Alex Ramirez is an Associate Professor in Information Systems at the Sprott School of Business – Carleton University. He has worked in education for over 30 years. He obtained his Ph.D. from Molson School of Business – Concordia University in Montreal, a master’s degree from Syracuse University in the U.S. and a BSc. High Honours from ITESM, Mexico’s top private university. His area of expertise in the adoption of decision-support information systems in organizations. Currently working with colleagues at Carleton University in the Urban Futures project and with colleagues from the University of Ottawa and the University of Quebec in Outaouais in several projects in analytics in Canada’s Capital Region. He is a member of Carleton University’s cross disciplinary Institute for Data Science and the Human Computer Interaction group.
François Leblanc is a Data Scientist at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, helping to bring the tools to turn data into better decisions and automation to programs and sectors in government. Previously, François worked as a Data Scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, and as a Mission Planner for the Canadian Space Agency. An avid Pythonista, François is just as interested in the questions data can answer as the ones they can’t.
Gregory Richards, MBA, Ph.D., FCMC, is currently the Executive MBA Director and Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa. He was previously Director of the MBA program at the University of Ottawa, a visiting professor at the Western Management Development Centre in Denver, Colorado and a member of Peter Senge’s Society for Organizational Learning based at MIT. At the University of Ottawa, he managed the public sector performance management research cluster and continues to manage the IBM Centre for Business Analytics and Performance. His research focuses on the use of analytics to generate usable organizational knowledge. His publications appear in the Journal of Public Administration and Research, the International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, the Journal of Computer Information Systems and Information and Management. He has also published an edited book on Big Data and Analytics in government and has delivered 50+ conference presentations on the topic of performance measurement, Big Data, and analytics in the public sector. Prior to his academic appointment, he worked in the Business Intelligence field at Cognos Incorporated and as a consultant. Early in his career, he worked as a public servant at Transport Canada and Consulting and Audit Canada.
James is currently engaged as a Solution Architect for The Joint Defence Cloud Program in National Defence. Developing a ninja-like ability to deliver on the promise of Cloud while establishing secure solutions that allows DND to deliver the Strong Secure and Engaged mandate. James has delivered Architecture solutions for the first successful Private cloud platform the RAD ( Rapid Application and Development) project for DND which won the GG ( Governor Generals) award for innovation in 2014. Delivered Deployed Supply system for all of the Royal Canadian Navy deployed access to fleet. Started at DND in 2001. A proud Father recently returned from Japan delivering daughter #2 to Konan University. Also known to sing second Tenor in various choirs including the Goulbourn Male Chorus.
John manages global government and partner sales at MindBridge Ai, enabling their customers to leverage artificial intelligence to detect anomalies in financial data. A graduate of the University of Waterloo, John has over 22 years of experience in bringing advanced technologies to market, working in leading-edge firms such as CrossKeys, CounterPath and Nortel Networks. A winner of the 2013 Ottawa Chamber of Commerce “40 Under Forty” Award, John co-founded Purple Forge, an award-winning mobile application service provider, delivering services to governments and large associations. John joined MindBridge after the acquisition of Purple Forge by Vancouver-based 14 Oranges, and is now helping governments and strategic partners leverage the MindBridge Ai Auditor™ to enhance the efficiency and assurance of their financial and audit operations.
John is a systems engineer who has provided consulting architect solutions to numerous public sector clients such as Health Canada, National Research Council, Transport Canada, and others. He has been involved in the deployment of six GC HPC/AI clusters in 2019, both on-premises and in the cloud.
Keith Jansa is the Executive Director of the CIO Strategy Council. He works with Canada’s most forward-thinking public and private sector Chief Information Officers to collectively address the pace of digital transformation and advance Canada’s position in the global digital economy. In his previous role as Vice President of Standards and Innovation, Keith led the CIO Strategy Council’s standards setting activities and provided strategic leadership and insight on emerging technological trends and CIO Strategy Council-led initiatives.
Among his previous positions Keith led a team of specialists in a crown corporation devising many winning standardization strategies designed to accelerate market access for Canadian companies and their innovative technologies; managed a trade association standards program advancing strategic priorities in the interests of member companies and their customers; worked as a standards specialist for a leading standards development organization; and served as a board director for a non-profit organization providing strategic direction, overseeing financial reporting and enhancing the quality of life of those with mental health challenges. Keith holds a Bachelor in Health Sciences honours degree from the University of Ottawa. He is married to his university sweetheart, Kayla Jansa, and loves chasing after his 3 children.
Ken is a seasoned Chartered Professional Accountant with expertise in management information systems audits, reviews and is well versed in cyber threats. He delivered MIS presentations (all three by invitation ) at IT World Canada, Infonex, and a presentation to Standard and Poor’s on the significance of their assessments and credit reports to national security. He served Canada in the Federal Government in a variety of research functions that included profiling of countries, industries, and companies both in the context of business and national security, from a financial and economic perspective. Ken graduated from American Military University with a Master’s of Arts, Intelligence Analysis. He currently serves on the board of the Canadian Military Intelligence Association and on the Audit Committee of the Canadian Association of Professional Employees, Canada’s third largest labour union in the federal public service.
Maj. Lindsay holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and a masters in Electrical Engineering. While at the Royal Military College (RMC), Maj. Lindsay received the Col. Geoff Parker award and the IEEE master research award for the Kingston area in 2011. His masters’ work focused on using Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques on cooperative control problems. On his own time, Maj. Lindsay is currently pursuing a part time PhD in Computer Engineering that focuses on deep Reinforcement Learning techniques applied to anonymous robotics. He currently has 7 peer reviewed academic publications that covers multiple areas of machine learning and AI. He has held previous roles as the Chief Architect and Engineer for IT Risk Assessment and commanded 72 soldiers in Kandahar Afghanistan is 2008/09.
Phil Bélanger is the manager of the Advanced Analytics team with the Accelerated Business Solution Lab (ABSL) at the Canada Revenue Agency where he leads a team of data scientists that solve business problems with the use of machine learning and AI. Phil worked as a Statistician/Predictive Modeller for companies such as The Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation, The Canadian Medical Protective Association, Statistics Canada and Charles River Laboratories. After successfully leading a variety of analytical projects across government and the private sector, Phil now helps the Agency with the AI and machine learning agenda by promoting and leading innovative projects.
Rob is a 25-year seasoned veteran of the software industry and has excelled in senior roles ranging from Chief Technologist, Vice-President of Product Management to Director of Marketing & Communications. He is a passionate open data advocate, promoting the use of open data for social good and business creation. In June 2016, Rob founded the Open Data Institute Ottawa Node to help crystallize the open data movement in Ottawa. Rob is also an organizer for the Data for Good Ottawa meetup groups and was on two of the Ontario government’s Open Government advisory committees for Ontario’s first Action Plan. Rob currently is the civil society co-chair for the Canadian Government’s Open Government Multistakeholder Forum. Rob has spoken at national and international events on open data, AI and emerging technologies. Rob is the Manager of Data Analytics and Research at the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), an independent, non-profit think tank researching the intersection of emerging technologies and the future of work.
Since joining the Canada Revenue Agency in 2008, Shannon Drew has gained experience working in various analytics-driven environments, both in a senior analyst role and in executive positions. She has led and managed cross-cutting horizontal projects in fields such as information management, data management, research and experimentation. Shannon is currently the acting Director General of the Research and Innovation Lab, within the Canada Revenue Agency. She is a graduate of the Institute on Governance Executive Leadership Program and holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s degree both in Geography.
Somaieh Nikpoor is a research advisor at Labour Program. She is working on an experiment to explore whether machine learning could be used to improve service delivery. She enjoys turning data into numbers, numbers into words, words into stories and stories into action for her clients. She started her professional career on the Economics PhD track. With an undergraduate background in mathematical economics, she started taking some cool applied statistics courses online. She started getting interested in programming and less interested in abstract academic research. She loves starting projects from scratch, working with clients to identify their business problems, strategizing analytic approaches, creating models using machine learning models and operationalizing these models to truly drive behavior and improve decision making. Prior to joining Labour Program, Somaieh was a data/research analyst at Advanced Analytics Lab residing in Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). She developed models using machine-learning methods and assisted in operationalizing these models to improve decision-making. Somaieh holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Ottawa.
Stéphane Gagnon is Associate Professor of Business Technology Management (BTM) at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), based in Gatineau, National Capital Region. He is also a founding member of the Government Analytics Research Institute (GARI) a consortium between Carleton University, University of Ottawa, and UQO, including partners such as the Institute on Governance and SAS Canada. Before joining UQO in 2006, he taught at New Jersey Institute of Technology (2002-2006), Université du Québec à Montréal (1997-2002), McGill University (2000), and a dozen other universities in 10 countries as a part-time professor. He obtained a Ph.D. in Business Administration, specialized in Technology Management and Strategy, from the Université du Québec à Montréal (1994-2001), an M.A. in Public Administration from Carleton University (1991-1994), and a B.Soc.Sc. in Economics & International and Comparative Politics from the University of Ottawa (1988-1991). His research deals with digital transformation and big data analytics, applied to the financial services industry and public administration. Among other projects, he leads a research network to develop the first BTM Body of Knowledge (BOK), in partnership with IT Association of Canada (ITAC), with $160,000 MITACS Grant. This initiative will lead to the first unified guide for the BTM profession, identifying the common core competencies among several related standards, and ensuring practitioners at all levels can easily identify their best career growth opportunities.