2023 Donner Jury

2023 Donner Jury

Louise Frechette


Louise Fréchette was the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1998 to 2006, following a career in the Public Service of Canada, serving notably as Ambassador to Argentina and Uruguay (1985-1988), Ambassador to the United Nations (1992-1994), Associate Deputy Minister of Finance (1995) and Deputy Minister of National Defence (1995-1998).

Since leaving the UN in 2006, Fréchette has been associated with a number of academic and research institutions in Canada and abroad. In June 2019, Fréchette completed a 3-year mandate as Chair of the Supervisory Board and of the Council of CARE International after serving as chair of CARE Canada from 2011 to 2015. She is currently a Board member of the Global Leadership Foundation.

Louise Fréchette has a degree in History from the University of Montreal and a Certificate in Economy from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Neil Desai

Neil Desai is executive vice-president with Viral Nation where he focuses on the company’s technology solutions with enterprise and government clients.

Neil is a senior fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation and entrepreneur-in-residence with the Rogers Cyber Catalyst. He is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) News Network. Neil also serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Policy Forum, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, Innovation Asset Collective, ClearRisk Inc. and is a past director of YMCA Canada. He previously served in the Government of Canada in senior roles at Global Affairs Canada and the Prime Minister’s Office.

Prior to joining Viral Nation, he served on the leadership team of Magnet Forensics, a technology company that develops digital investigation solutions used by more than 4,000 police, national security and other public and private organizations in over 100 countries to investigate crimes such as human trafficking, child exploitation, terrorism and ransomware.

Jack M. Mintz

Jack M. Mintz is the President’s Fellow of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary after serving as the Palmer Chair and founding Director from January 1, 2008 to June 30, 2015. He serves on the boards of Mackenzie Health and the Aristotle Foundation for Public Policy. He is also a senior fellow to numerous think-tanks including the C. D. Howe Institute, MacDonald-Laurier Institute, CESIfo Germany and International Tax and Investment Centre, Washington D.C.

Jack Mintz also served on numerous panels and boards at the federal and provincial levels including Vice-President and chair of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council 2012-2018. He has consulted widely with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, federal and provincial governments in Canada, and various businesses and non-profit organizations in Canada and abroad.

Jack Mintz became a member of the Order of Canada in 2015 as well as receiving the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for service to the Canadian tax policy community. Jack Mintz’s 2001 book Most Favoured Nation was shortlisted for the Donner Prize

Maureen O’Neil

Maureen O’Neil chairs the board of WaterAid International and is a member of the boards of the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the Centre for the Study of Living Standards.

She is the former senior executive officer of EHealth Ontario and the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI).

Maureen O’Neil is former chair of the board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), the Board of Trustees of the International Institute for Environment and Development, Chair of the Board of Carleton University, former President of the International Development Research Centre, IDRC’s Think Tank Initiative and earlier in her career Deputy Minister of Citizenship in Ontario.

She has also represented Canada on the UN Commission on the Status of Women and on committees of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and has been a member of the UN Committee for Development Planning and the Board of the UNRISD.

She has received honorary doctorates from Laurier University, Carleton University, and the University of Ottawa. In June 2011, Maureen was named an officer of the Order of Canada for public service, recognizing her contributions to international development, gender equality and human rights.

Karen Restoule

Karen Restoule is a Vice President at Crestview Strategy based in Toronto. An expert at fostering collaboration among parties by identifying common goals and objectives, she offers clients expertise in community, stakeholder, and Indigenous engagement, transformative leadership, change management, and policy development. 

Prior to joining Crestview Strategy, Karen led an environmental consulting firm working with Indigenous communities, building on a prior role supporting First Nations leaders as Director of Justice at Chiefs of Ontario where she advanced innovative policy solutions to legacy challenges. She also co-founded BOLD Realities, to advance the industry-Indigenous relationship. Previously, Karen led the modernization of Ontario’s administrative justice system at Tribunals Ontario.

Karen is a graduate of the University of Toronto and of the University of Ottawa’s French Common Law Program. She serves on a number of boards, has received awards for her contribution to society, and is a contributor to thehub.ca. Karen is Ojibwe from Dokis First Nation.

Frederick Wien

Fred Wien served as Director of the Maritime School of Social Work at Dalhousie University from 1981-86 and then as Deputy Director of Research at the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples heading the research program on employment and economic development.

At the national level, he has served as a member and chair of the Advisory Board for the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health (IAPH/CIHR). He is the Nominated Principal Investigator for a major research grant from CIHR for the project: “A Poverty Reduction Approach to Improving the Health and Well-being of First Nation Communities in Canada” as well as for a CIHR-funded project on “Building a Social Policy Framework for the Health and Well-being of Mi’kmaq Communities in Nova Scotia”.

A graduate of Queen’s University, with M.A. and PhD from Cornell University, Wien was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2015