Jim Balsillie, Background
Jim Balsillie is the founder and chair of The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). He is the former co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), a position he has held from 1992 to 2012. A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Jim earned a bachelor of commerce from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Harvard University, and is a chartered accountant.
The success of RIM and its flagship BlackBerry® wireless solution provided Jim with the opportunity to give back to his community and country. In 2002, he announced a major endowment gift to establish The Centre for International Governance Innovation, an international research institution founded in 2001 to identify and develop ideas for global change. CIGI works to support research, foster exchange across disciplines, and provide informed advice to decision makers on multilateral governance issues.
In addition to his commitment to CIGI, Jim is the founder of the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) and founding chair of the Canadian International Council (CIC). In 2010, Jim was appointed to the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, charged with formulating a new vision for sustainable growth in response to the growing risk of dangerous climate change. Jim is a founding donor of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics; a patron of the Grand River Hospital, where his leadership gift helped establish a new cancer care centre; a major donor to RIM Park in the City of Waterloo; and principal benefactor for the Balsillie Collection of Roy Studio Images in Peterborough. He also helped establish the Waterloo Regional Children's Museum.
Jim's commitment to the community and innovation in business leadership is widely recognized. He has received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Wilfrid Laurier University, Dalhousie University and Trent University, and was also elected a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (FCA), the highest designation that the Institute confers.
In the News
- Ontario universities promise funding guide amid Carleton donor backlash, James Bradshaw, The Globe and Mail, July 14, 2012
- York profs revolt against pact with Balsillie think tank, James Bradshaw, The Globe and Mail, March 21, 2012
- Jim Balsillie’s new Waterloo school gets high marks, Toronto.com, March 2, 2012