Mary Anne Chambers

Current affiliation:
Canada’s International Development Research Centre, GraceKennedy Ltd.

Rich in experience in private enterprise and the public service, Mary Anne Chambers’s work in community-building and on behalf of youth has benefited hundreds of students in Ontario.

A former minister of training, colleges and universities and a minister of children and youth services in the Government of Ontario, Mary Anne Chambers has also served as a senior vice-president of Scotiabank,  the chair of the Board of United Way of Canada, the vice-chair of the Governing Council of the University of Toronto, the president of the Canadian Club of Toronto, a governor of the Air Cadet League of Canada, the vice-chair of the Rouge Valley Health System, the president of the Project for Advancement of Early Childhood Education (Canada), and the vice-chair of the Board of Cuso International. Chambers is a member of the boards of the University of Guelph, United Way of Toronto, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, YMCA Toronto, and Tropicana Community Services. She is currently a governor of Canada’s International Development Research Centre and a director of GraceKennedy Ltd.  

Chambers has been named to the Order of Ontario and is a recipient of the Governor General of Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal. Lakehead University, the University of Guelph, the University of Toronto, and York University have all awarded her a honorary doctor of laws degree.A recipient of the Golden Jubilee Medal of Queen Elizabeth the Second and the Queen Elizabeth Second Diamond Jubilee Medal, Chambers has also received the Prime Minister of Jamaica’s Medal of Appreciation, a University of the West Indies Vice-Chancellor’s Award, a YWCA Toronto Woman of Distinction Award,and other awards in recognition of her work in community building and on behalf of children and youth.She has been featured on Rogers Television’s “Extraordinary Women,” in a CBC Television production entitled “Two Worlds, One Love – Celebrating Jamaican Canadian Success Stories,” in a book by Soosan Daghighi Lathamentitled The Multicultural Leader: Life Stores of Influence and Achievement, andby the Toronto Star newspaper in an article entitled “Banker with heart profits community.”

Chambers has personally funded scholarships for more than 35 university and college students in Ontario. From 2007 to 2017, in partnership with University of Toronto Scarborough, she sponsored and served as an adviser for the IMANI Academic Mentorship Program, which has benefitted hundreds of middle- and high-school students. The IMANI program was recognized in the 2015 Toronto Vital Signs Report, published by the Toronto Community Foundation, as one of the ideas and innovations that point the way forward for Toronto. 

  • September 5, 2019
    Each year, the Foundation selects Mentors who are real-world actors from all areas of endeavour and who devote themselves to developing the capacity for engaged leadership among Scholars.   On the International Day of Charity, we are shining a spotlight on three Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Mentors whose dedication to their areas of interest and expertise go the extra mile.