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Executive Team

Executive team members are Designated Public Office Holders for the purposes of the Lobbying Act.

Ted Hewitt, SSHRC President

Ted Hewitt was appointed president of SSHRC in March 2015. He served as the inaugural chair of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee from 2017 to 2019. Ted was vice-president, research and international relations, at Western University in London, Ontario, from 2004 to 2011, where he had been a professor of sociology since 1989. He was also a public policy scholar at the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. A leading authority on Brazil, Ted has published in monographs, edited works and a range of academic journals. In 2018, Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations named him Grand Officer of the Order of Rio Branco—one of the highest levels of merit—for the many years he has fostered bilateral business and research partnerships between Brazil and Canada.

Ted’s current research focuses on national and international innovation systems, with emphasis on the roles of universities, industry and government in promoting economic prosperity in Latin America and beyond. He is co-chair of the Canada-Brazil Joint Committee for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation, and a member of the board of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce.

Ted holds a PhD in sociology from McMaster University.

Dominique Bérubé, Vice-President, Research

Dominique Bérubé was appointed vice-president, Research, at SSHRC in October 2019. In this role, she is responsible for developing the long-term vision and future direction for SSHRC’s core research funding programs.

In addition, Dominique oversees the strategic direction and delivery of tri-agency programs and policies, in collaboration with the other federal research funding agencies. This includes the delivery of the Canada 150 Research Chairs Program, the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program, the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, the Canada Research Chairs Program, the New Frontiers in Research Fund and the Research Support Fund. This also includes the implementation of a renewed Indigenous research and research training strategy. As well, she chairs the executive board of the Tri-agency Grants Management Solution initiative.

Dominique was previously vice-president, Research Programs, from 2015 to 2019. In that role, she directed efforts to improve program accessibility and to implement equity, diversity and inclusion policies.

Prior to joining SSHRC, Dominique worked at the Université de Montréal, beginning in 2007. She held many positions, including acting vice-rector, Research; associate vice-rector, Research; and executive director, Research Services and Commercialization.

Dominique holds a PhD in environmental sciences from the Université du Québec à Montréal and a master’s in science and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Polytechnique Montréal.

Ursula Gobel, Vice-President, Stakeholder Engagement and Advancement of Society

Ursula Gobel was appointed vice-president, Stakeholder Engagement and Advancement of Society, at SSHRC in November 2019. In her role, Ursula provides strategic leadership to advance and mobilize social sciences and humanities research. Ursula guides the work of a dynamic team that is responsible for communications, strategic foresight, partnership development and engagement with stakeholders.

Ursula joined SSHRC in 2007 as director of communications. She led the development and implementation of strategic communications for SSHRC, as well as for several international programs, including the Canada Research Chairs and Canada Excellence Research Chairs programs, on behalf of Canada’s three federal research granting agencies. In 2014, Ursula was appointed associate vice-president, Future Challenges, and led strategic initiatives to advance the social sciences and humanities contributions toward meeting future, long-term societal challenges.

Ursula brings extensive experience in leadership and management across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including at the National Gallery of Canada. She has been an active volunteer for numerous organizations, including the Institute for Public Administration of Canada, the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, the Canadian Tourism Commission, and United Way.

Ursula holds executive leadership training from Queen’s University, as well as business and economics diplomas from Algonquin College and John Abbott College.

Brent Herbert-Copley, Executive Vice-President

Brent was appointed executive vice-president of SSHRC in May 2015 and is responsible for overseeing corporate policy and strategy, performance, evaluation and audit functions, as well as parliamentary affairs. Prior to this appointment, he served as vice-president, Research Programs.

Before joining SSHRC in October 2009, Brent worked at the International Development Research Centre, in a variety of positions, including, most recently, director for social and economic policy programs. He previously worked at the North-South Institute, a leading Canadian think-tank on development issues.

Brent’s own research has focused on understanding the innovation process, and how government policies—including environmental regulation—affect that process. He has also examined the links between research and public policy, and the role of scholarly research in informing public debate on policy options.

Brent holds a PhD in political science and a master’s degree in international affairs from Carleton University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in political science from Western University.

Dominique Osterrath, Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President, Common Administrative Services Directorate

Dominique Osterrath joined SSHRC’s Common Administrative Services Directorate (CASD) in July 2021, where she leads a team of professionals who work to support both SSHRC and NSERC in delivering human resources, finance and awards administration, security, and information and innovation solutions. As the lead CASD executive, Dominique supports the accountability of the agency presidents by ensuring CASD’s effectiveness as a strategic partner, business enabler, steward and service provider.

Prior to her appointment, Dominique was chief financial officer, chief security officer, and vice-president, Corporate Management Branch, at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). In previous appointments, she was deputy chief financial officer and executive director, Financial Services, at CFIA; deputy chief financial officer and director general, Finance and Awards Administration, for SSHRC and NSERC; and director, Financial Planning, Budgeting and Advisory Services, at the National Research Council Canada.

Dominique is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA). She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Université du Québec en Outaouais, and is a graduate of the Public Sector Leadership and Governance executive program at the University of Ottawa.

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