Board of Governors

November 02, 2010
IDRC Communications

Corporate Governance

A commitment to accountability, transparency, effectiveness
During 2009–2010, IDRC’s Board of Governors approved a new five-year strategy, Innovating for Development. Governors collaborated closely with senior management for many months on the plan that builds on the Centre’s strengths of scientific excellence and knowledge building. The strategy outlines an approach to address the changing and complex challenges of the developing regions in the years ahead. The Board has approved new program plans in the agriculture and environment area and will soon endorse companion strategies for communications, evaluation, and other program agendas.
The Board of Governors
IDRC’s work is guided by a 21-member international Board of Governors. The Chairman of the Board reports to Parliament through the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The IDRC Act states that a majority of Board members, including the Chair and Vice-Chair, must be Canadian. Up to 10 Governors are appointed from other countries. The composition of our Board helps to ensure that our programs and operations respond effectively to the needs of the developing world, adhere to good governance practices, and uphold the public interest.
The IDRC Act specifies that at least 11 of the Governors must have experience in international development or a background in the natural or social sciences, or in technology. These stipulations are reflected in a profile of skills and experience the Board drafted to assist in identifying suitable candidates to fill vacancies.
Board members are appointed by the Governor in Council for a term of four years and may be appointed for a further term. In 2009–2010, five new Governors joined the Board.
Key responsibilities
IDRC’s Board is committed to openness, transparency, and accountability. Its key responsibilities are to
  • establish IDRC’s strategic direction;
  • review and approve the Centre’s budget and financial statements;
  • assess and ensure that systems are in place to manage risks associated with the Centre’s business;
  • ensure the integrity of the corporation’s internal control and management information systems;
  • monitor corporate performance against strategic and business plans;
  • assess its own performance in fulfilling Board responsibilities;
  • measure and monitor the performance of the President and Chief Executive Officer; and
  • ensure that the Centre has an effective communications strategy.

The Board normally meets three times a year. It has four standing committees:

  • the Executive Committee
  • the Finance and Audit Committee
  • the Governance Committee
  • the Human Resources Committee
Committee members are elected on the basis of their interests, expertise, and availability. The Board also establishes ad hoc committees to deal with particular issues as the need arises.
Committee membership as at March 31, 2010
Executive Committee
Members: The Honourable Barbara McDougall (Chairman); Denis Desautels; Ahmed Galal; Frieda Granot; Andy Knight; David Malone; Faith Mitchell
Finance and Audit Committee
Members: Denis Desautels (Chairman); Ahmed Galal; Frieda Granot; Elizabeth Parr-Johnston; Andrés Rozental; Gordon Shirley
Governance Committee
Members: The Honourable Barbara McDougall (Chairman); Claude-Yves Charron; Denis Desautels; Pratap Mehta; Francisco Sagasti; the Honourable Monte Solberg
Human Resources Committee Members: Faith Mitchell (Chair); Claude-Yves Charron; Jocelyn Coulon; Amina Ibrahim; Andy Knight; David Malone; Xue Lan
The IDRC Board of Governors 2009–2010
Chairman, Toronto, Canada Advisor, international business development, corporate governance, and government relations, Aird & Berlis; former Secretary of State for External Affairs and Minister of Employment and Immigration Attended 3 out of 3 meetings*
Vice-Chairman, Ottawa, Canada (reappointed January 2, 2010) Chairman, Board of Directors, Laurentian Bank; Chairman, Accounting Standards and Oversight Council, Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants; and former Auditor General of Canada Attended 3 out of 3 meetings
President, IDRC, Ottawa, Canada Former High Commissioner for Canada to India and non-resident Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bhutan and to Nepal; former Assistant Deputy Minister (Global Issues), Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Attended 3 out of 3 meetings
Ottawa, Ontario (appointed May 29, 2009) President, Canadian International Development Agency Attended 3 out of 3 meetings
Montréal, Canada Vice-President, Université du Québec à Montréal Attended 2 out of 3 meetings
Montréal, Canada Director, Réseau de recherche sur les opérations de paix, Centre d’études et de recherches internationales de l’Université de Montréal (CÉRIUM) Attended 3 out of 3 meetings
Sevenoaks, United Kingdom Co-President, Global Energy Assessment, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Attended 1 out of 3 meetings
Cairo, Egypt (reappointed October 22, 2009) Managing Director, Economic Research Forum Attended 3 out of 3 meetings
Vancouver, Canada Senior Associate Dean, Strategic Development and External Relations, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia Attended 3 out of 3 meetings
Abuja, Nigeria Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the Millennium Development Goals Attended 1 out of 3 meetings
Edmonton, Canada Chairman, Department of Political Science, University of Alberta Attended 2 out of 3 meetings
Delhi, India President, Centre for Policy Research Attended 3 out of 3 meetings
Washington DC, United States (reappointed May 29, 2009) Vice-President for Program and Strategy, Grantmakers in Health Attended 3 out of 3 meetings
Chester Basin, Canada (appointed May 29, 2009) President, Parr Johnston Economic and Policy Consultants Attended 1 out of 3 meetings
Mexico City, Mexico President, Mexican Council on Foreign Relations Attended 2 out of 3 meetings
Lima, Peru External Advisor to the President of FORO Nacional/Internacional Attended 3 out of 3 meetings
Kingston, Jamaica (appointed May 29, 2009) Principal, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus Attended 2 out of 3 meetings
Calgary, Alberta (appointed May 29, 2009) Senior Advisor, Fleishman-Hillard Canada Attended 3 out of 3 meetings
Crieff, United Kingdom (appointed May 29, 2009) Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government Attended 1 out of 3 meetings
Beijing, People’s Republic of China Dean, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University Attended: 2 out of 3 meetings


 * This report lists attendance from April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010
Download the PDF: Board of Governors