Michel Girard is a senior fellow at CIGI, where he contributes expertise in the area of standards for big data and artificial intelligence (AI). His research strives to drive dialogue on what standards are, why they matter in these emerging sectors of the economy, and how to incorporate them into regulatory and procurement frameworks. He highlights issues that should be examined in the design of new technical standards governing big data and AI in order to spur innovation while also respecting privacy, security and ethical considerations.
In addition, Michel provides standardization advice to help innovative companies in their efforts to access international markets. He contributes to the Digital Governance Council and to the standardization activities of the Digital Governance Standards Institute.
Michel has 22 years of experience as an executive in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to joining CIGI, Michel was vice president, strategy at the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), where he worked from 2009 to 2018. At the SCC, he led the design and implementation of the Standards and Innovation program, the Climate Ready infrastructure program, the Northern Infrastructure Standards Initiative and the Monitoring Standards in Canadian Regulations project. He managed the negotiation of standardization clauses in trade agreements including the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Canadian Free Trade Agreement. Previously, he was director of the Ottawa office at the Canadian Standards Association, director of international affairs at Environment Canada, corporate secretary at Agriculture Canada and acting director of education and compliance at the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. He holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in history from the University of Ottawa.