Jim Balsillie

In addition to his commitment to CIGI, Jim Balsillie is the founder of the Balsillie School of International Affairs, the Centre for Digital Rights and the Arctic Research Foundation, and co-founder of the Council of Canadian Innovators.



Jim Balsillie is the retired Chairman and co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), a technology company he scaled from an idea to $20 billion in sales globally. His private investment office includes global technology investments such as cybersecurity leader Magnet Forensics and space technology leader MDA.

He is the co-founder of the Council of Canadian Innovators and the Digital Governance Council, as well as founder of the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, the Centre for Digital Rights, the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and the Arctic Research Foundation. He currently chairs the boards of CCI, CIGI, Innovation Asset Collective and co-chairs the Digital Governance Council. He is also a member of the Board of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stockholm Resilience Centre Advisory Board; the Canada School of Public Service Advisory Board; and the Prefiguration Group of the International Observatory on Information and Democracy. Mr. Balsillie is an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy and was the private sector representative on the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel for Sustainability.

His awards include: several honorary degrees, Mobile World Congress Lifetime Achievement Award, India’s Priyadarshni Academy Global Award, Canadian Business Hall of Fame, Time Magazine’s World’s 100 Most Influential People and three times Barron’s list of “World’s Top CEOs.”

From This Expert