Dr. Helen Vari
Dr. Helen Vari is currently serving or has served on the boards of the Alliance Française, Ontario Heritage Foundation, Canada Council, Canadian Scene, The Council for Canadian Unity, Canada House at the Université de Paris, and the World Monuments Fund as well as many others. She was appointed to the York University Board of Governors in 1990 and served until 2002, at which point she was made an Honorary Governor. Dr. Vari was also a member of the Board of Governors, Ryerson University. Helen is President of the George and Helen Vari Foundation, renowned for its outstanding record in philanthropy, particularly in the field of education, making significant endowments to Ryerson University, York University and the University of Toronto. Dr. Vari is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2003) and the
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). Dr. Vari is a Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur of France, an Officer in France’s Ordre National du Mérit, and a Commandant de
l’Ordre du Chevalier de Malta. Dr. Vari has been awarded honorary degrees from York and Victoria Universities.
The Honourable David R. Peterson
The Hon. David Peterson is Chancellor of the University of Toronto, former Premier of Ontario and Chairman and senior partner of the Toronto law firm of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. He is a director of St. Michael’s Hospital, was the Chairman of the successful Toronto Bid for 2015 Pan Am Games and is also a director of a number of public and private companies. Mr. Peterson
is a Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honour of France, was summoned by Her Majesty to the Privy Council, and has been awarded the Ordre de la Pléiade and the Order of Ontario. Mr. Peterson has been awarded honorary doctorates by national and international universities.
H.E. Ambassador Marc Lortie
Marc Lortie, a career diplomat, obtained a specialized B.A. in Political Science (International Relations) at Laval University and joined the Department of External Affairs in 1971. Mr. Lortie served in Tunisia (1973-75) and Washington (1979-83). He was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Office in 1985 where he was in charge of relations with the international media until
1987 when he was named Press Secretary. In 1989, he returned to the diplomatic service and served in Paris as Minister-Counsellor for Political Affairs and as Personal Representative of the Prime Minister for La Francophonie. He was named Canadian Ambassador to Chile in 1993 and served in that position until 1997 when he was nominated Fellow at the Centre for International
Affairs at Harvard University. Mr. Lortie returned to Ottawa in September 1998 when he was appointed sherpa for the third Summit of the Americas. In 2001, Mr. Lortie was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister for the Americas. He was Ambassador of Canada to Spain from
2004 to 2007 and arrived in Paris in September 2007.