New leaders appointed to Mitacs’ board of directors

Vancouver, BC Mitacs, a national not-for-profit research and training organization, is pleased to welcome six new members to its board of directors. Mitacs’ board oversees the direction of the organization in its vision of a more innovative country.

The new members bring a breadth of experience across Canada’s public and private sectors.

Anita Punamiya is the CEO of Propel ICT, a pan-Atlantic accelerator for information and communication technology start-ups. As an entrepreneur, Punamiya has founded two businesses in Canada, CompreCultures and Shaping Purpose. Punamiya brings over 20 years of management consultant experience, specializing in cross-cultural communications and international business.

She is also a professor at the University of New Brunswick’s Master of Business Administration program, teaching cross-cultural communication and social entrepreneurship. Originally from India, Punamiya moved to Canada in 2004 and holds an MBA from UNB.

Iain Klugman is the President and CEO of Communitech, an industry-led organization that supports, fosters, and celebrates a community of nearly 1,000 businesses in the Waterloo region of Ontario. Klugman brings a wealth of experience from the public and private sectors, with experience from Nortel, CBC, and a provincial Crown corporation. He has also held roles with the Office of the Privy Council of Canada and Industry Canada.

Klugman holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University, a Bachelor of Business Administration with Honours from Laurentian University, and has completed the Advanced Program in Human Resources Management at the University of Toronto.

Jacques Beauvais has been the Vice-President Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Université de Sherbrooke since 2007. Prior to this appointment, Beauvais was the Vice-President of Technology at Quantiscript Inc., a nanotechnology and lithography start-up. Beauvais has also contributed to numerous organizations as a member of the board of directors of C2MI and the Fonds de Recherche du Quebec  – Nature et Technologies, the council of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), the National Research Council, and the executive committee of PROMPT Quebec.

Beauvais holds a doctorate in Physics from Université Laval and is a professor of engineering at Université de Sherbrooke.

Karen Chad is the Vice-President Research at the University of Saskatchewan. She serves on a number of national and international boards and has chaired or overseen more than 200 boards, committees, research programs, and teams in areas ranging from Indigenous matters to digital innovation.

Chad is a faculty member at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Kinesiology, and holds a doctorate from the University of Queensland (Australia).

Kim Sturgess is the founder and CEO of Alberta WaterSMART, a services organization committed to improving water management through better technologies and practices. As the CEO of several technology-based companies over her career, she has extensive experience in technology start-ups and technology management.

A professional engineer, Sturgess graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in engineering physics, and later received a honourary Doctor of Science. She completed an MBA from Western University and is a Member of the Order of Canada.

Santa Ono is the current President and Vice Chancellor of the University of British Columbia. Prior to his appointment, he served as the President of the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. As a professor of medicine and biology, Ono has worked at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University College London, and Emory University.

A distinguished researcher, Ono’s research encompasses the immune system, eye inflammation, and age-related macular degeneration — a leading cause of blindness. He holds a doctorate degree in experimental medicine from McGill University.

The six leaders join current Mitacs Board of Directors members:

  • Diane Gray (Chair); President and CEO, CentrePort Canada
  • Marie Rajic (Vice-Chair); Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Prairie Region; Hill+Knowlton Strategies
  • Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs
  • Sarah Bevan, Managing Director, President and CEO, UBS Bank (Canada)
  • Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto
  • Philippe Gervais, Principle, Navigator
  • John Milloy; Former Minister of Research and Innovation and former Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities; Government of Ontario
  • Gilbert Nolasco, Consultant, Cohérence RH


Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“We are honoured to have these esteemed leaders join Mitacs’ board of directors. Their contributions and insight will help bring a depth of leadership and expertise to our organization as we move toward executing our five-year strategic plan.”

Diane Gray; Chair, Board of Directors, Mitacs; President and CEO, CentrePort Canada

“I am pleased to welcome these six new members to Mitacs. Each one brings unique and valuable experience that will contribute to building Canada into a more innovative country through Mitacs’ programs. ”

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