Member biographies

Foteini Agrafioti

Co-Chair of the Advisory Council on AI
Chief Science Officer, Royal Bank of Canada and Head, Borealis AI

Foteini Agrafioti is the Chief Science Officer at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Head of Borealis AI, RBC's Research Institute in artificial intelligence. She is responsible for RBC's intellectual property portfolio in the fields of AI and machine learning. She earned a Master's degree in Applied Science in 2007, followed by a doctorate in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2011. Foteini founded and served as Chief Technology Officer at Nymi, a biometrics security company and maker of the Nymi wristband. She is an inventor of HeartID, the first biometric technology to authenticate users based on their unique cardiac rhythms, and serves on the editorial review boards of several scientific journals. Foteini was named the University of Toronto's Inventor of the Year in 2012 and one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 in 2017.


Yoshua Bengio

Co-Chair of the Advisory Council on AI
Scientific Director, Mila and IVADO
Professor, Université de Montréal

Recognized worldwide as one of the leading experts in artificial intelligence, Yoshua Bengio is most known for his pioneering work in deep learning, earning him the 2018 A.M. Turing Award, "the Nobel Prize of Computing," with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun. 

He is a Full Professor at Université de Montréal, and the Founder and Scientific Director of Mila – Quebec AI Institute. He co-directs the CIFAR Learning in Machines & Brains program as Senior Fellow and acts as Scientific Director of IVADO.

In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Killam Prize and in 2022 became the most influential computer scientist worldwide according to a Stanford University study. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (UK) and the Royal Society of Canada, Knight of the Legion of Honor of France, Officer of the Order of Canada, and a Canada CIFAR AI Chair.

Concerned about the social impact of AI and committed to AI that benefits all, he actively contributed to the Montreal Declaration for the Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence.


Natalie Cartwright

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, FINN.AI

Natalie Cartwright is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Finn AI, a financial technology company that assists banks and credit unions in developing AI-powered personal banking assistants. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from McGill University, a Master of Public Health from Lund University in Sweden, and a Master of Business Administration from IE Business School in Spain. Prior to founding Finn AI, Natalie worked at the Global Fund in Geneva where she served as Program Officer and Special Assistant to the Deputy Executive Director. She is the Chair of AInBC, member of the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) Advisory Board and an adjunct professor at UBC's Sauder School of Business.


Marc-Antoine Dilhac

Canada CIFAR AI Chair (Governance and Ethics of AI), and Associate Professor, Université de Montréal

Marc-Antoine Dilhac (Ph.D. from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Montreal. After holding the Canada Research Chair in Public Ethics and Political Theory (2014-2019), he was granted a Canada CIFAR AI Chair (Ethics and Governance of AI). Since 2019, he is Director of Algora Lab (University of Montreal) at Mila and co-responsible for Deliberation of the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI.

In 2017, he initiated the Montreal Declaration for a responsible development of AI, for which he led the scientific committee. Then, in 2020, he conducted on behalf of UNESCO an international deliberation process on the Recommendation on the Ethics of AI. In 2021, he collaborated with the Ad-hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI) of the Council of Europe, supervising and analyzing the European consultation for the establishment of a legal instrument regulating the use of AI. He serves as an expert in several international organizations such as the OECD and with the Global Partnership on AI's Responsible AI Working Group.

His work covers a wide range of topics related to contemporary democracy and theories of social justice, as well as the ethical issues raised by the development of new technologies, especially AI. His research now focuses on the governance of algorithms and digital technologies and how they change public relations and political structures.


Eli Fathi

Chair of the Board, MindBridge Analytics Inc.

Eli Fathi is the Chair of the Board of MindBridge Analytics Inc., a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer in recognition of the way in which it is transforming the analysis of financial data with the world's first artificial intelligence and machine learning based solution for uncovering errors in financial data. He attended Algonquin College and earned a Master of Science in Engineering at the University of Ottawa. Eli has been a technology entrepreneur for over 40 years, having founded or co-founded numerous technology companies, including MindBridge Analytics and Fluidware Corp. He previously sat on the Boards of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Start-Up Canada, the Ottawa Center of Research and Innovation, the Ottawa Community Foundation, and the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, and is a Board Member of C-Com, a company that develops satellite-based technologies. Eli was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2022.


Tony Gaffney

President and CEO, Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Tony Gaffney is the President and CEO of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He also serves on the OECD.AI network of experts (ONE.AI) task force for AI Compute and Climate Change, and is a Corporate Director with Altus Group (AIF.TO), an AI-enabled intelligence as a service company.

An internationally experienced CEO, Tony is a former member of the Global Executive Committee of Aon Hewitt and also served as the CEO of Aon Hewitt Canada. Before joining Aon Hewitt, Tony was a Managing Partner at Accenture, Global executive with MCI Telecommunications, President and CEO of BellNexxia, and CEO of BCE Emergis.

Tony is also an experienced Corporate Director (iNED) focused on governance with impact. He understands the economic and social significance of AI, and is passionate about both the critical role of boards and CEOs in AI foresight and governance, and the responsible use of data and AI. He has served on many boards, including PC Financial, the Bishop Strachan School, the Toronto Region Board of Trade, and the Toronto United Way Cabinet. He also led the "High Performance in the Boardroom" initiative focused on the future of governance in collaboration with more than 30 leading board chairs.


Garth Gibson

AI Technology Consultant

Dr. Garth Gibson was the inaugural President and CEO of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He now consults on AI Compute Technology and sits on the OECD.AI task force on AI compute.  He holds appointments as a Consulting Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and a Professor of Computer Science (status only) at the University of Toronto.  His research has been recognized with awards from many organizations including the University of Waterloo, Carnegie Mellon University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, ACM SIG groups for Operating Systems and Databases, IEEE Technical Field for Information Systems, and IFIP Working Group 10.4 on Dependable Computing.  Dr. Gibson holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and a Master's of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He was inducted as a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery in 2013 and elected as a Fellow of the IEEE in 2014.


Valentine Goddard

Founder and Executive Director, AI Impact Alliance, Founding President and General Chair, AI on a Social Mission

Valentine Goddard is a United Nations expert in AI Policy and Governance, a lawyer, certified mediator and an inter-art professional. Ms. Goddard is the founder and executive director of AI Impact Alliance, an independent non-profit organisation whose mission is to facilitate a responsible implementation of AI, and accelerate the achievement of the 17 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. AI Impact Alliance is a founding organisational member of the International Observatory on the Ethical and Social Impact of AI (OBVIA) and of the Responsible AI Consortium. She is the lead architect of the AI on a Social Mission Conference, a respected international conference on the ethical and social implications of AI, and the Art Impact AI programs which position the arts’ critical role in the future of AI and democracy.

Ms. Goddard provides expertise on emerging regulatory frameworks on AI and data including anticipatory foresight of their socioeconomic implications. She delivers programs that bridge civic engagement and knowledge mobilisation with policy innovation, and leads international policy working groups on critical issues such as gender equality in digital economies and the environment. In collaboration with her global network of high-level experts, she supports organisations in their adoption of Responsible AI and delivers thought-provoking content on the design and the governance of AI Systems.


Gillian K. Hadfield

Chair & Director, Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society, Professor of Law, and Professor of Strategic Management, University of Toronto

Gillian K. Hadfield is the inaugural director of the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society. She is the Schwartz Reisman Chair in Technology and Society, professor of law and of strategic management at the University of Toronto, a Faculty Member and CIFAR AI Chair at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and a senior policy advisor at OpenAI. Her current research is focused on innovative design for legal and regulatory systems for AI and other complex global technologies; computational models of human normative systems; and working with machine learning researchers to build ML systems that understand and respond to human norms. Her 2017 book, Rules for a Flat World: Why Humans Invented Law and How to Reinvent It for a Complex Global Economy, was published in paperback and audiobook versions with a new prologue on AI in 2020.


Marie-Paule Jeansonne

Marie-Paule holds a Master in International Affairs, with a focus on international finance and economic policy, from Columbia University-SIPA, and a Bachelor of Laws from Université de Montréal. Marie-Paule was the President and Chief Executive Officer, Forum IA Québec, whose mission was to mobilize the AI ecosystem's actors around a common goal: to maximize the economic and social benefits of AI.  Before that, she worked on the adoption of research, science and innovation policies within the Quebec government and was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company and a commercial litigation lawyer at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg. Between 2016 and 2018, Marie-Paule took part in Québec's first efforts to structure its rising AI ecosystem.


Jordan Kyriakidis

Co-Founder and CEO, QRA Corp

Jordan Kyriakidis is Co-Founder and CEO of QRA Corp, an enterprise software company devoted to the verification of autonomous systems. QRA's products and technologies are used by Fortune 500 companies in the energy, medical device, automotive, and aerospace industries. Prior to QRA, Jordan was Professor and Head of the Quantum Theory Group at Dalhousie University. He holds a PhD, summa cum laude, in Theoretical Physics from the University of Basel, Switzerland.


Jason Edward Lewis

Founding Co-director, Indigenous Futures Research Centre
University Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary
Professor of Computation Arts, Dept. of Design and Computation Arts, Concordia University

Jason Edward Lewis is the University Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary as well Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University. His research interests include emergent media theory and history, critical approaches to computational practices, and methodologies for conducting art-led technology research. In addition to being lead author on the award-winning "Making Kin with the Machines" essay and editor of the Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence Position Paper, he has written chapters on Indigenous epistemology & technology development, mobile media, video game design, machinima and experimental pedagogy with Indigenous communities. Lewis is deeply committed to engaging with new technologies through working on cultural, conceptual, critical, creative and technical levels simultaneously. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he co-directs the Indigenous Futures Research Centre, the Indigenous Protocol and AI Workshops, and the Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace research network.


Cam Linke

Chief Executive Officer, Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii)

Cam Linke is the CEO of the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) and a longtime leader in Edmonton's technology and startup community. Over the past 10 years, he has driven growth in Alberta's tech sector as a CEO, investor, community builder, product manager, software entrepreneur, academic, and developer. Linke is a sought-after speaker and mentor and has been recognized as Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40. Past roles include Co-founder of Startup Edmonton, Founder of Flightpath Ventures, CEO of Touch Metric, and Product Manager at Linke is also an artificial intelligence researcher, having completed his M.Sc. in computing science under Dr. Richard S. Sutton and Dr. Adam White. His research focuses on AI adapting behaviours to improve their own self-learning.

Humera Malik

CEO, Canvass AI

Humera Malik is CEO of Canvass AI, a leading industrial AI software company that empowers industrial engineers to make data impactful and measure its value through increased profitability, high quality, and net-zero milestones. As one of the few female CEOs in the space, she believes in the power of AI to transform work and the world as we know it. Internationally, Ms Malik is one of the leading voices in AI and how it can help economies, industries, and communities to propel sustainable growth, accelerate innovation, and augment human expertise. Prior to founding Canvass AI, she worked in the telecom and IoT markets globally. She is a recipient of the RBC Women of Influence Entrepreneur of the Year award, the Women of IoT/M2M award and was also named to the list of Top 10 Hot AI IoT Startups to Watch.


Mona Nemer

Chief Science Advisor, Government of Canada

Dr. Mona Nemer is the Chief Science Advisor to Canada's Prime Minister, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Cabinet. Her mandate is to provide advice on issues related to science and government policies that support it. This includes advising on ways to ensure that science is considered in policy decisions and that government science is fully available to the public. Before becoming the Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Nemer was Professor and Vice-President of Research at the University of Ottawa and Director of the school's Molecular Genetics and Cardiac Regeneration Laboratory. She holds a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University and did post-doctoral training in molecular biology at the Institut de Recherche Clinique de Montréal and Columbia University. Dr. Nemer is a leader in the area of molecular cardiology; she has discovered several genes essential for normal heart development and function. Her work has contributed to the development of diagnostic tests for heart failure and the genetics of cardiac birth defects. She has published more than 200 highly cited scientific articles and trained over 100 students from around the world. Dr. Nemer is a member of the Order of Canada, a fellow of the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, a knight of the Ordre national du Québec and a knight of the French Republic's Ordre national du Mérite. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has also been awarded honorary doctorates from France, Finland and Lebanon. In 2018, Dr. Nemer was awarded the Arthur Wynne Gold Medal by the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences.


Teresa Scassa

Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy and Professor, University of Ottawa

Dr. Teresa Scassa is the Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. She is a member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society at the University of Ottawa, where she is part of the Scotiabank AI & Society Initiative. Teresa has served on a number national and provincial advisory panels on law and technology related issues. She has written widely in the area of privacy law, data governance, intellectual property law, law and technology, artificial intelligence, and smart cities. She is a co-editor of the books AI and the Law in Canada (2021), Law and the Sharing Economy (2017), and The Future of Open Data (2022). She is co-author of Digital Commerce in Canada (2020) and Canadian Intellectual Property Law (2013, 2018 and 2022).


Elissa Strome

Executive Director of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, CIFAR

Elissa Strome is the Executive Director of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy at CIFAR. She works with leaders at Canada's three national AI Institutes in Edmonton (Amii), Montreal (Mila), and Toronto (Vector Institute) and across the country to advance Canada's leadership in AI research, innovation, policy, and training. She is a champion for Canada's position in AI internationally. Elissa completed her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia. Following a post-doc at Lund University, in Sweden, she decided to pursue a career in research strategy, policy and leadership. From 2008 – 2017 she held senior leadership positions at University of Toronto's Office of the Vice-President, Research, and Innovation, advancing major institutional strategic research priorities, including establishing and leading the SOSCIP research consortium.