Jennifer Espey

Chief Research Officer

Jennifer Espey


Jennifer Espey, PhD is the Chief Research Officer for The Conference Board of Canada, Canada’s leading applied research organization. For decades, Jennifer Espey, PhD has designed and conducted research to assist policymakers, the C Suite, NGOs, government Cabinets and Ministries, professional associations, and political parties to make informed decisions. 

The Conference Board of Canada has been solving wicked problems for Canadian leaders for the past seven decades. Ms. Espey has been doing the same thing. She asks the right questions. Why are we doing this? What will it help change? Who will be helped? And, how do we produce scientifically reliable results to guide our decisions and our actions so they are impactful. Jennifer has been bringing this kind of rigour and discipline to her work for decades—whether it at the Cabinet table, the boardroom table, or the Research Table—she brings methodological expertise and standards to decision-making. She excels at both quantitative and qualitative research. This discipline ensures the best possible information gets to the right people at the right time.

As Chief Research Officer for The Conference Board of Canada, Jennifer says:

“Our research only matters if it is making a difference in the world. It can only make a difference if we are asking relevant questions, adhering to the highest research standards, and producing actionable insights to tackle Canada’s wicked problems.”

As an innovative and respected full-range researcher and strategist, Jennifer brings more than 25 years of experience to her role, with clients at the highest levels of the private and public sector.

Past Work Experience

Jennifer has spent decades designing and conducting research to assist policy makers, the C suite, NGOs, government Ministries and Cabinets, and political parties to make informed decisions. She has also worked with various associations such as the First Nations Statistics Institute, Childcare Advocacy Association of Canada and the Canadian Childcare Federation and designed research programs for the Globe and Mail and BNN. 

She has written several op-eds for national newspapers, policy white papers for government and articles for policy journals.

Jennifer has also been extensively involved in the area of climate change, carbon reduction strategies and energy transitions. This has led her to work over the years with Environmental Defense, the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Climate Action Network, Canadian Solar Industries Association, Ontario Power Generation, and the Centre for Renewable Energy. She places a particular emphasis on ensuring that research is designed to allowed for a full range of perspectives to be included in our understandings and thus lead to actionable insights.

Academic Background

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Political Science, University of New Mexico

Masters of the Arts with Distinction, Political Science and Public Policy, University of New Mexico

Bachelor of Arts with Distinction, Political Science and Government, University of New Mexico