Trudeau Foundation appoints 10 new mentors

Former Federal Cabinet Minister Chuck Strahl among diverse group of accomplished Canadians selected to mentor Trudeau scholars

MONTREAL, Feb. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation today announced the appointment of ten accomplished Canadians from diverse backgrounds that will personally mentor the Trudeau scholars—promising doctoral students who have been identified as future leaders. In addition to sharing their extensive knowledge and experience, the Trudeau mentors will help accelerate the careers of the Trudeau scholars by introducing them to valuable professional and social networks. This year's Trudeau mentors bring distinguished careers in economic development, health, energy, philanthropy, media, public affairs, justice, transportation, and infrastructure.

"The transfer of knowledge and experience from current leaders to future leaders has never been more important than it is now, and the Trudeau Mentorship Program addresses this need by creating remarkable pairings that collaborate for up to three years," said Pierre-Gerlier Forest, president of the Foundation. "By connecting Trudeau scholars with highly accomplished Trudeau mentors, we aim to nurture, test and activate concrete solutions to issues of major societal importance to Canadians."

The 2012 Trudeau mentors are:

  • Elizabeth Beale, N.S.: CEO of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, Beale brings to the Trudeau network her experience as an economist well-versed in energy, the labour market, and innovation strategies.

  • Cindy Blackstock, Ont.: A member of the Gitksan Nation in B.C. and the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, Blackstock will share her expertise in exploring and addressing the causes of disadvantage for Aboriginal children.

  • Philippe Couillard, Que.: A former neurosurgeon, university professor, politician, and minister of health and social services (Quebec), Couillard is now a partner in a venture capital firm that specializes in health care and a consultant at Secor. He also teaches health care governance at McGill University.

  • Len Crispino, Ont.: Former president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Crispino is linked into an extensive network that bridges the worlds of business, labour, government, academia, and the non-profit sector.

  • Paul Kariya, B.C.: Involved in Aboriginal and environmental issues, Kariya is the executive director of the Independent Power Producers of BC. He previously held various governmental positions in fisheries and oceans and was the executive director of the Pacific Salmon Foundation from 2002 to 2008.

  • Frances Lankin, Ont.: A former president of United Way Toronto, former MPP and cabinet minister (government services; health; economic development and trade in Ontario), Lankin has spent her life in community service and is a recognized leader in the non-profit sector.

  • Daniel Lessard, Que.: A former journalist and Parliament Hill bureau chief at CBC, Lessard will share his lifelong experience in the media and public affairs and an intimate knowledge of politics and policy-making.

  • Bernard Richard, N.B.: A fixture of New Brunswick, where he served as minister of intergovernmental affairs and education, opposition leader, and ombudsman, Richard is a strong advocate of children's rights.

  • John Sims, Ont.: A former deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general of Canada, Sims offers his leadership and experience in public law and policy making at the highest levels.

  • Chuck Strahl, B.C.: Strahl served as federal Minister of Agriculture, Indian and Northern Affairs, and Transport and Infrastructure. He remains engaged in current affairs, offering commentary on political issues and working as a consultant on political, governmental, and business strategies.

The first meeting between the new mentors and their scholar protégés took place in Victoria, B.C., from February 7 to 9 at a session also attended by current and past mentors and scholars.

Additional biographical information, photos, and the list of Trudeau scholar-mentor pairings are available on request.

About Trudeau Mentorships
The Foundation appoints up to 12 mentors per year to interact with the scholars and participate in meetings held by the Foundation. Trudeau mentors are selected from eminent Canadian practitioners in all sectors of public life, from the creative arts to business, and from public service to social activism. For their 18-month term, Trudeau mentors are offered an honorarium of $20,000. A further $15,000 is available to cover the cost of participating in program activities. Trudeau mentors are nominated by the members of an extensive nomination network, after which an independent peer-review panel screens the applications and suggests a list of mentors to the Foundation's board of directors for approval.

About the Foundation
A Canadian institution with a national purpose, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is an independent and non-partisan charity. It was established in 2001 as a living memorial to the former prime minister by his family, friends, and colleagues. In 2002, the Government of Canada endowed the Foundation with a donation of $125 million with the unanimous support of the House of Commons. In addition, the Foundation benefits from private sector donations in support of specific initiatives. Through its Scholarship, Fellowship, Mentorship, and Public Interaction Programs, the Foundation supports outstanding individuals who make meaningful contributions to critical social issues. 

SOURCE Trudeau Foundation

For further information:

Élise Comtois
Trudeau Foundation
514-938-0001 ext. 224

Media Contact (English):
Nina Godard or Josh Cobden
Environics Communications

Media Contact (French):
Alida Alepian
514-739-1188 ext. 225

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