Ilse Treurnicht

Former CEO, MaRS Discovery District

Ilse Treurnicht’s career spans scientific research and commercialization, technology startups and growth companies, venture capital, and public policy. From 2005-2017 she served as CEO of MaRS ( in Toronto, overseeing the development of the organization from a startup to a leading urban innovation hub.

Ilse was Chair of the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance in 2010, and is recognized for advancing a Canadian innovation ecosystem that fosters both economic and social prosperity.  She has served on the Government of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC), and on the boards of several technology firms and non-profit organizations. She is currently a member of Canada’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth and the Advisory Committee on Open Banking.  She also serves as executive chair of Triphase Accelerator Corporation (a cancer drug development firm), and is a board director of Cogniciti (a brain health company) and the Public Policy Forum.  She holds a doctorate in chemistry from Oxford University, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar.