Executive Team

Richard Sexton

Richard Sexton

President and Chief Executive Officer

As President and CEO of AECL, Richard is leading the organization in its new oversight role, ensuring that the priorities of Government are delivered safely and efficiently under a Government-owned, Contractor-operated model. 

Richard previously served as the Acting Chief Transition Officer and Vice-President, Decommissioning and Waste Management Oversight at AECL. In that capacity, he provided leadership as AECL transitioned to the Government-owned, Contractor-operated model and provided technical oversight to ensure that decommissioning and waste management products and services provided by CNL were delivered safely, and provided value for Canadians.

Richard 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, Richard 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. 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.

John Osborne

Alastair MacDonald

Vice-President, Decommissioning and Waste Management

Alastair has over 30 years of experience in the nuclear industry and has worked at sites in the United States and United Kingdom. Most recently, he was responsible for a complex nuclear packaging and transport project at Dounreay, as part of his role with the United Kingdom’s Cavendish Nuclear Ltd.

As Vice President, Decommissioning and Waste Management, Alastair ensures that program and contract objectives are met with respect to CNL's activities to manage AECL's decommissioning and waste management responsibilities. Oversight areas include: facilities decommissioning, waste management and land remediation.

John Osborne

John Osborne

Vice-President, Capital, Operations & Security Oversight

As Vice-President, Capital Program, Operations and Security, John is responsible for overseeing CNL’s activities with respect to the revitalization of the Chalk River site, as well as ongoing safe and secure operations at all AECL-owned sites.

A graduate of Royal Military College and professional engineer, John served with the Royal Canadian Navy as an Engineering Officer for almost 15 years. Retiring as a Lieutenant Commander, he transferred to AECL’s nuclear operations at the Chalk River Laboratories and worked in a variety of roles including General Manager for the NRU Reactor and Senior Director for Nuclear Programs. Most recently, John has been part of AECL’s oversight team for the NRU reactor, portions of the capital program and licensing.

Shannon Quinn

Shannon Quinn

Vice-President, Science, Technology and Commercial Oversight

As Vice President, Science, Technology and Commercial Oversight, Shannon is responsible for overseeing the performance of CNL’s nuclear science and technology (S&T) projects and programs for the Government of Canada, as well as commercial S&T projects and programs for third-party customers. She also provides strategic support to ensure that federal objectives are met with respect to nuclear S&T capabilities, projects and performance.

Prior to joining AECL, Shannon was with Natural Resources Canada, and worked on various aspects of AECL restructuring, including the sale of the assets of the commercial division and the restructuring of the Nuclear Laboratories. She was also responsible for medical isotope policy and programming. Prior to 2009, Shannon was responsible for Canada’s Generation IV National Program. Before joining NRCan, Shannon held various technical and leadership positions in the steel industry, and was an adjunct professor at McMaster University. Shannon holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University and an MBA from the University of Ottawa.

Grant Gardiner

Grant Gardiner

Vice-President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary

As General Counsel, Grant represents AECL in all matters of law, legal policy and contract interpretation and management related to the functions of the corporation. This includes overseeing the performance of the legal compliance of CNL under its agreement with AECL, and monitoring legal developments, including legislation, of interest to AECL, CNL, and the Government of Canada.

Grant was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1993 and has gained extensive experience leading publicly-traded companies through complex legal, governance and compliance landscapes. Most recently, in the role of General Counsel of Nordion, Grant led the company through a divestiture of its Target Therapies business and the sale of Nordion. Grant has previously served as Vice-President, Associate General Counsel, as well as Corporate Secretary, for BlackBerry, and has held leadership roles at other companies such as Cognos Inc. and JDS Uniphase. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Prince Edward Island and an L.L.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Dave Smith

David Smith

Vice-President, Business Operations, Chief Financial Officer

As Vice President, Business Operations & CFO, David (Dave) is responsible for providing AECL with business support services, including financial systems and reporting, compliance monitoring and information technology. Dave is also responsible for the strategic leadership of financial management and business initiatives within AECL and financial oversight of the contract with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL).

Dave has served AECL for over 28 years in progressive positions in areas of finance and business operations. Prior to assuming his current role at AECL, Dave was the Corporate Controller for CNL, providing strong leadership and oversight of the financial management function. Dave holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business and is a Chartered Accountant.

David Hess

David Hess

Lead Contracting Officer

As Lead Contracting Officer, David (Dave) is responsible for overall day-to-day oversight of the performance of the Contractor and CNL in the management and operation of AECL’s Nuclear Laboratories. Dave works with the organization and subject matter experts to assess CNL’s performance in accordance with the annual Performance Evaluation Measure Plan, including ensuring all contract deliverables are timely, complete and satisfactory, and compliant with all terms and conditions, and make fee determinations as per the contract.

Dave brings over 20 years of experience in strategic contracting oversight and management through various senior positions with the United States Federal Government. Most recently, David headed up a Contracting Office for the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management where he was responsible for the management and oversight of federal contracting staff that provided acquisition and contract management support to fifteen Department of Energy sites, encompassing the negotiation, award and management support of multi-billion dollar complex acquisitions for large-scale environmental management projects. Prior to that, David served as the Lead Contracting Officer for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s multi-billion dollar design, construction and operations contract for a nuclear fuel processing facility that converts excess weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors. David also served in various Lead Contracting Officer positions for the Naval Air Systems Command, during which time he supported the V-22 Osprey and Air Combat Electronics major weapon system programs. Dave holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Northern Illinois University and is certified as a Level III Acquisition Professional.