Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO, Research Canada

Ms. Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety has been the President and CEO of Research Canada for eighteen years. She brings considerable executive-level experience in public policy, health advocacy, government relations, association management, governance, project management and media relations to Research Canada.  Before joining Research Canada (then the Council for Health Research in Canada) in 2003, Ms. Gordon-El-Bihbety was the Associate Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Public Health Association, where she was responsible for the Association’s national programs and businesses.

Ms. Gordon-El-Bihbety led the transformation of the Council for Health Research in Canada, Research Canada’s predecessor organization, into the multi-stakeholder alliance, Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery. In the first year, she doubled both memberships and corporate revenues, established a strong and committed top team and put in place a solid governance model and innovative business approaches that expanded the alliance during challenging financial times for the not-for-profit sector.

Ms. Gordon-El-Bihbety helped to create and co-chaired the R8 (Research Eight), a group of eight national organizations dedicated to advancing health research in Canada. She created the Parliamentary Health Research Caucus in 2009 with Senator Wilbert Keon in an effort to better educate Parliamentarians about the social and economic benefits of Canadian health research and health innovation. The Caucus is now a mainstay of Research Canada’s advocacy efforts.

Ms. Gordon-El-Bihbety also established Research Canada’s National Public Opinion Polling Program, CanadaSpeaks, through which she has engaged Canadians in the national discussion on Canadian health research and health innovation, providing decision-makers with valuable polling data to inform policy decision-making.

Ms. Gordon-El-Bihbety has a background in health research, having published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and a number of other journals. She was the Co-chair of the Expert Panel on Health Literacy and the co-author of the Report of the Expert Panel, entitled, A Vision for a Health Literate Canada, published in January 2008.  She also chaired the Leaders’ Forum Steering Committee, which resulted in the 2004 Leaders Forum for Health Research in Canada in Ottawa. She is a past Board Director of the Elisabeth Bruyère Research Institute and has worked closely with many national health associations on a wide variety of health research and health policy issues. She is a current Board Director for Stem Cell Network.

Ms. Gordon-El-Bihbety received the Canadian Public Health Association’s Honorary Award, Certificate of Merit, in 2008 for her noteworthy contribution to public health in Canada.

Ms. Gordon-El-Bihbety is also a published novelist.