Suzanne Fortier has served as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University since September 2013. Prior to her appointment as Principal, Professor Fortier was President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) from 2006 to 2013, and held the position of Vice-Principal (Academic) from 2000 to 2005 and Vice-Principal (Research) from 1995 to 2000 at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, where she was a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and in the School of Computing (1982-2006).
A native of St-Timothée, Québec, Professor Fortier graduated from McGill with a BSc (1972) and a PhD in Crystallography (1976). Her research work has focused in the development of mathematical and artificial intelligence methodologies for protein structure determination. She has also made contributions to the development of novel techniques in crystallographic data mining to gain new insights from the large structural databases.
Professor Fortier was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2018. She is also an officer of France’s National Order of Merit, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was named a Specially Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2015). She holds honorary doctorates from Thompson Rivers University, Carleton University, and the University of Glasgow.
Professor Fortier currently serves as Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global University Leaders Forum (GULF), as a member of the HEC Paris International Advisory Board, on the Boards of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), and is an Academic Member of the Board of Governors of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. She also serves on the Canadian Business-Higher Education Roundtable, the Catalyst Canada Advisory Board, as well as the Boards of Directors of Montreal International, and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.
She has previously served as a member of several boards and councils, including the federal government's Council of Science and Technology Advisors (CSTA), the Board of Directors of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Steering Committee of the Networks of Centres of Excellence, the Ontario Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress, Universities Canada, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, the Canadian Federal Minister of Finance’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth, the Conference Board of Canada, and served as a member and Vice-Chair of the Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC).