David Fransen

Board Member
David Fransen
David began his pursuit of the academic life in Winnipeg, where he received a Bachelor of Theology degree from Canadian Mennonite Bible College in 1974. From Winnipeg, he proceeded to the University of Waterloo, where he obtained an Honours BA (1976) and an MA (1977). David then moved to the University of Toronto, where he obtained his PhD in History in 1984 for his dissertation on the role of the first generation of university-trained mandarins in introducing reforms to Canada’s federal-provincial fiscal relations during the Depression and the Second World War.

In 1980, David, his wife, Barbara, and their two young children moved to Ottawa, so that he could conduct the research for his doctoral dissertation. Simultaneously, he began a career in the federal public service at the Department of Finance, moving from there to increasingly senior positions in a variety of departments. From 1988 until 1995, he worked at the Privy Council Office, where he provided policy advice related to such developments as the Green Plan in 1990, the drafting of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the creation of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and the creation of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

In 1995, David moved to Industry Canada as the Director of Economic Framework Policies in the Strategic Policy Branch. From there, he moved on to become the Director General of the Office of Consumer Affairs in 1997.

In 1999, David became the Director General of the Centre for Healthy Human Development at Health Canada. In this capacity, he chaired committees and boards that were responsible for such initiatives as the creation of a Canadian cancer control strategy, a Canadian diabetes strategy, the web-based Canadian Health Network and variety of children’s and seniors’ health programs. In 2001, David returned to Industry Canada (IC) as Associate Assistant Deputy Minister in the Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunication Sector, where he was responsible for revitalizing IC’s programs delivering Internet-based services to schools and communities. David became Assistant Deputy Minister of the Industry Sector in 2003, where he was primarily responsible for providing policy advice and delivering programs related to some of Canada’s key economic sectors, e.g., automotive, aerospace, life sciences, steel and forestry.

In August 2004, David became Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of Policy at Industry Canada, as well as the Director of Investment Canada. As ADM Policy, he chaired a wide variety of boards and committees, such as the Department’s ADM-level Senior Policy Committee, the federal government’s lead committee of Science ADMs, along with a variety of initiatives with external stakeholders, eg. the University Advisory Group (a Vice-President level committee from universities, the federal granting agencies and the private sector), and a joint initiative with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Paper Burden Reduction Initiative. David was also a member of the founding Board of Governors of the Council of Canadian Academies, a member of the Board of Directors of the Standards Council of Canada, and the Secretary of the Minister’s Expert Panel on Commercialization.

In January 2006, David was pleased to return to Waterloo as the Executive Director of one of the most innovative research institutes in the world, the Institute for Quantum Computing, and as Associate Vice-President (Strategic Relations) at one of the most innovative universities in the world.

David recently retired from his position as the Consul General, Canadian Consulate General in Los Angeles.