Chad Gaffield

Role: 
Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Chad Gaffield was appointed as the U15-Group of Canadian Research Universities Chief Executive Officer effective April 15, 2022.

Educated at McGill University and the University of Toronto, Dr. Chad Gaffield has been for more than three decades at the leading edge internationally of the field now known as Digital Humanities. Along the way, he has become one of Canada’s leading historians of the deep cultural, social and economic changes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

In addition, Dr. Gaffield has served in many leadership positions including President of the Canadian Historical Association and President of the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada. Appointed by Order in Council, he served as President and CEO of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2006-2014) where he was responsible for multiple tri-council programs. Dr. Gaffield has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and has served in various roles at Genome Canada and the Fonds de recherche du Québec as well as on the Executive Committee of the Council of Ontario Universities. Dr. Gaffield was elected President of the Royal Society of Canada (2017-2019) that launched a new Strategic Plan to enhance the RSC’s historic mission to help make a better future. In 2018, the RSC created the G7 Research Summits involving the other G7 national academies that focus on the urgent issues under discussion by the G7 political leaders. This initiative has become an annual priority that inspires other activities such as the current RSC Task Force on COVID-19 and the comprehensive partnerships with the Globe and Mail and Le Devoir. 

Internationally, Chad Gaffield is one of the few individuals to have been elected to serve on the former International Social Sciences Council as well as the International Council of Scientific Unions, and more recently on the merged International Council for Science’s Committee on Scientific Planning and Review. Other roles include current membership on the Scientific Board of the EU’s Digital Research Infrastructure of the Arts and Humanities.

Elected RSC Fellow, Professor Gaffield received in 2002 the RSC’s J.B. Tyrrell Historical Medal and, in 2007, the Province of Ontario’s Prix de la francophonie for his research on the history of French-language communities. The international Alliance of Digital Humanities Organisations presented him with their top award in 2012, the Antonio Zampolli Prize, given every three years for “innovative use of information and communications technologies in the digital humanities.” Professor Gaffield received the Outstanding Achievement Award for Computing in the Arts and Humanities given by the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities in 2015. Carleton University has awarded Dr. Gaffield the Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. He was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017.