The Chair of Council is the elected Vice-President of Council. The President is a member of the Council, but the Vice-President is responsible for managing the work of the Council, as Chair. The Vice-President/Chair is elected by and accountable to the Council. The appointment of the Vice-President is made, however, only after Governor in Council approval is obtained.
As with any leadership position, both the Chair and the President are responsible for "ensuring" certain things occur in an effective manner. The Chair oversees Council and committee deliberations and the President, as mandated by the NSERC Act, has supervision over and direction of the work and staff of NSERC.
The President is accountable to the government and Parliament and not Council. Accordingly, Council has no mandate regarding the Presidentís appointment, compensation, performance management or dismissal. Similarly, the Presidentís goals, objectives and priorities are shaped by NSERCís legal mandate and government direction and priorities. Both performance management and planning activities are governed by the requirements of the Clerk of the Privy Council and the Secretary of the Treasury Board. Given this context, the role of Council in these two areas is limited to the provision of advice.
The Chair is fundamentally responsible for leading and managing the Council. This is done in close collaboration with the President and with the active support of the Corporate Secretary , especially as it relates to the planning and organizing of Council and Executive Committee meetings and materials. The duties of the Chair primarily concern:
The Chair may also carry out other duties as requested by the President or Council depending on need and circumstances. If the President is temporarily unavailable, then the Chair acts in the Presidentís behalf, as directed by the President. If the office of President is vacant or the President is unable to provide direction to the Chair, then the Chair acts as directed by Council.