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About us

The David & Sharon Johnston Centre is the Rotman's home for research and resources about boards of directors and corporate governance.

Our purpose is to support academic research and teaching, generate practical tools and insights and host events that improve the effectiveness of boards. We focus on under-served sectors such as family enterprise, both public and private, co-operatives, crown corporations and dual-class public issuers.

David & Sharon Johnston

The Centre is named in honour of the remarkable contributions to Canadian life, society and business of David and Sharon Johnston.

In a lengthy career in the university sector, The Right Honourable David Johnston served as principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University and president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo. He also held teaching and leadership roles at Queen’s University, University of Toronto, and Western University. During his career, he served on the boards of a number of public companies as well as on boards of not-for-profit organizations and universities. He was the first non-U.S. citizen to be elected president of Harvard’s board of overseers. He is the author or co-author of 3 dozen books. In 2010, he was named as Canada’s 28th Governor General, a position he held until 2017. Together with Sharon Johnston, he focused his mandate on strengthening the pillars of learning and innovation, philanthropy and volunteerism and families and children.

Sharon Johnston holds a doctorate in rehabilitation medicine from McGill University and practised as a physio occupational therapist. Her first internship was in a children’s psychiatric ward and she has championed mental health throughout her career. While at Rideau Hall, she travelled across the country and abroad to advocate for mental health and eliminated stigma and helped families. She is an Honorary Capt(N) in the regiment whose focus is military families and mental health throughout the armed forces. She is a novelist whose second book of a trilogy is currently in press.

The Johnstons have 5 daughters and 14 grandchildren.

Academic Director:

Alexander Dyck is Academic Director, David & Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance and a Professor of Finance and Economic Analysis and Policy at the Rotman School and holds the Manulife Financial Chair in Financial Services. He is a graduate of Western University (BA) and Stanford University (PhD). He is Academic Director of the Director’s Education Program, Director of the Capital Markets Institute, a Fellow at the Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship, and serves on the Academic Advisory Board of the Canadian Coalition of Good Governance, and on the External Advisory Board, OSFI, Culture and Conduct Risk Division. Previously, he was Associate Professor at the Harvard Business School where he taught in the MBA, doctoral and executive education programs, and has been a visiting scholar at INSEAD and Yale. He teaches courses in Corporate Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions and Private Equity in the PhD, MBA and undergrad programs. His research interests include corporate governance, corporate finance, sustainability, pensions, regulation and privatization, the media and financial markets, and taxation

Research Officers:

Eva Athanasiu

Eva is a Research Officer, Data & Reporting at the David and Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation. Eva has three years of experience in corporate governance research. She first joined the Johnston Centre as a Research Assistant, and became a Research Officer in 2020. Since then, she has planned, carried out, and reported on, the Centre’s data collection, analysis, and findings. She has extensive experience scrutinizing public corporate filings, and also leads a team of casual research assistants to collect data from proxy circulars.

Her areas of interest include the language of corporate governance disclosure, and the board’s oversight of environmental issues. Prior to joining the Centre full-time, she was a Librarian at Toronto Public Library. Eva holds a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto.

Sandria Officer

Sandria Officer is a Research Officer at the David and Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation. She brings over a decade of experience working as an educator in the post-secondary sector. In her previous role at the University, she served as a Research Project Coordinator from 2019 to 2022 and organized a study on gender equity in families and the labour force. Since 2012 she has worked as an Associate/Assistant Editor for the Journal of International Students reviewing manuscripts for publication.

Her research interests have focused on disability, work, and learning. From 2003 to 2008 she worked as a Research Assistant for the Education-Job Matching Survey research project and contributed to adult learning and underemployment publications. Sandria holds a doctorate in the social sciences from the University of Toronto, and undergraduate degrees in the social sciences from York University.