Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

About AECL

Executive Team

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Amy Gottschling

Vice-President, Science, Technology and Commercial Oversight

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As Vice-President, Science, Technology & Commercial Oversight, Amy is responsible for overseeing the performance of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ nuclear science and technology projects and programs for the Government of Canada, as well as commercial science and technology projects for third-party customers. 

Prior to joining AECL, Amy was the Vice-President of Radioactive Materials and Chemistry Services at Kinectrics Inc, where she managed a portfolio encompassing research and development, radioactive waste processing and decommissioning planning, radiochemistry, tritium technologies, and medical isotopes. 

Amy has held increasingly management-focused roles at Kinectrics since 2009, transitioning to a leadership role as Vice-President in 2018. Amy successfully completed the International Senior Nuclear Plant Manager Executive Leadership Programme from the World Association of Nuclear Operators WANO and Ontario Power Generation in 2019.   

She holds a BSc and PhD in chemistry and nuclear from Western University in London, Ontario. 

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Jason Cameron

Vice-President, Communications and Public Affairs

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In his role of Vice-President of Communications and Public Affairs, Jason leads on all of AECL’s communications and public affairs functions and works to strengthen the organization’s approach to reconciliation with Indigenous groups.   

For 23 years, Jason has worked across many areas of nuclear regulation at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), including nuclear material accountancy, international safeguards, import and export controls, and nuclear security. Most recently, Jason was the Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs and Chief Communications Officer for the CNSC. In this position, he led strategic and regulatory policy functions, including the CNSC’s approach to reconciliation, as well as their internal and external communications programs. 

Nancy Chaput

Chief Human Resources Officer

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As Senior Director Human Resources, Nancy has the strategic role in leading AECL’s Human Resources functions and HR oversight of CNL. As a key advisor to AECL’s President & CEO and the Executive Team she is the principal source of expertise on all human resources issues and risks. Her HR expertise comes to bear in the areas related to the full latitude of related legislation, regulations, and policies.

Originally joining AECL in 1987, Nancy brings extensive experience in human resources, project management and training to the position. She is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) with complementary education in business and adult learning. In 2012, she completed a Master’s Certificate in Organizational Development from York University.

Fred Dermarkar

Fred Dermarkar

President and CEO

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Fred Dermarkar is AECL’s President and CEO. He was appointed in February 2021 for a term of three years.

Prior to joining AECL, Fred was President and CEO of the CANDU Owners Group, where he led the not-for‐profit organization to advance collaboration between CANDU nuclear reactor operators worldwide.

Fred has been working in the Canadian nuclear industry for close to 40 years. Throughout his career, he has occupied a variety of key technical and senior leadership positions at Ontario Power Generation in support of the design, commissioning, operation and refurbishment of its CANDU reactors.

Fred has received the Canadian Nuclear Association’s Ian McRae award in recognition of his substantive engineering contributions, leadership and positive influence on the Canadian nuclear industry and the advancement of nuclear energy in Canada, and the Nuclear Excellence Award from the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) in recognition of his contributions to Ontario Power Generation’s overall post-Fukushima response.

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

Fred holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto and is a registered professional engineer in the Province of Ontario.

Grant Gardiner

Vice-President, General Counsel,
Corporate Secretary

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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.

David Hess

Lead Contracting Officer

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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.

Alastair MacDonald

Vice-President, Decommissioning
and Waste Management

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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.

Paul Roberts

Vice-President, Capital,
Operations and Security Oversight

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As the Vice-President, Capital Program, Operations & Security Oversight, Paul is responsible for the oversight of CNL activities related to the Capital Program and ensuring appropriate investment to support ongoing, sustainable nuclear science and technology development at the Chalk River Laboratories. He is also accountable for the oversight of CNL’s site operations and security.

Paul has over 30 years of experience in the nuclear industry, having worked for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in the United Kingdom, as well as site license companies and supporting contractors. Over the span of his career, he has led many complex nuclear projects including the construction of the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) on the Sellafield site in England and advised on the delivery of ITER and other large nuclear fusion projects. Prior to joining the AECL team, he was the Nuclear Programme Director at the UK’s Mott MacDonald Group, where he worked across the nuclear fission and fusion fuel cycle

Thomas Assimes

Vice-President, Business
Operations, Chief Financial Officer

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As Vice President, Business Operations & CFO, Thomas is responsible for providing AECL with business support services, including financial systems and reporting, compliance monitoring and information technology. Thomas 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).

Thomas has over 30 years of executive experience in both the private and public sectors. Prior to joining AECL, he was Vice-President, Finance and Administration of the Montreal Port Authority. He has also served as Director, Finance and Project Services at CDPQ Infra and served as the Chief Financial Officer of BC Hydro’s Site C Project during its development, environmental assessment, and approval phases.

Tom has significant international experience, including working as Chief Financial Officer of Olympia Odos S.A., a Public-Private Partnership in Athens Greece, and as Vice-President, Global Trade Finance with TD Securities in Montreal.

He holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from McGill and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business from the University of Western Ontario.

Graeme Williamson

Chief Strategy and Planning Officer

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As Senior Director Strategy, Business Planning and Government Relations, Graeme is responsible for AECL’s planning documents (Corporate Plan, Risk Management, Business Plan) and leads the oversight of the Contractor’s planning documents. These include the Long-Term Plans for the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, as well as their Annual Program of Work and Budget, which is the key annual delegation of authority document. Graeme also oversees cross-functional initiatives from the contractor, such as the implementation of an Earned Value Management System. As the lead for AECL’s government relations program, Graeme is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with the federal Government of Canada, Canadian Provincial governments and advancing collaboration and cooperation with international governments.

Prior to joining AECL, Graeme had 15 years’ experience with the Government of Canada, including its Central Agencies. Immediately prior to joining AECL, Graeme played a critical role in the restructuring of AECL at Natural Resources Canada, including both the divestiture of AECL’s commercial reactor division and the transformation of its nuclear laboratories from a government organization to a Government-owned, Contractor-operated (GoCo) model.