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Meet the Team

Matthew McKean
Matthew McKean
Director, Future Skills

Dr. Matthew McKean is Director, Future Skills, and member of the Senior Leadership Team at the Conference Board of Canada. He leads research, business development, and stakeholder relations for the Conference Board's education and skills file. He is also part of the team that's leading the Ryerson University, Conference Board, Blueprint ADE consortium that has been selected to set up and run the Future Skills Centre, a multi-year initiative funded by the Government of Canada's Future Skills program.

Matthew holds a PhD in History from Queen's University, Kingston, and is an Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of History at Carleton University. He writes for a wide audience on a diverse range of topics. He has authored or co-authored reports on research impact and knowledge mobilization; social sciences and humanities career skills development and transitions; Canada-OECD skills and PSE comparators; the impact of skills gaps on British Columbia and Alberta; gender equity, diversity, and inclusion in Canadian PSE; and the state of social and emotional skills training in business schools.

Matthew's writing has appeared in The Globe & Mail, The Conversation (Canada), The National Post, The Toronto Star, The Ottawa Citizen, The Hill Times,, Popmatters, and This Magazine. He occasionally writes obituaries for The Globe & Mail and reviews folk music for Exclaim! magazine in Toronto. He is a board member of the Ottawa International Writer's Festival and the National Advisory Committee for the Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Education.

Heather McIntosh
Heather McIntosh
Senior Manager, Knowledge Mobilization and Research, Future Skills

Dr. Heather McIntosh, Senior Manager, Knowledge Mobilization and Research, Future Skills, leads the knowledge mobilization research portfolio on the Conference Board’s Future Skills team. Heather joined the Conference Board from Ryerson University, where she worked in the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. In this role, she managed a provincially-funded, multiyear project that used research and evaluation to identify and test solutions for workforce development challenges in Ontario through various research, capacity building, and knowledge translation activities. In leading the project’s research portfolio, Heather oversaw projects spanning a variety of thematics, such as skilled trades and apprenticeship, contextualized essential skills, training and supports for older workers, and supported employment.

Heather has also held various positions at Canada’s International Development Research Centre, notably the 2016 research award recipient in the networked economies branch. In addition to supporting program management of a variety of projects that focused on the use of technology and innovation to solve and support development challenges, she led a research project based out of Kathmandu on the role of digital innovations in the crisis response to the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.

Heather holds a PhD in translation and interpretation from the University of Ottawa and two degrees (MA and BA) in communications. She has written on a variety of topics, such as the representation of women’s health in the Canadian news media, health communication campaigns in South America, and organizational crisis communication.

Stephen Higham
Stephen Higham
Research Associate II, Future Skills

Stephen is a Research Associate on the Conference Board’s Future Skills Team, where his research supports the mission of the Future Skills Centre to help Canadians prepare for and adapt to new jobs and a changing labour market. Prior to joining the Conference Board, he worked as a Policy Analyst at Mitacs, where he oversaw proposal writing, the development of pilot initiatives, and research projects on a variety of topics relating to Canadian research and innovation.

Stephen has additional experience with Canada’s Public Policy Forum and the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development (ICNGD). He holds a Master of Political Studies from the University of Saskatchewan, where he received the Arctic Foreign Policy Graduate Fellowship for his research on northern capacity building and regulatory challenges in the NWT. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Lethbridge, where he dual-majored in Political Science and Indigenous Studies.

Maria Giammarco
Maria Giammarco
Senior Research Associate

Maria Giammarco is a Senior Research Associate with the Future Skills team where she applies her research skills and background in the behavioural sciences to address Canada's evolving skills and education needs.

Prior to joining the Conference Board Maria worked as behavioural scientist for the Impact and Innovation Unit in the Privy Council Office and the Behavioural Insights Groups in the BC Public Service. In these roles Maria used experimental research methods and a human psychology lens to solve a range of policy and service challenges, from tax compliance to social service supports to sustainable consumption. Maria also has experience in the intersection of science and public policy through her work with the Council of Canadian Academies and as a Mitacs Science Policy Fellow, and in supporting strategic development and research needs for multi-sectoral clients as a consultant with R.A. Malatest and Associates and Dialectic Solutions.

Maria holds a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Guelph; her research focused primarily on understanding the intersection between memory, attention, information processing, and decision-making. She also holds a MSc and HBA from McMaster University where she focused on human psychology and philosophy.

Past Event

Education and Skills Symposium 2018

November 28–29, 2018
Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Toronto, Ontario)

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