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MaRS Discovery District and MaRS Innovation congratulate CEO Dr. Ilse Treurnicht for being recognized as one of Canada’s top 100 female achievers in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

For a second time, Dr. Treurnicht has been honoured with the prestigious Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™. Award in the Trailblazers & Trendsetters category. Her first Top 100™ win was announced in 2009.

Created by the Women’s Executive Network in 2003, the Award has been given to only 584 women to date, among them notable leaders such as Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, Astronaut Dr. Roberta Bondar and former Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson. Winners are selected based on their strategic vision and leadership, their organization’s financial performance and their commitment to their communities.

“I congratulate Ilse on this achievement and find it very fitting that she should win an award celebrating women who have had a measurable impact on Canadian society,” said Gordon Nixon, president and CEO of RBC and Chairman of MaRS. “She is not only a visionary but also an industrious, hands-on leader who is at the vanguard of Canada’s innovation mission. Ilse is quite unique given her experience and success as an academic, operator, investor and manager. Through her work, she is creating the country’s next generation of technology companies and our future as  a creative society.”

Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District and member of the board of directors, MaRS Innovation.
Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District and member of the board of directors, MaRS Innovation.

Dr. Treurnicht joined MaRS as CEO in 2005, overseeing both the development and operations of the MaRS Centre and its broad suite of entrepreneurship and innovation programs. A former entrepreneur with senior management roles in a number of emerging technology companies, she is an active member of Canada’s innovation community and has served on the boards of private companies, industry associations and research organizations. She holds a DPhil in chemistry from Oxford University, which she attended as a Rhodes scholar.

Dr. Treurnicht is also a member of the board of directors for MaRS Innovation.

“MaRS is extremely fortunate to have a truly extraordinary leader,” said Dr. John Evans, chair emeritus of MaRS Discovery District. “Ilse has led MaRS through a remarkable transformation from its initial concept to a dynamic organization that successfully brings together business, science and risk capital to build strong, globally competitive companies in Canada.”

”We are thrilled to recognize this year’s extraordinary group of Top 100 Winners, honouring leadership talent from coast to coast,” said Pamela Jeffery, founder, Women’s Executive Network. “Our Top 100 Winners form an amazing community of high-achieving women who are inspirations to Canada’s next generation of leaders.”

The Canada’s Most Powerful Woman: Top 100 Awards is Canada’s most recognizable Award for the country’s highest achieving female leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

The complete list of 2011 Winners can be found at

About MaRS Discovery District

MaRS Discovery District (Twitter: @MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre locatedin Toronto. MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada’s next generation of growth companies.

About the Women’s Executive Network

Since 1997, WXN has created and delivered innovative networking, mentoring, professional and personal development to inspire and applaud our community of 17,000 smart women and their organizations in the pursuit of excellence. WXN is Canada’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. WXN enables our partners and corporate members to become and to be recognized as employers of choice and leaders in the advancement of women. WXN is a founding member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council, dedicated to increasing the diversity of Canada’s corporate boards.  In the fall of 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, a first step in creating an international community of female leaders.

Posted by Susanne Staer, executive assistant to the President & CEO.

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