CANARIE Announces Jim Ghadbane’s Retirement and Appointment of Kathryn Anthonisen as New President and CEO

[Ottawa, ON | June 27, 2023]

CANARIE today announced the retirement of its President and CEO, Jim Ghadbane, after a remarkable tenure of nearly ten years of service in the role – a third of the organization’s history. The company also proudly announces the appointment of Kathryn Anthonisen, a seasoned executive and current employee, as the new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 31, 2023.

Under Jim’s leadership, CANARIE has experienced tremendous growth and achieved numerous milestones. His unwavering commitment to addressing the needs of Canada’s research, education, and innovation communities expanded CANARIE’s mandate from the Government of Canada over the past decade to now include cybersecurity of the research and education sector. CANARIE thanks Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for entrusting it with this enhanced mandate.

During his tenure, Jim also led the transformative evolution of CANARIE’s services, including expanding the reach and resiliency of the CANARIE Network, enabling the connection of Nunavut to the National Research and Education Network, forging a strong partnership with the newly created Digital Research Alliance of Canada, and championing investments in software tools to accelerate scientific discovery and manage data generated from research. Additionally, the organization also evolved DAIR – a new program to boost adoption of cloud technologies by Canada’s tech startups – to be adopted by more than 2,000 small and medium-sized businesses. As a strong advocate for coordination in the international community, Jim also championed the creation of the Global Network Advancement Group to harmonize global investments in research and education networks.

Most recently, his collaborative leadership approach led the organization to launch the Cybersecurity Initiatives Program in 2020, with the goal of securing Canada’s research and education sector. In less than three years, and with the support of NREN partners across the country, 97% of eligible research and education organizations have enrolled in the program to benefit from funded cybersecurity services and collaborate with their peers to secure themselves and the sector.

Jim has always been proud of the CANARIE team and its achievements. Fostering a culture of staff development and succession planning, he emphasized the importance of nurturing talent within the organization. His strong belief in empowering staff and providing them with opportunities to grow has resulted in a highly skilled and motivated team and a diverse and inclusive workplace that is built on the values of service, teamwork, inclusion, innovation, quality, and integrity.

As a reflection of the organization’s commitment to a culture of staff development, Kathryn Anthonisen has been selected by CANARIE’s Board of Directors as the ideal candidate to become CANARIE’s next President and CEO. With an exceptional track record and extensive experience within CANARIE, the private sector, and higher education, Kathryn brings to the role a history of leadership, strategic acumen, and an enduring commitment to the communities CANARIE serves.

Kathryn joined CANARIE 13 years ago as the Director of Communications, and was soon promoted to the role of Vice President, External Relations on CANARIE’s executive team. Most recently, Kathryn was working directly with Jim on strategic projects to strengthen corporate services and the operational capacity of the National Research and Education Network, and to develop the strategic roadmap for CANARIE’s 2025-2030 funding.

“On behalf of the Board, I extend my deepest appreciation to Jim for his exceptional leadership of CANARIE over the past ten years”, said Sylvie LaPerrière, Chair of CANARIE’s Board of Directors. “The evolution and significant expansion of CANARIE’s programs and services during Jim’s tenure – with a small and mighty team – has been truly remarkable and I’ll always be grateful for his insights, wisdom, and friendship. I’m also delighted to congratulate Kathryn on her appointment as CANARIE’s next President and Chief Executive Officer. Kathryn’s appointment reflects the Board’s confidence in her unwavering dedication to CANARIE’s mission and mandate, outstanding commitment to serving the needs of its communities, and ability to inspire teams to lead CANARIE into its next era.”


“I am deeply honoured to have been entrusted by the Board to serve as the next President and CEO of CANARIE,” said Kathryn Anthonisen. “I am committed to building upon the exemplary foundation laid by Jim and continuing to advance our programs and services to increase the relevance and value of CANARIE services to the communities we serve.”


Jim Ghadbane expressed his thanks for the opportunity to lead CANARIE, saying, “I am immensely grateful that my career culminated in leading the CANARIE team over the past ten years. As I embark on the next chapter of my life with increased focus on my family, I reflect on our remarkable staff, and on colleagues across Canada and around the world who are working together to leave the world in a better place than we found it. Given our shared commitment to our staff and to this community, I have complete confidence in Kathryn’s abilities to lead CANARIE into its next chapter and beyond.”

For more information, please contact:

Lesley McElroy
Director, Communications
[email protected]