The CFI mourns the passing of Dr. David Strangway

December 14, 2016

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Canada Foundation for Innovation is deeply saddened by the recent passing of Dr. David Strangway at the age of 82.
An academic visionary and one of the founding leaders of the CFI, Dr. Strangway served as our President and CEO between 1998 and 2004, following a long and distinguished career as a scientist and university administrator. He was one of the key architects of the CFI, and our focus on excellence is a direct reflection of his legacy.

WATCH: Dr. David Strangway discusses his early days at the CFI and how the organization aimed to help shape Canada’s research priorities

“While I did not have the privilege of working with David, I have always felt a connection with him because many of the things we do at the CFI, even today, have his mark,” says Gilles Patry, CFI President and CEO. “From our core values and the funds we manage to our merit-review process, David Strangway touched every part of this organization and is credited for much of its success.”

WATCH: Dr. Strangway’s address at the CFI’s 2013 annual public meeting

In 1970, Dr. Strangway joined NASA as Chief of the Geophysics Branch, where he designed lunar experiments for Apollo astronauts and was involved in examining moon rocks, which contributed to furthering our knowledge of the solar system. Dr. Strangway resumed his academic career in Canada in 1973 and served as Chair of the Geology Department at the University of Toronto for seven years. He served as both Vice- President and acting President of the University of Toronto from 1980 to 1985, when he became President of the University of British Columbia (UBC), where he served for
12 years.

He joined the CFI in 1998, a year after its creation, and was instrumental in shaping the organization’s funding processes and mechanisms, ultimately helping to revitalize the country’s national research capabilities. While at the CFI, in 2002, Dr. Strangway became Founding Chancellor of Quest University in Squamish, B.C., Canada’s first independent, not-for-profit, non-sectarian university.

This visionary leader earned many honours that reflected his life-long dedication to the betterment of Canada’s post-secondary educational system. The staff of the Canada Foundation for Innovation extends its sincere condolences to his family.