Dr Donna Kirkwood | Former Chief scientist, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)

Dr Donna Kirkwood

As chief scientist, Dr Donna Kirkwood plays a leadership role in developing and promoting NRCan's science and technology priorities, providing oversight and strategic policy advice on cross-cutting science, science communication, and science capacity issues.

Donna was director general of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), where she positioned the GSC as a leading government science organisation securing an increase in federal funding for public geoscience. Before her appointment with the federal government in 2006, Donna was a faculty member with the Département de Géologie et de Génie Géologique, Université Laval, Québec. In these roles, Donna developed a broad understanding of natural resources, the Earth and environmental issues from a specialised background in structural geology and tectonics.

Donna is employment equity champion at NRCan and recently led the development and launch of the department's Charter for Employment Equality, addressing the challenges women face in science and in the natural resources sector.

As a professor and then senior executive in the federal public service, Donna's focus is on the design and management of knowledge and innovation programmes and policies. Donna has been active on the national and international scene, serving on numerous scientific and academic steering committees, holding appointments to granting council and science network boards, and developing a novel research programme in collaboration with various stakeholders from academia, industry and government. She promotes and helps sustain a dialogue on synergies between the various natural resource sectors and the broader science ecosystem in Canada and abroad.