Pascale Fournier

President and Chief Executive Officer

A Doctor in Law from Harvard University and a member of the Royal Society of Canada College, Pascale Fournier is an exceptional and engaging intellectual leader whose academic trajectory is marked by strong multidisciplinary achievements. A prolific and bilingual author, her academic contributions address several of the themes dear to the Foundation: human rights and dignity, Canada's role in the world, and responsible citizenship. 

At the time of her appointment, Pascale Fournier was a full professor at the University of Ottawa faculty of law and Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law. With the generous support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, she has led international research teams to better understand and document the struggles of religious women in Canada, England, France, Germany, Israel, and Lebanon.

With her remarkable sense of openness to the world, Pascale Fournier has taught from Haiti to Costa Rica and Iran. In 2015, she was named “one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada” by the Canadian Lawyer Magazinein the “Worldstage” category. As a proud alumna of the Foundation’s inaugural cohort of doctoral scholarship recipients in 2003, she focused her academic career on the public arena by emphasizing the accessibility of her research and by frequently intervening in public debate, thus enabling her to become a true public intellectual leader. In 2014, the Washington DC-based International Women’s Forum  selected her as one of 35 women in the world showing leadership in her community.

Eager to communicate and interact with the general public, Professor Fournier is involved in multiple projects whose practical benefits have tangible consequences for marginalized populations living in precarious conditions. She has acted as a consultant and lecturer to numerous United Nations agencies and regularly provides training to the Canadian judiciary. In 2015, the Quebec National Assembly appointed her Commissioner to the Quebec Commission on Human Rights and Youth Rights. The same year, she participated in the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, along with 250 national leaders from the fields of business, labour, the public and cultural sectors, non-governmental organizations, and Canadian universities. Pascale Fournier has held management positions, serving among others as Vice-Dean of Research. An engaging communicator, she has also collaborated with the news dailies La Presse and The NewYork Times.

During her outstanding journey, Pascale Fournier received many prizes and distinctions such as the Québec Bar Association’s Advocatus Emeritus Distinction (2009), the University of Ottawa President’s Award for Excellence in Media Relations (2011), the University of Laval’s Gloire de l’Escolle medal (2016), and the Ottawa Network for Education’s Capital Educator’s Award for teaching excellence (2016). Her contagious passion and bold dynamism will enable her to optimize research in humanities and social science in Canada while increasing the intellectual visibility of the Foundation among the influential university leaders and decision makers of this world.

Pascale Fournier is married and has three sons.

  • July 9, 2018
    MONTRÉAL, 9 July 2018 – The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation announces the appointment of Pascale Fournier, Ad.E., as President and Chief Executive Officer. Succeeding Morris Rosenberg, her five year mandate begins on July 9th, 2018.
  • April 18, 2018
    The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is proud to announce the appointment of Professor Pascale Fournier, Ad.E., as President and Chief Executive Officer Montreal, April 18th, 2018 Dear members of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation community,
  • September 13, 2016
    2003 Trudeau scholar Pascale Fournier, professor and research chair in legal pluralism and comparative law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa has been elected as a member of the 2016 cohort of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada. Professor Fournier will join approximately eighty newly-elected Royal Society of Canada members whose notable achievements in the areas of research, arts and science are honoured this year.
  • April 9, 2015
    2003 Trudeau scholar Pascale Fournier, Professor and Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa has been named part-time commissioner of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse for a five-year mandate. Within these new functions, Professor Fournier will fulfill the Commission’s multidisciplinary mandate of promotion, research and advocac
  • August 12, 2014
    2003 Trudeau Scholar Professor Pascale Fournier was chosen by the International Women’s Forum to take part in the Fellows Program of its Leadership Foundation. She joins 36 women from 14 different countries.
  • May 29, 2013
    2003 Trudeau Scholar Pascale Fournier wrote an article entitled "Dishonour, Provocation and Culture: Through the Beholder's Eye?" that has been identified by Isabel Grant as one of the best works of recent scholarship relating to equality, in a review published in Jotwell: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots). Pascale Fournier is now Vice-Dean (Research) and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa.