Management and Governance
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.
EDC is subject to a Legislative Review by the Government of Canada every 10 years to ensure that its mandate and the Export Development Act meet the evolving needs of Canada’s exporters and investors. The next review will be conducted at the latest by June 2018 with a requirement to report to Parliament by June 2019. Also, in March 2014, new regulations amending the Export Development Canada Exercise of Certain Powers Regulations came into force that define how EDC can deploy its capabilities in support of transactions in Canada. These regulations are to be the object of a review three years after their entry into force.
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.
Chair, Board of Directors – Martine Irman
Ms. Martine Irman was appointed Chairperson of EDC's Board of Directors in November 2017. Ms. Irman is Vice Chair and Head of Global Enterprise Banking, TD Securities, and Senior Vice President, TD Bank Group. She is an experienced leader in international finance and capital markets. Ms. Irman is also a celebrated industry leader; in 2016 she received Brock University's Goodman School of Business Distinguished Leaders award and in 2013 Women in Capital Markets Leadership Award. She was the recipient of Canada's To 40 Under 40™ award in 2003.
Ms. Irman is fully bilingual and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Financial Studies from Western University. She also completed the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School and holds an Institute of Corporate Directors qualification from the Rotman School of Management
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. Mr. Boivin is a corporate lawyer at Dion Rhéaume avocats, Inc. de Québec, specializing 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 and is a member of the Barreau du Québec. In addition to his law practice, Mr. Boivin is an active member of his community and serves as an administrator and director on the boards of directors for the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec – Université Laval, the Fondation Sourdine, the Association des fondations d’établissement de santé du Québec and the Centre national d'entraînement Pierre-Harvey.
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 30 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, investment, healthcare and labour relations.
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 experience in areas of public policy and industry/government relationships particularly relating to shipbuilding, marine construction, fish and fish products, and energy. He has held senior executive positions in both the fishing and mining industries and has served as Deputy Minister for several Departments of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, including as Clerk of the Executive Council and Secretary to Cabinet. Mr. Clarke has been a member of the Canada Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, founding Chairman of the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council, Public Review Commissioner for the White Rose Development Application, and Co-Chair for the Joint Review Panel for the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Generation Project. Mr. Clarke is President of HMC Associates Ltd., a private consulting and investment firm. He holds a BA (Ed) and B.Sc. (Honors Mathematics, ‘Magna Cum Laude’) from Memorial University of Newfoundland; certificates in Operations Research from the University of Michigan, Business Management from McGill University, and Advanced Computer Systems Training from the IBM CISE Centre, NYC
Heather J. Culbert, Vice-Chair
Heather Culbert was appointed to EDC’s Board of Directors in April 2015. With over 27 years in the oil and gas sector, Ms. Culbert has held senior management positions at Enerplus Corporation, Cody Energy, Suncor and for clients of her own IT Management Consulting firm. As Senior VP of Corporate Services with Enerplus, she developed significant expertise in all aspects of the oil and gas business, including a specialization in merger and acquisition integration, strategic planning and corporate performance. Ms. Culbert is currently serving as Board Chair for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), serving as a Board member of Whitecap Resources, on the a Strategic Advisory Board for the Charbonneau Cancer Research Institute, and as an advisor for United Way World Leadership Council and past Board Chair of the United Way Calgary. Heather is a graduate of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Computer Technology, a graduate of Queens Executive Program and was recently awarded a SAIT Honorary Bachelor of Science Degree. In 2013 she was the recipient of the Doc Seaman Generosity of Spirit Award as an individual philanthropist, in 2005 she was the recipient of the Alberta Centennial Medal for Community Service, and in 2003 she was recognized as SAIT’s Distinguished Alumna.
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 is Chancellor of the University of British Columbia and currently serves on a variety of Boards including HSBC France, HSBC Bermuda, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping. 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.
Mr. Khurana was appointed to EDC’s Board of Directors in April 2013. He is the co-founder and CEO of Leading System Consultants Inc., a boutique international trade advisory firm and has interests in North American and Asia-centric businesses. Prior to becoming a serial entrepreneur, Mr. Khurana worked at TD Bank. He has served on the Boards of multinational companies and non-profit organizations and is currently a Board member of the Canada Post Foundation, and Dean’s Council at the Ted Rogers School of Management. He has served on the Boards of Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Technical Standards and Safety Authority and was a member of the Canada India CEO Forum. Mr. Khurana is an Engineering graduate from India and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's University in Halifax.
Elliot Lifson was appointed to EDC’s Board of Directors in March 2012. Mr. Lifson is Vice-Chairman of Peerless Clothing Inc. He is President of the Canadian Apparel Federation, and in addition to his duties with the Federation, he is a member of the Board of the Apparel Manufacturing Institute of Quebec. 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 and has received its distinguished teaching award. Mr. Lifson was recently nominated to the Quebec Government Committee, Export Québec and is a recipient of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Mr. Lifson was also recognized in November 2017 with a Senate of Canada 150th Commemorative Medal. 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.
Robert S. McLeese
Mr. McLeese was appointed to EDC’s Board of Directors in April 2015. He is the Founder and President of Toronto-based Access Capital Corp., a financial advisory firm specializing in the independent power industry, where he provides strategic and financing advice to buyers and sellers of alternative energy projects. Mr. McLeese is also Chairman and President of ACI Energy, Inc., Georgian Villas Inc., and a Director of Pond Technologies Inc. He is a past Director of Rand Capital Corporation, Buffalo, a past Advisory Board member of Fengate Capital and a past Director, Treasurer and Past President of APPrO (the Association of Power Producers of Ontario). He is also a past Director of Creststreet Power and Income Fund, co-developer of wind projects in Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Alberta. Mr. McLeese is the recipient of the 2011 Probyn Prize for innovation in sustainable energy finance and a Recipient of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and of the 2017 APPrO industry Hedley Palmer award.
Jason T. Stefanson
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.
Mr. Steiner was appointed to EDC's Board of Directors in December 2010 and was reappointed in June 2014. He is the CEO of New Franchise Media Inc., a film & television development company. Previously, Mr. Steiner served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO), and three years as a board member of the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario. Mr. Steiner currently serves as Co-Chair of the Canada-UAE Business Council. He is actively involved in the Start-up community leading Angel Investors Ontario and is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), the Law Society of Upper Canada, and the Institute of Corporate Directors having earned an ICD.D corporate governance designation. Mr. Steiner also serves on various boards of Canadian mining and technology companies listed on the Toronto stock exchange.
Ms. Thibault was first appointed to EDC's Board of Directors in January 2010 and was reappointed for a second term in February 2013. A Director of Equipment Leasing in the Corporate Finance Division at the Bank of Montreal since June 2015, Ms. Thibault was recruited to help build and launch a new product offering to add to BMO’s range of commercial services. Ms. Thibault was with the Bank of Nova Scotia from 2005 to 2015 her last role being a Regional Director and Group Lead in the Specialized Financial Services where she managed the leasing portfolios as well as the Immigrant Investor Program for Eastern Canada and Quebec. A graduate from McGill University in the Faculty of Arts, 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. Ms. Thibault is also a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Official annual report of Board activities
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
President and Chief Executive Officer
Benoit Daignault joined EDC in 2004. Prior to his appointment as President and CEO in February of 2014, he served as Senior Vice-President, Financing and Investments after serving as Senior Vice-President, Business Development. Before joining EDC, 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 the London Business School and the Senior Executive Program of Columbia University. He currently serves on the boards of QG100 and the Conference Board of Canada.
Senior Vice-President and Global Head
Financing & International Growth Capital
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 of Mechanical Engineering from Dalhousie University/Technical University of Nova Scotia. He is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Program of Columbia University.
Stephanie Butt Thibodeau
Senior Vice-President, Human Resources
Stephanie Butt Thibodeau was appointed to the role of Senior Vice-President, Human Resources in January 2016. 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. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Butt Thibodeau was the Vice President for HR Client Services. She joined EDC in 1995 and has held leadership roles in all of EDC’s core lines of business including financing, insurance and international business development. Ms. Butt Thibodeau holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Ottawa and is a CFA charterholder.
Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Secretary
In her role as Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Catherine Decarie leads critical corporate and business advisory functions that oversee EDC’s strategic relationships with government, media, private sector partners and civil society. Ms. Decarie sets the course for the organization’s external engagement and the sharing of EDC’s story with the public and key stakeholders.The Corporate Affairs group she manages includes Corporate Communications (both internal and external), Public Affairs, Legal Services and Corporate Social Responsibility. Since joining EDC in 2001 Ms. Decarie has held numerous roles of increasing responsibility. In 2013 she was named a member of the executive team, taking on the position of SVP Human Resources, a role she held until being appointed to her current position, in 2015. Called to the Ontario Bar in 1996, Ms. Decarie articled with McCarthy Tetrault and has held numerous legal and human resources positions within the Toronto head office of a national retailer. She earned her B.A. from Mount Allison University, her LL.B. from Queen’s University. Ms. Decarie is a graduate of the Senior Executive Program of Columbia University and maintains her membership in the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Senior Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer, Enterprise Risk Management
Al Hamdani was appointed as Senior Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer in July 2015. In this capacity, Mr. Hamdani oversees EDC’s enterprise risk management activities including credit and market risk management, capital management, and compliance. Prior to this position, Mr. Hamdani served in various senior leadership roles at EDC including Vice-President and Head of EDC’s Risk Management Office overseeing EDC’s credit adjudication, loan portfolio management and capital and market risk management activities as well as Vice-President and Head of EDC’s Structured and Project Finance Group. Before joining EDC in 1999, Mr. Hamdani held positions at CIBC World Markets as well as the Bank of Canada. Mr. Hamdani has a Master of Business Administration degree from the Rotman School of Management, a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Carleton University, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Senior Vice-President, Finance and Technology, and Chief Financial Officer
Ken Kember was appointed Senior Vice-President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer in 2009 and in 2016 assumed responsibility of EDC’s Technology Group. Mr. Kember leads the Finance organization which includes Treasury, Corporate Finance & Control, Loans Services, Corporate Accounts Receivable, and Corporate Services; and EDC’s Technology Group, which is responsible for technology solution delivery, support and infrastructure. 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 Professional Accountant. He is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Program of Columbia University. Mr. Kember serves on the board of Financial Executives International Canada.
Senior Vice-President, Business Development Group
Mairead Lavery joined Export Development Canada in 2014, taking on the role of Senior Vice President for Business Development. She leads a team that is the face of EDC, across Canada and around the world.
Mairead has built her professional career on the same principles which guide her personal life – relationship building, curiosity and a love of constant learning, and the energetic pursuit of goals clearly set.
She came to EDC from Bombardier, after sixteen years of assuming roles of increasing responsibility and managing large and complex portfolios. These positions included Vice-President Finance, Vice-President Strategy, as well as V-P Business Development and Structured Finance for Bombardier’s Aerospace Group and, finally, as V-P Transformation and Shared Services. Among her proudest achievements was her building of Bombardier’s presence in China, where she laid the foundation and created from scratch the beginnings of the company’s network in that massive and important market.
Her experience in strategic planning and corporate transformation have been very much on display in her current role at EDC, where she has a lead role in expanding the crown corporation’s impact for Canadian exporters doing business in almost two hundred countries, across all industrial sectors and serving the needs equally of all customers, small, medium or strategic in size.
At work and in her private life, Mairead has continued to engage in her passion for understanding the people around her and building communities. She has sat on the boards of the St. Patrick’s Society of Montreal, and the International Association of Women in Aviation. While at Bombardier and today at EDC, Mairead remains committed to the challenges of women and the imperative of a diverse and culturally inclusive workforce. It is a passion she tries to live every day, as evidenced by the mantra she has adopted: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Mairead is a native of Northern Ireland, where she earned her degree in Management and Accounting from Queen’s University Belfast. She is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.
In 2015, shortly after joining EDC, Mairead experienced another – very personal – landmark moment of which she is extremely proud. She became a Canadian citizen.
Senior Vice-President, Strategy and Innovation
Derek Layne was appointed Senior Vice-President, Strategy and Innovation in January 2016, having previously served as Senior Vice-President, Business Solutions and Innovation, since December 2011. In his current role Mr. Layne is responsible for leading the Corporation’s strategy development and managing the teams which support strategy execution. Mr. Layne served as EDC’s Chief Risk Officer from 2007 to 2011. Prior that he was a Vice President in EDC’s financing group. He has over 20 years of experience in underwriting international financing across various sectors. 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 of Business Administration degree from the University of Western Ontario. He is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Program of Columbia University.
Senior Vice-President, Insurance & Working Capital Solutions
Clive Witter was appointed as Senior Vice-President, Insurance in May 2012. Mr. Witter has 30 years of 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. Scott Driscoll, 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.
Changing Trade – 2016 Annual Report
Detailed information on our performance measures and highlights.