Board of Directors

Claude Lajeunesse

Claude Lajeunesse (Chair)

Dr. Claude Lajeunesse is Chair of AECL’s Board of Directors. He has been serving on AECL’s board since March 2005, and has been in the role of Chair since August 2016.

Previously, Dr. Lajeunesse served as President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, President of Concordia University in Montréal, and President and Vice-Chancellor of Ryerson University in Toronto. He is also past President and CEO of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, now called Universities Canada.

Dr. Lajeunesse obtained his B.Sc. A. in engineering physics from École Polytechnique de Montréal before going on to achieve his M.Sc. and his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

Martha ToryMs. Martha Tory

Martha Tory was appointed to AECL’s Board of Directors in October 2016 and serves as Chair of the Board’s Audit Committee.

Ms. Tory retired in 2015 from Ernst & Young LLP where she was an audit partner with responsibility for clients in a variety of industries. She is currently involved as a Board member with a number of organizations: her current positions include being a Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee at HomEquity Bank, MaRS Discovery District, University of Toronto Press and George Brown College. She is also a Board member, member of the Audit Committee and Chair of the Business and Human Resources Committee at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.  

Ms. Tory is a member of the Accounting Standards Oversight Council, an independent body responsible for monitoring and evaluating the performance of and providing input into the strategic direction and priority setting of the Accounting Standards Board and Public Sector Accounting Board, the groups responsible for determining accounting standards for Canadian organizations.  

Ms. Tory is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario. She holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto, Trinity College.  

James BurpeeJames Burpee

Mr. Burpee was appointed to the AECL’s Board of Directors in June 2017 and serves as Chair of the Board’s Human Resources and Governance Committee.

Mr. Burpee brings almost four decades of experience as a senior strategist in the electricity industry, having worked in a variety of senior management roles for Ontario Hydro and Ontario Power Generation. Mr. Burpee has also served as Chief Executive Officer at Bridge Renewable Energy Technologies Inc., a company which marketed Biomass Gasification Electricity Systems primarily in the developing world. Most recently, Mr. Burpee served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Electricity Association.

Mr. Burpee also sat on the board of the Energy Council of Canada and the Canadian Electricity Association, including one year as Chairperson.

Mr. Burpee is currently a Senior Counsel in the Energy and Environment Practice at Sussex Strategy Group.

Mr. Burpee holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto and is a member of Professional Engineers Ontario and the Institute for Corporate Directors, and holds the ICD.D designation.

Carmen AbelaCarmen Abela

Carmen Abela was appointed to AECL’s Board of Directors in June 2017.

Ms. Abela brings almost 20 years of experience advising senior leaders on public sector oversight, governance, accountability, internal audit, and risk and performance management.

Ms. Abela is currently the Managing Director of WindReach Consulting Services Inc., and previously served as Interim Risk Officer at the Bank of Canada and Chairperson of the Board for the Institute of Internal Auditors Canada (IIA Canada).

Ms. Abela has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Carleton University. Ms. Abela is a Certified Internal Auditor and holds a Chartered Director’s designation from the Director’s College.


Richard SextonRichard Sexton

Richard Sexton is the President and Chief Executive Officer of AECL.

Mr. Sexton has over 32 years of experience in decommissioning and waste management gained through leadership roles on some of the largest and most complex decommissioning projects in the world, including Magnox and Sellafield in the United Kingdom, and Rocky Flats and the Connecticut Yankee site in the United States. Most recently, Mr. Sexton served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Magnox Reactor Accelerated Sites, where he was responsible for directing transformational change in decommissioning project strategy, delivery approach, cost, and schedule. Richard also has extensive experience in managing multiple stakeholder relationships.

As President and CEO of AECL, Mr. Sexton is leading the organization in its oversight role, seeing that the priorities of Government are delivered safely and efficiently under the GoCo model.

Richard holds an M.S. in Radiological Health Engineering from Northwestern University, a B.S. in Chemistry and American Board of Health Physics Certification, Part I. He has published and presented multiple papers on decommissioning and holds two patents for radiation detection equipment.