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Executive Team

*Designated Public Office Holders for the purposes of the This link will take you to another Web site Lobbying Act

Dr. Alejandro Adem

Professor Alejandro Adem was appointed president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in October 2019.

As a highly accomplished researcher in the field of mathematics and a faculty member at the University of British Columbia, Professor Adem has significant leadership experience in the research and innovation ecosystem. Before joining NSERC, he was Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director of Mitacs.

As CEO of Mitacs, Professor Adem oversaw an unprecedented expansion of its programs, with the goal of delivering 10,000 research-based internships annually across Canada and abroad. He worked closely with stakeholders to launch the Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowship in 2016, which places talented academics in science policy roles in both federal and provincial governments. Other important milestones under his leadership include an Indigenous engagement initiative, an innovative entrepreneurship program, and a number of global mobility agreements with partner countries across the world.

Professor Adem obtained his PhD at Princeton University and has authored over 70 articles as well as two books, delivered over 360 invited research lectures around the world, and has held postdoctoral or visiting positions at Stanford University, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the ETH-Zurich, the Max Planck Institute in Bonn, the University of Paris VII and XIII, and Princeton University. His distinctions include a Sloan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (1985), a USA National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award (1992), Romnes Faculty Fellowship (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, 1995), a Vilas Associate Award (University of Wisconsin, 2003), Canada Research Chair at UBC (2004), Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (2012), Ten Most Influential Hispanic Canadians (2015), the Canadian Mathematical Societyís Jeffery-Williams Prize (2015), and Corresponding Member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences (2017). Professor Adem served as Director (2008-2014) and Deputy Director (2005-2008) of the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences. From 1989 to 2004 he was a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA).

Professor Adem has served on a variety of scientific, editorial, and governance boards for the worldwide mathematical sciences community, including the Advisory Board for the Association for Women in Mathematics and the International Mathematical Unionís Committee for Women in Mathematics.

Manal Bahubeshi
Associate Vice-President, Research Partnerships

Manal Bahubeshi joined NSERC in October 2020 as Associate Vice-President, Research Partnerships. Prior to joining NSERC, Manalís career in the federal public service focused on science policy. Most recently, she was at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) serving as the Director, Granting Agency Policy and Programs, in the Science and Research Sector. While leading a talented team, she managed ISEDís relationships with the granting agencies, and provided strategic advice on granting agency policies, programs, and operations.

Manal played a significant role in the advancement of key files at ISED, including the Fundamental Science Review and the implementation of budget investments for the granting agencies. Manal joined ISED in 2007 and has been instrumental in the creation of numerous tri-agency programs since. Prior to that, Manal worked at Health Canada, leading a unit to provide science policy advice in support of the departmentís mandate, and fostering collaborative partnerships with provincial health research agencies and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Manalís career in the public service began in the Office of Biotechnology at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, where she also worked in their International Affairs division.

Manal has a masterís degree from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University.

Kevin Fitzgibbons
Executive Director, Corporate Planning and Policy Division

Kevin Fitzgibbons joined NSERC in October 2013. He works to support NSERC’s role in federal science, technology and innovation policy, to drive strategic and integrated planning, and to oversee corporate planning and policy management throughout the organization.

Kevin has over 25 years of experience in the public sector and was previously the Director of Innovation Science and Technology at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development where he oversaw international science, technology and innovation cooperation projects and investments. He has also worked as the Executive Director of the Office of the National Science Advisor, and as a strategic planning and policy advisor with the National Research Council Canada (NRC).

For his significant efforts and contributions in the public service Kevin was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for Public Service in 2002. In addition, while he was with the National Research Council, he was awarded the NRC Corporate Services Award for Excellence in 2002, 1999, and 1997, as well as the NRC Excellence Award for Administration in 2000.

Kevin has a Masters of Political Science from Université de Montréal.

Dr. Marc Fortin
Vice-President, Research Partnerships, NSERC

Marc Fortin is Vice-President of Research Partnerships at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Dr. Fortin leads research support programs that bring together academic researchers with other organizations to generate new knowledge and new impact for Canada.

Dr. Fortin has led the development of policies, strategies and programs designed to support research partnerships across organizations and disciplines to generate benefits for Canada and Canadians. He has worked extensively at the national and international levels to leverage research to generate impact for the policy, industry, regulatory or decision-maker communities. He has provided advice to Governments in topics at the interface of science, policy and society. He has led the development of research support programs focused on impact for Canada that have changed the relationships between partners in the innovation space.

Prior to joining NSERC, Dr. Fortin held senior positions leading research organizations in academia and government. He has led science and technology branches as Assistant Deputy Minister at the Department of National Defence and at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for the last 12 years. He was Associate Professor at McGill University where he held leadership positions (Department Chair and Associate Dean Ė Research) for the previous 16 years.

Dr. Fortin was a molecular geneticist, with a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. from Universitť Laval and a Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology from McGill University. He did post-doctoral work in molecular genetics at the University of California and the University of Chicago.

Dr. Marc Gervais
Vice-President, Strategic, Corporate and Public Affairs

Marc Gervais is Vice-President, Strategic, Corporate and Public Affairs at NSERC. Prior to joining the organization in May 2020, Marc served as Executive Director of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC).

Marc has over 20 years of experience in the public sector, specializing in the areas of policy development, project management, cabinet and parliamentary affairs, machinery of government, strategic planning, issues management, and organizational change. Over the years, Marc has worked in various government departments and agencies, including Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Marc has a PhD in political science from the University of Ottawa, where he specialized in Canadian politics. He is the author of Challenges of Minority Governments in Canada (2011).

Dr. Danika Goosney
Vice-President, Research Grants and Scholarships Directorate

Dr. Danika Goosney joined NSERC in February 2019 as Vice-President, Research Grants and Scholarships Directorate.

Danika was formerly the Associate Vice-President, Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat, at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. In this role, she managed the This link will take you to another Web site Canada Research Chairs Program, the This link will take you to another Web site Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program, the This link will take you to another Web site Canada First Research Excellence Fund, the This link will take you to another Web site Canada 150 Research Chairs Program and the This link will take you to another Web site Research Support Fund. She most recently oversaw the implementation of the This link will take you to another Web site New Frontiers in Research Fund.

Danika obtained her Bachelor of Science (honours) from St. Francis Xavier University and her PhD in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Biotechnology Laboratory (now the Michael Smith Labs) at the University of British Columbia, for which she was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal. She conducted her postdoctoral training as a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Immunology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

Following her postdoctoral research, Danika worked as a research scientist at two Vancouver-based biotechnology companies. In 2006, she moved to Ottawa and joined CIHR, where she held key director general positions within the Research, Knowledge Translation and Ethics Portfolio. In 2015, she was named one of Canada’s emerging leaders as a member of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.

Dominique Osterrath
Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President of the Common
Administrative Services Directorate (CASD)

Dominique Osterrath rejoined NSERC in July 2021 as Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President of the Common Administrative Services Directorate (CASD). She leads a team of professionals who work to support both NSERC and SSHRC in delivering human resources, finance and awards administration, security, and information and innovation solutions. As the lead CASD executive, Dominique supports the accountability of the agency presidents by ensuring CASD’s effectiveness as a strategic partner, business enabler, steward and service provider. 

Before rejoining NSERC and SSHRC, Dominique was the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Security Officer, and Vice-President of the Corporate Management Branch at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). In previous appointments, she was the Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Financial Services for CFIA, the Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Director General of Finance and Awards Administration for NSERC and SSHRC, and the Director of Financial Planning, Budgeting and Advisory Services for the National Research Council Canada.

Dominique is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA), holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Université du Québec en Outaouais, and is a graduate of the Public Sector Leadership and Governance executive program at the University of Ottawa.

Anne-Marie Thompson
Associate Vice-President, Research Grants and Scholarships

Anne-Marie Thompson was appointed Associate Vice-President, Research Grants and Scholarships, at NSERC in October 2020. In her role, Anne-Marie provides leadership to advance and mobilize discovery research, to support talent development, and to bring science and engineering to the public through science promotion endeavours.

Anne-Marie joined NSERC in 2009, and she has held various positions in advancing discovery and partnership research across the spectrum of post-secondary institutions, including colleges and polytechnics. She has also recently been involved in the establishment of a new infrastructure initiative that will support the federal scientific enterprise. Anne-Marie has enabled research and training collaborations to generate impact for Canada through positions at Environment and Climate Change Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and the Department of National Defence. Her experience and knowledge has given her the opportunity to have been a member of Canadian delegations for international instruments, including the London Convention and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Anne-Marie holds both a bachelorís and a masterís degree in environmental engineering from Carleton University.