Bonnie M. Patterson, CM, OOnt, MLS, LL.D, ICD.D

Senior Academic Advisor, KBRS
Bonnie M. Patterson

With her extensive background in higher education and leadership, KBRS is grateful to have her on our team as a Senior Academic Advisor to support our team, candidates, and clients in navigating the academic sector.  

Bonnie M. Patterson is an experienced President and CEO with over four decades of leadership in the higher education sector. She has been recognized for a series of “firsts” in her highly successful academic and administrative leadership career. 

She joined the faculty of Western University shortly after obtaining her BA and MLS there. When she later joined Ryerson University, she quickly moved into academic administration chairing the School of Administration and Information Management and serving as Special Advisor to the President during Ryerson’s transformation to full university status. She went on to become the first woman Dean of Business in Canada (1990 - 95), the first woman President of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) (1995-1998), the first woman President and Vice-Chancellor of Trent University (1998-2009) and the first woman to Chair the Board of Universities Canada (then the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada). After 11 years leading Trent, she returned to lead the COU as President and CEO for an additional 6 years. Currently she is a Consultant & Executive Coach in Higher Education Leadership & Governance. 

Education, Certifications and Awards:  

  • Appointed to the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario 
  • Named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by WXN 
  • Recipient of the Queen’s Diamond and Jubilee medals  
  • Recipient of the David C. Smith Award for outstanding contributions to innovative policy development in teaching and research in higher education 
  • Masters of Legal Services (MLS), Western University  
  • Masters of Library & Information Sciences (MLS), Western University 
  • Bachelor of Arts, Western University 
  • Recipient of Honorary Doctorates from Carleton, Lakehead, Ryerson (now TMU), York and Western universities 

Passions, Community Involvement and Personal Interests: 

  • Member of the Board of Metrolinx 
  • Member of the Board of Canadian Scholarship Trust; Chair of Governance & Human Resources Committee and Member of the Investment Committee
  • Senior Academic Advisor, Navitas Canada (International Education) 
  • Board Chair, The Roberta Bondar Foundation 
  • Trustee, Canadian Associates of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences 
  • Chair, School of Administration and Information Management, Ryerson University  
  • Enjoys golf, photography, videography and travelling 
Bonnie M. Patterson