April 8, 2010
Hélène Desmarais, Chair of the Board of Directors of HEC Montréal, was invested as a member of the Order of Canada yesterday. She received the country’s highest distinction in recognition of her exceptional contribution to Quebec’s socioeconomic and cultural development. Some forty other Canadians were also honoured at the ceremony by Governor General Michaëlle Jean.
Ms. Desmarais’ name is closely linked with the economic and financial sectors, and she has always shown great dedication to education, health, culture and youth concerns. She is a leading light of Quebec’s business community, and President and CEO of the Montreal Enterprises and Innovation Centre. She chairs the boards of the Montreal Economic Institute, the Société de développement économique Ville-Marie, the Société d’investissement jeunesse and the Fondation de l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (MSO). Ms. Desmarais is also the Deputy Chair and founder of the HEC Montréal International Advisory Board, Deputy Chair of the Board of the MSO and Chair of the advisory boards of the Faculty of Medicine and the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal. She sits on the boards of the C.D. Howe Institute, Génome Québec, the HEC Montréal – Concordia Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations and the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, among others.
Ms. Desmarais holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Finance specialization) from HEC Montréal, and last year received two honorary doctorates: from the Université Lumière Lyon, in France, and the other from St. Francis Xavier University, in Nova Scotia. Also in 2009, she received the gold medal from the Université de Montréal Faculty of Medicine. In 2007, the Université de Montréal alumni association granted her its Order of Merit, its highest distinction. In 2002 she was awarded the Jubilee Medal to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, for her exceptional and exemplary contributions to Canada.