Dr. Alejandro Adem

Dr. Alejandro Adem

Professor Alejandro Adem has been President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) since October 2019.

Under Professor Adem’s leadership, the agency developed the comprehensive strategic plan NSERC 2030: Discovery. Innovation. Inclusion. This plan presents a vision for an agile agency that is steadfast in its support for investigator-driven discovery research while enabling quick responses to emerging Canadian research priorities and maintaining a leading role for Canada as an international player in science and innovation. It envisions a modern, inclusive, collaborative agency that is part of a harmonized, cooperative Canadian ecosystem, addressing domestic and international research priorities, with a renewed focus on interdisciplinarity and open science, all while ensuring that Canadian research, knowledge and intellectual property is protected from foreign threats. 

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 Canadian research and innovation ecosystem. Before joining NSERC, he was CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs (2015–2019) where he oversaw a significant expansion of its domestic and international internship programs, as well as launching the Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowships, an Indigenous engagement initiative and an innovative entrepreneurship program. Prior to that, he served as Director of the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (2008-2015), a research and training consortium supporting the mathematical sciences across Western Canada. From 1989 to 2004 he was a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA).

Professor Adem earned a B.Sc. at the National University of Mexico and a PhD in mathematics at Princeton University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, a Fellow of the Canadian Mathematical Society and a Corresponding Member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences. He has authored more than 70 articles as well as two books; delivered close to 400 invited research lectures around the world; and held postdoctoral or visiting positions at Stanford University, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the ETH-Zurich, the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, the University of Paris and Princeton University. Other distinctions include a senior Canada Research Chair at the University of British Columbia, the Jeffery-Williams Research Prize (awarded by the Canadian Mathematical Society), the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award (USA) and an Alfred P. Sloan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

Over his career Professor Adem has served on a variety of scientific, editorial and governance boards for the scientific research community worldwide. He is currently Chair of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee, Chair of the Global Research Council’s Governing Board, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Human Frontier Science Program as well as on the Council of the American Mathematical Society.

Alejandro Adem is a Canadian citizen who was born and raised in Mexico City and is a proud member of the Latin American community in Canada. He is married and has two grown children.

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