Belinda Stronach

Former Vice-Chairman of Magna International Inc
Belinda Stronach is a community, business and public leader who cares deeply about Canada and the broader issues of quality of life both at home and abroad. She sees the challenges of the future as needs of the immediate – how to keep Canada prosperous in a competitive global economy that is changing rapidly, how to safeguard our quality of life and the social support systems that make Canada unique, how to provide young Canadians the means to meet their potential through education, learning and skills training, and how to make the world a more secure place by dealing with crushing poverty and lack of opportunity. Long recognized as an emerging young leader with vision, the National Post newspaper had already identified Belinda in 2001 as the most powerful businesswoman in Canada. In the same year, the World Economic Forum named her a "Global Leader of Tomorrow. In 2002, she was ranked #2 by Fortune Magazine in its list of the world's most powerful women in business, and named one of Canada's "Top 40 under 40, an annual awards competition that honours the country's top business innovators less than 40 years of age. In 2004, TIME Magazine ranked Belinda as one of the world's 100 most influential people and in 2005 the World Economic Forum named her a member of its network of global young leaders. Also in 2005, the sustained recognition continued: the Women's Executive acclaimed Belinda a "trailblazer and one of Canada's top 100 most powerful women. Moving from business success and community involvement, Belinda entered public life to represent the community where she has lived most of her life. First elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 2004 general election and then re-elected in the 2006 general election, she served as Member of Parliament for Newmarket-Aurora (Ontario) until October 2008. While in office, she joined the Cabinet in 2005 at the invitation of the Prime Minister and assumed responsibility for three separate and senior portfolios as Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal, and Minister responsible for Service Canada. Belinda is the former Vice-Chairman of Magna International Inc., one of the largest global suppliers of automotive systems and components in the world with approximately 71,000 employees in 25 countries. Under her corporate leadership as the former President and CEO of Magna, the company had record sales and profits in each year and its stock price nearly doubled in value. While at Magna, she experienced first hand the tough lessons of the global competitive challenge to Canada, and served on the Ontario Task Force on Productivity, Competitiveness and Economic Progress. Belinda is an Honourary Member of the Board of Directors of Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario, and the past Honourary Chair of Southlake's Nurture the Future Fundraising Campaign. In 2005, she received the "In Celebration of Women: Achievements and Initiatives award for assisting youth in her community. Belinda is an Honorary Director of the Judy LaMarsh Fund of the Liberal Party of Canada, in support of work to encourage more women to enter public life. The fund is named for an earlier trailblazer. In 2006, Belinda co-founded Spread the Net, a national grassroots fundraising campaign together with Canadian television personality Rick Mercer. Inspired by the devastating effects of malaria observed on a trip to Africa in 2005, Belinda and Rick launched Spread the Net in partnership with UNICEF Canada to raise awareness and funds to combat death from malaria. She is also a board member of Malaria No More and Chair of Malaria No More Canada. Belinda is a Director of the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. and a Director of Millennium Promise Canada, where she is involved in supporting the work of Professor Jeffrey Sachs with Millennium Villages as a model of integrated international development. Based on her personal experience with breast cancer in spring 2007, she is also patron of the Belinda Stronach Chair in Breast Cancer Reconstructive Surgery at the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation. The Chair provides guaranteed funding for a program to ensure that the important option of reconstructive surgery for women who have undergone mastectomies is more widely available. In 2008, Belinda received the Paul Harris Award, one of the highest honours that Rotary can bestow on an individual in recognition of outstanding contributions to the ideals of the Rotary service club organization. And in 2009, was awarded along with Spread the Net co-founder Rick Mercer, with an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from Brock University recognizing her efforts in the fight against malaria. Belinda assumed the role of Honourary Chair of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure in York Region in October 2009. She recently established The Belinda Stronach Foundation to provide educational opportunities for young women and aboriginal youth, and to improve the lives of young people in developing nations. In 2010, Belinda became a board member of Global Campaign for Education's High Level Panel on Education for All.