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, 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.
An experienced board chair and director, and consultant on governance practices, Professor Patterson has contributed to the success of numerous boards over the years. She is currently a member of the Board of Metrolinx, is Board Chair of The Roberta Bondar Foundation and trustee with the Canadian Associates of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.
In recognition of her service and success, she has been appointed to the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, was named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by WXN and was the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond and Jubilee medals as well as the David C. Smith Award for outstanding contributions to innovative policy development in teaching and research in higher education.