Skip to main content

2019 Nomination Committee Candidate

Candidate statement:

I am interested in serving on the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) Board of Directors because I value the role that CIRA plays in the Canadian and global landscape, and believe I have the necessary education, skills and experience to make a measurable contribution to the organization.

As a .CA domain owner since 2014, I appreciate and support CIRA’s mission statement: “To foster the development of .CA as a key public resource for all Canadians by providing stable, secure and trusted domain name services, and by taking a leadership role in shaping Canada’s Internet for the benefit of .CA domain holders.” As a strategist and governance “enthusiast”, I would relish the opportunity to govern the strategic execution of CIRA’s vision statement: “Be a world-class Internet Registry that is recognized and valued by the Internet community and Canadians.”

I would bring strong executive management and governance expertise and experience to CIRA. I am comfortable on both sides of the board table, having reported to boards of directors for my entire career. I have been responsible for board and organizational governance for the past 25 years at two different organizations and have served on several boards of directors since 1998. I am a Chartered Professional Accountant, a Certified Director (ICD.D) and an Associate Certified Coach, accredited through the International Coach Federation.

As a lifelong learner with capacity and desire to continue growing, I would welcome the opportunity to learn more about this section of the technology industry. As the strategy lead at a polytechnic, the former CFO of a research and development corporation, and audit manager with clients in most industries, learning new concepts has been part of my job for my whole career.

I appreciate the consideration of my candidacy and would be pleased to respond to any questions.

Candidate resume:


Answers to mandatory questions:

1. Explain from your perspective what CIRA does and why it matters.

CIRA manages the .CA internet domain and develops programs, products and services to help build a better online Canada, while providing a safe, secure and trusted online experience to all Canadians.

As a member of the senior management team at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, where a .CA domain is used, I am grateful that an organization like CIRA exists to provide our site users a safe and secure online experience.

As a business owner and a proud Canadian, I put my trust in CIRA when I chose a .CA domain. I have been a .CA domain owner since 2014 and appreciate and support the work CIRA does to manage the .CA internet domain on behalf of all Canadians. I am also aware that CIRA develops programs, products and services that support Canada’s internet community.

Canada, along with a few other countries in the world, is viewed as one of the safest places in the world. It follows that the global community and Canadians expect its online environment to be safe as well. Canada’s economy and Canadians depend on a safe and reliable online environment. Given the speed and magnitude of disruption and threats taking place in the world today, CIRA’s role in protecting Canada’s role in the global economy is increasing in importance.

2. Why do you want to be on CIRA’s board of directors?

For the past year, I have been searching for the right board of directors to devote my time as my six-year term on the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) Board of Directors was nearing an end. I want to be on a board for which my skills are a good match and for which the mandate, mission and vision align with my interests.

In leading the development of Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s next strategic plan, I have been conducting substantial environmental scanning and reading about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as coined by Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. According to the World Economic Forum’s website, this revolution “…is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human. The resulting shifts and disruptions mean that we live in a time of great promise and great peril. The world has the potential to connect billions more people to digital networks, dramatically improve the efficiency of organizations and even manage assets in ways that can help regenerate the natural environment, potentially undoing the damage of previous industrial revolutions. However, Schwab also has grave concerns: that organizations might be unable to adapt; governments could fail to employ and regulate new technologies to capture their benefits; shifting power will create important new security concerns; inequality may grow; and societies fragment.”

Being part of an organization like CIRA during this time of a “VUCA world” (VUCA means volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), would be exciting and challenging at the same time providing an opportunity for contributing while growing at the same time.

3. What specific skills and experience do you have that makes you a qualified candidate for CIRA’s board of directors?

I am a Chartered Professional Accountant, a Certified Director (ICD.D) and an Associate Certified Coach, accredited through the International Coach Federation. Becoming designated and continuing the related professional development for each of these three professions has ensured the development and continuous upgrading of skills and competencies directly relevant to the governance of CIRA.

I have reported to boards of directors for my entire career. I have been responsible for board and organizational governance for the past 25 years at two different organizations and have served on several boards of directors since 1998. Beyond the role of board member, I have served as Board Chair, Board Vice-Chair and Committee Chair.

I have extensive senior management experience having served as the Chief Financial Officer of Saskatchewan Research Council for more than 15 years and Associate Vice President, Strategy and Innovation of Saskatchewan Polytechnic for almost five years. I would bring strategic and financial planning and enterprise risk management expertise and experience, again from both sides of the board table. As a member of the CPAC Board of Directors, I recently contributed to the overhaul of CPAC’s enterprise risk management system and the development of the ten-year Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control.

My current job responsibilities include: leading integrated strategic planning, strategic execution, performance measurement and reporting processes in support of delivering the organization’s strategic vision and goals; leading the strategic initiatives selection process and development of the annual multiyear business plan; overseeing the balanced scorecard framework; developing and implementing enterprise risk management processes and reporting; leading governance processes such as board of directors governance and internal decision-making governance, including the policy framework; coleading the creation and implementation of a new organizational-level business analytics function; providing leadership and direction to the organization in change management, business improvement, portfolio and project management processes and privacy head responsibilities and privacy legislation compliance.

My former job responsibilities included: Province of Saskatchewan and Government of Canada reporting, finance (all standard finance responsibilities plus annual operating/financial plan development oversight; and responsibility for Ministry of Finance and Provincial Auditor reporting and relationship management), occupational health and safety (SRC’s Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and bio-safety responsible authorities), procurement, legal (responsible for all business agreements, The Research Council Act, legislative compliance, Code of Conduct and Ethics management and compliance, and acted as SRC’s Privacy Officer), board of directors (all standard chief financial officer reporting plus all board governance activities, procedures, meeting packages and shared reporting for entire operation with the CEO), enterprise risk management and business continuity (SRC’s representative for provincial emergency management).

Though not an expert, I am comfortable with technology and use it daily in my workplace and in my own business. I am the co-lead for Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Business Analytics (BA) program and work directly with our head of Information Technologies to collaboratively oversee the BA program development. Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Institutional Research and Analysis unit reports to me and their work is intrinsically linked with our ERP.

4. What do you think are the top 3 challenges and opportunities facing CIRA in the next 3 to 5 years? What approach would you take to addressing these issues?

Opportunities

1. Strategic Plan Development – according to the latest financial statements, CIRA is responsible for operating the .CA Internet country code Top Level Domain (“ccTLD”) as a key public resource for all Canadians. With the current strategic plan ending in 2020, there is an opportunity to build on CIRA’s past success, conduct an updated environmental assessment and revise, as appropriate, CIRA’s strategic elements including its vision and mission statements and strategic objectives to ensure its market relevancy and effectiveness.

2. Global Leadership – as a Canadian organization with a world-class reputation, CIRA can enhance its mandate delivery by expanding its role in educating Canadians about safe, online practices and growing its delivery of cybersecurity products.

3. Financial Position – after a period of intentional planned deficits, followed by a period of constraint, the strong financial position as of March 31, 2018 provides the environment in which to invest in new opportunities such as mentioned above.

Threats

1. Cybersecurity and Talent Retention – the list of threats continues to grow in volume, magnitude and complexity. It is imperative that CIRA continues to employ the “best and brightest”, in a professional field where extreme shortages already exist, to address vulnerabilities. A review of CIRA’s human talent systems is warranted.

2. Future of Work – the Deloitte report “Future of Work” states: “Driven by accelerating connectivity, new talent models, and cognitive tools, work is changing. As robotics, AI, the gig economy and crowds grow, jobs are being reinvented, creating the “augmented workforce.” We must reconsider how jobs are designed and work to adapt and learn for future growth.” As more and more “jobs” are performed using accelerating connectivity and demands on the infrastructure grow, CIRA will need to ensure robust systems are in place to support the future of work. A review of CIRA’s systems to address the exponential growth is required.

3. Fourth Industrial Revolution – according to the World Economic Forum’s website, there is a “…range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human. The resulting shifts and disruptions mean that we live in a time of great promise and great peril.” The website further states: “…Schwab also has grave concerns: that organizations might be unable to adapt; governments could fail to employ and regulate new technologies to capture their benefits; shifting power will create important new security concerns; inequality may grow; and societies fragment.” If CIRA maintains its global reputation and continues to invest in the technologies necessary to deliver a secure online environment, it could play a leadership role in responding to the disruption. A review of CIRA’s strategic positioning in the market may support a shift from a threat to an opportunity.