2019 Friend of the Faculty Impact Award recipient: Sheryl Kennedy

Meet Sheryl Kennedy


Sheryl KennedySheryl Kennedy, CEO, Promontory Financial Group Canada, ULC (BES 1976, Urban & Regional Planning)

Named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 by the Women’s Executive Network and awarded the Women in Capital Markets Leadership Award, this notable alumna hardly needs further introduction, but in short, Sheryl Kennedy is a female force. Four years after graduating from the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning in 1976, Sheryl went on to earn a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University. In addition, she studied finance and financial markets at the London School of Economics.

Sheryl served as the CEO of the Promontory Financial Group Canada ULC until 2018 and currently sits as non-executive chair of Promontory Financial Group Canada, now a subsidiary of IBM. Prior to that, she was the deputy governor of the Bank of Canada for 14 years. She chaired the G10 governors Markets Committee at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland from 2003 until 2006 – the first Canadian and the first woman to do so! In that capacity, a notable accomplishment was her leadership in spearheading the inclusion of China as a member of the Markets Committee. Sheryl also represented Canada on the G30 Committee on Global Clearing Settlement and chaired the Canadian Foreign Exchange Committee from 2001 to 2005. Before landing at the Bank of Canada, Sheryl worked for the department of Finance of the government of Canada as director general of the Financial Sector Policy branch, and as the finance counselor for the Embassy of Canada in Paris, France.

Sheryl serves as the vice chair of the Canadian Public Accountability Board which regulates the auditing of publicly traded companies and is on the Board of the CLS Group, the global critical financial market infrastructure that provides foreign exchange solutions and data to reduce risk and create efficiencies. She is a trustee of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada pension plan and vice chair of the Mothers Matter Centre. 

Sheryl is also a member of the University of Waterloo’s Board of Governors, where she is helping shape the University, giving back through her time, counsel and leadership, and championing key projects at Waterloo Environment. Sheryl was the lead alumni advisor and seed donor to the Faculty of Environment’s Global Citizen Internships, enabling the creation of a robust and unique experiential learning program.  Thanks to Sheryl’s Global Citizen Internships, five students will have work terms with Habitat for Humanity, developing their professional skills while also contributing to our nonprofit partner and benefitting the families and communities they serve.

This is not an all-encompassing list of the trailblazing path, contributions and accomplishments this astonishing alumna has made from her roots in planning, through the world of finance, and at the University of Waterloo. It is evident why she was named one of the top 100 most powerful women in Canada (the country’s most recognizable award for the highest achieving female leaders) and why she was nominated for both the Distinguished Alumni and the Friend of the Faculty Awards.


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