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PRICHARD_rob_bio

Robert Prichard, former President of Torstar Corporation, Metrolinx, and the University of Toronto

J. Robert S. Prichard has had a career in higher education, law, business, and public service.  At
present, he serves as chair of Torys LLP, chair of VIA HFR, Visitor at Massey College and as a
corporate director. He is also President Emeritus of the University of Toronto.
Prichard was a professor of law at the University of Toronto from 1976 to 2001, specializing in
law and economics. He also taught at the law schools of Yale (1982-83) and Harvard (1983-84
and 2000-01). He served as Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto from 1984
to 1990. He served as chair of the Council of Ontario Law Deans and chair of the Council of
Canadian Law Deans. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2008 and
received the Law School’s 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Prichard served as the 13th president of the University of Toronto from 1990 to 2000. He also
provided leadership in higher education serving as chair of the Council of Ontario Universities,
on the boards of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and the International
Association of Universities, and on the executive committee of the Association of American
Universities. Prichard also led the formation of the G10 group of Canadian universities, now
known as the U15, and was an advocate for the strengthening the federal role in supporting
research and higher education. He delivered the Killam Lecture on Higher Education in 2001.
He now serves as Visitor of Massey College and as a trustee of the Central European University.
In 2001, Prichard received the David Smith Award for his contributions to public policy in
higher education and in 2011 received the Champion of Public Education Award.

Prichard’s business sector experience includes serving as president and CEO of Torstar
Corporation, a leading Canadian media company with newspaper and book publishing
businesses, from 2002 to 2009. He also served as Chairman of BMO Financial Group from
2012-20. At present, he serves as a director of Onex Corporation, Alamos Gold and Wittington
Investments Ltd and is a member of the International Advisory Board of Barrick Gold
Corporation and the Canadian advisory board of Apply Board. He has previously served on the
board of numerous other leading Canadian companies including George Weston Ltd (lead
director) and Four Seasons Hotels (lead director). He was made a Fellow of the Institute of
Corporate Directors in 2016 for his contributions to good governance in Canada.

In the public sector, Prichard served as chairman of Metrolinx, the regional transportation agency
of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, from 2010-18 where he served previously as
president and CEO from 2009 to 2010. He was recently appointed as the inaugural chair of the
new federal Crown corporation, VIA HFR responsible for building the new rail service from
Toronto to Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City. He served as Vice Chair of Canada’s Science,
Technology and Innovation Council from 2007-13. He has also served as a member of both
Canada’s Economic Advisory Council and Ontario’s Economic Advisory Panel. He was the
commissioner of the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Review of Liability and Compensation in
Health Care from 1988-90. He also served as a commissioner on the GTA Task Force in 1995-96
that produced the report, Greater Toronto (the Golden report). In 2016, he received the
Testimonial Award of the Public Policy Forum for his contributions to Canadian public policy.

Prichard served as a trustee and chair of the Hospital for Sick Children until 2022 and has served
on numerous public sector and volunteer boards including chair of the Visiting Committee for
Harvard Law School, chair of the Ontario Innovation Trust and a trustee of the Royal Ontario
Museum, University Health Network and Upper Canada College. He is also a member of the
advisory board of the Samara Democracy Project.

Prichard attended Swarthmore College where he studied economics, earned his MBA at the
University of Chicago, and earned law degrees from the University of Toronto (LLB) where he
was the gold medalist and Yale University (LLM) where he was the Viscount Bennett Fellow.
Recognized by appointment as an officer of the Order of Canada and as a member of the Order
of Ontario, Prichard has also received honorary degrees from eleven colleges and universities in
Canada and the United States.

Prichard is married to Ann E Wilson, a classmate, lawyer, and painter, and is father of three sons,
Wilson, Kenneth and John (Jay).

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