Minister Sajjan announces appointment of new board chairperson and governors for International Development Research Centre

News release

June 21, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, announced the appointment of Dr. Dorothy Nyambi as chairperson of the International Development Research Centre’s (IDRC’s) Board of Governors, as well as the appointment of several board members.

A medical doctor by training, Dr. Nyambi comes to IDRC with significant leadership experience in the international development sector. She is the president and CEO of Mennonite Economic Development Associates and was the executive vice president of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. She has worked for the World Health Organization and the United States Agency for International Development, among other partner organizations of Canada. Dr. Nyambi is a noted champion of women’s rights and an advocate for the power of entrepreneurship to alleviate poverty.

IDRC’s Board of Governors also welcomes the appointments of Akwasi Aidoo, Purnima Mane, Nurjehan Mawani and Gilles Rivard to the board. Bessma Momani was appointed earlier this spring.

The Government of Canada thanks outgoing IDRC Chairperson Margaret Biggs for her service over the past 6 years. Her leadership helped advance innovative ideas to address some of the world’s most important development challenges. Ms. Biggs provided leadership to the board throughout the pandemic, as the centre invested in COVID-19-related research in more than 65 countries in the Global South.

The Government of Canada is committed to an open, transparent and merit-based selection process for Governor-in-Council appointments. This process supports ministers in making recommendations that will result in the appointment of highly skilled and experienced candidates who reflect Canada’s linguistic, regional and cultural diversity.

Research and innovation are essential to tackling pressing development challenges and advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. By investing in and championing local, high-quality research in developing countries, IDRC is an integral part of Canada’s approach to international assistance.


“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Nyambi as chairperson of IDRC’s Board of Governors. Dr. Nyambi is a well-respected, experienced leader who will bring a fresh perspective to IDRC. I look forward to working together to champion innovative ideas and locally led research that can help drive change forward and improve people’s lives.”

- Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

Quick facts

  • IDRC is a federal Crown corporation that reports to Parliament through the Minister of International Development. It is part of Canada’s international assistance efforts.

  • IDRC’s Board of Governors comprises a maximum of 14 members who provide strategic direction, stewardship and oversight for the centre.

  • IDRC invests in high-quality research in developing countries, shares knowledge with researchers and policy-makers and mobilizes global alliances to build a more sustainable and inclusive world.

Associated links


Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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