Advisory Committees

Our Advisory Committees are comprised of representatives from our stakeholders in Canada’s research, education, and innovation sectors. This governance structure ensures that our programs and initiatives are tailored to respond to the evolving needs of the communities we serve.

CANARIE is supported by the following committees:

  • Cybersecurity Advisory Committee
  • Innovation and Commercialization Committee
  • National Research and Education Network (NREN) Governance Committee

Some of the information that we share with committee members and/or Directors of the Board is, by its very nature, confidential. To protect the owners of that confidential information, as a key element of good governance, and ultimately to prevent lobbying of the CANARIE Board and our funder, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), all committee and Board members are asked to sign the CANARIE Confidentiality Agreement. This blog post explains.

Cybersecurity Advisory Committee

The Cybersecurity Advisory Committee membership is representative of stakeholders across Canada’s higher education and research sector, and provides unique perspectives on cybersecurity needs across this sector. The Committee provides:  

  • Advice and guidance on advancing national collaboration that supports strengthened cybersecurity capabilities across the sector, and
  • Guidance on how our Cybersecurity Initiatives Program can foster a broader collaborative cybersecurity vision and supports the needs of the community. 
  • Michael Barr | CIO, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)
  • Jean Benard | Directeur, direction des technologies de l’information, Féderation des cégeps
  • France Bigras | CIO, Concordia University
  • Dave Chiswell | Vice President Product Development, CIRA
  • Chad Coller | President, SRNET
  • Jennifer Doyle | Vice President, Finance and Administration, University of Ottawa
  • Art Exner | CIO, University of Regina
  • Dale Facey | CISO, Nova Scotia Community College
  • JC Fahmy | President, CENGN
  • Bob Gagne | Chair; Former CIO, York University
  • Gayle Gorrill | Vice President Finance & Administration, University of Victoria
  • Gayleen Gray | Associate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, McMaster University
  • Brock Kahanyshyn | Vice President Operations and Cybersecurity, Digital Research Alliance of Canada
  • Gitta Kulczycki | Vice President, Finance and Administration, Dalhousie University
  • Wency Lum | CIO, University of Victoria
  • Patrick Mann | CIO, Compute Canada
  • Ray Saunders | Director, IT Security, Saskatchewan Polytechnic
  • David Smith | Chief Technology Officer, ORION
  • Isaac Straley | CISO, University of Toronto
  • Don Thompson | CISO, University of British Columbia


We will invite participants to this committee based on guidance from our stakeholder community.

Innovation and Commercialization Committee

The Innovation and Commercialization Committee provides us with guidance on initiatives that support Canadian businesses’ adoption of transformative technologies, with a goal of ensuring that our private sector initiatives are effective and relevant to the Canadians they serve.   

  • Sachin Agarwal | CEO and Founder, BigBitBus
  • Moodie Cheikh | Member of CANARIE Board of Directors, CEO, Searidge Technologies
  • Chris Diaper  | Advisor, Canadian Accelerator and Incubator Network (CAIN)
  • Jeff Dungen | CEO, reelyActive
  • Steve Gutz | Director, Engineering, Red Hat
  • Ali Hirji | Research and Project Lead, Durham College, AI Hub
  • Hubert Sugeng | Director of Engineering, BluWave-ai
  • Richard Waterhouse | VP Business Development and Marketing, CENGN

National Research and Education Network (NREN) Governance Committee

The NREN Governance Committee equally represents all the partners in Canada’s NREN and is the confederated body that oversees the NREN’s evolution and the services it enables and delivers. The committee facilitates: 

  • ongoing communication between all partners, 
  • joint strategic and operational planning for network infrastructure and services, and
  • the coordination of the operation, monitoring, and evolution of the NREN. 
  • Barb Carra | President and CEO, Cybera
  • Chad Coller | President and CEO, SRNET
  • Jim Farmer | Deputy Chief Information Officer and Director, Infrastructure and Operations, Dalhousie University, Executive Director, ACORN-NS
  • Todd Farrell | Associate Director Infrastructure Services, ACORN-NL
  • Jim Ghadbane | President and CEO, CANARIE
  • Jared Hougen | Interim CIO and Director IT, Yukon University
  • Bala Kathiresan | President and CEO, BCNET (Chair)
  • Richard Lacombe | Director General, RISQ
  • Jennifer Lane | IT Strategic Advisor, Nunavut Arctic College
  • Alfonso Licata | President and CEO, ORION
  • Gerry Miller | CEO, MRnet
  • Terry Nikkel | Associate Vice President, Information Technology Services, University of New Brunswick, Member representative, ECN-NB
  • Jason Panter | Manager, Information Systems & Technology Information, Aurora College
  • Dana Sanderson | CIO, University of Prince Edward Island, Member representative, ECN-PEI