Minister of Health announces appointments to the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

News release

Ottawa, Ontario – June 5, 2019 – The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced today the appointment of a new Chairperson of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). This marks the first time a woman has served as Chairperson of CIHR’s Governing Council. The Minister also named four new members to CIHR’s Council.

Together with the current members of CIHR's Governing Council, these exceptional Canadians will play a vital role in helping shape health research that changes the lives of Canadians across the country. They will set CIHR's strategic directions, goals and policies, approve CIHR's budget, and evaluate the organization's performance and achievements.

The Council members will also advise the Minister of Health on how research can strengthen Canada's health care system and improve the effectiveness of health services and products for the benefit of all Canadians.

The following individual was appointed by the Governor-in-Council (GiC) to a five-year term as Chairperson of CIHR’s Governing Council:

  • Dr. Jeannie Shoveller of Vancouver, British Columbia: Dr. Shoveller was appointed as Chairperson of CIHR’s Governing Council, having first been appointed to the Council in 2017. She is a professor at the University of British Columbia, the research director of the BC Centre on Substance Use, and the Associate Director of the Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity.

The following individuals were appointed by the GiC to three-year terms as members of CIHR’s Governing Council:

  • Mr. Don Ferguson of Fredericton, New Brunswick: Mr. Ferguson is a former Deputy Minister of Health for New Brunswick.
  • Ms. Debbie Fischer of Toronto, Ontario: Ms. Fischer formerly served on CIHR’s Governing Council from 2015 to 2018. She is an executive associate at KPMG and an executive-in-residence at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
  • Mr. Dominic Giroux of Sudbury, Ontario: Mr. Giroux is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Health Sciences North and the Health Sciences North Research Institute.
  • Dr. Brianne A. Kent of Vancouver, British Columbia: Dr. Kent is a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

These appointments were made under the Government of Canada’s new approach to Governor-in-Council appointments. The Government is committed to a merit-based, open, and transparent process for selecting GiC appointees. It is designed to identify highly qualified candidates who are committed to the principles of public service and embrace public service values, all while striving to achieve regional representation and gender parity.


"I am delighted to announce the appointment of this prestigious group of Canadians to CIHR's Governing Council. I am particularly pleased to have appointed the first woman Chairperson in CIHR’s history. The diversity of their knowledge and experience will be invaluable for CIHR as the agency continues to invest wisely in health research for the benefit of all Canadians."

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health

“I would like to express my gratitude to these five exceptional individuals and to all the members of CIHR’s Governing Council. By volunteering their time and sharing their expertise and wisdom, they are helping to ensure that we continue to support the discoveries and innovations that improve the health of Canadians and strengthen the health care system.”

Dr. Michael J. Strong, President, CIHR

Quick facts

  • CIHR knows that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, CIHR collaborates with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve the health of Canadians and strengthen Canada’s health care system. 

  • Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to health researchers and trainees across Canada.

  • CIHR's Governing Council comprises a group of up to 18 distinguished Canadians who together provide oversight and strategic direction for the organization and evaluate its overall performance.

Associated links


Thierry Bélair
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

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