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. The Foundation is committed to diversity in many forms, including gender, race, disability, language, socioeconomic background, Indigenous knowledge and region of origin as well as diversity of perspectives.
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.
Dr Fournier was awarded the Barreau du Québec’s Advocatus Emeritus Distinction (Ad.E., 2009), the University of Ottawa President’s Award for Excellence in Media Relations (2011), the International Women’s Forum Fellowship (2014), the Canada Arab Chamber of Commerce Excellence Award (2014), the Top 25 Most Influential lawyers in Canada (Canadian Lawyer Magazine; 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). In 2015, she was selected as a participant to the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. In 2016, Pascale Fournier was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, one of the highest honours for scholars in Canada.