Research Advisory Council

The RAC is comprised of leading practitioners and academics in sustainable finance research and innovation. The council will meet twice per year to discuss and provide input on the focus of the Institute’s research.

The council’s role is to:

  • Share expertise about research opportunities, engagement and collaboration.
  • Suggest responses to research opportunities that advance the strategic objectives of ISF.
  • Review and provide input on new research projects that advance the strategic objectives of ISF.
  • Provide feedback on research activities carried out by ISF and its partners.
  • Publicize and aid in the dissemination of research findings.

Amr Addas is an Adjunct Professor and Director of the Van Berkom Investment Management Program and Van Berkom Small Cap Case Competition at the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University.

He is also the Strategic Advisor for Sustainability at JMSB and leads Concordia’s Sustainable Investing Practicum in collaboration with Manulife. He is also a member of the Faculty for the Sustainable Investment Professional Certificate (SIPC) offered by JMSB. Amr has taught at McGill University, Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business, and Sherbrooke University.

In addition to his academic work, Amr offers consulting services to portfolio managers at Scotia Wealth Management and sustainable investment training to corporate clients and financial institutions.

Amr obtained his MBA from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1995 and his B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the American University in Cairo in 1991.

Dominique Barker is the Head of Sustainability Advisory in CIBC Capital Markets’ Global Investment Banking group.

Ms. Barker was previously responsible for managing institutional socially responsible investments, Canadian value, and Canadian real estate portfolios. She led CIBC Asset Management’s efforts to incorporate environmental, social and governance factors into all investment processes.

Prior to joining CIBC Asset Management in 2010, Ms. Barker held roles in research, institutional equity sales, investment banking, audit, and corporate advisory at several well-known firms.

Ms. Barker holds an MBA degree in Accounting from the University of Toronto and Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering (civil environmental) from Queen’s University. She is also a CFA charterholder and holds the FSA (Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting) credential.

Murat Basarir has been part of various international sustainable finance focused initiatives, such as launching UK’s first wireless charged electric bus and working at Canada’s first retail green bond issuer.

Prior to his work in sustainable finance, he has led a nationwide energy efficiency campaign that was voted by the UK public as the Best Campaign at the Climate Week Awards.

At TD, he works with teams across the enterprise to ideate, structure and move forward ESG initiatives that support TD’s Climate Action Plan.

Murat holds a BSc and MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University and an MPhil in Engineering from Cambridge University and has completed the Ignite programme at Stanford’s Graduate Business School.

Patrick Bryden joined Scotiabank GBM in Calgary in 2010 and has worked in the securities industry since 1997.

Mr. Bryden became Head of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Research in 2020 and previously ranked first nine times in the annual Brendan Wood International and Greenwich Associates institutional surveys as an energy analyst.

Mr. Bryden served on the Natural Gas Expert Group for the Alberta Royalty Review and advised the Province of Alberta on the calibration of its Modernized Royalty Framework.

Mr. Bryden has raised more than $145,000 for the Movember Foundation and Ovarian Cancer Canada in his time at Scotiabank GBM. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from the University of Calgary and was awarded the CFA designation in 2001.

Linda Coady is the Executive Director of the Pembina Institute, an Alberta-based think tank on climate, energy, and environmental issues.

Like Pembina, Linda has a strong background in building working relationships across diverse groups and perspectives. Prior to joining the Pembina Institute, Linda was Chief Sustainability Officer for Enbridge Inc., Vice-President of Sustainability for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Vice-President of the Pacific Region for World Wildlife Fund Canada, and Vice-President of Environmental Affairs for the BC coastal group of Weyerhaeuser Canada.

Linda has taught corporate social responsibility at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business and been a Distinguished Fellow at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC. She has worked with a wide range of frameworks for reporting and evaluation of corporate policies and performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

She has also served on advisory groups to different levels of government in Canada on climate and energy issues, including as a member of the 2015 Advisory Panel to the Province of Alberta on Climate Leadership and the 2018 Generation Energy Council to Natural Resources Canada on Canada's energy future. Linda was recently appointed to Canada’s new Net-Zero Advisory Body, which provides independent oversight and advice to the federal government on meeting requirements under Canada's new Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.

Andrew is the Director of Sustainable Finance at TMX Group. In this role, he is responsible for developing and executing TMX’s enterprise strategy for sustainability and ESG products and services.

Prior to this, he worked in the power sector where he built and managed one of the largest environmental commodity trading desks in North America. Andrew began his career in foreign exchange at Lloyds Bank.

Andrew has a BSc, and an MBA in finance from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

Andrew Karolyi is Professor of Finance and holder of the Harold Bierman Jr. Distinguished Professorship in Management at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. He currently serves as Dean of the College.

His research specializes in the area of investment management with a focus on the study of international financial markets. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals in Finance and Economics and has published several books and monographs. His book, Cracking the Emerging Markets Enigma, was published in 2015. The research has garnered a number of prizes and recognitions. He is a past recipient of the Michael Jensen Prize for Corporate Finance and Organizations, the Fama/DFA Prize for Capital Markets and Asset Pricing, and the William F. Sharpe Award for Scholarship in Finance. In 2017, he was elected as a Fellow of the Financial Management Association International.

Professor Karolyi served as Editor and then Executive Editor of the Review of Financial Studies from 2011 to 2018, one of the top tier journals in Finance. He is a past president of the Western Finance Association, past president and trustee of the Financial Management Association, and currently a member of board of directors of the American Finance Association. He also serves on several not-for-profit boards, including the Pacific Center for Asset Management, the Responsible Research in Business and Management Network, and the United Way of Tompkins County.

Professor Karolyi received his Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Economics from McGill University in 1983 and worked at the Bank of Canada for several years in their Research Department. He subsequently studied for his MBA and PhD degrees in Finance at the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago.

Cynthia is the Senior Director, Economic Thought Leadership at RBC. In this role, she helps shape the narratives and research agenda around the RBC Economics and Thought Leadership team’s forward-looking economic and policy analysis, covering topics such as the future of work, innovation, and the net-zero transition.

Previously, Cynthia was an executive at Finance Canada, most recently heading a team responsible for housing finance policy.

She also has experience in current economic analysis and fiscal policy.Cynthia holds an M.A. Economics degree from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Majerbi joined Gustavson School of Business in 2004 after completing her PhD in finance at McGill University. Her research interests include international asset pricing, financial crises, investments and risk management. Her recent work explores the benefits of financial system diversity for sustainable development and financial stability, impact investing and climate-related financial risks. Her research has been published in leading business journals and benefited from major research grants from national granting agencies.

Basma is passionate about sustainable finance and impact investing and integrates these themes into core finance courses in her graduate teaching at the MBA and MGB programs. Since 2009, she has overseen the calculation of the annual carbon footprint of Gustavson faculty, staff and students leading the way to her school becoming carbon neutral in 2017. She is a past recipient of the Gustavson Research Excellence Award, the MBA Best Professor of the Year Award, Gustavson Innovation Award, and the Gustvason Award for Excellence in Service.

Basma is also a Technical Advisor with the International Monetary Fund’s Institute for Capacity Development where she contributes to training of government officials in developing countries on topics related to financial development, financial inclusion, and other financial sector issues. She is a member the steering committee of the Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CSFN) and is co-founder and co-chair of the International Workshop on Financial System Architecture and Stability (IWFSAS), an annual conference that focuses on topics related to sustainable finance.

Cathy A. Matthews, B. Comm '86; CPA, CA; Chair, Board of Directors, Queen's AMS '86. Former Managing Director, Investment Banking, TD Securities, Toronto, Vancouver, New York & London with industry specialization in renewable energy.

Former Strategy Consultant, National Bank Financial. Currently, Queen's University Trustee elected by University Council to the Board of Trustees, Queen's Board of Trustees' Investment Committee, Queen's Board of Trustees' Capital Assets & Finance Committee, Queen's University Council & Queen's University Council Executive Committee.

Recently, Queen's Chancellor's Search Advisory Committee; & Queen's Climate Change Action Task Force. Past Volunteer Board Member; Council for Human Development, Camp Oochigeas & New Haven Learning Centre. Executive Education: Harvard; London Business School & Wharton.

Deborah Ng is a Director, Strategy & Risk and Head Responsible Investing at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Deborah leads the Plan’s responsible investing initiatives, working internally with all investment teams to integrate environmental, social and governance considerations in their investment processes and externally with global peers and organizations to promote sustainability in investments.

Other areas of focus for Deborah and her team include the research, evaluation, and introduction of innovative asset allocation strategies that are designed to help meet the Plan’s long-term liability objectives. She also provides input and support for the annual strategic investment plan and medium-term risk management.

Prior to joining Teachers’, Deborah founded Acuity Communications, assisting investment firms such as UBS Securities, CIBC WM, and Desjardins Securities with their investment research requirements. Deborah was awarded with Directors Award from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto where she obtained her Master of Finance. She is also a CFA charter holder.

Chad Park is the Vice President, Sustainability & Citizenship for The Co-operators. In this role he leads the co-operative’s efforts to embed and integrate sustainability principles throughout the organization, including in its investment strategy and underwriting practices.

He also oversees The Co-operators nation-wide community investment and partnership programs, including the Cooperators Community Funds.

Prior to joining The Co-operators in June 2020, Chad played a leadership role with several sustainability-focused organizations and initiatives. He served for five years as the Founding Director and Lead Animator of the Energy Futures Lab, a diverse coalition of innovators and partner organizations working together to advance solutions for a transformative energy vision for Canada.

He has also served as Executive Director of The Natural Step Canada, a founding Board-member for the Future Fit Foundation in the United Kingdom, and a Board member of the Canadian Energy and Climate Nexus. Chad earned his masters degree as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University in Sweden and completed the Oxford Social Finance Programme at Oxford University’s Saïd School of Business.

Dr. Janis Sarra served as UBC Presidential Distinguished Professor from 2014 to 2019, an appointment by the President to recognize a faculty member that has made outstanding contributions as a scholar and academic leader. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Sarra served as Director of the Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC. Dr. Sarra is Professor of Law at the Peter A. Allard School of Law and founding Director of the National Centre for Business Law. She served as Associate Dean of the Allard School of Law until 2007, with oversight of development, strategic planning, alumni relations and communications. Dr. Sarra is the Principal Co-investigator of the Canada Climate Law Initiative, a research collaboration between UBC and York University and is Canadian investigator of the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative at Oxford University.

Dr. Sarra’s research and teaching interests are in the areas of corporate finance, climate-related financial risk and corporate governance, banking law, securities law, contracts, commercial insolvency law and law and economics. In 2004, she was awarded the title of Distinguished University Scholar for her scholarship in corporate and securities law. She has published ten books and more than one hundred refereed articles in climate governance, corporate finance, corporate governance and management, securities law and commercial insolvency law.

Dr. Sarra also served as Senator of the University of British Columbia from 2003 to 2008. She is a board member of the International Insolvency Institute and a director of Assuris. She was previously Director of the Canadian Insolvency Foundation, a director of the Canadian Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals Association and on the board of the British Columbia Law Institute. For more than twelve years, Dr. Sarra served as a commercial arbitrator and labour mediator/arbitrator.

Dr. Sarra’s contributions to public policy development include: member of the Canadian delegation of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group V, 2008-2020, Vienna and New York; World Bank Insolvency and Creditors Rights Task Force, Working Group on Insolvency of Non-Bank Financial Institutions, 2009, Washington, DC; Experts Committee, Expert Witness, Senate Committee on Banking Trade and Commerce, Review of Insolvency Legislation, February, 2008, Ottawa; Member, Ontario Attorney General's Interministerial Task Force on Administrative Tribunals.

Arlene Strom has been with Suncor Energy for 18 years. Since January 2019, Arlene has been in the role of Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel for Suncor. She is also the chair of the Suncor Energy Foundation board and the chair of Suncor’s Inclusion & Diversity Council. Prior to 2019, Arlene led various portfolios including Sustainability, Communications and Indigenous and Government Relations.

Arlene is currently chair of the board of the Alberta Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Awards Foundation, is a member of the University of Calgary Management Advisory Council for the Haskayne School of Business, sits on the board of the Calgary Zoo and supports the work of the Canada Climate Law Initiative as a designated climate governance expert.

Arlene has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Trinity Western University, a Master of Arts in Public Policy from University of British Columbia, and an LLB from University of British Columbia.

Hillary Thatcher is Senior Director, Project Development, Indigenous Infrastructure. Hillary leads the CIB’s Indigenous relationships and opportunities to engage with Indigenous communities. She is part of the team offering advice and making investments consistent in CIB’s priority initiatives.

Previously Director General of Innovation and Services at Indigenous Services Canada, Hillary spent 15 years with the Ontario government in senior roles across Indigenous Affairs, Energy and Infrastructure, and Natural Resources. Hillary has a proven track record of building linkages among government, industry, and Indigenous interests.

Hillary is Métis and has been an active member of the urban Indigenous community of Toronto through her volunteer roles at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, Red Sky Performance, and the Downie Wenjak Fund. Hillary graduated from Concordia University in Montreal and the University of Victoria.

Richard Talbot is Chief Operating Officer, Investments at iA Investment Management, an asset manager with $100 billion under management. In this role, he is responsible for leading the implementation of a new strategic vision for an investment department where Responsible Investment is a key priority. Previously, Richard had a variety of senior leadership roles at RBC Capital Markets, a top-10 global investment bank including Chief Operating Officer, Co-Head of Global Research and Managing Director, Telecom Services Research.

Richard is the Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the Industry Standards Reporting Research Council, which works to create international standards for the reporting of alternative performance measures, a gap that is not covered by audited GAAP financial information. Within the local community, Richard is a board member of Second Harvest Food Rescue – an organization which is expanding beyond the greater Toronto area to become a national food rescue organization. He is also a board governor and Treasurer of Royal St. George’s College in Toronto.

Richard is a past director of RBC subsidiary companies, the CFA Society Toronto and currently chairs CFAST’s Advisory Council. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant with an FCPA, FCA designation and a Chartered Financial Analyst. Richard holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in business administration from the Ivey Business School.

John Uhren is Head, Sustainable Finance, Products and Strategy, at BMO. He leads product development and strategic initiatives across the enterprise, including raising capital and providing sustainable finance opportunities to clients. John is also a member of BMO’s Energy Transition Group and the CSA Group’s Transition and Sustainable Finance Technical Committee.

Prior to joining the Sustainable Finance team, John was Senior Counsel and Director in Capital Markets Legal at BMO. John was co-head of BMO’s Pro Bono Committee, and in 2017 won Lexpert’s Rising Star Award as a top Canadian lawyer under 40.

John founded Feet Forward Organization in 2013, a Canadian registered charity that partners with NGO agencies in South Africa to assist refugees, asylum-seekers and newly landed immigrants. He is currently a board member of Dress for Success Toronto.

Erica Wieder is Manager of Investor Relations at the Ontario Financing Authority (OFA), the crown agency tasked with conducting borrowing, investment and financial risk management for the Province of Ontario.

At the OFA, Erica develops multi-faceted strategies to drive investor engagement to promote Ontario’s bonds to institutional fixed income investors domestically and abroad. Erica has been involved in Ontario’s Green Bond program, currently the largest in Canada, since its inauguration in 2014. She leads the Province’s Impact Reporting through the publication of an annual Green Bond newsletter, helping advance the program and distinguish Ontario as a leader in impact reporting with wide recognition in Canada and abroad.

Erica also spearheads the Green Bonds dedicated space on the OFA website, which is well recognized throughout the industry, and other marketing initiatives. Previously, Erica worked in policy development at the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the industry association representing the property and casualty insurance industry in Canada, and an investment bank in Argentina. Erica holds an M.A. in Economics from Western University (UWO), and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Buenos Aires.