President (full-time position)
Janet Walden was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
Janet began her career working as an environmental chemist in the forestry industry, focussing on environmental improvement. Following five years in industry, she joined NSERC in 1982.
Janet has more than 30 years of experience in increasingly senior positions in NSERC, including seven years as Director of the Networks of Centres of Excellence during the formative period when it was building its new national partnership model and, most recently, 16 years as Vice-President of NSERC’s Research Partnerships Programs (RPP).
As Vice-President of RPP, Janet made key contributions to NSERC’s reputation as a recognized leader in two crucial activities: building public/private research and training partnerships to increase Canada’s capacity for innovation, and supporting the transfer of research results and technology to end users. She is credited with having created and implemented a spectrum of national policies and partnership programs that have been highly successful in stimulating research collaboration and commercialization and maximizing the benefits for researchers, students and companies.
Thanks to Janet’s leadership, NSERC also developed and launched its first programs to support applied research and training in colleges, as well as its highly successful Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation and its partnership-focused regional offices. As a result, NSERC’s partnership initiatives have grown to a value exceeding $300 million per year. They now involve more than 3,500 university and college researchers working with more than 2,500 companies.
In 2010, Janet received the ACCT Canada Maple Leaf Award for her vision and leadership in Canadian technology transfer and industry engagement at the industry/academic research interface.
Isabelle Blain was appointed Vice-President of Research Grants and Scholarships in June 2002. Isabelle has direct responsibility for Canada's award programs that promote discovery and the training of highly qualified personnel in the natural sciences and engineering. The annual budget for these programs is more than $500 million. Her current priorities include the implementation of recommendations from major reviews related to the conduct of peer review, and the launch of new scholarships and fellowships programs—including the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program, and Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program.
Isabelle has enjoyed an outstanding and varied career at NSERC. Between 1998 and 2002, she was NSERC’s Corporate Secretary. Previous to that, she was the Coordinator of Review and Investigation. Isabelle also served the Research Grants Division for a number of years in the capacity of Research Grants Officer and later as the Chief of Coordination. Her interim appointments have included the Director of Human Resources and Director General of the Common Administrative Services Directorate of NSERC and SSHRC.
Before joining NSERC, Isabelle worked for 10 years as an industrial researcher, and project manager in microbiology and process improvement for Joseph E. Seagram et Fils, Limitée.
Pierre Charest joined NSERC in August 2011 as Associate Vice-President, Corporate Planning and Policy. He came to NSERC from Health Canada, where he was Director General of the Science Policy Directorate.
Prior to his time at Health Canada, Pierre held the position of Associate Vice-President of the Science Branch of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. He has also served as Director General of Health Canada’s Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate and Office of Biotechnology and Science.
Pierre started his career in the public service in 1989 as a research scientist at the Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada, where he occupied a number of positions with increasing responsibility. He also had appointments as adjunct professor at the University of Victoria and as honorary research associate at the University of New Brunswick.
Before joining NSERC, Pierre served as chair and member of several peer review committees for NSERC, CIHR, the CFI and Genome Canada. He has had a productive research career as author or co-author of 77 scientific publications and presenter of 80 scientific communications and over 25 invited lectures.
Pierre holds a B.Sc.A. and an M.Sc. in Agronomy from Université Laval, a graduate certificate in Health System Leadership from Royal Roads University, and a Ph. D. in Molecular Biology from Carleton University.
Blair Dickerson joined NSERC in 2008, as Vice-President, External Relations and Communications. She has nurtured an interest in high-performing teams and is putting her passion into action at NSERC, where she is building a strong External Relations and Communications Directorate to reach out to new audiences.
Before joining NSERC, Blair worked with the Solicitor General of Canada, Transport Canada, Department of National Defence, Multiculturalism and Citizenship, and Western Economic Diversification. Focussing on assignments in a highly regulated environment, she worked at Natural Resources Canada in the areas of mining, forestry and energy. In the private sector, Blair worked in the pharmaceutical sector at GlaxoSmithKline, and with the alcohol beverage industry.
Blair is a strategic advisor and communications professional with over 20 years of experience in the field. She specializes in developing high-yield public-private sector partnerships to promote shared goals.
Blair has a BA in Political Science from Carleton University and an MBA from Queen’s University.
As Associate Vice-President of the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), André Isabelle leads the NCE’s efforts to mobilize Canada’s best research, development and entrepreneurial talent to address specific issues. Networks and centres funded through NCE programs focus a critical mass of research resources on social and economic challenges, commercialize and apply research breakthroughs, increase private-sector R&D, and train the next generation of talented people. André brings to his role extensive national and international experience with partnerships, industry, academia and the federal granting agencies. Trained as a biologist, he worked with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) for more than 25 years, most recently as Director of the Energy, Environment and Resources Division within NSERC’s Research Partnerships Programs Directorate. As a senior manager, he has helped lead collaborative initiatives involving multiple agencies and government departments, often integrating the social sciences, health, and natural sciences and engineering. André was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 for his work to foster academic-industry partnerships in the resource sector.
As Acting Vice-President of NSERC’s Research Partnership Programs (RPP), Pamela Moss is responsible for a range of programs designed to stimulate increased public/private collaboration and technology transfer and to maximize the benefits that university and college research provides to Canada.
Pamela has been Director of the Manufacturing, Communications and Technologies Division in the Research Partnerships Programs Directorate at NSERC since 2010. The suite of RPP programs includes industrially focused, strategic and commercialization programs. She has been at NSERC since 2001 and has held several managerial positions in different areas at NSERC including Research Grants and Scholarships and the Networks of Centres of Excellence (Tri-Agency initiative).
Pamela’s graduate work at McGill University was in analytical chemistry and helped launch a 20 year career as a chemist in research and development (R&D) laboratories in academia and government (Ontario Ministry of the Environment), and as a Laboratory Manager in private industry, working for both an explosives and a polymer company. This career path has given her the necessary background knowledge of the R&D landscape in Canada to be able to support research efforts in academia through NSERC’s funding programs.
Jaime Pitfield brings to NSERC a wide range of senior management experience in the federal public service, beginning in 1984 when he joined the Department of Regional Industrial Expansion. In 1985, Jaime left the public service to own and manage two successful companies in residential development and construction.
Since returning to the public service in 1990, Jaime has served in increasingly senior positions at the Department of Supply and Services (now the Department of Public Works and Government Services); Energy, Mines and Resources; Natural Resources Canada (NRCan); Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat; Industry Canada; Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). He has held the position of Director General (DG) of Human Resources at NRCan, DG of Communications and Marketing at International Trade Canada, DG of Government On-Line at Industry Canada, and DG of the Government of Canada Marketplace at PWGSC. He has also served as Executive Director of the Office of Petroleum Price Information at NRCan. Most recently, Jaime served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Corporate and Technology Services at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (2006-10).
Jaime holds a BA in Commerce (accounting) from Saint Mary's University in Nova Scotia.