Pascale Fournier

President and Chief Executive Officer

A Doctor in Law from Harvard University and a member of the Royal Society of Canada College, Pascale Fournier is an exceptional and engaging intellectual leader whose academic trajectory is marked by strong multidisciplinary achievements. A prolific and bilingual author, her academic contributions address several of the themes dear to the Foundation: human rights and dignity, Canada and the world, and responsible citizenship. 

At the time of her appointment, Pascale Fournier was a full professor at the University of Ottawa faculty of law and Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law. With the generous support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, she has led international research teams to better understand and document the struggles of religious women in Canada, England, France, Germany, Israel, and Lebanon.

With her remarkable sense of openness to the world, Pascale Fournier has taught from Haiti to Costa Rica and Iran. In 2015, she was named “one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada” by the Canadian Lawyer Magazinein the “Worldstage” category. As a proud alumna of the Foundation’s inaugural cohort of doctoral scholarship recipients in 2003, she focused her academic career on the public arena by emphasizing the accessibility of her research and by frequently intervening in public debate, thus enabling her to become a true public intellectual leader. In 2014, the Washington DC-based International Women’s Forum  selected her as one of 35 women in the world showing leadership in her community.

Eager to communicate and interact with the general public, Professor Fournier is involved in multiple projects whose practical benefits have tangible consequences for marginalized populations living in precarious conditions. She has acted as a consultant and lecturer to numerous United Nations agencies and regularly provides training to the Canadian judiciary. In 2015, the Quebec National Assembly appointed her Commissioner to the Quebec Commission on Human Rights and Youth Rights. The same year, she participated in the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, along with 250 national leaders from the fields of business, labour, the public and cultural sectors, non-governmental organizations, and Canadian universities. Pascale Fournier has held management positions, serving among others as Vice-Dean of Research. An engaging communicator, she has also collaborated with the news dailies La Presse and The NewYork Times.

During her outstanding journey, Pascale Fournier received many prizes and distinctions such as the Québec Bar Association’s Advocatus Emeritus Distinction (2009), the University of Ottawa President’s Award for Excellence in Media Relations (2011), 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). Her contagious passion and bold dynamism will enable her to optimize research in humanities and social science in Canada while increasing the intellectual visibility of the Foundation among the influential university leaders and decision makers of this world.

Pascale Fournier is married and has three sons.

  • 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.
  • October 11, 2018
    In the admirably unabashed way that characterized his work, the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, in a missive included in Letters: Summer 1926, his collected correspondence with fellow poets Marina Tsvetayeva and Boris Pasternak:
  • October 4, 2018
    The second of two Future Forums in Whitehorse included the participation of members of the Royal Society of Canada and the use of theatre arts to illustrate the two main themes of the consultations: Inclusive Excellence and Engaged Leadership. The event took place at the MacBride Museum, surrounded by the Land and Light exhibit featuring the Yukon-inspired paintings of artist Ted Harrison.