Pascale Fournier

President and Chief Executive Officer

Pascale Fournier, Ad.E., is an innovative, trailblazing leader whose style and objectives are intimately inspired by the Foundation’s values of Inclusive Excellence and Engaged Leadership.

Since beginning her mandate as President & CEO of the Foundation in July 2018, Dr. Fournier has taken bold steps to modernize and innovate the Foundation’s programs, while cultivating meaningful new partnerships with peer organizations, sponsors, and community leaders from a wide range of horizons.

Today, she proudly leads a Foundation which has played a vital role supporting some of Canada’s most outstanding doctoral Scholars whose research in the Humanities and Social Sciences seeks inspiration in the Foundation’s four themes: Canada and the world; People and their natural environment; Human rights and dignity; and, Responsible citizenship.

In the years since the Foundation’s inception in 2002, Canada and the world have changed, and academia has evolved along with it. Under Dr. Fournier’s enthusiastic leadership, the Foundation is poised to go in a bold new direction, to undergo renewal, and to innovate on its mission to better prepare the next generation of Scholars to succeed as leaders in their institutions and communities.

In 2019, Dr. Fournier set a new programming model in motion with the aim of meeting this goal, while continuing to engage meaningfully with the wider public. In addition, diversity has been placed front and centre, with gender, language, region, ethnicity and diverse perspectives serving as essential factors in the development of the Foundation’s community and activities.

Pascale Fournier was herself a Scholar in the Foundation’s original class of 2003. She holds a Ph.D. in Law from Harvard University and served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Claire L’Heureux-Dubé of the Supreme Court of Canada. Prior to her appointment as head of the Foundation, Dr. Fournier led a distinguished career as Full Professor and Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (Civil Law Section) where she also served as Vice-Dean Research. In 2015, the National Assembly of Quebec unanimously appointed her Commissioner to the province’s Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission, where she was ever mindful of the impact of decisions on the daily lives of her fellow citizens. 

A former participant of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, Pascale Fournier was also awarded the Québec Bar Association’s Advocatus Emeritus Distinction (2009), the University of Ottawa President’s Award for Excellence in Media Relations (2011), the International Women’s Forum Fellowship (2014-2015), the Université Laval’s Gloire de l’Escolle Medal (2016), and the Ottawa Network for Education’s Capital Educator’s Award for teaching excellence (2016).

  • November 1, 2019
    President's Message On September 23, 2019, I was delighted to deliver the opening presentation of the Canada Seminar, a series of talks in which prominent and influential Canadians discuss issues of significance for the nation, hosted by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.
  • April 26, 2019
  • February 4, 2019
      New Year, New Ideas: A time for coming together  
  • December 18, 2018
    Ending the year in a spirit of generosity   It is hard to believe the end of 2018 is already here! Before joining family and friends for seasonal festivities or enjoying a well-deserved rest, I wanted to take one final opportunity this year to share the latest news from the Foundation with you.   Launch of our 2019 programs  
  • November 22, 2018
    It has been a very busy month for the Foundation, and I am pleased to be writing to you with some great news. My team and I are back from a four-day stop in Halifax, where two Future Forums sessions were held, as well as a meeting of the Board of Directors and the Annual Meeting of the Members of the Foundation.  
  • October 25, 2018
    The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation takes to heart the well-being of its community. That's why we're introducing new, proactive, modern policies that will help ensure the well-being of all our members. Policy on the prevention of harassment and violence In order to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all members of the community, we are implementing a brand new zero tolerance policy regarding harassment and violence in the workplace and at activities organized by the Foundation.