Main Content

Canada’s New National Digital Research Infrastructure Organization Launches, Names Inaugural Board

Members elect Janet Davidson Board Chair, and Peter MacKinnon Vice-Chair

Ottawa, ON (March 11, 2020) – Canada will lead the world in establishing a way to help academic researchers access, manage and protect vast amounts of research data, to the betterment of research outcomes today and in the decades to come. The New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO) officially launched today with its first members’ meeting and the election of its inaugural Board of Directors. This new, national not-for-profit organization will support a collaborative and agile digital research infrastructure community across Canada.

NDRIO will provide the digital tools, services and infrastructure that scholars and scientists need to conduct the kind of leading-edge research that benefits society and enables Canada to compete on the world stage.

“Working with our colleagues across Canada, we will transform how research data across all academic disciplines is organized, managed and used, helping our country’s research community access and interpret data and information faster than ever before,” says Janet Davidson, newly elected Chair of the Board of Directors. “This will provide immeasurable benefit to not only Canadians, but others around the world.”

NDRIO is a member-based organization, with founding members comprising more than 135 leading post-secondary institutions, research hospitals, institutes and established digital research infrastructure (DRI) organizations across Canada.

“Stakeholder consultation has been core to NDRIO’s development, and that theme will continue,” says George Ross, Interim Executive Director. “We are equally committed to principles of good governance, and we are pleased to grow under the leadership of a strong and diverse Board of Directors.”

NDRIO’s inaugural Board of Directors was elected in Ottawa today at the organization’s first Special Members’ Meeting. The Board is a powerhouse of academics, researchers and leaders from the top ranks of Canada’s public and private sectors.

Board Chair Janet Davidson, O.C., BScN, MHSA, LLD (Hon), has over 40 years of experience in healthcare in the government, voluntary and hospital/community sectors in a number of Canadian jurisdictions. She brings her focus on strategy, organization management and design, and governance to her role at the NDRIO helm. Vice-Chair Peter MacKinnon, BA, LL.B., LL.M., is a lawyer, legal academic and author whose distinguished career includes 13 years as President of the University of Saskatchewan.

Members elected an additional 13 Directors as follows:

  • Dr. David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manitoba
  • Donna Bourne-Tyson, Dean of Libraries, Dalhousie University
  • Jennifer Doyle, Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice-Principal (IT Services), Queen’s University
  • Dr. Alexandra King, MD, FRCPC, Internal Medicine Specialist with a focus on HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV/HCV co-infections
  • Chris Lumb, P.Eng., ICD.D, has served as CEO and executive of various for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and as a director and chair of numerous private, public and not-for-profit boards
  • Dr. David MaGee, Vice-President, Research, University of New Brunswick
  • Dr. Gail Murphy, Professor of Computer Science and Vice-President, Research and Innovation, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Sina Shahandeh, Vice-President of Data Science, ecobee Inc.
  • Jane Skoblo, CPA, CITP, ICD.D, Vice-President of Digital Operations, Rogers Communications
  • Dr. Jeffrey Taylor, Associate Vice-President of Applied Research and Innovation, Nova Scotia Community College
  • Dr. Denis Thérien, Vice-President of Research and Partnerships, Element AI
  • Dr. Deb Verhoeven, Canada 150 Research Chair in Gender and Cultural Informatics, University of Alberta (Edmonton)
  • Martha Whitehead, Vice-President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian, Harvard University

NDRIO is a key initiative of the national DRI strategy initiated by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). ISED will provide up to $375 million over five years to NDRIO, allowing it to coordinate and fund activities in advanced research computing (ARC), data management (DM) and research software (RS).

For details about NDRIO, including full Board profiles, visit the NDRIO website at


ABOUT NDRIO: The New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO) is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that supports a researcher-focused, accountable, agile, strategic and sustainable Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI) ecosystem. Established in 2019, NDRIO works with partners and stakeholders across Canada to give researchers the digital tools, services and infrastructure they need to conduct leading-edge scientific research that benefits society and competes globally. NDRIO’s membership is composed of more than 135 of Canada’s top universities, colleges, research hospitals and institutes, and other leading organizations in the DRI space.

Media Contact:

Heather MacLean