Appointment of the new President & CEO

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is proud to announce the appointment of Professor Pascale Fournier, Ad.E., as President and Chief Executive Officer.



Montreal, April 18th, 2018

Dear members of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation community,

It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the appointment of Professor Pascale Fournier, Ad.E., as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, effective July 30, 2018. Thanks to a rigorous international recruitment process conducted by Perrett Laver, the Board of Directors endorsed the candidacy of Professor Fournier, an exceptional and engaging intellectual leader whose academic trajectory is marked by strong multidisciplinary achievements.

A Doctor in Law from Harvard University and a member of the Royal Society of Canada College, she is a full professor at the University of Ottawa Civil Law Section where she holds the Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law. A prolific and bilingual author, Professor Fournier’s academic contributions address several of the themes dear to the Foundation: human rights and dignity, Canada in the world and responsible citizenship. 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 2014, the Quebec National Assembly appointed her Commissioner to the Quebec Commission on Human Rights and Youth Rights. In 2015, 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. This remarkable experience enabled her to travel across the Northwest Territories and to appreciate the unique contributions of Aboriginal Peoples. Her ambitious and entrepreneurial intellectual leadership qualities will serve her well in supporting research in the humanities and social sciences and fostering a fruitful dialogue with leaders in prominent roles across Canada and the world.

Fascinated by the power of words and their unifying effect, Professor Fournier has taught in several academic institutions, such as the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica, the Institute for Women’s Studies and Research in Iran and Haiti’s State University. In 2016, the Ottawa Network for Education presented her the Capital’s Educator Award for teaching excellence and, the same year, her alma mater Laval University awarded her the Gloire de l'Escolle medal.  For the past several years, and with the generous support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Professor Fournier has led international research teams in Canada, England, France, Germany, Lebanon and Israel to better understand and document how religious women negotiate their multiple identities and affiliations in the shadow of community norms and expectations. "My thirst for fieldwork and my drive to produce engaged and inclusive knowledge is a direct legacy of my experience with the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. I never left, in fact! The realm of public ideas quickly became the space I would unpack and nourish, nationally and globally, as a citizen of the world and as a scholar driven by knowledge mobilization. It is a great honour to return to a place that played such a fundamental role in my life and be appointed as President of the Foundation”, Professor Fournier said. As an engaging CEO, she will be able to use her strong research and teaching experience to create new partnerships, build a curriculum in public intellectualism and leadership training and actively collaborate with the Foundation’s network of Scholars, Mentors and Fellows.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I warmly congratulate Professor Fournier and welcome her to this new role. I also take this opportunity to thank Morris Rosenberg, our President and CEO since September 2014, for his outstanding work in building and positioning the Foundation on solid ground for the challenges ahead.

With best regards,


John H. McCall MacBain, O.C. Chair of the Board of Directors The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation