The Honourable Chrystia Freeland is Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
Ms. Freeland was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre in July 2013.
She was elected as Member of Parliament for University—Rosedale in October 2015 and re-elected in October 2019 and September 2021.
From November 2015 to January 2017, Ms. Freeland served as Canada’s Minister of International Trade, overseeing the successful negotiation of Canada’s free trade agreement with the European Union, CETA. From January 2017 to November 2019, she served as Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. During this time, she was a leading advocate for democracy, human rights, and multilateralism around the world.
As Foreign Minister, she led and successfully concluded the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
In November 2019, Ms. Freeland was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this capacity, she led Canada’s united response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was appointed Minister of Finance in August 2020.
An esteemed journalist and author, the Deputy Prime Minister was born in Peace River, Alberta. She was educated at Harvard University before continuing her studies on a Rhodes Scholarship at the University of Oxford.
After launching her career in journalism as a Ukraine-based freelance correspondent for the Financial Times, The Washington Post, and The Economist, Ms. Freeland went on to various roles at the Financial Times of London. She then served as deputy editor of the Toronto-based Globe and Mail between 1999 and 2001, before returning to the Financial Times as deputy editor and then as United States managing editor.
In 2010, she joined Canadian-owned Thomson Reuters. She was a managing director of the company and editor of consumer news when she decided to return home and enter politics in 2013.
Ms. Freeland has written two books: Sale of the Century: The Inside Story of the Second Russian Revolution (2000); and Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else (2012). Plutocrats has been an international best-seller and won the Lionel Gelber Prize and National Business Book Award.
In 2018, the Deputy Prime Minister was recognized as Foreign Policy’s Diplomat of the Year. She was also awarded the Eric M. Warburg Award by Atlantik-Brücke, for her achievements in strengthening transatlantic ties. In 2020, she was awarded Freedom House’s Mark Palmer Prize, in recognition of her years of work in championing democracy and human rights.
Ms. Freeland speaks Russian, Ukrainian, Italian, French, and English. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three children.
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne was first elected in 2015 as the Member of Parliament for Saint-Maurice-Champlain. He has previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Minister of International Trade. Minister Champagne is a businessman, lawyer, and international trade specialist with over 20 years’ experience at large international companies in Europe, particularly in the fields of energy, engineering, and innovation.
Before entering politics, Minister Champagne was Vice-President and Senior Counsel of ABB Group, a leader in cutting-edge technology that operates in more than 100 countries. He also served as Strategic Development Director, acting General Counsel, and Chief Ethics Officer and Member of the Group Management Committee of Amec Foster Wheeler, a world leader in the energy sector. In 2009, Minister Champagne was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He has served on several boards over the years, and was notably President of the Canadian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and the Banff Forum.
After his election in 2015, Minister Champagne served as a parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Finance until 2017, when he was appointed Minister of International Trade. During his time as Minister of International Trade, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement entered into force, and Canada signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. In 2018, he was named Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and oversaw the federal government’s ambitious $187 billion infrastructure investment plan.
He was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2019, and oversaw the creation of Canada’s Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations, which more than 60 countries have endorsed. Minister Champagne holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Montréal and a Master of Laws in American law from Case Western Reserve University. Minister Champagne also studied public and private international law at The Hague Academy of International Law, in the Netherlands.
Laurel Broten is an award-winning CEO, a former Ontario Cabinet minister, a lawyer, a legislator, an advocate and a community builder. She served as president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc., the agency responsible for investment attraction and export development for the Province of Nova Scotia between 2015 and 2022. From 2013 to 2015, Laurel was president and CEO of Broten Public Policy International Inc. She held senior roles in the Government of Ontario from 2003 to 2013. Prior to being elected, she graduated with distinction with a Juris Doctor degree from Western University and practised as a commercial and civil litigation lawyer with three leading Canadian law firms.
Reza Chaji is CEO and founder of VueReal Inc. This Waterloo-based company is focused on revolutionary technologies for enhancing electronic systems (displays, sensors, imagers, …) by integrating millions of highly efficient micro/nanodevices into system substrates.
He received his Ph.D. degree (2008) in Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada, where he worked on designing and implementing large-area electronic systems for AMOLED displays, biomedical imagers, and bio-array sensors.
He has extensive experience developing and designing pixel circuits, driving technology, backplanes and image enhancement algorithms for emissive displays. His work for OLED TVs is adopted in most of the OLED TVs in the market.
He has over 70 published papers and one book in the field of display and sensor, over 150 filed/granted patent applications, and received several prestigious scholarships and awards, including the Young Alumni Achievement Medal, Faculty of Engineering, University of Waterloo, 2012; CMC Douglas R. Colton Medal for Research Excellence 2009; and Strategic Microelectronics Council of ITAC Industrial Collaboration Award 2007.
As Vice-President, Technical Sales with TELUS Business Solutions, Hanif brings more than 20 years of experience and unparalleled strategic expertise in telecommunications and software strategy, sales, marketing and management to the TELUS leadership team.
In his current role, he provides technical thought leadership support for next-generation solutions. His team supports delivery of TELUS’ objectives, while partnering strategically with System Integrators and Hyperscalers on opportunities that deliver significant value to customers. Since joining TELUS in 2000, Hanif managed a broad portfolio of technology products and services including all global roaming, innovative Internet of Things and M2M solutions, and voice, data and other wireline businesses. He was also responsible for TELUS’ global and domestic carrier markets, a mandate in which he leveraged his strong network of relationships with worldwide service providers to generate new and mutually beneficial business opportunities.
Hanif holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University and a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science
Marcello D’Auria is Chief Administrator and Purchasing Division Manager at Honda of Canada Mfg. (HCM) based in Alliston, ON.
In his role, D’Auria leads the departments responsible for ensuring our plants remain operational. The Supply Chain, New Model Purchasing, Purchasing Planning and Parts Quality teams, in the simplest terms, work together to develop and maintain HCM relationships with vendors and suppliers.
Under D’Auria’s leadership, the departments ensure the quality of the parts meets our standards for new model activity and mass production.
In addition, D’Auria leads the departments that coordinate the packaging and logistics of the materials and parts for safe arrival to our plants so that we can build our best in class Civic and CR-V.
D’Auria joined HCM in 1998. Throughout his career, he has held progressively more senior roles at HCM, including New Model Cost Lead, Plant 2 Business Plan Administrator, Accounting Manager and Finance Leader.
Paul Fletcher joined Aviva Canada in 2001, having previously worked at Aviva in the UK. Paul currently leads Aviva’s National Broker Relationships and oversees Analytics, Strategy and Operations in Broker Distribution.
Prior to this, Paul was Chief Corporate Affairs Officer responsible for Distribution Operations, Marketing, Sustainability, Communications and Government Relations. Paul has held many senior leadership positions including in Regional Training, Strategy and Business Transformation, Broker Distribution and Commercial Lines.
In October of 2021, Mr. Freire joined EDC’s Executive Team as Acting Senior Vice-President, Financing and Investments. He oversaw the group responsible for deploying capital to support the international expansion and growth of Canadian exporters and investors, as well as supporting their ongoing financing needs. In April 2022, Mr. Freire became Acting Senior Vice-President, Mid- Market with the goal to accelerate the international growth of medium segment companies to boost their competitiveness internationally. In October 2022, Mr. Freire became the permanent Senior Vice-President, Mid-Market.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Freire was the Vice-President and Head of the Structured and Project Finance, Canadian Global Investors, Technical Advisory Services, and Cleantech teams. With over 18 years of structured and project finance experience globally, he lead the group responsible for arranging and structuring financing for projects and merger and acquisitions across the globe, and across diverse sectors including: power, renewables, cleantech, utilities, infrastructure, mining and oil & gas.
Furthermore, he managed the strategy and relationships for large Canadian investors, major pension funds and other large financial and corporate investors, driving trade for Canada by supporting their international investment activities.
As leader of the Cleantech team, Mr. Freire, continues to be responsible for leading investments and growth financing transactions, committed to helping build globally competitive cleantech firms at all stages of development.
During his career, Mr. Freire has been involved in several high-profile limited recourse transactions, mainly in the power, renewables, and energy sectors. Prior to re-joining EDC, he worked with the treasury team of a major mining company where his main responsibilities included arranging and structuring a multibillion-dollar project financing for a copper and gold mine in Mongolia.
Originally from Peru, Mr. Freire holds an MBA degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and a Science degree from Universidad Nacional Agraria in Lima, Peru. He speaks three languages: English, Spanish, and French.
Ajay Kochhar is the President, CEO, and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
Responsible for strategic oversight of Li-Cycle’s various functional business units, which includes Commercial, Technical (Health, Safety, Environment and Quality/HSEQ, Operations, Commercialization, Research and Development) and Shared Services. Additionally, Ajay supports the development of international growth initiatives for the company in collaboration with Li-Cycle’s Corporate Development team.
Before founding Li-Cycle, Ajay gained extensive technology and project development experience through progressive roles with Hatch’s industrial cleantech and advisory practices. While working in that space, he garnered in-depth engineering and project management experience through clean technology development in the lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, gold, lead, zinc, molybdenum, and rare earth metals industries. His technical expertise spans the entire project lifecycle, from conceptual and pre-feasibility studies to construction and commissioning.
Born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada, Ajay comes from entrepreneurial roots, having gained experience from a young age via a family business. An ardent music enthusiast, he is a classical guitarist who maintains the hobby even now for enjoyment. Ajay is a graduate of the University of Toronto and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering.
Since joining LG Chem in 2001, Danies Hunseong Lee has dedicated most of his professional career witnessing the exponential growth of Li-Ion battery across a variety of industries from mobile devices to EV.
The recent appointment as CEO of Nextstar Energy Inc, STLA-LGES battery joint venture, is expected to bring his extensive industry-wide insight and knowledge to ensure the success of the single largest foreign direct investment in the history of Ontario. Mr. Lee received his Master’s degree in the international Studies from Korean University and MBA from Duke University.
As President and CEO of AutoForecast Solutions LLC (AFS), Joe leverages his decades of industry experience and knowledge to provide production forecasting and advisory services to the global automotive community. Joe manages the automotive turnkey operations at AFS including the global light vehicle, powertrain, drivetrain, and alternative propulsion forecast as well as a suite of AFS proprietary opportunity and sales planning software. AFS supports all tiered suppliers, VMs, government agencies, financial institutions, and the academic community with data, planning solutions, and a personalized support to help identify new business opportunities while mitigating risk.
Joe’s 25+ year career in automotive forecasting ranges from his tenure at AutoFacts, PwC, AutomotiveCompass, and now as founder of AutoForecast Solutions LLC (AFS). Joe earned his Bachelors of Chemical Engineering degree at Villanova University and an MBA at Pennsylvania State University.
Rick Rajaie is the VP of North American operations at Foxconn. He has over 30 years of experience in automotive product development and manufacturing and 17 years of electric vehicle experience. In the past, Rick has served as North American VP of product development for Gotion, Global Lead of Electrified Powertrain for NIO, and North American leader for LG Chem battery solutions. Rick is a motivated Engineering Executive with a strong background in vehicle integration and strategic planning. Rick Rajaie has a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters Degree in Vehicle Integration from Purdue University.
Frank Voss, President of TMMC, is responsible for automotive assembly plants in Cambridge and Woodstock, Ontario which produce the gas and hybrid models of the Toyota RAV4 and the Lexus RX 350 and 450h vehicles.
Prior to assuming this position, Mr. Voss was Vice President of Administration and Corporate Secretary at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, in Georgetown Kentucky.
Mr. Voss joined TMMC in 2002 as General Manager of Information Systems and in 2004 he moved to Production Control as General Manager of New Model Projects. In 2009 he moved to Manufacturing as General Manager of Lexus in TMMC’s South Plant overseeing all production functions including stamping, weld, paint, plastics, and assembly. He also had responsibility for Facilities and Environmental Engineering across all of TMMC.
Mr. Voss is a registered Professional Engineer with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has also been very active in the community and has participated on many boards. Mr. Voss and his wife Diane live in Kitchener.
Petrina Gentile is an award-winning automotive journalist — one of the few women who cover cars in Canada. Petrina has been writing for The Globe and Mail’s Drive section since 2003, reporting on new vehicle debuts, the transition to electric vehicles, and the latest automotive technology.
She appears regularly covering the automotive beat on CTV NewsChannel, CHCH TV, BNN Bloomberg, and CP24. Before that, she produced 18 seasons of the national TV show Car/Business with Jeremy Cato and Michael Vaughan, which was broadcast weekly on CTV and BNN Bloomberg.
She has written several non-fiction books for kids including “Big Trucks, Big Wheels,” “Dirt Movers,” and “The Ballet School.” Before focusing on cars, she was a news writer at CTV and a producer at BNN Bloomberg. She has a Master of Journalism (MJ) from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours English – Rhetoric and Professional Writing and Applied Studies – Co-operative Program) from the University of Waterloo.