Executive in Residence, Global Partnerships
Ontario Centres of Excellence
David Fransen is currently Executive in Residence, Global Partnerships, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). From 2008 to 2014, he was Canada’s Consul General in Los Angeles, serving as the country’s senior representative in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.
OCE co-invests with private companies to commercialize innovation originating in the province’s publicly funded colleges, universities and research hospitals. It also supports and invests in early-stage projects, where the probability of commercial success and potential total return on innovation are substantial, focusing on energy and environment (including water); advanced manufacturing; advanced health technologies; and information, communications technologies and digital media. David leads OCE’s efforts to forge stronger partnerships in Canada and around the world. He is also working to bring Ontario companies and academic institutions together to take advantage of collaborative global opportunities.
David is also Chair of the Waterloo Innovation Summit at the University of Waterloo. He is a past Executive Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing and Associate Vice-President (Strategic Relations) at the university.
David initially joined the Canadian public service at the Department of Finance. He later worked in the Privy Council Office, providing policy advice related to such developments as the Green Plan in 1990, the drafting of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the creation of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and the creation of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. From there, he moved to Industry Canada, as the Director of Economic Framework Policies in the Strategic Policy Branch, and then went on to become the Director General of the Office of Consumer Affairs. David next became the Director General of the Centre for Healthy Human Development at Health Canada, returning to Industry Canada as Associate Assistant Deputy Minister in the Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunication Sector. David then became Assistant Deputy Minister of the Industry Sector, where he was primarily responsible for providing policy advice and delivering programs related to some of Canada’s key economic sectors, eg. automotive, aerospace, life sciences, steel, and forestry. David later became Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy at Industry Canada, as well as the Director of Investment Canada.
David was also a member of the founding Board of Governors of the Council of Canadian Academies, a member of the Board of Directors of the Standards Council of Canada, and the Secretary of the Minister’s Expert Panel on Commercialization.
David received his Bachelor of Theology degree from Canadian Mennonite Bible College. At the University of Waterloo, he obtained an Honours BA and an MA. David then obtained his PhD in History at the University of Toronto.