Your local Data Management Community in the National Capital Region

Our Guest Speakers

DAMA NCR has been fortunate to host many Guest Speakers from a variety of backgrounds; business to technical, private to public sector - you name it! We are very thank ful to have been gifted their time and insights.

You can find the list of Guest Speakers below, along with their presentation topics. Members can view the recordings of these events and the presentation decks here. If you would like to gain access, consider becoming a member.

Looking to register as a Guest Speaker? Click here.

Thank you to our Guest Speakers!

Éric Gagné

Éric Gagné has been recently appointed as the first CDO of Infrastructure Canada (October 2022). Evidence based decision making, and modernizing business and services has been a thread in his 20+ years career in the Federal Government. Data is the heart and at the core of his interest and expertise.

For the last 14 years, Éric held several executive positions in GoC, notably at Environment and Climate Change Canada as the Director General (DG) Digital Strategies and IM, A/DG Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, and DG Science Policy. He also worked at Public Services and Procurement Canada as a Senior Director in the Federal S&T Infrastructure Initiative. In this time, he was at the ground floor setting the stage for open science and data, catalyzed regulatory data modernization, and launched modern enterprise data and information services.

Éric has a M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from the Louisiana State University and a BA, Human Environment Relations from the Concordia University.


DAMA NCR-RCN Lunch & Learn Series - June 7th, 2023, "Can a CDO lead his organization by leapfrogging or by wearing seven-story boots?"

Alison Paprica

Alison Paprica is Professor (Adjunct) and a Senior Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Separately, she is Principal of the boutique consultancy Research Project Management, a Senior Fellow at Massey College, and a member of the International Advisory Board for Health Data Research UK.

Alison’s previous roles include inaugural Vice President, Health Strategy and Partnerships at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence; serving as a founding member of Health Data Research Network Canada’s Executive Team and chairing its Public Engagement Working Group, Director, Strategic Partnerships at ICES. From 2010-2103, she was Director of the Planning, Research & Analysis Branch at the Ontario Ministry of Health where she was responsible for up to $60 million annual applied health research investment and in-house knowledge translation activities to bring research findings into policy and practice. Prior to working in the public sector, she held scientist and R&D management positions at three different international pharmaceutical companies.

Alison holds an Honours Combined BSc in biochemistry and chemistry (McMaster), a PhD in organic chemistry (Western University). Her main research interests are data governance and research data infrastructure, public involvement in data-intensive health R&D, evidence-informed policy, and the leadership and management of research as a topic in its own right.


DAMA NCR-RCN Lunch & Learn Series - May 31st, 2023, "What do members of the public want from data access and use policies?"

Erica Ren

In October 2022, Erica Ren was appointed Chief Data Officer (CDO) at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).  Before the appointment she was the Director General of Modernization at Canadian Heritage.

With nearly 20 years of experience in the Federal Public Service, Erica Ren has developed expertise in a variety of fields such as data analytics, information management, business intelligence, application development, systems analysis, enterprise architecture, application architecture, portfolio management, and project management. Her experience spans various departments and agencies, including Canadian Heritage, Canada Border Services Agency, Correctional Service of Canada, and Transport Canada.  As the Director of Open Government and Data Analytics at the Canada Border Services Agency she was responsible for supporting the Agency’s analytics program and Open Government initiative and promoting the use of data as a strategic asset to make better business decisions.

Erica holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering, a Master of Engineering, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Ottawa. 


DAMA NCR-RCN Lunch & Learn Series - April 26th, 2023, "Chief Data Officer at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)"

Derek Gould

Derek Gould is the co-founder of SCI Resource Software (now NetBenefit) and has led the deployment of 20+ systems to track the socioeconomic impact of major industrial projects. Derek has an Information Systems and Statistics background which he has applied to the management of software systems over the last 30 years.


DAMA NCR-RCN Lunch & Learn Series - February 21st, 2023, "Using Imperfect Data to Track the Socioeconomic Impact of Mega-Projects"

Matt Adams

Matt Adams has worked in enterprise software for the last 10 years and is currently the CEO of NetBenefit Software. Matt is versed in process design and data collection and is now focused on positioning NetBenefit to become the category leader in the socioeconomic impact software space.


DAMA NCR-RCN Lunch & Learn Series - February 21st, 2023, "Using Imperfect Data to Track the Socioeconomic Impact of Mega-Projects"

Dr. Gregory Richard

Dr. Gregory Richards is the Vice Dean, Graduate Professional Programs at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa.

Gregory conducts research into organizational performance management, Business Intelligence and Business Analytic practices and outcomes in public and private sector organizations. He leads the Centre for Business Analytics and Performance that explores emerging technical and social issues related to analytics, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence.

Prior to his academic appointment, Gregory worked at Transport Canada and at Consulting and Audit Canada as well as with Cognos Incorporated. He is a Certified Management Consultant, a Fellow of the CMC-Ontario Institute of Management Consultants, and an Academic Fellow of the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes.


DAMA NCR-RCN Lunch & Learn Series - January 24th, 2023, "Adapting data governance to the modern enterprise: a case study"

Barbara Cohn

Barbara Cohn is a senior consultant/Chief Data Officer with Xentity Corporation, and former Chief Data Officer of New York State and Colorado Department of Transportation. An expert in public policy, data strategy, data governance, and Open Data, Barbara has held multiple leadership roles in state and local government, and has worked in an advisory role to multiple federal agencies. Barbara has been nationally recognized as one of Government Technology Magazine’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, & Drivers and as one of CDO Magazine’s Global Data Power Women. Barbara has an extensive background in developing strong and sustainable data foundations - advancing the utilization of data as a strategic asset with the objective of turning raw data into actionable knowledge. Operating at the intersection of business, data, policy, technology, and people, Barbara creates dynamic data environments which inspire innovation, maximize business insights, facilitate interoperability, and advance data governance, data quality, data standards, and data literacy.


DAMA Days Canada Conference - October 21st, 2022, "CDO Panel Discussion"

Jagoda Walny

Jagoda Walny is a Technical Specialist in Data Visualization and Design at the Canada Energy Regulator (CER), where she works to enable and support new ways to see, interact with, and explore data. She was Design Lead and Postdoctoral Fellow during the then-National Energy Board's Data Visualization Initiative, which produced engaging visualizations of regulatory and energy data for the Canadian public. Jagoda holds a PhD in Computer Science in the field of information visualization from the InnoVis/Interactions Lab at the University of Calgary. Find her at


DAMA NCR-RCN Lunch & Learn Series - June 15th, 2022, "Beyond Bar Charts: How to Make Creative Data Visualizations (and Why)"

Mario Cantin

Mario has worn many hats in his career: programmer, analyst, architect, DBA, information technology manager, project manager, framework developer, entrepreneur, and strategist. Before founding Prodago, Mr. Cantin held a variety of data leadership positions with notable companies such as Hydro-Quebec, Cirque du Soleil, Standard Life, National Bank of Canada, Schering, Desjardins, Bell, Gaz Metro, Government of Canada, CSN, FTQ, Alcan, and Rogers. A respected expert in his field, Mario is a sought-after speaker and a passionate communicator.  His thought leadership on data and analytics governance and data management has left its mark with many audiences and influenced key actors over the years. His focus for the past ten years has been on Data and Analytics Governance, and more recently, on the use of governance to mitigate the risks created by the pervasive application of Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. Working with international organizations like Gartner and other industry thought leaders, he developed the Lean Data Governance approach and the subsequent Data and Analytics Governance Operating Model.  Mr. Cantin holds a Master in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from HEC Montréal and a B.A. in Mechanical Engineering from École Polytechnique. He is a Certified Information Privacy Manager from IAPP.


DAMA NCR-RCN Lunch & Learn Series - May 11th, 2022, "Use Case on AI Governance"

Karen Lopez

Karen is a senior project manager and architect with an extensive background in development processes and information management. She specializes in taking practical approaches to systems development. She has 20+ years of public speaking (keynotes, speeches, and demonstrations). She wants attendees to have fun, gain insights and take away inspiration for working with new technologies and methods.

She's known for her slightly irreverent and practical approach to IT training and speaking. She wants you to be part of #TEAMDATA.


DAMA NCR-RCN Lunch & Learn Series - April 13th, 2022, "Who's Pissing in your Data Lake?"

Courtney Bowman

Courtney Bowman is Global Director of Privacy and Civil Liberties Engineering at Palantir Technologies. His work addresses the confluence of issues at the intersection of policy, law, technology, ethics, and social norms. In working extensively with government and commercial partners, as well through engagements with policymakers, academics, and civil society, Bowman’s team focuses on designing, building, and deploying privacy protective technologies and fostering a culture of responsibility around their development and use. Bowman is co-author of The Architecture of Privacy, which provides a multidisciplinary framework for designing and building privacy-protective information systems. Prior to Palantir, Bowman earned degrees in Physics and Philosophy at Stanford University and worked as a quantitative and economic analyst at Google.


DAMA NCR-RCN Lunch & Learn Series - March 16th, 2022, "Adapting Data Governance to the Modern Enterprise: A Case Study"

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