Elizabeth Dowdeswell to chair HEQCO board

Elizabeth Dowdeswell, president and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies, has been appointed to succeed Frank Iacobucci as chair of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario…

Toronto, October  29, 2012 – Elizabeth Dowdeswell, president and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies, has been appointed to succeed Frank Iacobucci as chair of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario’s board of directors for a three-year term.

An independent, not-for-profit corporation that supports the development of evidence-based public policy in Canada, the Council of Canadian Academies conducts assessments and reports on key policy issues through independent, multidisciplinary panels of expert volunteers.  The Council’s signature report on the State of Science and Technology in Canada was released recently. Current projects range from examining the state of women in university research, measuring return on investment in innovation to examining the environmental impacts of shale gas fracking.

Dowdeswell was the founding president and CEO of Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations. As assistant deputy minister of Environment Canada she was responsible for Atmospheric Environment Service. She has also led a number of public inquiries, including into Canada’s unemployment benefits program and federal water policy. Her early career included terms as deputy minister of culture and youth for the Province of Saskatchewan, educational consultant, university lecturer and high school teacher.

Appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in June 2012, Dowdeswell serves on the boards of several corporations and is an advisor to a number of not-for-profit organizations. She was one of the first mentors for the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, which pairs renowned Canadians with talented young PhD students. She received her MSc in behavioural sciences from Utah State University, her BSc in home economics and her teaching certificate from the University of Saskatchewan. She has been awarded nine honorary degrees, among them from the University of Saskatchewan, which referenced in its citation Dowdeswell’s “capacity to positively engage people, often with widely divergent and competing views, in finding mutually acceptable solutions.”

“Elizabeth Dowdeswell brings an extraordinary range of expertise, forged from a public service career spanning provincial, federal and international borders,” says HEQCO president and CEO Harvey Weingarten.  “Her guidance, leadership and commitment to evidence-based policy-making will greatly enhance the scope of HEQCO’s work on behalf of the Ontario postsecondary system.”

About the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario is an agency of the Government of Ontario, established in 2005 to conduct research, evaluate the postsecondary education system and provide policy recommendations to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to enhance the quality, access and accountability of Ontario’s higher education system.

For further information, please contact:

Susan Bloch-Nevitte
Executive Director, Communications
Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario
(416) 212-5242 / sbnevitte@heqco.ca