Board of Directors

With a representation from business and post-secondary sectors, BHER’s Board of Directors represents major sectors of the economy, regions of the country and the diversity of Canada’s higher education community. Board Directors are elected by BHER’s members to to provide strategic direction, establish BHER’s vision and spearhead its initiatives. Internally, the Board of Directors elects officers, including a Chair and two Vice-Chairs, to provide leadership to the Board’s activities and mandate.

Dave McKay


President and Chief Executive Officer, RBC

Dave McKay is President and CEO of RBC, Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization. Dave is credited with helping transform the bank’s retail division and introduce new technology that has enabled RBC to adapt and evolve to rapidly-changing consumer demands. Appointed President and CEO in 2014, the following year he led the acquisition of City National Corporation, creating a platform for growth with institutional, corporate and high net worth clients in the U.S.

Dave started his career at RBC in 1988 as a computer programmer before moving to the organization’s retail banking arm. He then held progressively senior roles in Canada and Japan in retail and business banking, group risk management, and corporate banking, ultimately becoming Group Head, Personal & Commercial Banking in 2012. Dave was named ‘Retail Banker of the Year’ in 2012 and 2015 by Retail Banker International.

An unwavering champion for Canada’s innovation ecosystem, Dave is leading RBC’s support for and partnerships with universities, start-ups and accelerators, particularly in transformational technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain. He is also a passionate advocate for youth, promoting the benefits of work-integrated learning and supporting the development of RBC Future Launch, a 10-year, $500 million commitment to help young people build the skills and capabilities required to succeed in a changing world.

Dave holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Ryerson University. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) and is a member of the U.S. Financial Services Roundtable Board, the Business/Higher Education Roundtable, the Business Council of Canada, and the Catalyst Canada Advisory Board. In 2016, Dave chaired the United Way Toronto and York Region’s record-breaking fundraising campaign.

Dave is a LinkedIn Influencer. You can follow him here.

Meric Gertler


President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Toronto

Meric S. Gertler began his term as the 16th President of the University of Toronto on November 1, 2013. Prior to that, he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science—the largest faculty at the University—from 2008 to 2013, where he championed many important innovations in undergraduate teaching and learning.

He is a Professor of Geography and Planning, and the Goldring Chair in Canadian Studies at the University of Toronto. He is a co-founder of a large research program at U of T’s Munk School of Global Affairs investigating the role of city-regions as sites of innovation and creativity in the global economy. His work engages in comparative analysis of North American and European cities to understand how local social and cultural dynamics create the foundations for economic success and prosperity.

President Gertler has served as an advisor to local, regional and national governments in Canada, the United States and Europe, as well as to international agencies such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (Paris) and the European Union. He has authored or edited nine books, including Manufacturing Culture: The Institutional Geography of Industrial Practice and The Oxford Handbook of Economic Geography (with Gordon Clark and Maryann Feldman). He has held visiting appointments at Oxford, University College London, UCLA, and the University of Oslo. Currently, he serves as chair of the Working Group on Higher Education-Business Research Partnerships of the Business-Higher Education Roundtable. He is also a trustee for the Hospital for Sick Children and a member of the board of directors of MaRS Discovery District.

A graduate of McMaster University (BA), the University of California, Berkeley (MCP) and Harvard University (PhD), Professor Gertler was awarded an honorary doctorate from Lund University, Sweden, in 2012, and from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, in 2017. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Academy of Social Sciences (UK) and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He received the Award for Scholarly Distinction in Geography from the Canadian Association of Geographers in 2007, and in 2014, both the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of California, Berkeley and the Distinguished Scholarship Honor from the Association of American Geographers (AAG). In December 2015, Professor Gertler was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Anne Sado


President, George Brown College

A native of Toronto, Anne Sado has been President of George Brown College since 2004. Her impact on the vision, direction and culture of the college has resulted in significant growth and has activated a critical public discussion on the value of college education in Ontario’s economic development.

Beyond her role at George Brown, she also sits on the boards of numerous organizations, which give her a 360-degree perspective on the social and economic challenges facing the GTA.

Ms. Sado received one of the country’s highest civilian honours in June 2013 when she was appointed Member of the Order of Canada by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. She was also recognized as one of YWCA’s 2012 Women of Distinction in Education, and became the first college president to be inducted into the Women’s Executive Network™ Hall of Fame after being named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Ms. Sado holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Toronto as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering. A past chair of Polytechnics Canada, she was also awarded a Doctor of Laws from the University of Toronto in June 2011.

John Baker

Board Director

President and Chief Executive Officer, D2L

Don Bureaux

Board Director

President, Nova Scotia Community College

Marc Parent

Board Director

President and Chief Executive Officer, CAE Inc.

Vianne Timmons

Board Director

President and Vice-Chancellor, Memorial University