Executive Team

*Designated Public Office Holders for the purposes of the Lobbying Act

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.

Manal Bahubeshi

Vice-President, Research and Technology Partnerships

Manal Bahubeshi

Manal Bahubeshi is Vice-President, Research and Technology Partnerships (RTP). She joined NSERC in October 2020, serving as Associate Vice-President of Research Partnerships, leading a talented executive team responsible for the operations and delivery of the directorate’s programming for colleges and universities. Manal guided the expansion of strategic partnerships, and the launch of NSERC’s Alliance programming in support of the Government of Canada’s National Quantum Strategy.

Prior to joining NSERC, Manal’s career in the federal public service focused on science policy. She served as the Director, Granting Agency Policy and Programs, in the Science and Research Sector at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). She managed ISED’s relationships with the granting agencies, advancing significant initiatives such as the Fundamental Science Review, new budget investments for the granting agencies, and the creation of numerous tri-agency programs. Manal previously worked at Health Canada, leading a team providing science policy advice in support of the department’s mandate, and fostering collaborative partnerships with provincial health research agencies, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Her career in the public service began at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in biotechnology policy and international affairs.

Manal has a master’s degree from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University.

Dr. Robin Craig

Associate Vice-President, Research Grants and Scholarships Directorate

Dr. Robin Craig

Dr. Robin Craig joined NSERC in August 2022 as Associate Vice-President, Research Grants and Scholarships. With more than 10 years of experience in the administration of research and innovation programs, Dr. Craig brings to NSERC a significant knowledge of the research ecosystem and the federal funding agencies. Robin is passionate about multidisciplinary research collaborations, and throughout her career, has prioritized inclusive training and mentorship to further the career goals of students and highly qualified personnel.

Prior to joining NSERC, Robin was the inaugural Director of Recherche & Innovation Boréal at Collège Boréal, where she led the strategic development of the college’s applied research and innovation portfolio. In this role, she established the college’s research services office and developed an extensive network of research partnerships with industry and community organizations to enhance knowledge transfer, commercialization, and create experiential learning opportunities. She has served on several advisory committees including NSERC’s College and Community Innovation Program Evolution Advisory Committee, and the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). In addition, she has served on the Executive of the Heads of Applied Research of Ontario, le Comité consultatif du Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS)-Volet Laurentienne, and Bioenterprise Canada’s Northern Ontario Advisory Committee.

Before joining Collège Boréal, Robin held academic and administrative positions at Laurentian University starting in 2007. As a member of the Office of Research Services, she contributed to the university’s research intensity and visibility by supporting faculty and students in the coordination of research funding proposals and knowledge mobilization activities. In this role, she also advised senior leadership regarding strategic research initiatives and facilitated the work of the institution’s Research Ethics Board.

Subsequently, she served as Senior Manager, Programs and Knowledge Translation at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) Institute of Indigenous People’s Health.

Robin has a PhD and Master’s in French from Western University and an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Marc Fortin

Vice-President, Research Grants and Scholarships Directorate

Dr. Marc Fortin

Marc Fortin is currently Vice-President of the Research Grants and Scholarships Directorate at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), after serving as Vice-President of the Research Partnerships Directorate. In that capacity, he led the evolution of the Alliance research partnerships program as well as the College Applied Research programs.

Throughout his career, Marc has led the development of policies, strategies and programs designed to support research across organizations, countries and disciplines. He has worked extensively at the national and international levels to leverage research to generate impact for the policy, industry, regulatory or decision-maker communities. He has provided advice to Governments in topics at the interface of science, policy and society. He has led the development of research support programs that have changed the relationships between partners in the innovation space.

Dr. Fortin is a molecular geneticist, with a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. from Université Laval and a Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology from McGill University. He did post-doctoral work in molecular genetics at the University of California and the University of Chicago. His research lab was focused on understanding the molecular interactions between picornaviruses and host cells.

Prior to joining NSERC, Dr. Fortin held senior positions leading research organizations in academia and government. He has led science and technology branches as Assistant Deputy Minister at the Department of National Defence and at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for 12 years. He was Associate Professor at McGill University where he held leadership positions (Department Chair and Associate Dean – Research) over 17 years.

Dr. Marc Gervais

Vice-President, Strategic, Corporate and Public Affairs

Dr. Marc Gervais

Marc Gervais is Vice-President, Strategic, Corporate and Public Affairs at NSERC. Prior to joining the organization in May 2020, Marc served as Executive Director of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC).

Marc has over 20 years of experience in the public sector, specializing in the areas of policy development, project management, cabinet and parliamentary affairs, machinery of government, strategic planning, issues management, and organizational change. Over the years, Marc has worked in various government departments and agencies, including Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Marc has a PhD in political science from the University of Ottawa, where he specialized in Canadian politics. He is the author of Challenges of Minority Governments in Canada (2011).

Dominique Osterrath

Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President of the Common Administrative Services Directorate (CASD)

Dominique Osterrath

Dominique Osterrath rejoined NSERC in July 2021 as Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President of the Common Administrative Services Directorate (CASD). She leads a team of professionals who work to support both NSERC and SSHRC in delivering human resources, finance and awards administration, security, and information and innovation solutions. As the lead CASD executive, Dominique supports the accountability of the agency presidents by ensuring CASD’s effectiveness as a strategic partner, business enabler, steward and service provider.

Before rejoining NSERC and SSHRC, Dominique was the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Security Officer, and Vice-President of the Corporate Management Branch at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). In previous appointments, she was the Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Financial Services for CFIA, the Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Director General of Finance and Awards Administration for NSERC and SSHRC, and the Director of Financial Planning, Budgeting and Advisory Services for the National Research Council Canada.

Dominique is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA), holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Université du Québec en Outaouais, and is a graduate of the Public Sector Leadership and Governance executive program at the University of Ottawa.

Robbyn Plumb

Associate Vice-President, Research and Technology Partnerships

Robbyn Plumb

Robbyn Plumb joined NSERC as Associate Vice-President, Research Partnerships in July 2023. She began her career at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) with the Evaluation and Statistics group and later moved into the Policy and Evaluation Division at NSERC, ultimately managing the Policy and International Relations team.

From 2004 to 2023, Robbyn was with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), holding various positions with progressive responsibility in the science and innovation policy space. She managed the Secretariat of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology and led strategic policy functions in the Science Policy Branch of the Science and Research Sector. She also served as an executive leader in program delivery, responsible for implementing the Budget 2019 announcement to create the Strategic Science Fund. Earlier in her career, Robbyn spent four years on an interchange at the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) as a Senior Program Officer, delivering several of CFI’s funds, including a joint funding opportunity with NSERC on the Automotive Partnership Canada initiative.

Robbyn holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and International Business from the University of Ottawa and spent a year studying international finance and economics at the University of Aston in Birmingham, England. She is also a devoted advocate for children and youth with developmental disabilities, currently serving on the Board of Directors of Children at Risk.

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