the University of Toronto. 

ICD Fellow: Honourable John Manley
P.C., O.C., F.ICD
Chair, CIBC, CAE;
Chair, Governance Committee, Telus

Mr. Manley joined Bennett Jones LLP as Senior Business Adviser in September 2019. He is best known as a former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the Canadian Parliament from 1988 to 2004 as M.P. for Ottawa South. From 1993 to 2003, he was a Minister in former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s government, serving in the portfolios of Industry, Foreign Affairs and Finance, in addition to being Deputy Prime Minister.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Mr. Manley was named Chair of a Cabinet Committee on Public Security and Anti-terrorism, serving as the counterpart to Governor Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. In recognition of the role he played following 9/11, TIME Canada named him "2001 Newsmaker of the Year.

After a 16-year career in politics, Mr. Manley returned to the private sector in 2004 where he has continued to be active in public policy as a media commentator, speaker and adviser to governments of differing political stripes. He is Fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute, a founding member of the Wilson Center Global Advisory Council, a member of the Brookings International Advisory Council and Chair of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI) Advisory Council.
In the private sector, Mr. Manley has practiced law, and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of Canada (from 2010 to 2018). He has been a very active corporate director, and currently serves as Chair of the Boards of Directors of CIBC, CIBC Bank USA, and CAE, and is a Board Director of TELUS.  

An Officer of the Order of Canada, Mr. Manley graduated from Carleton University in mathematics and political science, and in law from the University of Ottawa where he was the gold medalist and subsequently served as law clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada, Bora Laskin. He is the recipient of many awards and honours, including honorary doctorates from six Canadian Universities. He is also an honorary Chief of the Blood Nation of Alberta.


Speaker: Keith Martell
President & CEO, First Nations Bank of Canada;
Director, Nutrien Ltd. and River Cree Enterprises GP Ltd.;
Chair, Board of Trustees, National Indian Brotherhood (NIB) Trust Fund

Mr. Martell is the President & Chief Executive Officer and a Director of First Nations Bank of Canada.  He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and a Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM).  He is also a Director of Nutrien Ltd., River Cree Enterprises GP Ltd. and a past Director of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board of Canada, North West Company and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. He is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Indian Brotherhood (NIB) Trust Fund and a former trustee of the Primrose Lake Settlement Trust and the Flying Dust First Nation TLE Trust. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Saskatchewan. He was a recipient of the “Top 40 Under 40 in Canada Award” in 2001 and received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan in 2016.

Speaker: Kathleen McLaughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Walmart Inc.
President, Walmart Foundation

Kathleen McLaughlin is executive vice president and chief sustainability officer for Walmart Inc. and president of the Walmart Foundation. Kathleen is responsible for programs that help Walmart create economic opportunity through jobs and sourcing; enhance the sustainability of food, apparel and general merchandise supply chains; and strengthen the resilience of local communities. Through business initiatives and philanthropy, her teams work with Walmart associates, suppliers, nonprofit organizations and others to drive significant and lasting improvements to economic, social and environmental systems. Last year, the company awarded more than $1.4 billion in cash and in-kind donations, including over $975 million of food donations. Before joining Walmart in 2013, she spent more than 20 years with the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Kathleen earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Boston University, as well as a master of arts in politics, philosophy and economics from Balliol College at Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She also has a diploma in theology from Oxford. She is married with three children and divides her time between Bentonville, Arkansas, and Toronto, Ontario.

Conference Keynote Speaker: Dr. Dambisa Moyo
Board Member, Global Economist, Author;
Director, 3M Corporation and Chevron

Dr. Moyo is a pre-eminent thinker who influences key decision-makers in strategic investment and public policy. She is a top-tier opinion former and trusted advisor on Macroeconomics, Geopolitics and Technology themes. She is a co-principal of Versaca Investments, a family office focused on growth investing globally. She serves on a number of global corporate boards including: 3M Corporation and Chevron. She worked at the World Bank and Goldman Sachs for nearly a decade. She is the author of four New York Times bestselling books, most recently, Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth – and How to Fix It (2018).

Dr. Moyo's newest book, How Boards Work - And How They Can Work Better in a Chaotic World, is scheduled to be published May 4, 2021.

Dr. Moyo holds a PhD in economics from Oxford University and a master’s degree from Harvard University.

Speaker: Robert Pace
Chair, CN Rail and High Liner Foods

Robert Pace is Chair of the Board of Directors of CN, Chair of the Board of Directors of High Liner Foods Incorporated and is President and Chief Executive Officer, The Pace Group (radio broadcasting, real estate development and environmental services). He began his professional career practicing law in Halifax. In 1981, he accepted an appointment to act as the Atlantic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honorable Pierre Elliott Trudeau, in Ottawa.

Moderator: Mark Podlasly
Director, Economic Policy, First Nations Major Project Coalition;
Chair, First Nations Ltd Partnership (LNG Pipelines);
Trustee, Indigenous Sovereign Wealth Fund

Mark Podlasly (Cook’s Ferry Indian Band, Nlaka’pamux Nation) is at the intersection of Indigenous-corporate issues of governance and infrastructure issues, with extensive experience in the planning, permitting and construction of capital projects connected to energy, resource extraction and community infrastructure around the world.
He serves as the Director of Economic Policy and Initiatives to the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, a national 65+ Indigenous nation collective seeking ownership of major projects such as pipelines and electric infrastructure, and as the Director of Governance at the First Nations Financial Management Board leading the development of an Indigenous response to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).  Mark is also engaged as the Chair of the First Nations Limited Partnership (Pipelines), a 16-First Nations $1 billion commercial partnership with Chevron’s Kitimat LNG project.
Mark is a graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School and a regular speaker at global business/governance events including the International Finance Corporation’s annual sustainability conference in Washington, DC.

Moderator: Patricia Olasker
Partner, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

A senior partner of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Patricia is one of Canada’s leading lawyers in shareholder activism, corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions and spearheads the firm’s activism practice, representing both activists and issuers. She is a frequent advisor to boards and special committees on challenging governance matters. Patricia is also an adjunct professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School where she teaches mergers and acquisitions and a past chair of the Securities Advisory Committee of the Ontario Securities Commission,.
Patricia was honoured as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by WXN in 2017. She has been recognized in Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business as a leader in the field of Corporate/M&A and in the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada in Corporate Finance and Securities; Corporate Commercial; and Mergers and Acquisitions. She was honoured with a Lexpert Zenith Award as one of Canada's Leading Women Lawyers and was named among the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyer magazine.

Conference Co-Chair: Dr. Indira Samarasekera
Director, Magna International Inc., TC Energy Corporation, Stelco Holdings Inc.;
Senior Advisor, Bennett Jones LLP

Dr. Indira V. Samarasekera served as the 12th President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Alberta, from 2005 to 2015. She also served as Vice-President Research at the University of British Columbia from 2000 to 2005.
She is currently a Senior Advisor for Bennett Jones LLP and serves on the boards of directors of Magna International, TC Energy and Stelco. She serves on the selection panel for Canada’s outstanding CEO of the Year sponsored by Caldwell Partners and Bennett Jones, and is a member of the Tri-Lateral Commission. Dr. Samarasekera is a past Director of Scotiabank (2008 to 2021). She is co-author with Dr. Martha Piper of the forthcoming book, Nerve - lessons from two women leaders who went first.
As a Hays Fulbright Scholar, she earned an MSc from the University of California in 1976. In 1980, she was granted a PhD in metallurgical engineering from the University of British Columbia. She has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Ceylon.
Dr. Samarasekera is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading metallurgical engineers for her groundbreaking work on process engineering of materials, especially steel processing. She held the Dofasco Chair in Advanced Steel Processing at the University of British Columbia. She has consulted widely for industry worldwide leading to the implementation of her research discoveries.
Dr. Samarasekera is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering in the US. She has received honorary degrees from the University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Toronto,  University Waterloo, Université de Montréal, Western University and Queen’s University in Canada as well as Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland.

Speaker: Clara Shih
Director, Starbucks Corporation;
Founder & Executive Chair, Hearsay Systems

Clara Shih is founder and Executive Chair of Hearsay Systems, a privately held enterprise technology firm she founded in 2009, backed by Sequoia and NewView Capital. A digital pioneer, Clara has been named one of Fortune’s “40 under 40” and “Most Powerful Women  Entrepreneurs,” Fast Company’s “Most Influential People in Technology,” and a “Young  Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum. Clara is also a member of the Starbucks board of directors, a position she has held since 2011.

Clara graduated #1 in computer  science at Stanford University, where she also received an M.S. in computer science.  She also holds an M.S. in internet studies from Oxford University, where she studied as  a U.S. Marshall Scholar.

Speaker: Honourable Leo E. Strine Jr.
Former Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Delaware

Leo E. Strine, Jr., is Of Counsel in the Corporate Department at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.  Prior to joining the firm, he was Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court from early 2014 through late 2019.  Before becoming Chief Justice, he served on the Delaware Court of Chancery as Chancellor since June 22, 2011, and as a Vice Chancellor since November 9, 1998.  Mr. Strine serves as the Michael L. Wachter Distinguished Fellow in Law and Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, and the Ira M. Millstein Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School.  Before becoming a judge in 1998, Strine served as Counsel and Policy Director to Governor Thomas R. Carper, and had also worked as a corporate litigator at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom from 1990 to 1992. 


Conference Co-Chair: Barbara G. Stymiest
Vice Chair, University Health Network and Age-Well Inc.;
Director, Blackberry, Sun Life Financial Inc., George Weston Ltd., President’s Choice Bank and CIFAR

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

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

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

Speaker: Martine Turcotte
Ad. E.
Director, Empire Company Limited/Sobeys, CIBC, Théâtre ESPACE GO and IAS

As Vice Chair, Québec for BCE and Bell, Martine Turcotte was responsible until her retirement in January 2020 for driving the company’s business, government and community investment initiatives across Québec. Appointed to this role in July 2011, Mme. Turcotte has more than 30 years of strategic, legal and regulatory career achievements at Bell including being Chief Legal Officer of Bell and BCE. Ms. Turcotte graduated from McGill University with Bachelors in Civil Law and Common Law and holds an MBA from the London Business School. Her career has earned significant recognition including the first Canadian General Counsel Lifetime Achievement Award, the title Advocatus Emeritus from the Québec Bar for professional excellence, and induction into the Women’s Executive Network Hall of Fame after being named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women multiple times. She was awarded Queen's Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals in recognition of her contributions to Canada.

Conference Keynote Speaker: Vivek Wadhwa
Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School

Mr. Vivek Wadhwa is a Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program. He is the author of five best-selling books: From Incremental to Exponential; Your Happiness Was Hacked; The Driver in the Driverless Car; Innovating Women; and The Immigrant Exodus. He has been a globally syndicated columnist for The Washington Post and held appointments at Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University, Stanford Law School, UC Berkeley, Emory University and Singularity University. Vivek is based in Silicon Valley and researches, speaks and writes about advancing technologies that are transforming our world. These advances – in fields such as robotics, artificial intelligence, computing, synthetic biology, 3D printing, medicine and nanomaterials – are making it possible for small teams to do what was once possible only for governments and large corporations to do: solve the grand challenges in education, water, food, shelter, health and security.

Speaker: Janet Yale
Past Chair, Review Panel, Broadcasting & Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel

Janet Yale is an accomplished leader and senior executive with long years of management experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. She served as the President and CEO of the Arthritis Society (Canada) from June 2012 to January 2020 after a long career in the telecommunications and broadcast sectors. In June 2018, she was appointed by the federal Ministers of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Canadian Heritage to serve as Chair of The Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel.  The Panel released its Report “Canada’s Communications Future: Time to Act” in January 2020.

Previously, she served as President and CEO of the Canadian Cable Television Association and, later, as the Executive Vice President of External Affairs at TELUS. Ms. Yale also served as a Director General at the CRTC and as General Counsel at the Consumers Association of Canada. 

A long-time volunteer, Ms. Yale currently serves on the boards of the Samara Centre for Democracy, WPBS, Business for the Arts and Salus. In 2008, she was awarded the United Way Community Builder Award for Volunteer of the Year.

During the course of her distinguished career, she has received a number of awards and recognitions. In 2001, she was named "Woman of the Year" by the Canadian Women in Communications Organization. She is a recipient of both the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals. She was also named as one of Canada's 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women's Executive Network from 2004 to 2006, and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2005, she was named Businesswoman of the Year by the Women's Business Network and in 2006 she was named Woman Leader of the Year by Federated Press.
 A lawyer and economist by training, Ms. Yale is fully bilingual (English & French), a keen marathon runner and passionate about health, the arts and business.