We are proud to celebrate and acknowledge individuals who have made a unique and special contribution to the development of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW). Our definition of a foundational leader is an individual whose vision, time (both paid and volunteer), and contribution helped lead and shape the CIW as a national tool for measuring wellbeing. In order to be considered as a foundational leader, an individual would have to be perceived as a leader who contributed to the CIW as a whole, and beyond the scope of their own area of expertise. This listing is alphabetical.

The Honourable Monique Bégin

P.C., O.C., FRSC, Sociologist (Ph.D); Former Canadian Commissioner on World Health Organization (WHO) Commission on Social Determinants of Health; Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Ottawa

The Honourable Monique Begin

From the first moment Monique became Co-Chair of the CIW Advisory Board, it was clear that she would be a ‘force’. Her political savvy, intelligence, and tough but thoughtful questions have moved the CIW to a higher level. Always ready to advise on CIW reports, take on french language interviews, and work as part of the team, Monique’s joie de vivre was appreciated. After an exemplary career in public service, we thank Monique for sharing her knowledge and passion about human rights, public policy and the social determinants of health.

Ron Colman

Ph.D., Executive Director, GPI Atlantic; former professor international politics, political theory and philosophy at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax

Ron Colman

As the CIW's first Senior Research Advisor, Ron took on the early advancement of the CIW in Canada and connected us internationally to his work with Bhutan, a country that adopted Gross National Happiness as its central policy goal. He was an active member of the CIW National Steering Committee that existed between 2004 to 2007 and has remained involved as a member of the CIW Canadian Research Advisory Group.

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston

C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Former Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada; Former President of the University of Waterloo

David Johnston, former president, University of Waterloo

In his capacity of President at the University of Waterloo, David took a leadership role in facilitating the move of the CIW to the university and saw that it was well established in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. As an early champion of the CIW, he understood that the CIW could “bring the world to Waterloo and Waterloo to the world.”

Hugh Mackenzie

Principal in Economic Consulting business, Hugh Mackenzie & Associates; Past President and Chair of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation

Hugh Mackenzie

Hugh seeded the idea of a wellbeing tool for Canada and promoted the idea and concept with the Atkinson Charitable Foundation, who agreed to incubate and fund this project. He was a member of the CIW National Steering Committee that existed between 2004 to 2007 and has remained involved as a member of the CIW Advisory Board.

Dr. Robert McMurtry

CM, MD, FRCSC, FACS, Professor Emeritus, Surgery, University of Western Ontario; Former Orthopedic Consultant at the Hand and Upper Limb Centre, London, Ontario; Former Member of the Health Council of Canada

Dr. Robert McMurty

Dr. Bob was the Chair of the CIW National Steering Committee that existed between 2004 to 2007. His leadership was legendary at a critical time in development when the CIW was engaging both the public and a pan-Canadian network of indicator experts to build the CIW domains. He has remained involved as a member of the CIW Advisory Board.

Hans Messinger

Former Senior Advisor and Director of Industry Measures & Analysis, Statistics Canada

Hans Messinger

Hans was a member of the CIW National Steering Committee that existed between 2004 to 2007 during a pivotal time in CIW development. He showed exemplary leadership in promoting the CIW as a credible tool alongside GDP; a challenge considering his career at Statistics Canada was to calculate GDP. He continues to contribute as a member of the CIW Canadian Research Advisory Group. 

Alex Michalos

C.M., Ph.D., D.Litt., F.R.S.C., O.C., Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Brandon University; Professor Emeritus, Political Science, University of Northern British Columbia

Alex Michalos

Alex not only has a passion for, but is an internationally recognized expert in, social indicators research. The CIW was fortunate to engage Alex after a career researching how to measure the quality of life in Canada and abroad. As our second Senior Research Advisor, he deftly managed the peer review process for the CIW’s eight baseline domain reports and developed the methodology for the CIW's signature product, the CIW composite index. He continues to stay involved as a member of the CIW Canadian Research Advisory Group.

Charles Pascal

O.C., Ph.D., Professor, Applied Psychology & Human Development, OISE/University of Toronto; Former Executive Director, Atkinson Charitable Foundation

Charles Pascal

Charles was instrumental in incubating and funding the development of the CIW, bringing together the key "measurement" people to develop the index architecture, promoting the CIW through his extensive communication and government relationships, recruiting a number of iconic Canadians and international experts to sit on the CIW Advisory Board, and developing options that led to the CIW moving to its permanent home at the University of Waterloo.

The Honourable Roy J. Romanow

P.C., O.C., S.O.M., Q.C., Former Premier of Saskatchewan; Commissioner on the Future of Health Care in Canada; Senior Fellow, Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan; Atkinson Economic Justice Fellow

Roy J. Romanow

The CIW’s success has a lot to do with the passion of the Honourable Roy J. Romanow. Following his work on the Royal Commission, he signed on with the CIW, as Co-Chair of the Advisory Board, for what became ten years of powerful ‘nation-building’ speeches across this country and around the world. He saw the CIW as reflecting the notion of shared destiny. And that by using the CIW, we can break silos, look beyond short-term bottom lines, work from what binds us together rather than what drives us apart, and build new ways to shine the spotlight on what matters to Canadians. We thank Roy for inspiring the CIW Network to continue to promote wellbeing as the lens for decision-making in Canada.

Lynne Slotek

Founding CIW National Director, MSW

Lynne Slotek

Lynne championed the CIW public engagement process that has gained international respect and is inspiring other countries as they develop their own wellbeing initiatives. Her commitment to engaging Canadians from all walks of life has meant that the CIW framework truly reflects the needs and values of Canadians. Lynne has been passionate about the power and use of the CIW as a tool for change and evidence-based decision-making and has been an articulate spokesperson.

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