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Our Team

Julie Adès
 
Julie Adès
Senior Economist, Global Commerce Centre

Julie Adès is a Senior Economist within the Conference Board of Canada’s Global Commerce Centre (GCC). As part of the GCC, she leads and participates in research on trade, investment, and trade policies. In recent years, Julie led and contributed to research on CUSMA, China, clean trade, foreign direct investment and trade diversification. As part of an international aid program, Julie co-delivered a course in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2016 on economic modelling with a focus on exports.

Prior to joining the Global Commerce Centre, Julie spent several years within the Conference Board’s national forecasting team working on the forecast of the Canadian economy, focusing on the labour market, housing market and demographic variables. Since joining the Conference Board in 2008, she has helped to develop and maintain the Board’s national economic forecasting model and conducted various custom research projects.

Julie Adès holds a MA in economics from Laval University where she specialized in natural resources and environmental economics and a BA in economics, management and international relations from McGill University.

Sheila Rao
 
Sheila Rao
Principal Economist

Sheila Rao is the Manager of the Conference Board’s annual flagship report, How Canada Performs, a multi-year research program designed to help identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada’s socio-economic performance. Sheila has also been involved in international projects, assisting the Ukrainian governments at both the federal and municipal level in developing strategic economic development plans.

Ms. Rao authored a paper on the BRIC economies and presented the report findings to the Senate committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Other projects she has worked on include: a study on the Western provinces’ productivity and competitiveness; a report on supply chains for the International Trade and Investment Centre (ITIC); and a study on public-private research collaborations. Sheila has also contributed to research for the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care (CASHC). Ms. Rao has had a number of speaking engagements; having presented findings from her various projects to The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and International Trade; the Library of Parliament; and advisory committees in each of the Western provinces.

Prior to joining the Conference Board, Sheila completed her MBA at McGill University. Ms. Rao holds a Bachelors Degree in Engineering from Queen’s University and earlier in her career she worked in the high-tech industry at Alcatel and General Dynamics Canada.

Darren De Jean
 
Darren De Jean
Executive Director

Darren’s responsibilities at The Conference Board of Canada include leadership of the Custom Economic Research practice as well as Human Resources and Immigration Knowledge Areas. Darren brings over two decades of business development, strategy, workplace transformation, and consulting experience to the Conference Board. Most recently, he was the Director of Advisory Services for Canada’s Business Development Bank where he was responsible for the creation, implementation, and growth of various regional practices. Darren has also been a founding member of two start-ups including a venture capital funded, publicly trading search technology company. He has also consulted with numerous organizations from early-stage technology to high-growth multinationals across various industries.

Darren has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Lakehead University. He is also a Mechanical Engineering Technologist Graduate from Lakehead University and a Pure and Applied Science Graduate from John Abbott College in Montreal.

Jessica Brichta
 
Jessica Brichta
Network Manager, Privacy, Data Analytics, & Global Commerce

Jessica Brichta is an executive network manager at The Conference Board of Canada. In this role, she manages the Board's Council for Chief Privacy Officers, Council for Chief Data and Analytics Officers, and the Global Commerce Centre. She has been at the Conference Board for 9 years and has also worked as a network manager and research associate in areas such as transportation and infrastructure, shared mobility, health, and innovation.

Jessica has a BA Honours from Simon Fraser University, an MA from the University of Waterloo, and has done PhD work at the University of Ottawa in English language and literature.

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Jessica Brichta
Network Manager, Privacy, Data Analytics, & Global Commerce
613-526-3090x358
Email imagebrichta@conferenceboard.ca