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Meet the Team

Matthew McKean
Matthew McKean
Director, Education and Skills

Dr. Matthew McKean is Director of Education & Skills (#FutureSkills) and a member of the Conference Board of Canada's Senior Leadership Team. He leads research, stakeholder relations, knowledge mobilization, and business development, including the Council of University Executives (CUE), a pan-Canadian network of Provosts and Vice-Presidents.

He was a founding member of the Ryerson University, Conference Board, Blueprint consortium team that was selected to set up and run the Future Skills Centre, a multi-year initiative funded by the Government of Canada's Future Skills program. He leads the Conference Board's Future Skills Centre research portfolio and an awesome team of researchers.

Matthew has authored, co-authored, and directed many reports on education and skills. He also writes and speaks publicly for a wide audience on a diverse range of topics. His 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's been known to write obituaries for The Globe & Mail and music reviews for Exclaim! Magazine in Toronto.

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, where he taught for more than a decade. 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
Associate Director, Education and Skills

Dr. Heather McIntosh is Associate Director of the Education and 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.

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.

Steve Higham
Steve Higham
Research Associate

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.

Andrew Bieler
Andrew Bieler
Senior Research Associate

Dr. Andrew Bieler is a Senior Research Associate with the Future Skills team where he leads the apprenticeship and skilled trades research portfolio. Prior to joining the Conference Board, he worked as a Research Associate at Ryerson University's Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. In this capacity, he spearheaded the development, implementation, and evaluation of four innovative apprenticeship programs that served 76 apprentices and 66 employers in Ontario's construction and manufacturing sectors.

Andrew previously held positions with the Sustainability and Education Policy Network where he oversaw the development of research projects with the goal of advancing sustainability in education policy and practice across Canada. During this time, he undertook a variety of comparative education research projects including a national overview of climate change education policy. He organized an international policy forum that brought together international researchers and policymakers to discuss sustainability education.

Trained in collaborative approaches to social research, Andrew completed his PhD in the Joint Program in Communication and Culture at York University and Ryerson University in Toronto. His doctoral dissertation examined the role of arts-sciences collaborations in catalyzing social action on climate change. His research has been published in the Canadian Journal of Higher Education, Sustainability, Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, Environmental Education Research, Green Humanities, and Teachers College Record. He co-authored the book Critical Education and Sociomaterial Practice.

See Andrew's reseearch here:

Past Event

Education and Skills Symposium 2018

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

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