NDRIO Names Nizar Ladak as New CEO

August 18, 2020

The New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO)’s Board of Directors today announced the appointment of Nizar Ladak as the organization’s first permanent Chief Executive Officer, effective Oct. 5, 2020.

Established in 2019, NDRIO is a national member-based, not-for-profit organization with a mission to give scholars and scientists the digital tools, support, services and infrastructure they need to conduct leading-edge research that competes globally and benefits all of society. NDRIO is funded by the Government of Canada.

Over a career spanning almost 30 years, Nizar Ladak has held roles in federal and provincial government agencies and non-profit organizations in Canada. Mr. Ladak has provided transformative leadership to teams of up to 500 people and has managed budgets of up to $1.4 billion.

Mr. Ladak will join NDRIO from his current role as President and CEO of Compute Ontario, which brings together scientific, technical, and policy-making communities using advanced research computers (supercomputers). Prior to that role, Mr. Ladak was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Health Quality Ontario. He has also served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer of North York General Hospital, and he has worked federally at the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) as Director of Health Services Information.

In 2019, Mr. Ladak was selected as one of Canada’s Top 25 Immigrants by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Canadian Immigrant magazine for his professional and community contributions.

Mr. Ladak has completed Executive Leadership Programs at Harvard Business School, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and Rotman Business School at the University of Toronto. He gives back to his professional communities by mentoring young professionals and serving on numerous Boards.

“Nizar is an exceptional leader who understands the intricacies of Canada’s Digital Research Infrastructure space, the importance of stakeholder engagement at all levels, and the criticality of a deliberate approach to change management,” says Janet Davidson, Board Chair.

“He also has a passion and drive for change,” continues Ms. Davidson. “The Board looks forward to working with Nizar and the NDRIO team to deliver the vision for a harmonized, strong digital research backbone that meets the needs of Canada’s research community and further positions Canada’s research agenda on the world stage.”

Mr. Ladak was selected by the Board of Directors following an extensive international search conducted with the help of executive recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson.

“I am both humbled and excited to have been selected for the opportunity to lead Canada’s New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization,” says Mr. Ladak.

“I sincerely believe Canada’s researchers hold the key to Canada’s economic prosperity and competitive advantage globally,” he adds. “In partnership with researchers, NDRIO will increase access and scale usage of Advanced Research Computing, Research Software and Research Data Management to equip Canada’s researchers to excel.”

Mr. Ladak succeeds George Ross, who has led NDRIO as Interim Executive Director since September 2019. Mr. Ross will continue in this role until Mr. Ladak’s arrival, allowing for a seamless transition.

“The Board thanks George for his exceptional leadership and hard work launching the organization, delivering the first Corporate Plan and Annual Report, developing our strategic workplan, setting up our organizational processes, and helping to establish good governance practices,” says Ms. Davidson.