Waterloo, Canada – November 24, 2009 – The Board of Directors of The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) today announced the appointment of Thomas A. Bernes to the position of vice-president of programs. In this newly established role, Mr. Bernes will oversee the development of CIGI’s work program strategy, implementing and coordinating research activities and assisting in the development of networks and partnerships related to the work program.
“Tom brings a global perspective to our work program, informed by his distinguished experience around the world,” said CIGI Chair of the Board Jim Balsillie. “I am confident Mr. Bernes will help us strengthen our efforts to develop a world-class work program that will ensure greater impact for CIGI.”
Well known in the international policy community, Mr. Bernes most recently served as director of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Independent Evaluation Office. Previously, he served as executive secretary of the joint IMF-World Bank Development Committee, and deputy corporate secretary of the World Bank. The Development Committee serves as a forum of the World Bank and IMF that facilitates intergovernmental consensus-building on development issues.
Prior to his appointment to the Development Committee Secretariat in September 2001, Mr. Bernes was an IMF Executive Director from 1996, where he was responsible for a constituency encompassing Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean. From 1992 to 1996, he was assistant deputy minister of finance in Canada, and served as the senior international economic official representing Canada at high-level meetings, including the G7, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
During Mr. Bernes’ long and distinguished public career, he also held various senior finance, foreign affairs and trade policy positions within the Canadian government. He joined the Public Service of Canada in 1970, where he served in a variety of positions with Industry Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) and the Department of Finance. From 1983-1985, Mr. Bernes served as head of the General Trade Policy Division with the OECD. In 1985, he was appointed director of GATT Affairs at DFAIT, and in 1987 he joined the Department of Finance as director of international economic relations. He was appointed general director of the International Trade and Finance Branch in 1988, and he became executive director of the Co-ordinating Secretariat on Canadian Unity in the Office of the Deputy Minister in 1991.
Mr. Bernes, who was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and graduated from the University of Manitoba, will begin his responsibilities at CIGI on November 30.
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The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that addresses international governance challenges. Led by a group of experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate, builds capacity, and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI's interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2002 by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit www.cigionline.org.