Begin main content

David Agnew, Chair of the Board

Mr. Agnew has led a distinguished career as an executive and senior leader in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. He is currently the President of Seneca College, one of the largest colleges in Canada. His diverse experience, knowledge of corporate governance, and passion for evidence-based policy make him an ideal choice to lead the CADTH Board of Directors.

In his public service career, Mr. Agnew served as Principal Secretary to the Premier before moving on to the role of Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service for the Government of Ontario. He also led the Public-Private Partnerships Project and was seconded to Massey College at the University of Toronto, where he was a Senior Resident.

Mr. Agnew held the position of President and CEO of UNICEF Canada, and was the first head of the organization recruited from outside the international development sector. As Principal for the consulting firm Digital 4Sight, he led the firm’s global research initiative on Governance in the Digital Economy. In the co-operative sector, he was the Executive Vice-President and Corporate Secretary for the Credit Union Central of Ontario. Mr. Agnew also held the position of  Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments, the national dispute resolution service for consumers and small businesses.

Mr. Agnew is on the boards of directors for Polytechnics Canada, Colleges and Institutes Canada, and the Education Quality and Accountability Office. He is the past Chair of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and of Colleges Ontario. He also serves on numerous other boards and committees, including the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues, the Sichuan University International Advisory Board, the CivicAction Steering Committee and the Canadian Ditchley Foundation Advisory Board. He is a former member of the federal government’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Council, a former director of ventureLAB and the Empire Club of Canada, and has served on the campaign cabinets of the United Way in Toronto and Peel.

In 2012, Mr. Agnew received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service to the community.