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.