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Management and Governance

Governing Legislation

We adhere to the guidelines and regulations concerning the management and governance of Crown corporations set by the Treasury Board Secretariat of the Government of Canada. We report to Parliament through the Minister of International Trade and are subject to audits by the Auditor General.
Our mandate is spelled out in the Export Development Act. Under the Financial Administration Act, we are required to submit an annual Corporate Plan, which sets our performance measures and objectives, an Annual Report, which reports on our performance against these objectives, and an operating budget.

Legislative Review

We are subject to a Legislative Review by the Government of Canada every 10 years to ensure that our mandate and the Export Development Act meet the evolving needs of Canada’s exporters and investors. Our last Legislative Review ended in 2009.

Board of Directors

EDC is governed by a Board of Directors whose representatives are primarily from the private sector. The Board's responsibility is to supervise the direction and management of EDC and oversee our strategic direction as outlined in our Corporate Plan. Board members are appointed by the Government of Canada, and report to Parliament through the Minister for International Trade.

Board Members

Kevin Warn-Schindel
Toronto, Ontario

Mr. Warn-Schindel was appointed Chairperson of EDC’s Board of Directors in June, 2013. He is an investment management executive with extensive experience in global capital markets. Mr. Warn-Schindel was Group Head and Managing Director of OPTrust Private Markets Group for 10 years, starting as the first employee and building the private investment group into a global investment manager with offices in Toronto, London and Sydney. OPTrust now has a private investment portfolio of approximately $5 billion invested in over 50 investments with a long-term performance track record that leads the Canadian peer group. Prior to joining OPTrust in 2004, he held senior positions with Macquarie Bank Limited, an Australian investment bank, and RBC Capital Markets, the wholesale investment banking arm of the Royal Bank of Canada.

Jacques Boivin
Quebec City, Quebec

Mr. Boivin was appointed to EDC's Board of Directors in March 2009 and reappointed for a second term in October 2012. A lawyer with Levis, Quebec's ksa, avocats, S.E.N.C.R.L., Mr. Boivin specializes in mergers and acquisitions, sales and financing, as well as bankruptcy and insolvency. He has also served as an instructor at the École du Barreau du Québec. Mr. Boivin is a member of the Barreau du Québec, the Canadian Bar Association and INSOL International. In addition to his law practice, Mr. Boivin is active in his community and serves on boards of organizations that support education and health services.

Jeff Burghardt
Oakville, Ontario

Mr. Burghardt was first appointed to EDC's Board of Directors in June 2008. He was reappointed for a second term in February 2012. He has worked in the agricultural industry for more than 25 years, including 13 years as President and Chief Executive Officer of Prince Rupert Grain Ltd. and as Chair of the Northwest Corridor Development Corporation. A leading advocate for his region, Mr. Burghardt has served as an industry adviser to both federal and provincial governments on issues such as transportation, economic development and investment.

Adam Chowaniec
Ottawa, Ontario

Dr. Chowaniec was first appointed to EDC's Board of Directors in April 2008. He was reappointed for a second term in December 2011. Currently CEO of Amiga2 Corporation and Chair of the board of Startup Canada; he has held executive positions at Acadia University, Bell Northern Research, Nortel Networks, Commodore International and Calmos Systems. After serving as both President and Vice-President of Newbridge Networks, Dr. Chowaniec was the founding CEO of Tundra Semiconductor Corporation in 1995. From 2006 to 2008, he was Chair of the Ontario Premier's Research and Innovation Council. He has been widely recognized for his leadership, business excellence and innovation, and was named Business Person of the Year by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce in 1999.

Herbert M. Clarke
St. John's, Newfoundland

Mr. Clarke was appointed to EDC's Board of Directors in 2009, and reappointed for a second term in October 2012. He has substantial private- and public-sector experience in areas of public policy and industry-government relationships, particularly relating to shipbuilding, marine construction, fish and fish products, and energy. Mr. Clarke is president of HMC Associates Ltd., a private consulting and investment firm. Previously, he served as Newfoundland and Labrador's Clerk of the Executive Council and Secretary to Cabinet, the most senior position in the province's public service. Mr. Clarke has been a member of the Canada Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, founding Chairman of the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council, and Public Review Commissioner for a major offshore oil and gas project.

Lindsay Gordon
Vancouver, British Colombia

Lindsay Gordon was appointed to EDC's Board of Directors in April 2014. Mr Gordon spent 25 years with HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations, including President and CEO for nine years and prior to this, he spent 10 years in senior roles with EDC. Mr. Gordon currently serves on a variety of Boards including HSBC France and the Center of Excellence for Marine Transportation. He is also Chancellor of the University of British Columbia (term commencing July 1, 2014), a member of the Business Council of British Columbia Chair’s Forum and Governor and Co-founder of Governor and Co-Founder of the CHILD Foundation. Mr. Gordon was a past Director for the CD Howe Institute, and was a member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Mr. Gordon was the 2010 recipient of the B’nai Brith Award of Merit for Outstanding Canadians and a recipient of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He holds a BA and MBA from the University of British Columbia.

Vikram Khurana
Toronto, Ontario

Mr. Khurana was appointed to EDC’s Board of Directors in April 2013. He is the founder and CEO of Prudential Consulting, a Toronto-based IT-enabled service provider, and has interests in other Asia-centric businesses. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Mr. Khurana worked with Toronto Dominion Bank in Commercial Credit. He has served on the board of numerous multinational companies and non-profit organizations and is currently a board member of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APFC), Canada Post Foundation, and Advisory Board of the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the Canada India CEO Forum. Mr. Khurana is an Engineering graduate from India and holds a Masters in Business Administration from St. Mary's University in Halifax.

Elliot Lifson
Montreal, Quebec

Elliot Lifson was appointed to EDC’s Board of Directors in March 2012. Mr. Lifson is President of the Canadian Apparel Federation. He is Vice-Chairman of Peerless Clothing Inc. In addition to his duties with the Federation, he is a member of the Board of the Apparel Manufacturing Institute of Quebec, Director of the Fondation De La Mode De Montreal and Director of Manufacturers and Exporters of Quebec. He is also a Director of the Apparel Human Resource Council. As well, Mr. Lifson is Past Chairman of the Board of the Montreal Board of Trade and he currently sits on the Board in an advisory capacity. Mr. Lifson is also the Division Chair for the apparel sector of the Ministère du Développement Économique, Innovation et Exportation. Mr. Lifson sits on the Board of many charitable institutions and currently serves as Professor at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. Mr. Lifson was recently nominated to the Quebec Government Committee, Export Québec. He is a graduate in Law from the Université de Montréal and a member of the Quebec Bar. He received his MBA from the Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario.

Donald A. MacLeod
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Mr. MacLeod was first appointed to EDC's Board of Directors in 2008 and was reappointed in December 2011. Currently serving as Vice-President and General Manager for J. Ray McDermott Canada, Ltd. Mr. MacLeod has held senior management positions within McDermott and its predecessor organizations since 1989. He has extensive involvement in commercial transactions in Canada and internationally within the shipping and offshore oil and gas sector. Mr. MacLeod is Chair of the Shipowners' Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association (Luxembourg), and holds positions on several of its affiliates and management committees. He is a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Maritime Law Association.

Jason T. Stefanson
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Mr. Stefanson was appointed to EDC’s Board of Directors in May 2014. He is currently Vice Chairman and Managing Director of CIBC World Markets in Western Canada, where he advises public, private and government clients. Prior to that he has been a senior executive at Ensis Capital Corporation, a manager of venture capital funds; at Assante Corporation, a wealth management firm; and at Canterbury Park Capital, L.P. a Western Canadian private equity fund. Mr. Stefanson practiced corporate and securities law at Pitblado & Hoskin in Winnipeg, and has served on a number of private company and charitable, community and political boards. Mr. Stefanson attended the University of Manitoba Faculty of Arts, and is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School.

Jeffrey Steiner
Toronto, Ontario

Mr. Steiner was appointed to EDC's Board of Directors in December 2010. Before establishing New Franchise Media in 2010, Mr. Steiner served approximately seven years as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO), and three years as a board member of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Mr. Steiner currently serves as Chair of the Governance Committee on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc., which oversees government investment in the commercialization of university R&D through industry-academic collaboration and venture capital finance. He is an active member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) Toronto Chapter and the Institute of Corporate Directors with an ICD.D designation.

Darlene Thibault
Laval, Quebec

Ms. Thibault was appointed to EDC's Board of Directors in January 2010. A Director at the Bank of Nova Scotia since 2005, Ms. Thibault is responsible for Credit Lease Scotia and the Immigrant Investor Program in the Quebec region. Her 20-year career in the financial industry has included positions at HSBC Bank, the Bank of Montreal, Bombardier Capital Ltd., AT&T Capital Canada Inc., and Pitney Bowes Leasing.

View Board activity details

Executive Management Team

In addition to overseeing day-to-day operations, the Executive Management Team plans and executes the business strategy as outlined in the Corporate Plan.

Executive Management Team

Benoit Daignault
President and Chief Executive Officer

Effective February 5, 2014, Benoit Daignault was appointed as President and CEO. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Daignault served as Senior Vice-President, Financing Products for two years, where he led EDC's various lending practices including Commercial Finance, Corporate and Asset based lending, Project Finance, as well as the Equity Investment program. Prior to that, he served as EDC’s Senior Vice-President for Business Development. Before joining EDC in 2004, Mr. Daignault spent more than 10 years with General Electric Capital, where he held increasingly senior positions in both Canada and the U.S. Mr. Daignault has a Baccalaureate in Business Administration from l'École des Hautes Études Commerciales in Montreal and is a CFA charterholder. He completed the Proteus program of London Business School and the Senior Executive Program of Columbia University.

Carl Burlock
Senior Vice-President and Global Head, Financing and Investments

Carl Burlock was appointed Senior Vice-President and Global Head, Financing and Investments in May 2014. Since joining EDC in 1997, Mr. Burlock most recently served as Vice-President, Commercial Markets and Small Business where he was responsible for account management and business development activities for Canadian businesses in the commercial and small business segments. He also served as Vice President of HR Client Services, overseeing a broad portfolio of critical HR functions, Director of EDC’s Extractive and Resources Financing team, as well as various positions within EDC’s industry sector areas. Prior to joining EDC, Mr. Burlock spent nine years as a Mechanical Engineer for Nova Scotia Power Inc., primarily in mechanical design and construction. He holds an MBA from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Nova Scotia.

Catherine Decarie
Senior Vice-President, Human Resources and Communications

Catherine Decarie was appointed Senior Vice-President, Human Resources and Communications in August 2013, a role to which she brings deep Human Resources experience, a multi-disciplinary approach and a passion for innovation. She is responsible for the development of EDC’s people strategy to attract, engage and develop the talented employees who deliver on EDC’s vision and business objectives, in support of Canadian trade. After earning her BA from Mount Allison University, Ms. Decarie pursued an LL.B. from Queen’s University and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1996. She articled with McCarthy Tetrault and has held numerous legal and human resources positions within the Toronto head office of a national retailer. She has served at EDC since 2001, rising to the position of Vice-President, Organizational & Employee Development before taking on her current role as a member of the Executive team. Ms. Decarie is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and currently sits on the International Program Advisory Committee for Niagara College. She is also a former member of the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa.

Pierre Gignac
Senior Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer, Enterprise Risk Management

Mr. Gignac was appointed Senior Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer, Enterprise Risk Management in January 2012, after serving as Senior Vice-President, Insurance since January 2004. From June 3, 2013, to February 5, 2014, Pierre Gignac was appointed by EDC’s Board of Directors to serve as Acting President until a permanent President and CEO was appointed. Mr. Gignac joined EDC in April 1999 as Director, Claims and Insurance Accounting and later moved to Vice-President, Insurance and Loans Services and then Vice-President, Short-term Credit and Risk Assessment. Prior to joining EDC, Mr. Gignac held senior posts during his 14-year career at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Mr. Gignac is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, and a Chartered Financial Analyst. He is a graduate of Columbia University's Senior Executive Program and from Laval University in Quebec City.

Ken Kember
Senior Vice-President, Finance, and Chief Financial Officer

Ken Kember was appointed Senior Vice-President, Finance, and Chief Financial Officer in 2009. Mr. Kember leads the Finance organization which includes Treasury, Corporate Finance & Control, Loans Services and Corporate Services. Mr. Kember has held various positions of increasing responsibility in the Finance Group, and served as Vice-President and Corporate Controller for five years before taking on his current role. Prior to joining EDC in 1995, he was a senior manager in the Accounting and Audit Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Ottawa. Mr. Kember holds a B.A. and a Master of Accounting degree from the University of Waterloo, and is a Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Accountant. He is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Program of Columbia University. Mr. Kember serves on the board of the National Capital Region Chapter of Financial Executives International.

Derek Layne
Senior Vice-President, Business Solutions and Innovation Group

Derek Layne was appointed Senior Vice-President of the newly created Business Solutions and Innovation Group in December 2011. In this capacity Mr. Layne is responsible for managing the technology platforms, information management systems, and the centres of expertise for business architecture, and business process and business intelligence which enable EDC’s operations. Mr. Layne held various management positions within EDC’s lending practice and served as EDC’s Chief Risk Officer for four years prior to assuming his current role. He has over 20 years of experience in underwriting international financing. Prior to joining EDC in 1992, Mr. Layne worked for an engineering firm. Mr. Layne holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from Carleton University and a Master’s in Business Administration degree from the University of Western Ontario. He is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Program of Columbia University.

Norman Low
Interim Senior Vice-President, Business Development

Norman Low was appointed Interim Senior Vice-President, Business Development Group in June 2014. In this role, Mr. Low leads the business strategy of the corporation. He is responsible for EDC’s business origination and client coverage across all industry sectors, product lines and customer segments. Prior to this position, Mr. Low served as Vice-President, Strategic Sectors. Since joining EDC in 1988, Mr. Low has also served as Vice-President, Information Technologies Group as well as Director of EDC’s Aerospace, Telecom, and Risk Management Office’s Endorsement Teams. Prior to joining EDC, Mr. Low worked in a variety of positions at CIBC. Mr. Low has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Queen’s University and a Masters of Business Administration from Dalhousie University. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers.

Jim McArdle
Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Secretary

Jim McArdle was appointed as Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs & Secretary in January 2012, after serving as Senior Vice-President, Legal Services and Secretary since 2006. Mr. McArdle is responsible for Strategic Planning and External Relations, Enterprise Portfolio Management Office, Stakeholder Engagement and is Secretary to the Board. Mr. McArdle joined EDC as a Legal Counsel in 1993 and became Senior Legal Counsel in 1994. He was appointed General Counsel and Senior Assistant Secretary in July 2002. Prior to joining EDC, he was a member of a national Toronto law firm for 10 years and is a graduate of Columbia University's Senior Executive Program.

Clive Witter
Senior Vice-President, Insurance

Clive Witter was appointed as Senior Vice-President, Insurance in May 2012. Mr. Witter has 30 years experience in finance and insurance, most of it in senior leadership positions. Originally from the United Kingdom, Mr. Witter has also worked in Canada, Ireland, Belgium, and Hong Kong. Prior to joining EDC, he worked for PWC and then AVIVA Composite Insurance Group, one of the world’s largest insurance companies. His most recent position was as Chief Operating Officer, Continental Europe for Willis International, General Insurance Brokers, based in London. A Chartered Accountant, Mr. Witter is  a graduate of University College of Swansea, Wales. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Receivables Insurance Association of Canada.

Audit Committee of the Board of Directors

The Audit Committee is composed of directors independent of EDC management. This Committee assists the Board in fulfilling its responsibilities related to financial matters, business ethics, environmental review and our Compliance Officer program. The Committee regularly meets independently with representatives of the Office of the Auditor General and EDC's internal auditors. The Terms of Reference for the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors outline the Committee's composition, purpose, areas of responsibility and related work and are reviewed on an annual basis.

Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector

EDC employees are required to abide by the public-sector-wide Values and Ethics Code. Monica Ryan, EDC’s Compliance Officer, has been designated as the contact person for members of the public who may have reason to believe an EDC employee is not complying with the new public sector code. More information

Corporate Social Responsibility Advisory Council

As part of our effort to continually improve our social responsibility practices, we created a Corporate Social Responsibility Advisory Council to provide advice and guidance on our CSR practices. For more information see Corporate Social Responsibility.

Annual Report

Turning the Corner of Trade: Annual Report 2013

Detailed information on our performance measures and highlights.