Minister Carr announces first woman president and CEO of Export Development Canada

News release

January 24, 2019 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Equipping Canadian exporters of all sizes for international business ventures enables them to access more easily international markets and customers. Export Development Canada (EDC) plays an important role in Canada’s trade diversification strategy by providing a range of financial and insurance solutions, international connections and expertise to Canadian companies of all sizes to facilitate trade and capitalize on opportunities in new markets, which contributes to the prosperity of all Canadians. 

The appointment of Mairead Lavery as the new president and CEO of EDC underscores Canada’s continued commitment to diversifying exports markets for small and medium-sized enterprises. The timing is perfect as Canadians have increased market access thanks to new opportunities created by trade deals such as the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. As senior vice president for business development at EDC, she proved to be an innovative, trusted and accomplished leader. Ms. Lavery, the first woman to hold this position, will aim to advance EDC’s focus on client relations while bringing a private sector perspective to its dealings. In addition, she will continue to ensure that EDC’s activities are aligned with and informed by Canada’s international obligations, including those related to corporate social responsibility.

The appointment of a new president and CEO of EDC is the result of the new approach to Governor-in-Council appointments: an open, transparent and merit-based selection process developed to attract high-quality candidates while reflecting gender parity and Canada’s diversity.

Minister Carr would also like to take this opportunity to thank Benoit Daignault, the outgoing president and CEO, for his stewardship of EDC during a period marked by the growth and success of its operations.


“Mairead Lavery has a proven record of innovative and trusted leadership at EDC, including championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Her EDC experience will help propel the evolution of EDC’s mandate to support and develop Canada's trade, and the capacity of Canadian companies to participate in and respond to international business opportunities.”

- Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification

Quick facts

  • Founded in 1944, EDC is a Crown corporation that operates on commercial principles and reports to Parliament through the minister of international trade diversification.

  • EDC has been facilitating the international business activities of Canadian companies both large and small, in every industry across the country for more than 70 years and has facilitated more than $1 trillion in export and investment activity.

  • In 2017, EDC provided services to more than 9,000 Canadian businesses, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises and commercial customers through more than 5,500 transactions and facilitating over $103 billion in business.

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Isabella Brisson-Urdaneta
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade Diversification

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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